This is definitely not the team-up that most would expect by the title of the episode. Yet it does has some heavy implications on the classic hunter/prey scenario. We have had some episodes featuring familiar faces from the past which the show is using to fill in the space before the onslaught of the season finale begins.
So who’s back this week? Well by analyzing the name of the episode’s title, and if you are a DC fan, then you know it has to be the return of Huntress. Mostly because Black Canary is already in the show and Oracle is a Batman character, and I believe that when they do decided to do a true Birds of Prey team-up, we will see Felicity take that role. So yeah, Jessica De Gouw is back as Helena Bertinelli, or as Felicity puts it “Ollie’s psycho ex-girlfriend”. I remember not liking the character so much when they did the arc back in season 1, but this time around I think De Gouw has made some improvements in her acting skills, maybe Dracula helped.
The arrest of crime boss Frank Bertinelli at the beginning of the episode sets the events of Birds of Prey into action. The Huntress has been on Team Arrow’s radar for a while now and she has been searching for her father all over Italy to exact her revenge. Remember, her mission is to kill her father because he killer her fiance. It is a tragic story and actually a good line comes out of the episode, “Once you let the darkness inside, it never comes out.”. This comes from Sara who we know is on a dark path in the flashbacks, and only now trying to make up for her past actions. But you can see it has many implications for a few different characters on the show, including Oliver, Laurel, Slade, and if he’s not careful, Roy.
I have had this prediction that Thea is going to die sooner or later, and now seems like the perfect time for it. With Slade back in town, she is the most vulnerable and also the end of this episode looks like the beginning of the end for her. But what a better way to test Roy and his resolve. Already Oliver is having a hard time helping him control his anger and power, and from what we saw on last night’s episode the only thing that can break his rampage is the mention of Thea. There is a humorous scene when the Arrow actually calls him Speedy when Roy is about to go berserk, and later Oliver explains to Roy why he called him that and Roy tells him to never call him Speedy again. Roy will lose an arm by the end of this season, and he will become Arsenal by season 3. So Oliver tells him that he has to end things with Thea, so he decides to hook up with some random chick at the club and get caught by Thea making out with her. Easy enough. But Thea knows that he is trying to push her away but doesn’t understand why.
To sum things up for the main plot, the whole arrest of Frank Bertinelli ends up be a sting to capture The Huntress, and even Laurel gets pulled into the mess that ensues. Good old DA Donner had offered Laurel her job back, but little does she know he is just using her. Donner and Captain Stein have teamed up to take down the masks of Starling City, and The Huntress is the first on their list. While bringing Bertinelli into the courthouse, which they do through the front door. Laurel is really surprised by this and then suddenly everyone realizes that it’s a trap. The Huntress appears but then she is ambushed by Stein’s task force, who is ambushed by some hired thugs that Huntress brought in for back up. Oliver gets Laurel to “safety” and then gets Bertinelli out of the building. Laurel is not really safe and she is hiding in one of the back rooms, when she is discovered by one of The Huntress’s men. Luckily Sara shows up and takes the guys out. The whole not recognizing people because of a mask is kind of funny to me, because Sara is definitely one that is pretty obvious, you would think especially to her sister at least. Oliver has told Sara not to kill The Huntress, but she argues that she will do what she has to do in order to protect her family. Sara asks Oliver if he would do the same when it comes to Slade and protecting his own family. Oliver still sees the good in Helena, but as Sara puts it, the darkness has taken control of her. Eventually Helena captures Laurel and it comes down to her life for Frank’s. This is after a fight between Canary and Huntress, in which Helena comes out on top when she throws Canary out a window.
The task force eventually storms the courthouse, and Captain Stein has ordered to shoot anyone with a mask. Helena escapes with Laurel and orders a trade for her father. In an alley, Oliver, Sara, and Detective Lance meet up with The Huntress and as they are about to trade, Stein fires on them all. Arrow goes after Stein and The Huntress and Canary face off once again. This time Sara tells Helena that she isn’t going to hold back. Of course Canary wins, and Oliver and Detective Lance beat up Stein, well Lance actually saves the Arrow. In the end, Frank Bertinelli is dead from when Stein fired on them. Helena is arrested and later Oliver visits her in jail. She admits to him that he was right about revenge not filling the void and making her feel better, even though she didn’t kill him herself. Maybe we will see The Huntress on a road to recovery sometime down the road, maybe they have AA for superheroes. Speaking of AA, Laurel actually gets her job back even after being used as a pawn by Donner. Donner is fired after this whole mess, but Laurel is told that she doesn’t have a job because Donner’s actions were never officially sanctioned. Of course Laurel decides to blackmail Kate Spencer and get her job back, she then uses the “darkness” line when Kate questions her on it.
On the Island, Slade has Oliver and is torturing him. He is told by his new crew that the AMAZO is severely damaged and they need to repair it in order to get away from the island. Slade calls Sara on the radio and proposes a trade. Oliver’s life if she brings him someone named Hendrick. At first she tells him that Hendrick died while swimming to the island, but eventually she breaks down and has to make the tough choice. These flashbacks run parallel with what Sara meant when she started to let in the darkness. Hendrick doesn’t want to go back to the island and he does his best with a gun, but Sara knocks him out. Do you think Slade is willing to make a fair trade? I doubt it. On the AMAZO, you can hear what seems to be a tattoo gun during Oliver’s torture. At the end of the episode you realize that Slade has been tattooing him, one identical to Shado’s! Slade tells him that it will be a reminder of her for what time Oliver has left to live. What a messed up guy. Speaking of Slade, to lead into next week’s episode, titled “Deathstroke”, in the present we see Thea walking home alone at night when a limo pulls up and Slade offers her a ride. Like I said before, I don’t think Thea is going to make it out of this season alive, especially after this preview for next week’s episode!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pmEST on The CW!