Director: John Behring
Cast: Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Jessica De Gouw
Arrow S2E17 “Birds of Prey”
Frank Bertinelli finds his way to Starling City and his daughter, Helena Bertinelli (A.K.A. The Huntress) is not far behind. Things get personal when Oliver and team Arrow try to stop her from murdering her father, only to find some of their loved ones caught in the cross-fire. Meanwhile in the island flashback Slade has taken Oliver prisoner and begins torturing him for the death of Shado.
Ups: The arrival of the Huntress in Starling City brings the show back to its season 1 feel. The last few episodes seem like they’ve taken place in new territory for the series and while those episodes were great, it is nice to be back on familiar ground. It’s been a while since we got to see a classic vigilante vs. vigilante fight with no superpowers or gimmicks. This also means we get to catch up on characters that didn’t get too much screen time in recent episodes like Detective Lance, Roy Harper, and Laurel. This episode focused a lot on Sarah Lance, and her confrontations with Helena are tense and action packed. On top of this, in true Arrow fashion, more elements of a larger plot line have been woven into the episode and it’s a joy to see how things progress and change.
Downs: The return to the classic Arrow format means we do have to deal with a few of the less interesting plotlines. Those subplots include the Roy Harper angst parade and the Laurel Lance alcohol and drug problem. These subplots do still have a real effect on Oliver and the other main characters but it still feels like the characters are just being emotional for the sake of being emotional, and these subplots don’t really hold too much weight compared to what’s happened recently. After watching Slade Wilson casually waltz into the Queens’ home and threaten Oliver with the slow and painful death of each of his loved ones I honestly don’t care what substances Laurel is on or off of.
Overall: The main plotline of this episode was great. The action scenes were exciting and well choreographed, and the ideological confrontation between the characters was compelling and thought provoking. However the episode does spend a lot of time on plotlines that either weren’t terribly interesting to begin with or have become less interesting after the events of the past few episodes. I’m sure these subplots are part of a larger plan but in the meantime they just seem to take time away from the good stuff. Overall the episode was a well needed break from all the changes being made to the Arrow-verse and it helped remind the viewers where the show came from, as well as where it’s going.
Grade: 3 of 5