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REVIEW: Arrow 2×17 “Birds Of Prey”

So, I guess everything is about to go to shit for Ollie real quickly and all of his friends and loved ones will indeed suffer. The only question was who was going to be first and now we have our answer. Thea is going to pay and Ollie is going to have to suffer, which is really the opposite message of this week’s episode “Birds of Prey.” This week chose to instead focus on strengthening the female leads and allowing the Lance sisters to stand up and prove they have evolved over the season. This was easy for Sara, but I definitely needed some convincing on the Laurel front, luckily this episode managed to succeed at this job. We have come to expect a certain level of quality in our episodes based upon the characters the writers choose to focus on and with this being a mixed Lance sister storyline this really could have gone either way. So let’s dive in shall we.

Like I said this was a Lance family storyline through and through. Despite the title “Birds of Prey”, the story really had very little to actually do with Helena other than give us a framing device for the kidnapping. Though it could have been easy for the story to devolve into Birds of Prey fan service, the writers chose to wisely focus on the developing dynamic between Laurel and Sara. Both sisters have been looking to identify themselves during this season with Sara looking to prove she is more than an assassin and Laurel aiming to prove she is more than the butt of all the jokes. I will say ever since Laurel hit rock bottom, she has become a much more likable character as she is willing to admit her faults and prove that she is worthy of a second chance. This was evident in her chat with Helena about how she hit rock bottom, but is now ready to get back at it. As for Sara, she has been trying to prove that she is more than the assassin she was trained to be, which provided a nice parallel between her and Helena. As Huntress said, she chose to let the darkness in and both Sara and Laurel have been teetering that line all season. They chose to show strength rather than weakness which was a fun if predictable touch.

As for the rest of team Arrow the B plot decided to focus on Roy and his anger management issues once again. It feels like this story has been played out many many times before so it is hard to put a new spin on an old situation. It was weird that Ollie was the one to tell Roy that he had to let Thea go as love is the same motivator that sent Slade over the edge. For Oliver to seemingly put Roy in the same place as Slade is very dangerous and I hope it does not become too much of a distraction for him. It is also weird that Thea just let everything happen after Roy cheated on her. She knows the reason he did it but still let him break it off. I mean if you truly love someone aren’t you supposed to fight for them? Maybe that’s just the hopeless romantic in me.

On the island we got to see some fun material involving Slade torturing Ollie and needing to find a way to fix the ship. Apparently he decapitated the ships engineer during the raid which is hilarious, because I am pretty sure that is the one dude you should not ever kill on a vessel. This week’s flashback also managed to show us a new side of Sara as she is now apparently queen of the convicts. Sure this is not the step towards being the assassin we have grown accustomed to, but it is a start.

The only thing that did not really work this week was Huntress, as there was no larger reason or major gain from having her included in the story. Sure she is now redeemable because she did not kill her father and did indeed feel remorse at his passing. Other than a mildly satisfying fight between her and Canary there was little to nothing added to the story.

Overall a fun episode.


Final Grade B


+Strong material for the Lance sisters

+Huntress can finally move on

+Island plot enjoyable


-Huntress not really necessary to the plot

-Roy breaking up with Thea felt forced


Extra Thoughts

-Hugo Manheim, brother of Bruno member of Inter-gang. Yeah I got the reference.

-The combination of Felicity and Diggle wanting Helena to get her ass kicked was the funniest thing all season.

-Seriously how does Det. Lance not know Ollie is the Arrow he was five feet away and talking to him.

About the author

Scott Swartz