After what seems like ages, Arrow returns and brings with it the return of S1’s best villain thus far: Jessica De Gouw’s Huntress. So how does Oliver (Stephen Ammell) handle his various girlfriends?
Let’s bitch it out…Admittedly this isn’t quite the episode that I was hoping for from the show’s return. I was psyched that the Huntress was returning, but her focus on pursuing her father feels like a big retread. We’ve spent two episodes on her vendetta and there isn’t really more to explore here. The idea that Helena uses Oliver’s family and friends against him is interesting, but it’s far from original (isn’t this a prototypical superhero trope?)
Of course Huntress has turned up at the worst possible time. As Oliver tells Diggle (David Ramsey), things in his life seem to be going well. He’s going on his sixth date with Mackinna (Janina Gavankar) and his bar – the atrociously un-catchy ‘Verdant’ – is about to open. It’s the personal reasons that make Huntress such a foil for Oliver. If this were a man, or a stranger, she would be disposable and therefore easily dealt with. It’s because she knows the people in his life, and she’s able to worm her way into his affairs with a smile and a reminder that they were lovahs that she is effective at upending his relatively calm existence.
Unfortunately the outcome is entirely predictable. Although there weren’t many clues to suggest that Huntress would be apprehended by the police, it is clear to even the most novice of TV watchers that she would refuse to leave town after Oliver tells her to leave. It is similarly obvious that she would use Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) to secure the location of her father’s safe-house and that Mackinna would end up in the cross-hairs (after all, nothing screams “ON THE WAY OUT” quite like a romantic night between the sheets with a superhero). And so the Huntress escapes to vandalize other sporting good stores and Oliver is once again alone. Ho-hum
- I was never a fan of Mackinna but her exit is pretty weak. I appreciate that this leaves the door open for her return (perhaps if she doesn’t survive the upcoming season of True Blood), but killing her would have been more memorable and made Oliver’s relationship with Helena more tense when she inevitably returns. As it is, this feels like a cop-out
- Similarly disappointing is the reappearance of Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) mom (Alex Kingston) who more-or-less reiterates what she said when she showed up on Laurel’s doorstep last episode. So Sarah is alive because someone took a picture of her and that’s all you’ve got? Umm…okay, well thanks for swinging by
- In the land of purgatory flashbacks, Slade (Manu Bennett) and Ollie take the circuit boards out of the missile launcher and use them to leverage a way off the island. We’ve come a long way since the “all island, all the time” episode, folks. These flashbacks are seemingly part of a separate show with absolutely no bearing on the present
- Memo to Tommy (Colin Donnell): if you’re pissed/scared because your BF is a rich-bastard killing superhero and you’re trying to make a point, maybe don’t show up for work. The message that you’re unhappy sort of gets lost when you still come in for your shift
- Just in case we didn’t know that Thea (Willa Holland) is useless, she once again badgers Ray Harper (Colton Haynes) and then nearly gets mugged. On the plus side, she uses his surface-level knife wound and fear of needles/Vertigo addiction to sneak a kiss. Cute or rapey?
- Finally, just in case you’re forgotten the rules for the Arrow drinking game, you take one shot each time Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) makes a surly face, Thea needs rescuing, Moira (Susanna Thompson) dotes over her son or Diggle reminds Oliver that he’s always right. Have 9-1-1 on standby and the OR prepped
- Diggle (once again being a sanctimonious ass): “I think you would have known a lot sooner if she had of looked like me instead of the T-Mobile girl” Wait, is that where Jessica De Grouw is from?!
- Helena (to Oliver, after seeing Felicity enter): “How many girlfriends do you have exactly?”
- Ray (to Willa, after she observes that he’s bleeding): “That’s what happens when you get stabbed”. Ugh – spare me
Soooo…that wasn’t exactly the episode that I was hoping the show would return to. It’s nice to see the Huntress again, but this adventure didn’t feel particularly memorable. What did you think: were you happy to see her again? Are you happy that Mackinna has been sent off to the farm her sister’s to recover? Will Laurel ever stop whining about her parents’ problems? Do you care if Tommy ever forgives Ollie? Sound off below
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm EST on The CW