‘Arrow’ 1.17 Recap and Review: The Huntress Returns

Arrow is back, and so is The Huntress!

Helena’s doing her own brand of hunting, with her father as her primary game. She’s learned that her father has cut a deal and is about to be released and placed in WitSec. Her hunt leads her back to Starling City, where she starts killing off her father’s old associates left, right, and center. She wants Ollie’s help, but he refuses, citing justice over vengeance. Helena is unimpressed and obliquely threatens Ollie’s loved ones unless she gets what she wants.

Her arrival in Starling City happens to coincide with the opening of Verdant, Oliver and Tommy’s new club. Tommy’s still not entirely cool with the knowledge that Oliver is the Hood. He’s even less cool with Helena dragging him down to the Arrow Cave and breaking his wrist to ensure Ollie’s cooperation. Oliver agrees. Felicity’s willing to help for the joy of hacking the FBI database, but Ollie tells her to stay away. They learn that Frank Bertinelli is going to be transferred to the Justice Department via armored van. The only problem is that there’s a decoy van to keep pesky vigilantes from killing the FBI’s primary informant. Ollie and Helena each take a van, but neither holds Bertinelli. Instead, the entire operation is a police setup to bring down Helena.

Ollie breaks Helena out of the police station, only to have her turn around and rough up Felicity for information on where she can find her father’s safe house. Ollie releases Felicity and heads out to keep Helena from killing her father, but matters get complicated when McKenna arrives on the scene. A standoff ends with Helena escaping after having shot Ollie’s cop girlfriend. She lives, but is going to require a year of physical therapy in Coast City. (Evidently Green Lantern’s really good at PT.) She leaves behind a broken-hearted Oliver, who’s now even more convinced that his lifestyle only gets his loved ones hurt.

Tommy might be starting to agree with that, as he’s having his own rough episode off-camera. Besides getting his wrist broken, he’s in hot water with Laurel. Her mom is back and convinced that Sarah is alive. She wants Quentin’s help tracking her down. Everything’s a big, dramatic, emotional mess, and Tommy isn’t exactly around to be the supportive boyfriend. Not only that, but Laurel has enough intuition to know that Tommy’s keeping some kind of secret. Add on Thea’s friend Roy not showing up for the valet job she asked for, and Tommy’s just having an all-around terrible, no-good, very bad day.

Not a bad episode. Not one of Arrow‘s best, but not bad at all. Props for having Tommy’s issue with The Hood being not about the secrecy, but about the whole “killing people” thing. You’d think that’d be a sticking point for more people. I’m a little disappointed that they used Helena to negate that issue, though. Her presence in Starling City seems to encourage other characters to grade Ollie’s own brand of ruthlessness on a curve. Tommy, Digg, Felicity, and even Ollie himself all seem to think that as long as Ollie isn’t as bad as Helena, everything’s five by five. It’s kind of weak storytelling. I’ll let that trick slide twice, guys, but the next time Helena comes back (and she’ll almost certainly be coming back), I need less crazy-eyes and more character development. Cool?

Speaking of things with a limited shelf-life, I’m looking for Alex Kingston’s Dinah Lance to be less… whatever she was this episode. Do not give me River Song playing Dinah-effing-Lance and make her a harried woman waiting for her ex-husband to fix everything. I’m getting concerned that Arrow is becoming a bit damsel-heavy. Assuming they’d ever be able to pull that heavily from a different well-established franchise, there’s only one core Bird of Prey left to introduce. Given my own longtime hero-worship of Barbara Gordon, I’ll have some unkind words for a few writers if she ends up de-BAMF-ified (try finding that one in the OED).

Best Quote:
Ollie: “You want me to kill her?”
Digg: “I think you would have a long time ago if she looked like me and not the T-Mobile Girl!”

Things to Ponder:

    Tommy seems to be on-board, but interviews with Colin Donnell are indicating that this is going to be a long road. Do you think Tommy’s going to end up being a good guy or a bad guy?
  • Is Sarah actually still alive, or is she just a fantastic excuse to get Alex Kingston to hang around for a while longer?


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I think that Sarah is really dead, but who knows – Arrow has some interesting twists and turns. I agree, not their best episode, but not really bad either. I still feel a bit unsettled about the show jumping from story line to story line too quickly. I hope they will give the show time for everything to gel before cancelling.

  2. They’ve already been renewed for Season 2, so whatever stories they’re planning on telling, they’ll definitely have time to get there!