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‘Arrow’ 2.17 Episode Recap and Review: Birds of Prey

‘Arrow’ 2.17 Episode Recap and Review: Birds of Prey


Some familiar faces are rolling back into town. Sarah and Ollie are quietly tagging along on a police raid of a local mob boss when Frank Bertinelli appears in the fray and is quickly taken into custody by the Starling City Police Department. Of course, where Frank shows, Helena can’t be far behind.

Laurel, who is staying on track at her AA meetings, gets a call from her ex-boss, Adam. He wants her back in the office and working on the Bertinelli case, specifically. When words gets to Team Arrow about her assignment, Sarah heads to the DA’s office to attempt to talk Laurel out of working on the case. Surprising approximately no one, Laurel refuses, saying that this is her opportunity to get back a career that she loves.

Back in the Arrow-cave, Ollie is getting prepped for his inevitable encounter with the Huntress. Digg and Sarah are more than a little wary that Ollie is sticking to his guns about his no-kill policy, seeing as how Helena is more than willing to kill anyone in her way, up to and including Oliver. Ollie tells Sarah that she should sit this one out, since Laurel is involved and Helena is a few knives short of a pro kitchen. Once he leaves, Digg, Sarah, and Felicity share a look that clearly says, “well, that’s not going to happen.”

Oliver goes to check in on Laurel at the DA’s office (how is she not getting suspicious at this point?). Their conversation is interrupted by Laurel’s confusion when the SCPD bring Bertinelli in “through the front.” Helena bursts in, crossbow a-blazing. As it turns out, Bertinelli’s “trial” was all a ploy to capture the Huntress. Helena and her team start taking hostages. Ollie manages to get out, but Laurel is still trapped inside with a fortunately masked and voice disguiser-carrying Black Canary. Sarah saves Laurel from a couple of thugs, but Laurel refuses to leave the building until the rest of the hostages are safe.

Laurel and the Black Canary implement their hostage rescue plans. Sarah distracts Helena with the episodic Epic Fight while Laurel attempts to free the hostages. The plan goes pear-shaped when Helena knocks Sarah out of the window and discovers that she has Laurel in her clutches. She calls Oliver, saying that she’ll trade Laurel for Bertinelli.

Quentin manages to snag Bertinelli for the hostage exchange while Helena dons cop clothes and sneaks out of the building with Laurel in tow. The SWAT team that’s been largely hovering dramatically outside the building preps for a gunfight. The SWAT captain issues orders that anyone in a mask is a target, including the Arrow and Black Canary.

Of course, the prisoner exchange is interrupted by said SWAT team, who burst onto the scene in a blaze of ineffective gunfire. Sarah and Helena engage in Epic Fight v2.0. Sarah gets the upper hand, but Laurel pleads with her to spare Helena’s life. The angle of the fight is enough for Helena to see that her father has been killed in the crossfire. Quentin slaps the cuffs on her and takes her into the station.

Oliver comes to see Helena while she’s in lockup. She’s obviously distraught that her father was killed by a hand other than her own. They have a heart to heart about who she could be now that her revenge is complete.

Laurel goes back to the DA’s office, ready to get back to work once again. The new ADA tells her that Adam has been fired for his role in setting up the trap for the Huntress. She apologizes, but tells Laurel that Adam had no authority to rehire her. Laurel manages to get her job back by coolly threatening to take the story of her false rehire and intentional endangerment to the press. Thank GOD Laurel is getting some of her groove thing back!

Finally, in the setup for next week’s episode, a distraught Thea is walking home from Verdant on her own and contemplating the recent implosion of her relationship with Roy. (Roy has become concerned that he won’t be able to control his strength or temper around Thea and will end up hurting or even killing her, so he’s broken up with her preemptively for her own good. Because that always works out so well.) A dark car pulls up next to her. Mr. Slade is in the back seat and offers her a ride home, which Thea gratefully accepts. Uh-oh.

So was this supposed to be Helena’s turning point so that she can officially become a good guy, or was this just an excuse for a lot of chick-fighting? If the former, I feel like there needed to be a good deal more emphasis on Helena’s motivations and not just her actions. If the latter, job well done, CW. Job well done.

All that just to say that I wasn’t particularly thrilled with this episode of Arrow. I could see where they were thinking of going, but it just never quite seemed to get there. I did like the illustration of Sarah’s character in the flashback, though. I have to disagree with Oliver’s plan to keep Thea safe from Roy. Why exactly are we distancing the ‘roid-raging sidekick from the only person who can consistently keep him in control?

Ah, well. I have high hopes for the upcoming episode. Do you think Ollie is going to be able to keep Mo and Thea in the dark about everything that happened on the island now that it’s all come back to haunt him?

Best Quote:

Felicity: “Anyone with boobs can get a frat boy to do anything.”
Ollie: “I was a frat boy.”

Felicity: “I rest my case.”

Things to Ponder:

  • How long before Laurel figures out who the Black Canary is? And for that matter, why is it okay for Quentin to know who the Canary is, but not who the Arrow is?
  • Really? Is that how we’re going to justify calling Roy “Speedy” now?
  • I thought the police force was more or less okay with the Arrow now. Is Mr. SWAT Captain a new incidental antagonist? (since he’s only listed as “SWAT Captain” in the credits, I’m guessing not.)

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rennlark Jenn is a contributing writer for Having been raised Geek Orthodox, Jenn has a love of most things sci-fi. Thanks to Georgia Tech, she also has an honest appreciation for the “sci” as well as the “fi”. Her current favorite shows include, but are not limited to: Doctor Who, Being Human, Sleepy Hollow, and various Joss Whedon offerings.


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