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REVIEW: Arrow 1×17 “The Huntress Returns”

After a short two-week break, Arrow has returned to grace our screens with series of new episodes and the return of some special characters. You know when you have a character you are supposed to like on principle, that’s Huntress in a nutshell. “The Huntress Returns” saw the resurfacing of Oliver’s former flame Helena Bertinelli, portrayed by Jessica De Gouw, and she is a much more horrible person this time around in every sense. At the same time Thea and Roy become closer and Dinah Lance returns to raise questions about her daughters seeming demise. This made for an uneven affair at best with mixed action and rough dialogue at points that seemed to scream filler more than triumphant return. So lets start this thing and as always SPOILER ALERT!

So lets start with the elephant in the room. Huntress went from a fun and interesting character to a raging bitch in the span of five minutes. Apparently while Helena went around the world trying to get rid of her father’s organization, she decided that there is no such thing as too much collateral damage. The way she tortured Tommy and Felicity to get what she wanted did not endear her to us, and I guess that is what the writers were pushing for. Diggle kept telling Oliver that Helena had crossed the line, and like any other psychopath she needed to be put down. Eventually Oliver did take the shot and try to kill her, but it was only after Helena had gone twenty steps off the reservation and murdered a house full of FBI agents. Apparently the sporting goods store Helena went to for her crossbow is the same one that supplied Hershel’s “never need to reload” shotgun from The Walking Dead. I hope it is a long time before we see Helena again because she is horrible.

Meanwhile, Thea was trying to make Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) turn his life around and stop being a degenerate d-bag. This storyline was meant to serve as a parallel to Oliver and Helena and yet it worked much better than the main story on many levels. First off, Haynes plays Roy in a fun way, even though he is kind of a dick. Roy still has a good heart and will do the right thing when he must. I understand Roy’s hesitance to taking a handout from Thea; he thinks that he is some sort of weird project to her. When he learns there is actual sincerity to her actions we see him begin to lighten up and hopefully in future episodes his likability will continue to increase. The most interesting thing that we found out is that Roy has a fear of needles, which if you know his comic book history is surprising, but a fun twist on the character we know and love.

The least successful part of the story was Laurel and her father’s interaction with Dinah (Alex Kingston). Don’t get me wrong, I love me some River Song, but her part raised more questions than it answered. According to her map, Oliver and Slade were surrounded by a ton of other islands, which were relatively easy to reach. Why did they not just steal a boat and sail over until they found people? It seems like a massive plot hole. Granted they are stopping Fyers from killing tons of people, but I would think an airstrike would be a much better way to stop him. The Oliver and Slade dynamic continues to be a great part of the show and I will be depressed if Slade eventually bites the bullet at Oliver’s hand.

One thing that bothered me is how quickly the Oliver and Tommy drama was resolved this week. Tommy seemed pretty pissed for the majority of the episode and I appreciate his realization that Ollie’s secret identity must be taking a toll on him, but it just seemed everything was resolved too quickly. The writers could have drawn this out a little and instead they went for a very quick resolution, which seems like the easy way out of this situation. I really hope that this is not the end of Tommy’s hesitance to Oliver’s side job.

Overall this was an average episode with characters that should have made it an above average story. I hope that next week brings us back to old-fashioned Arrow goodness but for this week, it was adequate at best.


Extra Thoughts

-The McKenna storyline ended rather quickly; at least she is going to Coast City where another green hero can hopefully protect her.

-You think word would have gotten around on the island that Oliver is wearing Fryer’s random thug uniform. Apparently not.

-Roy and Slade’s action scenes were the standouts of this episode. Amazing what actually being able to see and comprehend the fighting can do for a scene.

-Speaking of Roy and Slade, congrats to Colton Haynes and Manu Bennet on being promoted to regulars for season two. Definitely looking forward to more of them.


Final Grade C+


+Roy’s entire storyline this episode was great

+ Ollie and Slade have an actual solid advantage over Fyers

+Ollie deciding to shoot Helena


-Helena was just awful

-Dinah’s “theory” brings more questions then answers

-Tommy and Oliver drama solved too quickly

-The infinite shot crossbow

About the author

Scott Swartz