Despite being promoted as the episode in which Ray Palmer would return to ARROW, it turns out that “Lost Souls” was really all about Felicity Smoak. Sure, the main plot was Team Arrow on a mission to rescue Ray from Dahrk’s clutches, but the underlying current was about how Felicity has been dealing with all the changes in her life.
Following last week’s discovery that Ray is alive, our favorite IT-girl-turned-CEO is frantic about finding Ray and hasn’t stopped her search in days. She is trying to pinpoint the origin of Ray’s message and is incredibly frustrated (and sleep-deprived) about the fact that her ex-boyfriend covered his tracks entirely too well and it’s taking forever for her to find him. We get a great scene right off the bat, when Oliver stops by Palmer Tech to talk to her and she introduces him to Curtis, who is basically drooling about how incredibly good-looking Oliver is. We completely understand you, Curtis. We completely understand you. Once he leaves, Felicity shows Oliver the message she got from Ray and tells him that she needs to find him, because he is out there somewhere and he is in trouble. Oliver somehow convinces her to go back home and get some rest for a little while — because Felicity is downright testy at this point, being so frustrated and sleep-deprived — but when they get to the loft, she gets an alert that her search paid off and manages to make contact with Ray.
And here is where things get interesting, because after she finds out that Ray is now mini!Ray, she is assaulted by a sense of guilt that drives her forward to find him and rescue him as soon as possible. He has been trying to contact her for months and she “was too busy traveling the world” with Oliver, as she said herself, and didn’t take the time to dig deeper when the explosion happened back in the season finale. And to make matters even worse, her mother shows up out of the blue. I absolutely love Donna Smoak and think she is hilarious and a good, supportive mother (in her own twisted way), but I completely understand where Felicity was coming from. Because it was suddenly too much for her and she was overwhelmed with all that was happening at the same time and all the emotions that recent events were evoking in her. So when everything suddenly crashes down on her, the doubts she has about her relationship with Oliver come to the surface and it was so good and heartbreaking and emotional. When she tells him that she had been swept up so hard in the whirlwind of their romance that she ended up losing herself in her love for him, my heart broke for them.
This episode showed very clearly just how much Oliver has grown in the past three seasons and how much better he is with Felicity is in his life. Season one Oliver would have probably run for the hills at the first sign of any kind of emotional trouble; hell, even Season three Oliver would have run or at least avoided a confrontation. But this Oliver — the happy, content with his life and comfortable with the love he feels for Felicity — actually took the issue by its horns and faced it head on. The dinner scene — after Mama Smoak leaves — was so intense and so heartbreaking, and I have to say that last night’s episode was Emily Bett Rickards’ very best performance to date. I have always thought she was great and I know she is talented, but I think we have only scratched the surface with her and there is so much more where that incredible performance came from.
Oliver gives her space — and I am so proud of how mature he was through this entire thing — and discusses his problems with Diggle. That was, by far, one of the highlights of this episode for me because it was their bromance at its best. While they were having a serious conversation and Oliver allowed himself to vent to Dig about what was going on, the whole thing was still light and full of camaraderie and jokes and friendship. This is why I got hooked on this show in the first place and this is why I keep watching; despite the fact that it is a superhero show, the foundation of it all is friendship and family and love and honor and all of these aspects were touched on in “Lost Souls”. And how ironic was it that the title “Lost Souls” led us to believe that it was about Ray and Sara returning from death, but the real lost and overwhelmed soul here was Felicity. Her talk with Mama Smoak just endeared Donna even more to me. Despite having her issues with her mother, Felicity opened up to her and confessed just how scared she was to lose herself, her identity to this all consuming love she feels for Oliver. Donna’s answer to that was heartwarming and hilarious, when she says that it would be very hard to find another guy who cooks and is that hot, and looks at her the way Oliver does.
They manage to rescue Ray — with Curtis’ help — and it was good to see that his stint as mini!Ray didn’t change him one bit and he is still the lovable, over enthusiastic nerd we all know and love. Felicity drives him home, and that last scene when she returns to the loft – which I loved seeing so much of last night, by the way – is just full of love. I am pretty sure that all Olicity fans around the globe (myself included) just melted in a puddle of feels and this scene really established that our favorite couple will be more than okay and are in this for the long run.
Meanwhile, Mama Smoak and Captain Lance met by total happenstance and we saw Sara fighting against the blood lust — courtesy of being resurrected via Lazarus Pit. It was so great to see her in action again, though. She is still my favorite Canary and I really wish she could stick around, but alas, she decided to go visit her mom in Central City. I wonder if this is going to be one of the links that takes Team Arrow to Central City in the crossover event in a couple of weeks.
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Don’t miss an all new episode of ARROW on November 18 at 8/7c on The CW.