Arrow 1×17 – The Huntress Returns

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Oh Arrow, why do you keep doing this to me? You follow an utterly spectacular episode with a sloppy mess of an hour. How can I love you when you’re this inconsistent?

First off, Helena’s back (oh joy). As was painfully evident in her last appearance, Jessica De Gouw is an atrocious actress. I don’t know what the casting crew saw in her because she’s extremely ill-suited for the role of The Huntress. The girl forces her lines and makes overacting an art. Of course it’s not just Jessica’s fault, the character is thinly written. At least when we last saw her she had some dimensions to her, now she’s nothing more than a cartoon villain with one goal: kill kill kill. How can we possibly have any sympathy for the character or sympathize with Oliver’s apparent “feelings” for her (which were weakly conveyed anyways). The one thing I did enjoy about Huntress was her shooting McKenna with the shotgun. Sadly, the latter is not dead (which would have been a gutsy move) but it does look like she’ll be leaving for good.

In other news, the Laurel subplot was a masterclass in stalling the inevitable. I was hoping we’d at least get some news about the apparent reappearance of her sister Sarah but all we got were some Paul Blackthorne hysterics and Laurel’s mom looking all confused. I’m also disappointed that since Sarah is probably alive, that effectively eliminates Laurel’s reason for hating Oliver thereby making their relationship much easier to eventually work out. I feel it would be much more satisfying if Oliver and Laurel ultimately get together by overcoming their tragic history. But maybe I’m speaking too soon.

Even the flashbacks were weak which is rarely the case on Arrow. If you’re just gonna give those scenes a few minutes, then you might as well remove them all-together and give us another full-on island eppy like “The Odyssey” a few weeks back. While I was admittedly amused by Oliver and Wilson successfully ambushing Fryer’s goons and stealing the circuit board, it really wasn’t enough to fill up that section of the story.

The less said about Speedy and her boytoy the better. I really don’t like her anymore and this whole romance feels way too much like a CW mandate to inject even more lovey-doveyness into the show. Ugh.

Honestly the episode’s only highlight was Tommy whose reaction to discovering Oliver’s identity was well handled. I like that he’s not being an unnecessary drama queen but that’s he’s actually horrified that his friend is a murderer. Their dynamic obviously feels very Clark Kent/Lex Luthor – ish which is a welcome direction to spin things on.

Bits & Arrows

– Huntress twisting Tommy’s arm was pretty vicious and cool.

– Speedy kissing her peasant to distract him from the needle was cringeworthy.

– Helena telling Detective Lance that Oliver toyed with his “daughters” was pretty dirty.

– Poor Felicity,  tied up by psycho-chick and forced to listen to her babble.

– I wish Helena always had that shotgun. Her little crossbow irritates me to no end.

– Lame cliffhanger with Oliver wanting a “way off the island.”

Starling Quips

Oliver: Helena.
Diggle: Yes or as I like to call her, psycho ex-girlfriend.

Employee: Sorry to bother you Mr. Queen.
Oliver: Timing is perfect, I can’t dance.

Conclusion
A muddled, unfocused hour of Arrow.

Nad Rating
C-

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