Tonight's episode of "Arrow" -- "Lost Souls" -- was all about Felicity Smoak. Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) got to shine in an episode that put her skills, her emotions and her life front and center. She really hasn't gotten a chance to slow down and look at her life since Oliver swept her off her feet in last season's finale. Now she's the CEO of Palmer Tech, her boyfriend is a vigilante and running for mayor, and two of her closest girlfriends have recently been resurrected. Nothing is simple when it comes to Felicity's life, and tonight she got to confront some of those issues and be a hero.
Felicity's first problem tonight was finding Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh). After she found Ray's message last week telling her that he is alive and that he needs her help, she vows not sleep or eat until Ray is found. Oliver stumbles upon a sleep-deprived Felicity who, after consuming copious amounts of Red Bull, has only scratched the surface of the back tracing code she needs to break. Thankfully Ray contacts her, which gives her and Curtis (Echo Kellum) some direction about how to rescue Ray. Once they find out he's being held by Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) it only takes a matter of time before Felicity and Team Arrow can zero in on Ray's location and come up with a plan.
Unfortunately Felicity's drive to save Ray puts Oliver on edge. Whenever he is on a one-man mission, the whole team rallies around Oliver to help him, but the second Felicity finds something she is passionate about, Oliver questions her motives and tries to distract her. In this episode Oliver goes to such great lengths to calm Felicity down that he calls in her mother. Mama Smoak (Charlotte Ross) bursts in on Felicity and Curtis right in the middle of their project, which does exactly the opposite of calming Felicity down. It's always refreshing to see Charlotte Ross guest star on "Arrow" because she brings such a fun, carefree feel to the show. "Arrow" can get quite dark and broody and sometimes it's good to lighten it up a bit with conversations about shopping and make-up sex.
Part of Oliver's discomfort about Felicity working so hard to save Ray stems from his insecurities. These insecurities open the door for a fantastic bro moment to take place between Oliver and Diggle (David Ramsey). While Oliver is wishing for a glass of his island Vodka, Diggle whips out a bottle of southern whiskey and has Oliver pull up a chair and tell him all his problems. In this moment, Oliver is able to open up to Diggle about feeling unworthy in the light of Ray Palmer's genius. Diggle says just the right thing, of course, about Felicity being brave and strong and choosing for herself not a man smart like her, but strong like Oliver.
The tensions in Felicity and Oliver's relationship come to a breaking point during dinner, when Mama Smoak somehow both burns and undercooks the chicken. Felicity finally comes clean with Oliver and tells him that she feels trapped, she feels passionless, and she feels like she has given everything in her life up to follow Oliver. While all of these things might be true, as her mom points out later, that's what love is supposed to feel like. It's supposed to feel like getting completely lost inside another's person's love and life. This little pep talk is just what Felicity needs to assure her that what she's feeling is actually quite normal. Felicity and Oliver both realize they have fallen for each other even more and share a beautiful and intimate scene of reconciliation at the end of the episode.
The two other women who are coming to grips with their new lives in this episode are Sara (Caity Lotz) and Thea (Willa Holland). Both Sara and Thea have gone through incredibly difficult transformations that have left them both stronger and more damaged. Sara is still dealing post-Pit bloodlust. In the team's hunt for Ray Palmer, Sara ruthlessly kills at least two people. This power terrifies Sara, and she decides to leave at the end of the episode. Anyone who has seen the "DC's Legends of Tomorrow" promo knows that Sara is going to join a new team of heroes, but it's still painful to watch her say goodbye to Laurel so soon after her resurrection. Thea is also dealing with the strangeness of being given life by the Lazarus Pit. She has learned to control her rage, but her life is still pretty far from normal. That's why although it was surprising, it was nice to see Thea say yes to going on a date with Oliver's political advisor.
By the end of the episode Felicity and Oliver have made up, Donna Smoak and Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) bond over a drink, and Ray Palmer is successfully found. That proved to be more difficult than the team suspected, but through a well-executed plan -- which involved Oliver being captured, Diggle going undercover, and Felicity and Curtis base jumping through Darhk's office window -- they free Ray and return him to safely. All is not successful though, as Darhk is able to tap into the residual power of Ray's A.T.O.M. suit -- what Darhk needs that power for still remains to be seen.