The third episode of Arrow’s season four is aptly titled, “Restoration”. It follows two stories simultaneously: Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Diggle’s (David Ramsey) struggles in Star City, and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Thea’s (Willa Holland) excursion to Nanda Parbat.
“Restoration” begins with Green Arrow and metal-helmet Diggle (who hopefully gets an actual superhero name soon), in a junkyard firefight with more Ghost soldiers. Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) is overly excited to be working with the Original Team Arrow (OTA) of Oliver and Diggle again, and manages to trap one of the Ghosts by destroying an exit path after remotely hacking a heavy-duty construction vehicle. Diggle aggressively questions the Ghost about the mysterious organization H.I.V.E., which has been mentioned in the previous episodes and seems to be lead by this season’s main antagonist, Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough). But the Ghost uses an electrical device to escape Diggle’s grasp.
Diggle does manage to swipe the Ghost’s cyanide-hiding tooth, however. Felicity runs some DNA tests on it, and then recommends they all go for margaritas to pass the time. While Oliver is up for it, Diggle is still not quite ready to hang out with Ollie again. Things get even more complicated when Diggle is tipped off about a H.I.V.E. agent named Mina Fayad (Carmen Moore), who recently arrived in Star City.
It doesn’t take long before we get better acquainted with Miss Fayad. She meets with Darhk and shows off a metahuman, Double Down (JR Bourne) that has the ability to peel playing card tattoos off his body and throw them, not like another famous comic book hero: Gambit from the X-Men. But this metahuman is no hero, and Darhk, as part of a deal with Fayad, sends the card-throwing metahuman to kill the Green Arrow.
Both Diggle and Oliver get into scraps independent of each other. Diggle shoots it out with Fayad’s men, and Double Down ambushes Green Arrow in a warehouse. Green Arrow and Diggle fight their own parallel battles but, as they’ll soon learn, against a common enemy.
Back in the Arrow cave, Felicity is rightfully upset at both Diggle and Oliver for still not resolving their issues. She forces them hash it out, and Dig and Ollie bro-down and talk it out. Ollie asks Dig for an opportunity to earn back his trust, but the mood changes when Oliver namedrops Mina Fayad. Diggle tells Oliver that it was Fayad who hired Floyd Lawton (Michael Rowe), better known as Deadshot, to kill his brother, and she’s probably behind the metahuman that attempted to kill Green Arrow.
Turns out that it’s too late for Fayad, Double Down’s failure to kill Green Arrow greatly displeased Darhk, and Darhk kills Fayad with one of the metahuman’s own cards.
A short time later, Felicity and Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum), a.k.a. Mister Terrific, try to track Double Down with tattoo ink residue. However, the metahuman surprises Felicity and Holt in their own office, and Felicity and Holt run into an elevator, in which she admits to working with the Green Arrow. They flee to the secret Arrow floor in the Palmer Tech building, and then, in the most fun scene from the episode, Felicity grabs a machine gun and unloads it in the general direction of Double Down; unfortunately, he escapes unscathed.
The eventual fight between Green Arrow/Diggle and Double Down ends up being the catalyst for Arrow and Diggle to resolve their differences. Green Arrow takes a throwing-card to the chest for Diggle, who in turn takes out Double Down. It’s at that moment that Diggle realizes that Oliver, in essence, took a bullet for him, and their trust in one another is restored.
This go less well during the other half of the episode, which takes place in Nanda Parbat as Laurel and Thea arrive with Sara Lance’s (Caity Lotz) dead body in tow. Laurel’s plan is to use the Lazarus Pit to bring her back to life, and the viewer gets a taste of the pit’s restorative power after Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) instantaneously heals a flesh wound with a drop of its water. When Laurel unveils her plan to bring Sara back the dead, both Merlyn and Nyssa (Katrina Law) let her know it’s a pretty awful idea. Merlyn refuses to let her carry out the plan on the grounds that whoever comes out of the pit may not be the Sara that Laurel remembers.
Later, Thea has a conversation with Merlyn about why she now has a nearly unquenchable bloodlust. Merlyn explains that the pit contains traces of all the men and women that bathed in its water, and that’s what is affecting her. In some of the worst fatherly advice ever given, he encourages Thea to give into her bloodlust in order to alleviate it. While Thea doesn’t exactly appreciate Merlyn’s words, a short time later, she kills two of Merlyn’s men after they attack her. It’s a set-up from Merlyn, and Thea is rightfully upset by the developments, even as Merlyn plays it off as only trying to help her.
Eventually, Merlyn reverses direction and gives in to Laurel’s demands to revive Sara with the Lazarus Pit. Sara is placed in the pit and is instantly resurrected. The now alive Sara suddenly leaps out of the pit and tries to attack Laurel like a crazed animal. Merlyn subdues her, but she is definitely not the Sara Lance of old. This leads Nyssa to destroy the Lazarus Pit and vow to kill Merlyn. She tells him that since Lazarus Pit is destroyed, “there’s no coming back” for him.
There was a lot packed into “Restoration,” which seemed to quickly weave between plot lines. That being said, the episode never felt convoluted, and Arrow season four continues to move forward with its more comic book approach of Green Arrow battling increasingly powerful enemies. Plus, Felicity taking charge and taking aim was a pleasant surprise. It will be quite interesting to see the repercussions of Sara’s resurrection in next week’s episode, “Beyond Redemption”.