Arrow

Arrow 2×17 – Birds Of Prey

"It's getting really hard to keep track of who knows whose secret identity."

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It’s no secret that I didn’t enjoy the Huntress’ previous appearances on Arrow. In fact, her last two outings were total misfires, characterized by weak plotting and horrendous acting. Thankfully, Birds of Prey salvaged a lot of goodwill where the character is concerned. Jessica De Gouw’s acting felt more nuanced (at least in that final prison scene), and having her butt heads with Sara and Laurel made the proceedings a tad more exciting.

Helena’s vendetta against her father provided an exciting backdrop for the Black Canary to swoop in and save the day. Originally, I was displeased with the reappearance of Sara on the show, but I can’t deny that the Canary has been a welcome addition with her special brand of vigilantism. Interestingly enough, the island flashbacks were a perfect parallel to Sarah’s present day journey. We discovered that after Ollie was taken captive aboard the Amazo, Sara made the difficult choice of taking out the ship’s engineer, Hendricks, and giving him up to Slade for her love’s safe return. This decision was undoubtedly a turning point in the young Lance’s journey, and it signified the moment in which she finally “let the darkness in.” The present-day hostage crisis compellingly contrasted this arc as Sara ultimately decided not to take the Huntress’ life (after some convincing by Laurel). This act conveyed some enormous growth on her part and cemented Black Canary as a true heroine.

Birds of Prey was also a terrific hour for Laurel, who not only managed to kick a little bit of ass during the hostage crisis, but was also able get her job back through some nifty (and devious) blackmailing. Here’s hoping Laurel continues to take on an active role as the season comes to an end. It surely feels like the writers are setting up a storyline in which Sara is killed off by Slade in an act of retribution and Laurel takes over the Black Canary mantle. Or is that just too obvious? Surprise me writers.

And of course there’s that marvelous ending with Thea walking alone late at night and getting picked up by none other than Slade Wilson. It’s about time the little Queen got some meaty storylines, and I have no doubt that our favorite villain will be dropping the paternity bombshell sooner rather than later. The timing couldn’t be more perfect, with Thea having lost faith in anyone being honest except for her brother (cue laughter). Fireworks are coming people, and I can’t wait.

Bits & Arrows

– Great opening action sequence with Arrow and Canary capturing Frank Burtnelli.

– Lovely little moment with Sara convincing Laurel not to take a drink when under duress. That is, if you can believe that Laurel didn’t recognize Sara up close.

– Both of the Canary-Huntress fight scenes had potential this week, but ultimately weren’t as mindblowing as they could have been thanks to some shaky camerawork. Why?

– Laurel reminding Huntress of the famously awkward four-way dinner made me smile. And trying to bond over boyfriend death? Not very subtle Laurel.

– Huntress escaping dressed as a cop was pretty smart.

– What was up with the crazy machine-gun wielding cop? That felt like something that needed to be developed more.

– Ollie has Moira’s pic as caller id for Quentin’s number. That’s sort of hilarious, but did Detective Lance really buy that lie?

– I guess Helena in prison means she’ll be making a return appearance next season. Maybe then the actual Birds of Prey will be formed. For those who don’t know, the Birds of Prey team in the comic books consisted of Black Canary, The Huntress, and The Oracle (who could be Felicity on the show based on the tech-whiz similarities).

– And now we know why Ollie has Shado’s tattoo on his back – Slade forcefully branded it on him. Ouch.

– I really wish Laurel didn’t repeat Helena’s line at the end. Supremely cheesy.

Starling Quips

Felicity: Anyone with boobs can get a frat boy to do anything.
Oliver: I was a frat boy.
Felicity: I rest my case.

Slade: During the attack, unfortunately, I decapitated an engineer.

Oliver: I thought I was helping you control it.
Roy: You are; I mean I can’t look at a ball of water without slapping it.

Sara: What do you guys think?
Felicity: Oh I think if The Huntress shows up, you should totally kick her ass.

Huntress: (to Sara) Oliver sure like to dress up his girls.

Conclusion
A thoroughly entertaining and exciting hour of Arrow.

Nad Rating
B+

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