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Greetings Arrow Squad! Thank you for joining the discussion of Arrow Season 4 Episode 3 “Restoration”! What an episode indeed, one that utilized its title very well and in many ways. Were you surprised at how quickly they resurrected Sara? It came as a surprise to me.
Yes… I’m Going to Speculate Here….
We’ve been talking for over a year about Laurel’s character journey. From the tumult of season 2 to the rebuilding of season 3, Laurel’s character has been through the wringer… and it’s most certainly been for the best. But I am having a bit of trouble placing her desperation for resurrecting her sister within the paradigm the character has established of late. Podcast Overlord brings up the very valid point that Laurel has this tendency toward focal obsessions, such as with her alcoholism, and so her fixation on bringing Sara back isn’t completely unfounded.
It’s very interested that Laurel says something along the lines of, “Just wait until Dad sees you. He’s going to be so happy.” Part of me wants to blame the Daddy-Pleaser inside of the girl, as that relationship–which always meant a great deal to her–is more or less defunct. But another part of me cannot reconcile this deeply rooted desire for her father’s approval with Laurel’s incredibly rational training in the law. She clearly sees the effect the Pit has had on Thea and she sees Thea’s fear of what she’s becoming, but all that registers with Laurel is the thought of Sara walking amongst them all again. For whatever reason, they want to bring Sara back into the universe and I can only hope that the end result will do justice to both characters.
In that same vein, we’re no stranger to the theme “how far will someone go for love?” Love and hate seem to be the only emotions that spark any action whatsoever (though Damien Darhk is seriously challenging this notion…unless theories about his wedding ring turn over some different rocks). So for now I can set aside Laurel’s lack of rationality, as long as they don’t let it linger for too many episodes. Someone needs to address it (maybe it’ll be Captain Lance himself!).
I’m starting to see a purpose for Sara’s resurrection unfolding, and it has to do with the details we get in this episode about the Lazarus Pit. We got a lot, and saw a lot, about the Lazarus Pit before it was unceremoniously destroyed by Thea’s sister-in-law, aka Oliver’s betrothed, aka Sara’s beloved, aka Nyssa. And they’re all leading me down this interesting interwoven story that I didn’t see until the end of this episode.
These are the connections I am making:
1) Malcolm tells Thea that she is suffering bloodlust because the Lazarus Pit is filled with the souls of all who have used the waters for healing.
2) Until Thea kills the person who caused her harm, she will not have that thirst satiated. (Killing in general, however, will quench it for a time.)
3) Ra’s al Ghul almost killed Thea.
4) Thea technically killed Sara, even if it was under Malcolm’s orders.
5) The previous Ra’s designed for Oliver to be the one to inherit the mantle, but Malcolm is now Ra’s al Ghul.
My question is two-fold: A) By inheriting the position of Ra’s al Ghul, did Malcolm also inherit the blood debts on the previous man’s life? B) Does the Pit imbue within the restored person the ability to distinguish the one who carried out the deed versus the one who instigated the deed? Malcolm wanted to become Ra’s to avoid death, but there are a lot of signs pointing to the possibility that merely by inheriting the title, he is closer to death than ever before.
There are, naturally, a couple problems with this, and probably more than I can rattle off in my limited knowledge base of the Lazarus Pit in the comics. But initially, can Thea actually be drawn to the person she truly bloodlusts for? If so, then point A from above is nullified. Malcolm did not inherit the blood debts of his predecessor because Thea doesn’t have the urge to kill him. And if A is not true, then it seems less likely in my mind that B can be true. So if Sara’s resurrected soul is only aware that Thea killed her (physically performed the act that snuffed out her life), then Thea is in way more danger than Malcolm.
And now, for the point! So, I’ve said multiple times that it is difficult for me to speculate yet on who is in the grave (not the least of which being because the producers have told us they don’t even know), but I would wager that Thea is a contender based on some of these facts, should the writers choose to follow this thread. If Thea truly desires to fight the effects of the Lazarus Pit, I could see this band of heroes reaching the same conclusion I have. If the only way to restore a person’s soul is for them to kill the person who hurt them, then Sara needs to kill Thea. And… if Thea understands this, I can see her sacrificing herself to save Sara. She cognitively understands that Malcolm manipulated her, but that doesn’t save her of the burden she carries of taking Sara’s life. To ease her own conscience and to restore Sara, then, Thea allows herself to be killed. Sara is restored and Oliver is crying over his sister’s grave, acknowledging that “at one point, I would have thought this was my fault.”
A flaw in this theory, as The Shadow pointed out, is that Oliver also says at the grave: “I’ve got to kill him.” So is the him in this context Malcolm, not Darhk? From then on the speculation breaks down for me, but it doesn’t change the fact that these details are all related somehow. Whether it’s Thea in the grave or the grave has nothing to do with what I’ve just outlined, it’ll be interesting to see how they handle the actual restoration of Sara and Thea. Constantine, maybe?
Anyway, I really want your feedback on this theory. Where does it break down? What am I missing? Is it plausible? I’m giving you permission to speculate with me!
Season 4 Episode 4 “Beyond Redemption”
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