“Lost Souls” may focus on Team Arrow’s attempts to rescue Ray Palmer, who was just revealed to still be alive, as well as Sara’s assimilation back into the land of the living. But make no mistake: “Lost Souls” is a Felicity story.
For most of the hour, Felicity is in rare form, fueled by anger and guilt in the effort to save Ray. That attempt puts her and Oliver’s relationship through its first major trial, as Felicity wrestles with her desire and her need to save Ray because she blames herself for his current predicament.
And what exactly is that predicament? Well, after doing plenty of digging into his original message, which was sent only six days ago, Felicity makes actual contact with Ray via video. He’s been captured, the technology from his suit wanted for clearly nefarious purposes, but it’s not quite so useful at that size. Wherever he is, Ray has been trapped inside a cube, and though he can’t use his technology while at a shrunken size, he has a plan. Schematics are at Palmer Tech for a device to save him, but when Oliver offers Felicity help to put the contraption together, she rejects it.
She doesn’t just politely tell Oliver his particular set of skills are best used somewhere else, though. Felicity shuts Oliver down, telling him he’s of no help in an uncharacteristically angry fashion. Instead, she enlists Curtis’ help. The only issue is that the quantum manifold (the MacGuffin of choice for the episode) is an item that can only be acquired at Kord Industries. So it’s time to enlist the help of the Green Arrow.
Except there’s actually one more issue to contend with. Felicity’s mother, Donna, is back in town. (ASIDE: Apparently she and Oliver have been texting and building a budding friendship. There are few things quite as hilarious as Emily Bett Rickards’ furious Felicity berating Oliver during a mission about his emoji-filled texts with Donna, especially when everyone else can hear her. END ASIDE) She wants to spend some quality time with her daughter. Felicity is, of course, preoccupied with saving her former love’s life, so she first deals with the all-hands break-in at Kord.
Along for the ride is Sara Lance, back in costume, and adjusting to actually walking around again. She’s spent a little quality time with Laurel and Quentin, but jumping back into battle is perhaps the closest thing to normal she can find at the moment. Unfortunately, the Lazarus Pit still has its hold on her, and so she unsurprisingly acts out during the mission. After Ollie disables the security (hanging upside down on his ropeline to fill his Batman quota for the day), the crew scrambles to find the manifold. Thea locates it just as guards begin unloading clips in her and Sara’s direction.
Rather than fleeing, Sara goes on the offensive, striking down one of the guards and pummeling him into submission. She has to be snapped out of it so she doesn’t kill him with the mission already successfully completed.
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While Sara’s behavior is a concern, perhaps more worrisome is Felicity’s revelation as to who has Ray — Damien Darhk. Yes, he appears on Ray’s video feed, only further sending Felicity into a state of panic. Oliver, however, takes this as good news because they can use Quentin to investigate Damien for them. But that will require some time that Felicity does not want to waste.
Oliver tries to keep her mind off of the current peril by suggesting she have dinner with her mother. Maybe Oliver could even join them because, well…he already scheduled the dinner. She shows up, and Oliver comes home, after having set up the plan, with Quentin to an undercooked chicken cordon bleu. But because domesticated Ollie was such a natural homemaker, he decides to help whip something up.
The dinner is fraught with tension, however, and what’s being served is the last thing on Felicity’s mind. Donna senses the issues hanging in the air and gives the two some space (but not without letting Felicity know how great make-up sex can be), allowing them to admit what’s really wrong.
And it’s not what Oliver expects. The issue is that Felicity blames herself. Ray had been sending messages for weeks after his disappearance, but she missed them because she was off with Oliver. She didn’t second guess the lack of a body because she was so wrapped up in their relationship. She was losing herself in someone else, and suddenly Felicity is not so sure if that’s the type of person she wants to be.
NEXT: Saving Ray requires everyone in the field — even Curtis. [pagebreak]
Oliver offers to give her some space (something Diggle reaffirms is the right thing to do when the two share a drink in the lair later — it’s nice to see their bromance being rekindled) while Quentin completes his leg of the mission. He summons Damien out to an intersection — this meeting struck me first as odd, but then it hit me: Damien couldn’t care less if he’s seen around town or not — where Quentin offers to help more if Damien is willing to use his “magic mumbo jumbo” to help Sara.
Damien visibly takes offense, considering the deal but telling Quentin this will be the last time the captain is the one doing the summoning. He speeds off, allowing Quentin to fulfill his true objective. He radios to Diggle so he can follow Damien back to Ray’s presumed location, which just so happens to be the most-secure building on the West Coast.
To sneak in, it’s going to take the full force of the team (yes, even Sara), which includes a newcomer’s first steps into the field. Yes, with little time left, Curtis will have to do his work outside the lab, which requires him and Felicity to base jump into the building together. (Good thing he’s such a loyal employee.)
The plan also calls for Oliver being purposefully captured by Damien’s Ghosts, who chain him up and bring him to their master. And just as Felicity and Curtis literally crash into the building, Damien is about to take a peek under Oliver’s hood, but Ollie has broken free of his shackles and kicks Damien away. He shoots an arrow at his supernatural foe, but Darhk waves it away with the flick of his hand, goading Oliver for not learning after their last meeting. He begins to choke Oliver with the chains, but the Arrow is able to flee with the help of a distracting flashbang.
The multi-pronged attack continues on as Thea, Sara, and Laurel keep a team of Ghosts busy in a swanky loft just as Diggle leads Felicity and Curtis to Ray’s prison. He’s put on his suit, and they eventually free him from his miniature cube of a prison. Less successful is Sara’s fight, as she gives into the Pit’s bloodlust and snaps a Ghost’s neck. Laurel pulls her away from the scene as the team assemble, Ollie having reunited with Ray and the rest of the group. (ASIDE: With Ray in the mix, the team stands, for at least a few minutes, at a massive eight heroes. The days of Oliver out on his own, maybe with an assist from Diggle, are most definitely behind us. END ASIDE)
The team reconvenes at the lair, where Ray reveals he intends to stay dead for the time being in the public’s eyes, which allows Felicity to retain control of his company. But he’s on his feet and free of side effects for the time being, which is more than can be said for Sara.
Yes, her stay on Arrow is short-lived. She plans to go visit her mother for a bit, maybe hop around a few other locales until she can adjust to whatever her current life is.
Luckily, things look better for Olicity than for some of the legends in their lives. Prior to the mission, Donna gives her daughter a pep talk about how special Oliver is, how it’s okay to get lost in someone you love, and how he is not Felicity’s absentee father. She doesn’t want Felicity missing out on a good thing, and spurred on by their discussion, she returns to Ollie. She thanks him for his understanding; he apologizes for not being the greatest listener. They patch things up, as the camera pans away from content not CW-appropriate.
But love rests in the air of Star City for a few others. Thea is asked out by Oliver’s campaign advisor, Alex, at the episode’s start, and though she initially is hesitant, she takes him up on that offer to go out by the episode’s end. Hopefully she can keep the Pit’s pull under control while he’s around. More surprisingly, Quentin, drowning his sorrows at the bar, connects with a woman sitting next to him.
The two commiserate about their respective family predicaments. And then Capt. Lance introduces himself, as does his new friend, Donna Smoak. Looks like Felicity’s mom has more than one reason to stick around for a while.