It’s pot (justice) vs kettle (revenge) debate again tonight as Oliver (Stephen Arnell) tries to get new naked friend Helena (Jessica De Gouw) to step away from the dark side. It’s similar to last week, only with double the angst!
Let’s bitch it out…Perhaps these ones are rarities, but the last two episodes of Arrow have felt like stand-out pieces of a surprisingly stellar inaugural season. I appreciate that the show will always depend on villains-of-the-week, but can we all just agree (or perhaps agree to disagree) that the show works best when it steps away from its formula and gives us some genuine character development?
In many ways, ‘Vendetta’ feels like the second half of a two-parter. ‘Muse Of Fire’ kicked things off, introduced the Bertinelli clan, including corrupt businessman/father Frank (Jeffrey Nordling) and wounded daughter Helena, and configured them within the larger framework of organized crime in
Starlight Moonlight Starfruit Starling City, revealing some tension with rival criminals, the Triad. This week as Helena goes into full blown revenge…er…justice mode, those tensions come to the forefront leading to a nicely action packed finale as China White (Kelly Hu) and her thugs attack Casa De Bertinelli, forcing the Hood and the Huntress to battle each other in support of their convictions! Shizz about to get real, y’all
It’s meaty stuff for a show that doubles as a nighttime soap – on The CW network no less (if you disagree that it’s a soap, please consider the following items: each time Arnell contractually obliges his mandatory “shirtless” clause or whenever Colin Donnell’s Tommy takes the stage to lull the audience into a boredom coma over his affections for Katie Cassidy’s Laurel). It’s a wonder then, when the two storylines somehow manage to co-exist in the same scene without the universe imploding. I may be crazy, but that “awkward dinner cliche” scene at the restaurant as the pair of troubled couples dine together actually kind of works for me. The happy feelings of a scene well done wear off pretty quickly though (Helena turns back to her life of revenge because she saw it in Ollie’s eyes that he’s in love with Laurel and she can’t be hurt? Umm…logic fail…whaaa?). I guess that it’s far too predictable and on the nose for the show not to use the emotional stuff as an excuse to get back to shooting arrowing. At least the brief affair forces Oliver to cop to the fact that he’s lonely and isolated.
- After sexytime Helena hangs around for a few post-coital seconds…and then immediately goes after China White. What does this say about Oliver’s ability to satisfy a woman?
- Kelly Hu’s wig: Halle Berry/X-Men bad or just low-rent stripper bad? That thing is getting worse, right? It’s not just me, is it?
- Helena’s purple superhero outfit on the other hand = cool threads. Did Ollie pull it up on Superherocostumes.com or something?
- No Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) or island flashbacks this week and the episode is great. Coincidence? Methinks not
- But seriously, is anyone invested in this Tommy/Laurel relationship? Or does it just not work because everything about it is telegraphed miles in advance? Oh wow, Tommy didn’t say anything to Oliver. Quel surprise! Oh gee, he gets upset and breaks up with Laurel. Um…seems irrational, but sure. Oh wait, he was just confused and embarassed and they embrace through her full body pajamas (umm, what are those?) and kiss (oh, so that’s what no chemistry looks like!). Also…he’s only supposed to be nearly 30? Who are they trying to fool?!
- Tommy describing Laurel’s “thinky-face” makes me want to “punchy” his face
- Anyone else chuckle when the henchman Oliver and Helena take out describes his product as “the caviar of oxycontin”? In my vast experience with low-grade drugs (*cough watching S3 of Justified cough*), I can tell you that oxycontin is still really just a step above crack and meth. There’s very little real “caviar” involved
- Beware the deadly B-plot: Office hacker/secret sexpot Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) loves mysteries that even the threat of death (death, people!) can’t scare her off of. Walter (Colin Salmon) asks her to look into a mysterious book he finds after searching Moira’s (Susanna Thompson) belongings. Someone tune this girl into some Murder, She Wrote reruns or something. Anyhoo…the book turns out to be a copy of the same “book of shame names” that Daddy Queen left Oliver before offing himself on the life raft. Not sure if this is meant to suggest that Moira has a conscience (haven’t seen it yet), but I do love the catty/witty/kangaroo-phobic banter between the boss and the underling. Felicity is far too much fun to hide in the basement. Arrow: series regular stat!
- Finally, what are we thinking of Diggle (David Ramsey): voice of conscience or shut-the-eff-up-sore-winner? Seriously, this dude couldn’t be more righteous if he tried and the holier than thou attitude is a total turn-off. I like (read: hate) the half-apology he gives after Ollie admits that he couldn’t save Helena from going over the edge. Diggle looks at him like “I’m trying so hard not to point at you and yell ‘Heh heh!’ because I’m so amazing and you’re so dumb.” Shut up and eat your greasy-spoon burger, jack**s.
- Oliver: “I only kill people when it is absolutely necessary. It’s not my opening move.” Umm…really Ollie? Fast forward to the attack at the Bertinelli household where Oliver arrows an assailant…as his first move
- Helena (blowing Oliver off): “Thank you for the coffee and the sex.”
- Diggle (after Oliver explains Helena’s past): “Well that’s a heavy thing man”. Ya think Capt. Obvious?
- Helena (when Oliver suggests he can shoot arrows all day): “I love a man with stamina.”
- Felicity (asking about Walter’s trip to Australia): “I have this thing about kangaroos. More of a phobia. They wig me out. They look evil and I’m sure their picture is up on everything in that country.”
- Hostess (after Laurel asks when their table will be ready): “When it is”. Oh snap!
- Felicity (after being summoned by Walter): “Did I mention it’s almost Christmas? Many of the suicides this time of year are due to sudden and unexpected joblessness”
- Felicity (giving Walter infrared glasses to read the book): “It needs to be dark in here to do this. If I had taken more time to think about this, that wouldn’t have sounded so dirty”
So that’s it for the epic two episode love affair for Oliver and Helena (at least for now). What are your thoughts on the Huntress arc? Do you care if Tommy and Laurel work things out? Do you think she legitimately sleeps in those one-step-away-from-onesie pajamas? Do you want to learn how to do that sweet flip over the chair move that Huntress pulled on the guy in the factory? And finally, is there really a difference between justice and revenge? Comment away
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on The CW