Arrow 1.17, “The Huntress Returns”
Rating: As the title suggests, as well as the flashes from the opening credits, Oliver Queen’s psychotic ex-girlfriend Helen Bertinelli….
As the title suggests, as well as the flashes from the opening credits, Oliver Queen’s psychotic ex-girlfriend Helen Bertinelli. It appears that her father is attempting to cut a deal with the FBI. Helena is seemingly determined not only to kill her father for murdering her fiance, but also get back at Oliver, who she somehow sees as having used her and ditched her. The main theme seemingly run throughout the episode is the cat and mouse game that goes on between Helena and Oliver, with an interplay in the people Helena uses to persuade Oliver to help her, including Oliver’s new girlfriend McKenna Hall and long time friend Tommy Merlyn.
The back and forth between Oliver and and Helena is good, but not great. The by-play between Helena and Oliver is so repetitive that it almost becomes boring. This story would have been much better as a sub-plot in the episode, instead the Helena-Oliver relationship dominated the episode, squeezing out other sub plots in the episode and choking the time that could have been dedicated to other characters in Starling City or even to reveal more of Oliver’s time at the Island.
While the action between Helena and Oliver dominate the episode, several new sub plots are emerging, and get more airing in this episode. One of those subplots is the relationship between Thea Queen, Oliver’s sister and bad girl come good, and Roy, the former thief who Thea is trying to reform. Thea seems to relish in chasing down Roy, and there is a distinct interest on her behalf towards Roy, though for the most part he seems uninterested in her, above a mild curiosity in why a rich person would ever be in the Glades. After confronting Roy again, and after he completely rebuffs her again, Thea is accosted by two thugs, pulling a knife and threatening her unless she hands over her money.
In a twist that was both predictable and inexplicable Thea is saved by Roy, who comes to the rescue beating up the two thugs, much to Thea’s relief and delight. However, it seems that during the altercation that Roy was stabbed, and Thea subsequently rushes him to hospital. In the following scene, an awkward moment between Roy and Thea, Thea kisses Roy, ending their brief sexual tension. While fan’s of the comic book will be well aware of what is going to occur in Roy’s future, but for fans of the TV show, Roy’s role as a future hero is coming into fruition with Thea by his side.
Another subplot that is continued to develop is the return of Laurel’s mother, Dinah Lance. Laurel, who believes her mother’s theory that Sarah, Laurel’s sister, is alive. This time she gets her mother and father back together. Quentin Lance, initially dismisses his ex-wife, with a sense that his daughter has betrayed him. Having brought Quentin and Dinah together to discuss Sarah, detective Lance stormed away from the meeting. Later Laurel approaches her father again with the evidence her mother has brought forward, and Lance agrees to look over it.
The episode finishes with Detective Lance coming back to his ex-wife agreeing to hear her out. There is a big hope that not only will the Sarah story line become a big plot point, bringing the Lance family back into prominence, but also Sarah’s return could complicate the relationship between Oliver and Laurel, as the two have been so content with remaining as close friends, especially with Tommy and Laurel dating and Oliver being with McKenna. With McKenna’s relationship with Oliver now over, Oliver is back onto the market for a suitor, and if it is timed right with a possible return of Sarah Lance, could really fuel another fire between Detective Lance and Oliver Queen, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the start of the season, ever since Oliver was proven innocent of being the hood.
Finally, the Island gets neglected in this episode, in expense of the Helena-Oliver story line. However, we still get a sense of building as Oliver and Slade continue to worry about what Fyre’s is doing with the anti-aircraft missile system. However, Oliver and Slade manage to steal the chip and use it for leverage, which draws a link in the episode between that incident and Helena’s use of Oliver’s friends as leverage to get him to help her track down her father. The clips with Slade, Oliver and the Island, are great and I wish the episode had given it more time to this story line, rather than focus so heavily on the Oliver-Helena story.