I review Arrow Season 1 Episode 17, The Huntress Returns.
This Review contains spoilers of this particular episode.
So, Arrow. It’s been a very entertaining ride so far over the course of these seventeen episodes and although there have been a few let downs, the high points (live action superheroes on TV, The Odyssey, Dead to Rights) have more than made up for the low points (stereotypical characters, Batman Begins rip off, weak villains-of-the-week), and it’s certainly been a thrilling ride so far. After taking an unexpected two weeks off, we’re back, with The Huntress Returns. I know Episode 18 aired in the US on Wednesday but as I’m UK based, I don’t get the episodes until the Monday.
It doesn’t take a genius to deduce that the main plot in The Huntress Returns will revolve around the return of Ollie’s “psycho-ex girlfriend”, Helena Bertinelli, aka The Huntress, in an interesting one shot that unfortunately returns to the pre-The Odyssey/ Dead to Rights form with a weak episode that might have had better impact if the Huntress had stayed away longer, especially as Jessica De Goew failed to impress in this episode, which manages to destroy any sympathies that we might have had with her character that the initial two-part storyline of Muse of Fire and Vendetta managed to get across, the murder of several FBI Agents and the shooting of McKenna Hall when Ollie couldn’t bring himself to stop her has pretty much made me, as mentioned earlier – loose all sympathy for the character.
I didn’t really enjoy the way that McKenna was cut out of the series so quickly after having a few episodes focus on her and Ollie’s relationship as subplots, and the way she left so soon I didn’t really care for her. If she’d become a more established character and maybe stuck around for the rest of Season 1, then we could have perhaps saw a more improved The Huntress Returns episode as either the first episode of Season 2 or a mid-season cliffhanger. It just didn’t work for me here, and the writers Jake Coburn and Lana Cho have failed to meet the expectations that I had for this episode following Dead to Rights.
This episode was also let down by a packed plot, and proves that the best episodes are strongest when they’re focused on Oliver’s adventures rather than side cast. The Lance family reunion with Laurel, her mother and father, add to a conflict that shouldn’t really have been introduced to the series this early on, and that wasn’t helped by the fact that I keep expecting Alex Kingston to say “Hello Sweetie” and jump into a River Song-esque character throughout the episode.
The strongest part of the episode for me was the Thea/Roy side story, and Colton Haynes is certainly making an impression as Roy as he looks set to stick around for a regular appearance on Season 2. It’ll be certainly interesting to see his and Arrow’s first meeting, and where the show takes them from here, and whether Thea will become drawn into Oliver’s gang at some point. The Island flashback scenes were another strong element of the story and I really liked how they played out in this episode, setting the tone for Salvation, the episode that all you lucky US folks will have seen already.
ARROW SEASON 1: Pilot, Honour Thy Father, Lone Gunman, An Innocent Man, Damaged, Legacies, Muse of Fire, Vendetta, Year’s End, Burned, Trust But Verify, Vertigo, Betrayal, The Odyssey, Dodger, Dead to Rights, The Huntress Returns, Salvation (US), COMING SOON: Salvation (UK) Unfinished Business, Home Invasion, The Undertaking, Darkness on the Edge of Town,