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Arrow "The Huntress Returns" Review: What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

Arrow S01E17: "The Huntress Returns"

Diggle and Oliver in the club

It's completely ordinary for television shows, or any serialized form of storytelling, really, to take a little breather after a big episode. Breather episodes typically involve some sort of emotional fallout, or perhaps a reevaluation of goals and relationships. They give the show time to reflect on recent events, and they normally afford an opportunity for some measure of character growth. Essentially, they're narrative way stations between major plot developments.

"The Huntress Returns" was such an episode. And it was ridiculously dull.

If you've been watching (and reading) along with me for the past 16 episodes, you know I'm generally more interested in the melodrama portion of Arrow's action + melodrama set-up, and as a result, I was rather eagerly looking forward to seeing the aftershocks of "Dead to Rights" playing out a bit. And those aftershocks did happen, but to nowhere near the extent that maybe they should have. I say this knowing full well that they're something that will continue to weigh heavily over the rest of the season, but I just wanted more.

Instead, "The Huntress Returns" brought Helena back to Starling City. It turns out that Daddy Bertinelli cut a deal with the feds and was going to get himself a little witness protection in exchange for blabbing about some of the regional crime families, and Helena was none too pleased that he was going to get a second chance at a life. She wanted Oliver's help bringing Bertinelli down, permanently, and was willing to hurt anyone Oliver cared about to get him to cooperate.

Helena tries to put the movies on Oliver

Helena's emotional instability brought something of a chaotic element to the episode, and it forced Oliver into all sorts of corners he would've rather not been in. Like agreeing to take down prisoner transport vans. Or freeing Helena from the SCPD headquarters. Or stopping Helena from killing her father at a safe house. He was constantly having to react to Helena's actions, and the episode didn't afford him an opportunity to neutralize her in a way that protected both himself and everyone around him. It could've been an interesting race against the "psycho ex-girlfriend," and an opportunity to see Oliver deal with someone he couldn't plan for, but instead it was just a series of threats from Helena, followed by Oliver protesting but still going along with the harebrained schemes. There were also plenty of reheated conversations about their different methodologies for implementing their goals, but the whole situation remained about as convincing as the last time Helena was around

Helena's machinations did result in McKenna taking a shotgun round to the torso that got through/squeezed in underneath her vest, and as a result McKenna is off to Coast City for a year's worth of physical therapy. She broke up with Oliver, refusing to even entertain the idea of him coming to visit her, let alone move to Coast City, as she recuperated from both her injury and the fact that she's likely not going to be a cop again. I don't feel very strongly one way or the other about this development, as I was never particularly invested in the McKenna/Oliver relationship, but it does add to the burden that Oliver is carrying as he tries to balance his two lives.

Oliver and Tommy talk in the club

And that's really what I would've liked to have seen more of him grappling with, instead of just watching him run around with Helena. Her presence showed how Oliver's two lives can threaten each other, but it becomes a redundant variation on that theme when we see that conflict already playing out in his relationship with Tommy. Tommy not being upset that Oliver kept his identity a secret from him—or not being very upset anyway—and instead taking issue with Oliver being a murderer was a nice shift on this particular plot since most instances of people learning about a secret identity are normally about an issue of trust. Here it becomes one of morals. 

But Tommy's pain was sort of brushed away as he decided to be sort of understanding about  the whole thing after he realized that all of this weighs very heavily on Oliver. "I was wrong to think I could have it both ways. That I could do what I do and still have a normal life. With anyone," Oliver told Tommy. They've both been affected by Oliver's actions, obviously, and perhaps their shared pain can salvage their relationship. But probably not, as I'm sure things will get complicated if (when) Malcolm's Dark Archer persona becomes common knowledge, and Oliver is forced to make a very unpleasant choice.

Laurel and Quentin in the diner

Meanwhile, in news to file under "things I never thought I would write," I sort of totally didn't completely feel indifferent to what was going on with Laurel this week. Part of this was due to the fact that Paul Blackthorne was probably the best he's been all season in that first scene at the diner, stumbling over himself to apologize to Laurel so as not to lose another woman from his life and then turning on a dime to anger and sadness as Dinah walked onto the scene—and with evidence about Sarah being alive, no less. Quentin's a guy who wears his emotions on a sleeve, but I don't know that there's much of a sleeve left at this point, and while I still think that Quentin's a very shaggy character, I liked him more here than I have practically all season.

I think the whole "Sarah is alive" plot could give Laurel and Quentin something to do, but I wonder how much she can do, exactly, from Starling City, even with her mother's envelope of evidence. But there's still enough time to flesh this out, and give the Lances their own troubled family plot.



NOTES

Steve Aoki jams in the club

– I apologize for the lack of decent photos, but The CW decided that the only things you would really want to see would be the club and Steve Aoki. Speaking of the club: It's done! And it's called Verdant. So of course there's hardly any green in the place. And it has gears and cogs hanging from the ceiling, I suppose as a callback to the club's origins as a steel mill. They could've at least made it look like that pastoral-meets-industrialization vibe from the London Olympics opening ceremony

– Nothing too big on the island this week. Oliver and Slade stole the circuit board from the missile platform that Fyers had recently acquired. They hid it away and are using its location to make Fyers get them off the island.

– There were some Thea and Roy shenanigans as well, including Roy beating up some would-be muggers of Thea's, and then some smooching as Thea distracted him while he got a shot at the hospital. So that's progressing, I guess.

– During the break, a Season 1 guest-star received an upgrade to a series regular for Season 2. And then it happened again today for another guest star. I'm indifferent for the first one (right now, anyway), but excited about the prospects for the second one.

– Helena and Oliver should be thankful that the U.S. Marshals service in Starling City is nowhere near as awesome as the Marshals service in Kentucky, because that was the weakest safe house ever. Starling City police may want to update the security at their headquarters.

– To celebrate Supernatural's return, MaryAnn decided to tweet a fun SPN GIF. I countered to show my enthusiasm for Arrow's return. This devolved into a .GIF war. I may've lost due to the sheer lack of sexytimes .GIFs available for the show (it was 16 episodes against 165!), but I think it was a fight where, really, everybody won. I collected the tweets and .GIFs in this Storify if you're interested.


What'd you think of "The Huntress Returns"?

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While the show has improved in the last episodes, there are still too many moments of "WTF? Why don't they do that instead" for me to enjoy the show fully. And it is a fun show. It just asks for some logic shutdown from time to time

Also, could they please at least have 1-2 female characters without any love story? At this point, and I guess not for long, only Felicity doesn't have a thing developing. It seems that all the women in the show need to have a romantic side or they are useless
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I didn't find this episode to be too bad. I was entertained. Even though the Huntress was such a pain in the arse. I mean on one hand she has this badass quality to her that I have to tip my hat to. Girl power and all that. On other hand she zip tied my beloved geek goddess Felicity, and that shizz just don't fly. And then there is the battle between her and Ollie's techniques and honor and blah, blah, ZZZzzzz. Whatevs. Ruthless, that Huntress. I like a little finesse with my villains, anti-heroes, and everything in between and sideways. She doesn't always have that.
-I'm gonna miss errr...McKenna. That's it. Her. Not because of the relationship between her and Ollie, but more because she added something I can't quite name to the show. Maybe it was just the mere fact that she was the only halfway decent brunette chica in the show or something. I don't know. She just seemed kinda chill and had some okay vibes.She was somehow more likeable in one episode than Laurel was in a couple of handfuls. I don't know.
- I actually didn't find Thea annoying in this episode. Win. Or Roy for that matter. Despite the fact that Colton Hayes has an inexplicable knack for playing jackasses, I was so into the fight scene when he saved Thea, that I couldn't even roll my eyes at his smarminess and arrogance. They're kinda cute. As far as him being a reg, I don't even know how I'm supposed to feel about that because he hasn't really done anything yet. He's just there. Giving Thea something to do. Or possibly someone to do. But Slade. I'm all for that, because that dude is awesome.
-My interest is yet to be really piqued by Lance and Laurel and her mom and her undead sister. I guess I'll get there in time.
-Tommy. Yeah, see I would have preferred the trust thing over the moral thing. Maybe because we're supposed to be under the impression that Tommy and Ollie both have been sketchy in the past as it pertains to morals. I mean womanizing and cheating on people? Sure no biggie! Alcohol and maybe drug use or something? Eh, who cares. Being pampered, spoiled rich menaces to society? No problem. But I draw the line at murdering bad guys! That is despicable and worthy of my giving you the silent treatment until you save my arm from being ripped out of its socket. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am appreciative that no one on this CW show is dismissive of murder altogether (ahem, hear that TVD?) But sometimes it's a bit harder to swallow when people with sketchy morals who at times encourage and/or enable others to have sketchy morals suddenly become the morality police. Trust. Trust would have been stronger for me. Trust and morals, but mostly the trust. Or maybe I've just become desensitized to all of this because of all the stuff I watch and the fact that I'm caught up in it being fiction, which is quite frightening on some level. I should totally reexamine that.
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Not sure about this episode. I thought The Huntress coming back should have happened later. perhaps next season. It should have been on a grander scale, or maybe once the other "speedy" became Oliver's side kick.

Laurel's screen time was minimal, so that is good. Thea was not as annoying as usual, aside from the "girl in danger" think and then what's his name had to fight them off with Parkour. That was kind of silly.
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I think the writers watch "American Ninja Warrior"--salmon ladders, Parkour...
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Diggle sidekick quote of the day: "Oliver, what are you gonna do?" There's pretty much one in every episode. Just call it a spade, big guy; you're Robin. The big one, the one that doesn't wear the bullseye, er, red hoodie everywhere.

This wasn't awful, but it's likely because I knew The Huntress was coming back. I never liked her, and I already have pretty low expectations for the show in general, so even though most of the episode was repetitive, it kept the bar above ground.

I took a (literal) vacation last month, and it took me a while to catch up after watching shows I still like, but it really hasn't been bad lately. It's a shame that it mostly had nothing to do with anything else that happened recently because I might have been able to bring up old stuff...stuff that I missed. Felicity finding Walter? Who? Diggle being suspicious of Moira? Moira having clandestine talks with Merlyn who was almost assassinated? Wut? So yeah, I didn't dislike this episode, but I didn't care about it either way.

If anything, that was most of the problem. How soon does Arrow expect us to care about these people? Ollie? Sure (I don't, but I accept that we should by now). Laurel, Tommy, Dig? fine. But the Huntress? Cop-girlfriend? They're just placeholders, but the purpose of placeholders is to divide our emotional investments. Whether it's love or hate, we're supposed to be invested in what happens to placeholders (like Tommy), and they're supposed to increase our motivation to watch, just to see what they do to the relevant characters and to ourselves. We're supposed to actually care when they go away, with either a cheer or an 'aww.'

The Huntress only pulls that off in the way we feel when we finally swat a fly that's been buzzing around our heads all day (or in this case, a fly we shoo out the door, only to have it fly back in before we close the door). Sure, there's a small feeling of satisfaction, but nothing half a Snickers bar wouldn't have done. A character like The Huntress should really get more out of the audience than 'ehh' and 'kbai.' Especially if she's gonna return and do the same crap she did last time.

And Mckenna didn't even manage that. I'd normally say that they pulled an MVT on her (Minority Vanishing Trick, patent pending), but this was more of a diversity-placeholder double whammy. I'd hoped that she was just the replacement for the black cop that wasn't in the budget when she was on-screen, but once she started dating Oliver, she wasn't long for the show. Still...what's the point? We didn't know her, Oliver didn't love her, The Huntress didn't kill her, her departure didn't affect the inevitable Oliver and Laurel in any way, Oliver didn't have to make a character-affecting choice involving her...what's the point? It's just sad when the concept of emotional investment isn't in the budget.

Whatever. Anyway, I like the actor that plays Roy, and it's kinda surreal to see Thea with actual friends and interests that don't benefit Number One, but this guy is the cleanest, white collarest street thug I've ever seen. What is he, Romney-poor? A 54%'er? I knew the actor was coming here (because of you guys), but I expected him to be another rich kid with problems. I mean...look at him. Here, he's some kind of down-on-his-luck heart-of-gold guy with capoeira skills and a damn good razor. I dunno, it's all too soon to me. Doesn't Oliver have enough people walking around needing his...'wisdom?'

Also, why didn't Moira know who The Huntress was? Wasn't Moira the one that made Oliver meet up with her dad in the first place? Think she'd hit up a search engine or a newspaper on them first. Maybe I'm remembering all that incorrectly.

I did like the club. Not the random gears, but it easily could've done worse. Steve Aoki's not bad. I like Transcend (the second song). The show could use more trance, but that's probably just me.
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Wait, what? Series regular? Is he going to be on Arrow AND Teen Wolf? Is he leaving Teen Wolf? Is Teen Wolf returning for a new season? What am I missing here?

I didn't think the ep was dull. I thought it had lots of action but the way they got rid of Arrow's new girlfriend was pretty lame though. What are the odds of the bullets getting right beneath the bullet proof vest? Seemed like a weird shot to me.
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All I know is I was engaged the entire episode (turned my brain off when Helena killed ALL the agents at the safe house though, because...really?) so I would not call this the worst episode of the season, or 'dull' for that matter.
I do wish the writers would be more consistent with certain story lines, like last week's interaction between Ollie and Malcolm, and Malcolm & Moira. I mean, they can keep the island flashback interesting with only a few minutes every week. Having no Malcom in this episode whatsoever after last week isn't cutting it. But with that said, I don't want the show to rush anything either. So far it's still so great!
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Man, I was afraid it was just me! I wasn't too thrilled with this episode either. At one point I felt that after the incident with Tommy he should have just brought a gun with him, while they were talking in the Arrow Cave, shoot her. Done. But while logical, wouldn't make for good story nor could she return. I'm sure Arrow will straighten itself out and hit the mark again next week.
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One of the worst episode of the season so far. It felt like the writers didn't care about making a coherent episode and so all the stories were weak.
The way Oliver and Slade stole the circuit-board was too easy (only six guys garding the most powerful weapon they have on the island and the lamest escuse/plan to bring them all in the same place...even thought they were already all in the same place, go figure.)
Helena's plan didn't make sense neither. She needed Oliver because she needed someone to help her get to her father but she actually discovered that there is a decoy and that it's a two-men job after he accepts to help her. It felt like she found the answer to a problem she didn't know about.
Finally "I'm going to live with my sister, they have the best equipement for reeducation there" is the laziest escuse to get rid of a character, especially when the story is set in a big city where you can probably also have a good therapy.

I had the feeling the writers based the whole episode on the assemption that the audience would be too stupid to notice how incoherent their story were. It was a lazy job.
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I was kind of hoping Oliver would have waited until after Helena killed her father before stopping her. I mean, she'd already killed so many innocent people along the way, wouldn't it be easier to just let her get her target? Imagine how many cops he'd be saving in the future? I think at one point I was shouting: "Kill him already!"
haha, or maybe I lack patience and I have issues...
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It was probably a budget thing, there was a long list of guest stars this week having to pay the actor who played Frank for maybe 20 seconds of screen time might have broke the budget.
Also if Frank is still alive the it gives Helena a reason to come back to Starling trying to hunt him down, again
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Son of a bitch. The Wondercon Arrow panel is on Easter Sunday at 1pm, there is ZERO chance I can make that. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING???
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That you hate the show and they really didn't need a heckler at the back of the room? :P
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Just because you say I hate the show doesn't make it true.
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"This show's wooden enough," isn't usually a term of endearment toward a show one likes.
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But what if you say it? "I do think this show sucks" Just sayin' you left an open goal, led with your chin, twice in a row there and I couldn't resist.
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You have a fundamental misunderstanding of the difference between something that sucks and something you hate. One can like things that aren't good - Robin Hood Men in Tights, McDonalds, The Bachelor, all popular things that are well-liked yet aren't good.

One can also be interested in something without liking it and yet also not hating it either.
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Too much going on in this episode. So that's how they get rid of Shiva. One last time, SHIVAKAMINI SOMAKANDARKRAM!!!! Just as her story got interesting.

Jessica DeGouw's "Huntress" should have been the most interesting part of the episode but with 50 other moving parts that didn't story get the attention it deserved. That's too bad - Amell has more chemistry with her than anyone else in this cast and in the first episode their story seemed overflowing with possibilities. Its too bad they had to reduce her to "psycho ex-girlfriend" for what seems like convenience sake.

Katie Cassidy's "Laurel" has quietly just become a background character. How did that happen? Is that why Shiva, sorry McKenna, got shot to clear some room on the deck because if so BOOO. I'd take more McKenna over more Laurel.

Manu Bennett upped to series regular - excellent news.

Interested to see where they go with Alex Kingston's character. She's great and having her on your show is never a bad thing.

Walter? Anyone .... Walter? Where did that story go? Some viewers like Walter and haven't forgotten about him - why did the show?

This episode needed room to breathe. Some good scenes but with the rush felt like it didn't have many great moments. Too rushed.
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I just hope Speedy will turn out great.
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My thought exactly. I'm really afraid that they will make a mess out of the character.
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The only good thing about this series is Huntress. They should give her her own series & kill off Arrow.
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Mannu Bennett is becoming a regular as Slade next season. I am assuming that we will see him in the present day rather than just in the flashbacks. While I am actually enjoying him as a seemingly heroic character, I would like to see him come to Starling City as a villain similar to the comics and be set up as the looming threat for the season. He could be written as a mercenary contracted to take out the Hood or come to Starling City to take over the underworld after Oliver takes down most of the crime bosses.

Also, in the Flashbacks, Oliver and Slade are trying to take down Frier's rocket launchers. Is it possible that these weapons have something to do with the undertaking? Could they have been acquired for use on Starling City or used in a simlar attack elsewhere? It may be possible that Friers is working for the same people that Malcom seems to be part of and that this may not be the first undertaking, that other attacks by the same group has taken place.
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Lol: Roy already wearing a red hood while saving Thea.
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I think this is writers way of teasing people.
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Does anyone else notice that Laurel's eyes are always super dilated in every scene? At first I thought it was because she is attracted to Paul Blackthorne but I noticed it in every scene, kinda distracting.
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Never noticed. Maybe it's the lighting?? Or she's weird... I had a friend who had some kind of problem where her pupils didn't adjust like the should. I don't remember what it was, but it looked weird, too.
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All in all, I thought it was... entertaining. I didn't mind Ollie chasing Helena around trying to get her to not kill everybody in SC. However, I thought the Oliver/Tommy plot development was kind of dull and stupid. The guy couldn't even look at his bff on the eyes and now he's all understanding? Bleh...
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Can a high-powered crossbow penetrate bulletproof vests? I don't know. I ask because Helena took those agents pretty quickly with dual crossbows that you'll probably need to reload each shot. And those agents did not get up at all. I know the show is about superheroes but I still found it hard to believe.

I still think that Roy should have been introduced in the next season. Oliver is so far from being a mentor.
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Jt is correct. Ballistic vests are designed to disipated the kenetic energy of a bullet and not all vests are the same. Vests are rated from I to III depending on the amount of energy they absorb. But a sharp object like a knife or arrow will penetrate the vest. If you had a gun in one hand and a knife in the other, the vest would stop the bullet at point blank range (with probably a broken rib and maybe some internal concussive injuries) but you'd be able to stab the person with the knife.
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I've only tried one crossbow and found it very difficult to pull back on--lots of tension requiring more upper body strength then I had to be able to do it repetitively so quickly---maybe different crossbows have different amounts of tension or she has much more upper body strength then I or more likely both. Regardless I found it hard to believe she could use the crossbow so many times so rapidly....but I'm probably wrong and would like to know why....
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ok, finally got around to trying both a crossbow and a compound bow and I determined I am weak!
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Yes, a crossbow bolt fired with enough force from close enough range should be able to penetrate a bulletproof vest, the bolt carries a lot of force and mass on a very hard tip which the vest cannot diffuse, so the vest may slow the bolt but not be able to stop it from penetrating. Whether that means killshot though is another question.

I totally agree with you on Roy, at least another season if not two. He's way too green (pun not intended) at this point.
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And by the way, since everyone and their mother was down in Oliver's "secret vigilante hideout", do you think the club VIP pass will include a guided tour?

Don't most superhero secret lairs have locks or, are actually secret?
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Definitely my least favorite episode of the series.
Felt like it was written by 3 different people who had overlapping vacation time.
Or perhaps they slapped together leftover footage from various other shoots?

Considering the quality thus far has been excellent, I hope this was a one-time misfire.
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The problem was this episode tried to do too much. There were what, 5-6 different things going on.

1. Huntress
2. Sarah is ALIVE
3. Tommy and Ollie
4. Speedy and Speedy
5. Deadshot
6. Island
7. Club opening
8. Tommy and Laurel
9. Ollie and McKenna
10. Quentin and the mother

I know a lot of the plot lines meshed together, but seriously. there was just so much happening in one episode that everything felt a bit rushed. For an episode about the return of Huntress I expected more Huntress and less everything else. But nope, they used the Huntress to tie up a lot of story lines. Hopefully this means they are planning something huge soon and they don't want to leave too many things open.
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Well that's was an odd experience, on the back of the news about Colten joining the main cast for season 2 I just had Paul Blackthorne voice jump into my head.
When Roy does eventually become Ollie's sidekick and they go out on a mission together, the report gets back to Quentin I can just hear him saying "So there's two of them now, what are supposed to call them? The Green Hood and the Red Hood?"
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Horrible episode
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Hey Noel, agree with your review. Pretty much a meh episode. Plus the typical plot holes and inexplicable character behavior we’ve come to expect. But it had its fun moments.

Now that Thea, Laurel and Tommy have been given more to do than just soap opery stuff, I have a new pet peeve with the show. I find the lack of continuity episode to episode regarding the seasonal plot really annoying. How many weeks has it been (Arrow time) since Felicity joined the group based on her desire to find Walter. Yet not a mention, not even a couple of lines, regarding this since. What is happening with the Undertaking? Not a line of reference here either. And Moira’s involvement. What happened to Diggles’s suspicions of her? Nothing since her encounter with Arrow. It’s just been dropped. Each episode feels so crammed full of other stuff, some of which makes sense, most of which doesn’t. I’m not saying every episode has to be about the big plot, but not even a single line of dialogue referencing the big story arc driving the season? I’m sure we’ll see this all resolved somehow, (at least I hope so) but those episodes will just sort of pop out of the blue. Oh, here’s an episode about finding Walter. Or Oh, here’s one getting back to the Dark Archer. And Oliver/Arrow and Diggle will merely react, typically clueless, as though they never saw any of it coming. Because as far as we know they haven’t been following up on anything having to do with Walter’s disappearance, the identity of the black archer, the nature of the undertaking, Moira’s involvement, Felicity’s knowledge of Moira’s suspicious activity (the missing money; the front corporation which bought a warehouse), or why the Triad wanted to kill Malcolm, and why is no one thinking they won’t try again. We know Oliver is no sleuth. But Diggle? And Felicity and her computer wizardry? She can find a FBI safe house, but not a single clue to Walter’s whereabouts? Come on. The only story continuity at this point is the one taking place on the island, where we see a logical progression of Oliver’s story.

And if the writers drag the resolution of this plot into the second season as happened with “The Killing” then I’m done. No matter how much fun Arrow may be to watch.
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Your issue with story continuity is a valid one, but I really can't fault the show for it for it right now. It's simply not prepared to tell a deeply serialized story across a full 23 episode order and needs these case-of-the-week episodes to pad things out.

And I think the lack of even mentioning things sort of feeds into the other reason they're not deeply serialized (yet, apart from budget): They want to keep casual viewers or folks who just stumble in on a Wednesday night from feeling completely lost/overwhelmed. Is it annoying? Yes. But the CW would like to continue to grow the show's audience (though I do think the show's audience has largely stabilized, ratings-wise), and avoiding the sorts of things you outline are, sadly, a way to do that.

They could've followed a Burn Notice model of serialization, but I found that achingly tedious after a while, and Arrow's cast is significantly larger, so more stories to serve. It'd just take some re-tooling after this season is over (because I don't expect this habit to change in S1) to figure out how to break their stories in ways that serve...well...everything?
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I love Burn Notice and its serialized nature, at least until this last season where it went off the rails. I dunno if that'd work here though because Ollie's successes and failures shouldn't be so cut & dried.

This show has 2 flashback type elements to it, the voiceover "here's what the show is about" and the "here's what happened previously that matters in this episode", that's already a lot of baggage to expect casual viewers watching on, and I think it's a flaw, I generally fast forward past not because I'm familiar with it but because it hinders the flow of the episode. Having a true credit sequence at the opening can really make a difference, I know they wanted style but it doesn't matter if it's stylized when the audience leaves before the actual episode begins.

Continuity of character motivation is important, they should keep it around and at least remind us once in a while. I had totally forgotten about Walter, the same way Moira and Thea seem to have. I would guess that means the writers have as well and will remember by the next 2 episodes.
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BN's serialization worked/didn't work in equal measure because there was always another layer of that "Who burned Michael?", and it could be unfurled really slowly. Like you, I don't think it can work here since it's less about levels of people and institutions to peel back, esp. since we've seen Felicity be a whiz.

It does get back to an earlier idea someone in these comments a while back suggested mini-arcs within a season, and I do like that idea, but I've not seen it executed well plot-wise (romance-wise, sure). I think the only one that springs to mind is Veronica Mars, and they tried in its last season, and it worked well enough, overall -- the arcs just weren't very good.

And I'm not saying it's not important; I was just trying to give a rationale for their decision. Couple it with casting budgets and schedules (Alex Kingston, bless her, is just pure stunt casting), and I can understand why they'd do it. Frustrating, yes, but possibly a necessary evil.
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I wasn't dismissing your explaination or theory Noel. I'm just saying I don't completely agree or buy it. And I'm including the network and studio executives in the term showrunners.
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It's not rationalizing the flaws away, Televisioneer, it's providing a possible explanation for them. They don't magically go away because I've advanced a theory, nor did I claim that they do, and no where have I actually said that you're incorrect in your claims.

But you're giving showrunners entirely too much credit, and pretending as if network and studio executives don't have a few mandates that the showrunners are responsible for juggling, esp. on a network like the CW where cash isn't exactly growing on trees.
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I don't buy it noel. Rationalizing away the faults of Arrow may make for interesting discussion but the flaws remain. Whether they emuate other series like BN or POI or come up with something completely original, the show runers and writers make the decisions regarding allocation of their budget, episode content and how to tell the story and build an audience. I'm just saying there is lots of room here for them to do a better job ot it.
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Holy crap, I totally forgot about Walter, you just blew my mind!
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Meh. I don't think there's anything written in the article that I'd disagree with. So... uhhh... there ya go.
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I'm happy to have saved your fingers some exercise.
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Ollie should stay with Falicity :) I love her !
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Maybe I'm shallow (I am), but I enjoyed this episode if only because we got to see Roy again! Yes please, more of that. But Helena? UGGHHHH. Girl I don't care about your daddy issues. And then you went and threatened Oliver a bunch and killed like 20 cops. You suck, and Oliver should have killed you. Snatching arrows out of mid-air was some BULLshit.

Speaking of killing, it was cool how Modern Oliver is grappling with the morality of killing people, but Island Oliver didn't much mind when Crixus shot ten dudes. It's interesting how his character has changed, and how as he got more badass he also got more of a conscience (aside from that whole death count in the first couple episodes).

Tommy contributes absolutely nothing, aside from being all butthurt about Oliver secretly being a murderer. Get ooover it already! If the writers are looking for someone to kill off he'd be far more useful in death (as a motivator for Oliver and even for Laurel becoming the Canary) than he is in life. What a sad eulogy that is :(

And finally, those cops, man!!! Seriously, the Huntress straight up told you to your faces that Oliver was the Hood and you immediately disregard it as boy trouble chitchat? I'm gonna need to leave your badges and your guns as you go. Just go.
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I'm sorry, but Colton Haynes reminds me of Channing Tatum, and Channing Tatum looks like a thumb, and thus I will be forever distracted by Haynes's presence on the show.
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Ha Channing Tatum looks EXACTLY like a giant meathead thumb!

I can't agree about Colton Haynes, though. I really liked Jackson on Teen Wolf so I think there's some carry-over to Roy for me. I'll allow it, because it makes Thea's scenes sooo much more bearable now!
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What is it with people being thumbs lately? There's the mom on Honey Boo Boo and now Channing Tatum and Colton Haynes. Good lord those are some soap-opera-y names. I do see what you mean though, and now I can't unsee it.
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Honey boo boo--you lost some major credibility--lol, j/k (I don't watch that show but what other stuff people would find stupid)
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I blame Bob's Burgers.
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I wish I could take credit for "Tatum looks like a thumb", but that was a Buzzfeed joke.
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Heh heh, that arrow-grab was really silly even for a comic book show, she had to throw down a shotgun, turn, and grab a speeding arrow, not remotely believable and also somewhat pointless since she could have just let the arrow go by and not thrown down the shotgun in the first place.

So, what about Roy works for you so far? I was surprised he got stabbed, it didn't look like it in the moment, makes him more human and in need of a mentor at least.

I actually liked Helena before, this version ruined that though.

Is there a moral quandary with killing on the island though? Those guys are paid killers hunting for Ollie when Ollie did nothing to them at all.

Tommy just learned about Ollie's secret in show timeline, I know we've been living with him learning it for a while thanks to the break, but his character should still be bothered by it if they're honest feelings, since it did just happen. If they kill Tommy, whom I've sorta started to like finally, I think it should be his dad who does it, that'd make him such a next-level villain to drive both Ollie and Laurel to those areas you mentioned.

Ha! "Who is the Hood?" "Oliver Queen... sure likes pancakes, right?" That was so painfully silly it could only have been passable in a comic book (and not a DC one, like Archie comics). I forgot about that stupid moment, thanks. ;-)
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Aside from his looks? Heh heh. I like that Roy finally leads the show into the Glades. Everyone's been blabbing about the Glades all season, but now we finally get to see them and meet people who live there. Plus I'm interested to see how he ends up as Oliver's sidekick. Also he did a completely pointless wall flip during the fight so he gets points for style/making me laugh.

Agreed about Helena. I enjoyed her last time, but she was so dang obnoxious this episode I now hate her with a fiery passion. She's been reduced to such a one dimensional character! At least that T-Mobile girl burn cracked me up because it was sooo true and exactly what I was thinking.

Re: island murder, I begrudgingly admit you're right. They're soldiers ordered to kill Oliver and Slade. It was just odd to see the juxtaposition of Oliver telling Helena how wrong it is to murder people and Oliver smirking while Slade caps a bunch of dudes.
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Yes aside from his looks! This show's wooden enough, you start giving characters credit for looks and they'll just pay a grip to carry a cardboard standee across the set. ;-)

Good point about the Glades, they talk about them a lot but don't do much with them. Sounds to me as if you like Roy for his potential rather than who he is (aside from his looks). That wall flip made me laugh too, like breakdancing sideways, "that'll stop the muggers!"

That T-Mobile Girl line was pretty good, and they got lucky with that timing of airing that crack, her campaign is over this week.

Maybe we've been spoiled by early flashbacks tying into their episodes and we're subconsciously looking to connect those dots. Ollie is woefully inconsistent when it comes to his take on murder - in the first Huntress episode he actually yells "Helena, no!" when she kills a guy, but he does so WHILE HE IS KILLING A GUY!
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Oh god, that hypocrisy is PRICELESS! I will never be able to take Oliver seriously again. Then again, he runs around in green eye shadow and a hood so I don't think I ever took him very seriously...
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This review is right on the money, a dull episode devoid of real inspiration. Ollie was so NOT like a superhero here, not in his whining about relationships, not in his going along with Helena's insane and pointless scheme, and not in his interpersonal interactions - hell, his reaction to Helena shooting his girlfriend was the worst scene this show's ever shot, he puts his bow down, she raises the gun, he takes a step forward then stops, she shoots and runs away, he stands there looking like a deer in headlights, super pro there buddy, no throwing knives or smoke bombs or anything cool at all, just awkward and useless.

Even the story on the island wasn't compelling this episode, I enjoyed Slade's taking down of all the guards - although his character is very out of sorts, his motivation is far too "good guy" here - but that was it.

I think I actually watched this episode just to read this article, not because I was compelled to pay any attention to it. I will say that Paul Blackthorne was very good as an unhinged cop-dad, he carried those scenes where even Alex Kingston felt underwhelming with middling material.

Ollie's issues with Helena killing really were splitting hairs when Tommy accuses him of the same thing earlier and he can only swallow that claim. Helena's motivation to kill isn't even compelling, her dad's life has been destroyed and now he's about to destroy other gangsters, wouldn't it be better to let him do that, think he's safe, THEN kill him and blame those angry gangsters? Instead she's petulant and rash and unbelievable.

There were 3 real stupid things in this episode that bugged me that haven't been touched on yet. First, the security feed of Helena killing that guy in the strip club included her firing a bolt from her crossbow into the chump, yet it showed the bowstring never fired - I even grabbed a screen photo of this. Second, both Marshal vans were decoys, yet only one was filled with cops in the back, the intention was to capture the Hood Guy and the Huntress as they scream at Helena from the back of the van, so why wasn't the OTHER van also filled with cops??? Third, McKenna gets shot in the torso with a shotgun slug, then when we see her in the hospital she's talking about a year of therapy for a shattered femur, how did the shotgun slug that's got her bleeding out her stomach in the back shatter her leg? She didn't fall off a building, she fell onto grass from standing. Was Ollie just that good in bed and she didn't realize he had shattered her pelvis for a few hours?

Oh, and let's call it 4 stupid things because who goes through the trouble of getting a missile launcher for a remote jungle island and not bringing spare parts?

Ollie wasn't very Green Arrow, Speedy & Speedy's storyline was flat and that guy cannot act and looks as old as Ollie, the club was boring, the relationship stuff didn't work, Laurel's story felt silly and half-baked, Slade Wilson didn't get to do much and those island scenes didn't reflect on the main plot, and Helena was a mess. :-(

I would love to watch a show where Ollie is more like a dark Batman-esque superhero and his flashbacks to Slade Wilson got to stand on their own or reflect on the main plot, but instead we get this dumpy mess. This didn't entirely fail me as a comic book TV show, but it did remind me of a comic book that'd be canceled soon after.
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JT, just a friendly suggestion but next week when Arrow is about to start, change the channel or just turn the TV off.

Every week you complain about something, so do your blood pressure a favour and give your stomach ulcers a break by just not watching.

It'll also give everyone here a break from scrolling passed your weekly bitch & moan session.
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I've jokingly needled JT_Kirk for the same thing (I think in last new episode), but all opinions are welcomed, regardless of what they are. Encourages discussion and thinking about a show. Goodness knows there's a couple of "Good grief, just enjoy the action, damn you, TV.com writer." comments this week, and I'm happy to see them. (I'm less happy to see people telling me to f-off, like in the Young Justice review last weekend, but I can't have everything.)

I'd rather have a strong section of different opinions than a lot of agreement (what would I respond to?!), and I look forward to Arrow every week because you all supply that.

I personally expect JT_Kirk to stick with the show through its entire run because I don't think it's in him to quit it. It completes him. Arrow is his Renee Zellweger.
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Yeah, sorry about telling you f-off but I was drunk and I had a bad day, oh no wait it was the idiot that does Clone Wars reviews I was telling to f-off :P

Yes it would be dull if everyone agreed and there is nothing wrong with opinions but if everyday you stab yourself in the eye and everyday you complain about this pain in your eye, either stop stabbing yourself or stop complaining about it.

And in JT's case it's totally counter-productive, you want the show to change, stop watching. The veiwing figures go down, the execs will change stuff to get viewers back. Keep watching and the viewing figures stay the same, so the execs assume the audience is happy and have no reason to change anything.
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never mind...just read a bit further and saw that someone else said what I just said (xy)--I'm just getting around to catching up on this show.

I don't mind comments that disagree with each other and sometimes get annoyed if someone is really negative about something I like (I actually agree with the comment by JT in this case) but it's my choice to read it or not--it seems strange to choose to read some's message who you know you will likely disagree with.

Regardless, you as much as anyone else has a right to say what they want--I'm just requesting not to make it personal...

not fair that xy means male and xx means both kiss kiss and female:-)

cheers!
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why do you keep stabbing yourself in the eye by reading his comments? Sometimes I agree with them and sometimes not but I wouldn't complain about someone's opinion and backs up the opinion. It's not like the comment was "it sucks" and nothing more.
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You do have a point. Really, JT needs to stop watching it on DVR and instead watch it live since I doubt he's a Nielsen home. He's actually only helping Arrow by watching it on DVR a few days later.
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One could give you the same suggestion in regards to reading his comments ;)

I tend to agree with JT. Your last paragraph says it all. This show could have been a lot better. The sad thing is that there are glimpses here and there of its higher potential (e.g. flashback episode "the odyssey"), making people like me still tune in. But in the end they're probably not gonna replace most of the writers... which means we'll have to accept at some point that this show doesn't want to reflect a realistic vibe.
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I actually DVR this show and watch it later, keep hoping it'll not suck as bad next time. Contrary to what you think, I've actually enjoyed a few episodes of it, and even the last episode, "Dead to Rights", I gave it a mixed comment of neither love nor hate:
http://www.tv.com/news/arrow-dead-to-rights-review-identity-crises-136202794770/#comments
liked:
http://www.tv.com/news/arrow-trust-but-verify-review-oliver-vs-diggle-and-malcolm-in-the-middle-30471/
liked:
http://www.tv.com/news/arrow-years-end-review-a-tale-of-two-hoodies-30262/
I had a bunch of "didn't love OR hate" links but the point doesn't really need to be made any more than it was here, ultimately that's where I am with this show, some hate, a lot of mixed, a few likes.

Anyway, you don't have to read my comments at all, and certainly nobody is forcing you to click "more" on them. But you do have to read the negative review Noel gave, and you could consider that IGN who usually cheerleads the hell out of this series gave this episode a "mediocre" rating as well:
http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/03/21/arrow-the-huntress-returns-review
so it's not only me taking issue with this episode.
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As I am sure you know, you don't have to defend yourself but I probably would do the same thing.
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So looking at your comments, here's the condensed version of everything positvie I could find :

First off, I have to give mad props "Arrow" for finally making Detective Quentin Lance do something smart
You didn't think Thea had a role here? I'm surprised, I usually say that, but this time she was an emotional touchstone for Ollie
While I did like the slo-mo shot of Ollie in mid-air firing that arrow
Baltar is always fun to watch.
The flashbacks I found compelling
I really like this Slade Wilson

And for balance just a selection of the negative comments :

the stuff with Deathstroke was so schlocky
I'm growing very tired of Det. Lance
that Deathstroke mask alone looked like a Roger Corman film costume reject.
this episode dropped the ball on handling the villains
Laurel was a weak spot in this episode for me
Diggle played an angry, black Alfred
How long does someone on TV stand around in a friggin' fencing mask before it becomes an obvious cheap out reveal coming your way?
Quentin's comment about Huntress not shooting straight was dumb, dumb, dumb
For me, the stuff with Tommy and Laurel detracted from an interesting plot
It's bad enough the casting feels super generic and puts so little effort into getting the characterizations pushed out of the actors
Thea barely seemed like the same character this week
Stephen Amell may have a big boy voice somewhere inside him, but it hasn't yet come out here in his performance
If you took Ollie out of this show, you'd have a very generic CW-style teen soap and not even a compelling one
there's so much about Moira and Thea and Laurel and Tommy's stories shown that is just melodrama filling time
they aren't far enough apart to be believably father and son
The problem I had with that dynamic is that it quickly started to feel like Lionel Luthor was the real Lex Luthor
she looks generic and her dye job was hard to look at
First, I'd like to comment on how pitifully goofy the costumed character portions of the show were
As for the Laurel and Tommy as a couple thing, I didn't care - they don't feel like they have any value to this show
I just don't see the purpose of including these characters
that arrow-measuring contest dialogue really was lame
This episode was too compressed
Still incompetent thanks to CW styling
Ollie's green makeup is not an acceptable replacement for a mask.
Ollie doesn't actually do detective work and it's embarrassing
This was a villain who had nothing to say, it wasn't compelling at all
this episode didn't feel terribly engaging on a dramatic level, a human level
they're just following the Smallville recipe and it's not engaging enough
it went absolutely nowhere and told us nothing of importance and connected in no way I could detect
This episode started in a rather stupid way, the very first 2 things that happened were utter eye-rollers
but man do they give Laurel the most unlikable, shallow, simple-minded writing and it's infuriating to have to sit through
This was a sloppy script written without understanding anything
Thea's storyline disappointment was also mirrored in the shallow acting
Then there's The Count and his drug, I hated this
That leads me to the action, once again clumsily addressed
Ultimately, this was a clumsy, shallow episode
Yeah, David Anders was truly wasted here,
Ugh, I didn't want this to be a bunch of random nitpicks, but this episode had 'em in spades
The scene with Felicity fixing the defibrillator was, I hope, the stupidest thing this show will ever do
The digital explosions and muzzle blasts on the island were probably the worst special effects imaginable
C'mon, no, this is all wrong.
too little Arrow and too much generic Canadian action soap
it's a generic high-speed action pretending to serve "realism", and it's boring

You obviously think that the show sucks and isn't worth watching, so don't watch it. Think of what else you can do in the hour a week of your life that you'll get back.
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wow, you spent a lot of time on this--it must be nice to have such time:-)

I skimmed though your summary above and was surprised at how many I agree with (the make up vs mask and the defibrillator thing...) and the rest were opinions (the make up vs defibrillator are objective imo) so you can't really bash someone for opinions (it's not like they are racist, anti-Semitic or anything offensive).

Sometimes JT has comments that I disagree with but I hope I don't ever let them get to me like they do you (crap, I hope he didn't post anything negative about Banshee or Spartacus--lol).
Seriously, just relax and enjoy the show and reviews and skip comments from people who annoy you--life is short.

Peace!
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If I'm indeed making the same comments over and over it seems that the ppl I reply to do the same thing, doesn't it? :)
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XY, making the same comments over and over....

stones, glass houses, hypocrisy
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You obviously don't agree with JT_Kirk and don't like reading his comments, so don't read them. Think of what else you can do in the hour a week of your life that you'll get back.

Sorry, couldn't resist posting. Too much hypocrisy.
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BTW, how did you not include "Luckily that wasn't a sign of storytelling choices to come (except Thea, and it's her job to be stupid). "? That's a positive statement, the opening of that episode was dumb as a stump, then everything else got better except Thea who was MEANT to act stupidly.

The rest of that post was mostly responses to the article.
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I appreciate your looking out for me :-P but I'll take my own advice over yours. I do think this show sucks, but I'm still trying to decide whether it sucks so bad that it overwhelms what works. And I'll also make my own decisions about what I do with my time.

Also, I just learned last week that one of my buddies is an executive on the show so I have to at least watch to keep him employed. ;-)
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Pretty much everything JT said was accurate (though I beg to differ on the Speedys!). It just wasn't a very good episode. We're all here to share opinions, dude, and when a show's not performing up to even our CW-adjusted expectations there's gonna be a lot of negative opinions.
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AA's definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome.

If you've been suffering through 17 episodes of disappointment isn't the only sane course of action not to watch episode 18 and so avoid all of that disappointment?
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you keep reading JT's comments and getting mad--isn't that insanity

I can understand you being protective of the show if you are involved in the production of the show but if you are then please see the comments as feedback and utilize it (or not) to improve the show.
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Thanks Katikool, I appreciate that a lot, great way of putting that. And you're not alone, the IGN review also liked the Speedy on Speedy storyline, "different strokes" and all that, I hope your top-tier comment touches on what you liked there as I am always curious to hear different opinions.

Gully, it's not the same thing over and over, go through the site's episode list, click on each one's site review and search "JT_" to find that I have a lot of varied feelings about episodes, storylines, action scenes, dramatic turns, and so forth. It's not the same thing every time, but if my comments keep bothering you, then don't read them over and over expecting a different outcome.
;-)
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Ok 2nd afterthought, I guess we're never seeing McKenna again if she's going to Coast City, we know what happens to Coast City after all. ;-)
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What happens to Coast City? Also, where is it?
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Coast City & Star City (the Green Arrow comic equivalent of Starling) are both supposed to be in California near LA and San Franciso respectively.

And Coast City got a "little bit" blown up but then again Star City has been "slightly less" blown up a few times so probably no safer staying.
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A LITTLE BLOWN UP?!? Its utter destruction along with the deaths of its 7 million residents drove Green Lantern Hal Jordan to become one of the most destructive villains of the DC universe (only to then enjoy one of the most horrific retcons of all time, friggin' Parallax is a yellow space demon bullshit). They eventually built over it a few times.

Great turn of phrase though, you definitely got that rise out of me. :-D
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Oh yeah, and this episode didn't even feel like it was written, it felt like the writers were just throwing ideas out as they were filming, then just pulled a random pre-shot clip from the island out of a bag to fill for time.
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I enjoyed the episode, but I guess because I really enjoy the action episodes. Also, fucking excited as hell that Manu Bennett has become a series regular. Love him as Crixus, love him as Slade Wilson/one of the Deathstrokes. Can't wait for more.
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Yes! Let's have some more Manu Bennett pretty please! AND the less clothed the better...
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I feel ya on Manu Bennett, he's probably the one thread this show keeps my attention with right now. I wish I enjoyed the action, it's not shot or expressed very interestingly for my tastes.
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No kidding, I'm in it for the action. Granted it does need good story arcs but ultimately the action is what makes this show great. Also a fan of Bennett/Crixus/Slade
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I had the episode on in the background. It's sad that that's how I've been watching the last few episodes. The show is slowly losing me.
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A random other thought I had...I think the writer's didn't like the way they had left Helena the last time where we didn't hate her and that she had some chance of redemption. I think they want the point of the Huntress to be that she is a villain and Oliver's weakness in that if you get past his walls, he cares too much. Elaborate similarity to what likely happens to him on the island with Shando and Slade (and yes, I am very pleased to find out he will be a regular next season, meaning if there is the betrayal it is fairly far off and it is possibly they decided that he doesn't actually have to be Deathstroke - though he probably is and that will be sad for all of us...)
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Perhaps the Mr. Wilson we're seeing now will be the victim of an identity theft, and the Mr. Wilson who is Deathstroke the Terminator assumes his identity. (Or, of course, Deathstroke kills Slade Wilson the way Darth Vader killed Luke's father.)
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Perhaps (or a twisted idea I had for a brief second) that after his training but before he became the scraggled mess we first met, Slade is gone (via death, betrayal or whatever) and for a bit, Oliver takes on the role of Deathstroke by using Slade's mask, taking out the remainder of Fryers' men but building up the reputation of Deathstroke until Yao Fei manages to reach him.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, I don't care what you say. Yes the Helena - Oliver chemistry is non-existent but hell the action was extremely entertaining.

Helena catching the arrow was pretty awesome and I'm glad she shot shifter girl, guess it's no more sexy times for Oliver, what with a broken pelvis and all.

I'm also glad that the club is finally done... seriously, how much time did they stand there staring at the empty space talking about putting a club together but not actually doing anything. Then, poof, there is a club. But wouldn't you think Oliver would make it a little more difficult to get into his secret lair? Maybe have a passcode or something so your crazy exgirlfriends can't just waltz in and wait for you while holding your best friend in an arm lock.
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I actually liked this episode, but I will say that the transition between the scenes could have been better. It felt like a 60-minute episode compressed in 41 minutes.
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Sorry, opposite. Felt more like a 35 minute episode stretched out for an hour (eternity).
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I'm looking forward to more Roy Harper story-lines. He's so easy on the eyes haha. I didn't really like this episode, just because I really can't stand Helena. I didn't even really like her before she went total psycho. I would rather see some more of the Roy Harper/Tommy/potential Black Canary-Sarah Lance development going on to be honest. I'm still guessing that Black Canary is going to be Sarah... And all was quiet on the Moira/Malcolm front too - looking forward to seeing that towards the end of the season.
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this episode was good Im glad Colten/ Roy is becoming series regular, it gets him closer to becoming red arrow or what ever they are going to call him. I'm gusiing the other series regulare will be felicity? i cant see noone else who would be a series regular other than her.
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They just announced that Manu Bennett (Slade) will be a series regular beginning next season.
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Bit boring and all over the place, yes.
Didn't believe much in the Olly & McKenna Affair, but felt the detective was erased from our screens in a rather lukewarm way, didn't feel much like anything.
Unlike you Noel, I felt the Lance's Family Reunion was written rather awkwardly: it was unconvincing and overacted on the part of (my usually favourite) Mr. Blackthorne. Plus I don't know who writes for Laurel but geez it's like they want to make her look rather stupid...
Comic relief was the responsibility of Thea and Roy and they did... ok I guess, but I really missed Diggle!
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I think that by the end of the season, you will see Oliver kill Malcom, and Tommy will know and somehow find his way to Nanda Parbat, becoming the next Dark Archer. I also think he will run into Laurel's sister on the way. This episode set up the beginning of the end for Tommy and Oliver. I was disappointed in how fast they dumped McKenna. I would have liked to see more of her, both as a character and visually.
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Personally I thought this episode was great. No complaints at all really.
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I'm not entirely thrilled they made Helena a full-on villain (because cop killing is not something you can come back to the side of angels with). Since they don't have to worry about Batman (or most of the Gotham characters) ever being on the show, I could have seen them trying to make her a sort of Catwoman/Punisher she likely would have been had Batman not been around. They clearly are not (again, cop killer). I don't mind not being the comics, but changing a hero to villain doesn't sit well with me. Oh well.

I liked the joke of Roy hating needles. Nice nod to the comics. Kind of a shame they namedrop places like Coast City and Bludhaven since we're not going to see Green Lantern or anything. I actually tried thinking of characters they could bring in that have no superpowers. The Question, Sandman (the Golden Age one), Wildcat, Katana. Take out any Bat-family and it's a pretty small list of mostly golden age characters.

I have a feeling Slade is helping Fyers. Maybe for his own ends but I'm pretty sure this ends with Ollie being betrayed.
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Ah ha, needle phobia! I thought he was objecting to the drugs inside the needle, a not to the character's drug addiction. Clearly I need to pay more attention.

I'm definitely expecting a Slade/Oliver fall-out, because obviously Oliver ends up alone on the island. I think Slade will end up being the Deathstroke Oliver shoots through the eye. I haven't read the comics, so maybe I'm stating the obvious? Or maybe I'm wayyyy off base.
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ugh, *nod
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You make a good point, Helena didn't flinch at killing marshals to get at her dad, there's really no way for this show to redeem that... not that they won't try, they played with the 'shades of gray' differences between Ollie and Helena in this very episode, so they'll try again later.

If Slade were helping Fyers, what would he be gaining by not just killing Ollie at any opportunity he's had up to this point? I'll be disappointed if that's the case, it'd be much too convoluted.
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It's possible Slade knows something Fyers doesn't about Ollie, and once he gets that, he'll turn on him. It may be nothing of the sort, and I'd be happier if it didn't (I how like Bennett plays him -and my preferred choice of interpretation of Deathstroke- as a bad guy, but an honorable one...at least to a point) but it seems easier for a TV show to go that route.

I would LOVE to see how they even attempt to redeem Helena. Batman would have tossed her into Arkham, and that's behavior even the Punisher would put her down for, so if Ollie encounters her again and doesn't at least try and take her down, it kinda makes Ollie a partner to her cop killing. The show is at least inferring Ollie isn't automatically trying to kill everyone he encounters, he just has no compunction about doing it if needs be. Had Helena broken some bones and knocked a few out, it would make her extreme in her methods (think Batman in The Dark Knight Returns) but just killing innocents is a pretty clear line you've gone too far.

Being serialized TV, I know there's only so much time and stories that need to happen (unlike comics, which can shove it in between panels) but it'd be nice to see some more thought paid to how Ollie's actions may need further adjustment or risk making another Huntress. Yeah, that's not the most riveting stuff, but stick in when Amell is shirtlessly doing something sweaty and everyone can be happy.
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Non-superpowered hero's, yeap definately a small group. I suppose technically Green Lantern doesn't have powers just some really advanced tech, which also takes out another huge chunck of DC's roster. Guess you could add Hourman, Mr. Terrific, Starman & Blue Beetle as possible characters to the list, then of course there is that Starling City DA.

About the namedropping, I get the feeling that's less about making the comic book geeks smile and more about selling stuff. The TV show has it's own comic and if DC can get people to buy that then maybe they'll buy Green Arrow and see names, places and people that they are sort of familiar with so it doesn't all feel strange and new and overwhelmingly complicated
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If they could somehow manage to get Ted Kord's Blue Beetle on GA, it'd be a solid favorite for me for the entire run (unless they made him a serial killer). They don't even need to bring in the actual Blue Beetle stuff, since Ted's real joy was being noble and smart but kinda clumsy.
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So Red Arrow\Hood, Green Arrow\Hood & Blue Beetle.
Apart from Black Canary & Black Lighting I can't think of any colourful heroes that would fit the show. But I suppose if they've got Red, Green & Blue they can make any color they want :)

Ted Kord would be great but Jack Knight would be better
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Honestly, I think it was a pacing problem that actually made the first like twenty five minutes really dull and then set up a bunch of scenarios that would ordinarily have ended other episodes of other shows. Like, I seriously thought the show was over when we had Oliver and McKenna making out, and then Felicity turning around to see Helena...kind of thought that sets up a whole episode there. Then everything was all over the place.

I am having a hard time seeing past Colton Hayes as Roy as supposed to Jackson on Teen Wolf, and I have actually been thinking it is likely because the characters actually aren't that terribly different from each other. Like in Teen Wolf world, if you took away Jackson's money, put him a life similar to Isaac's and instead of having a haunting issue of who you really are have the issue be drugs, they are both these defensive guys who respond with snark first who you know might be good guys underneath (like I have this theory because of how Scott was really trying to safe Jackson, Jackson would have been Scott's best ally). Anyway, I am waiting for next week when we start the Oliver/Roy interactions (although I am forseeing a discussion about Roy's intelligence next week because he might only know the Arrow and not Oliver and doesn't connect the two).

I also found it interesting if you listening to any of the cast or writers as Paleyfest, they all talked about next week's episode and just kind of breezed over this one.
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I found the Paleyfest panel to be a waste, generally, apart from some funny lines from folks. I think having Geoff Johns "moderate" made it so that nothing really interesting came out of it. But then I have lots of "grrrrrr" feelings about Paleyfest in general as it has shifted away from highlighting older television to becoming a fan/press junket stop for new shows.

I think you're right about the pacing being a mess, and I think it's also because the episode was very much a half-hearted sequel from Huntress's first appearance (it was basically the same plot, more or less, minus the romance), so it felt very done.
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Oh, totally agree with the actual panel, but there were some red carpet interviews where everyone was much more talkative. I almost feel like the whole episode was, let's wrap up some of these storylines to get to what we actually want to set up for the second season and we don't care how jumbled it is because next week's episode rocks.
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"McKenna taking a shotgun round to the torso that got through/squeezed in underneath her vest," She said her femur was shattered, which a vest wouldn't protect.
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Being a shotgun blast it could have hit the whole area as pellets spread out the farther you are away from the shot.
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I thought of that, but that gun was firing slugs, not pellets.
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The damage they showed to the bottom of her vest looked like pellet damage though....
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Buckshot is generally stopped by bulletproof vests, over the distance covered here it almost certainly would have merely bounced off, but let's say it tore the cover, those pellets wouldn't penetrate the vest nor would they shatter a femur. A slug has a better chance of penetrating the vest or shattering a femur but even that at this distance seems unlikely.
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Yes, but she looked shot above that area in the actual scene.
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No, she took the pellets in the leg, bullet holes and blood and all. For a commercial break I actually thought that they had hit her femoral artery and she was going to bleed out right there.
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Looked higher because I missed the initial shot of getting show in the leg, and only the resulting pan up from the waist, with blood around her lower torso. So there we are. You're both right. Hurrah!
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The weapon was firing slugs the whole time though, and from that range pellets wouldn't shatter a femur - the strongest bone in the body.
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I really don't like Roy or Thea, something about them is just grating on me. They could have just scrap those parts and left room for other stories. Also I don't know why Tommy didn't just make something up to tell Laurel that seemed kind of out of character for him.
Also something that didn't seem to make sense is when Helena got Felicity to hack the FBI for her all she did after was tie her up? By that time Helena was far enough gone that you would have thought she'd have made it so Felicity couldn't tell Oliver where she was going, knowing if he knew he'd stop her.
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Helena thought that Oliver helped her escape the police not only because he was afraid that she would reveal his identity, but also because he still loved her. Thus, she didn't want to kill one of his friends and make him mad with her.
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Pretty weird and it felt forced to me with this episode. Start of episode everything is great,everyone loves each other,gets along,world is beautiful,look at the sky and butterflies,etc. and then it just felt forced to me how they got Huntress back,which is even more weird for me,because I loved her in her first 2 episodes on Arrow. One of my mottoes is "Either do it right way or don't do it at all!"
So no one is smart enough,that when Smoak says she can hack into FBI IN FRONT of Huntress,that if things fall apart,THAT IS THE FIRST PLACE,where Huntress will go. Ffs,this pissed me off.
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The Laurel/Tommy scenes didn't make any sense to me. Last episode his father was shot and he almost got killed himself but she keeps accusing him of being absent. It's like the last episode did never happen. The ending was as anticlimactic as Sawyer's line "we're gonna take the sub" in LOST. Oh, you wan't off the island...duh. However, I found most other developments okay except for McKenna being removed from the show. I understand where they want to go with it but I don't like how short-lived her appearance was overall.
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She needed more time to develop a relationship with Oliver. While it helps that they knew each other before the island, the hospital scene didn't have too much weight to it since they haven't had much time together.
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The episode was a bit dull but there were a few devlopments at least. We saw Oliver torn with regards to Helena, eventually choosing to take her down only for her to catch the arrow and go nuts at the thought that he would actually kill her. We saw a bit more of Dinah and I hope it will lead to a reveal that she is or was a vigilante once like in the comics. We saw that Roy has some fighting skills already making him easily able to become the sidekick.

Helena in the traditional huntress costume, or at least a sanitized version of it, was a nice attempt at giving the comic book fans something. Helena said she had been traveling. I was really hoping that she would say she was in Gotham for a bit, but sadly no.
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Hard to call it the traditional costume, the first appearence of the Huntress was in 1947 and the costume was more like lepoard print swimsuit.
The first 'heroic' Huntress appeared 1977 and replaced the lepoard print swimsuit with a purple swimsuit.
Helena didn't start wearing a cross until the early 90's and the catholic schoolgirl version that had the the cross motiff on the costume didn't appear until 2002. It's only the catholic school version that looks like it came out of a strip club and it was used for maybe 6 years before they covered her up a little more.
6 out of 66 years isn't that much of a tradition.
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true, but the leopard version was a different character, the one that would become Tigress in post crisis world and the mother of Artemis Crock (Tigress 2)

One could argue that the cross motif is the most well known version of the costume for the Bertinelli version of Huntress. Though it has gone through some alterations it has been present in all of the costume versions for the character or near enough. She wore it during the No Man's Land arc, her time in the Birds of Prey, and she is even returning to the costume now after the reboot when she has become the Wayne version again. Not to mention she was depicted as wearing it in JLU which gave her a good deal of exposure beyond the comics.

So while the schoolgirl outfit as you call it may not be traditional, it fits with the traditional motif and can be considered to the most well known of the moderations because it was the most memorable and was shown beyond the comics.
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I'm sort of glad they're not bothering with the ab window. I really hated the ab window.
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Well the orginal Huntress was a heroine turned villian so maybe not that far away from the one that's been on our screens.

The cross as part of the costume instead of jewelery has only been there for 10 years, so again 10 out of 66. And what they've put Helena Wayne in isn't the stripper\bat lingerie version of the costume it's definately more conservative and reletaviely practical.

Most well known\iconic version of the costume, fine. Traditional version? Not even close.
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I know Arrow is one of those shows where you're really suppose to think too hard about how ridiculous everything or worry too much about gaps in the plot but....
The two vans that were supposed to be holding Helena's father, why weren't there SWAT teams in the back of both of them? How could Quentin know which van Helena would target? If SWAT teams had been in both vans it wouldn't have changed the episode at all : Ollie blows the doors of his van see's the cops and is now racing back to stop Helena getting caught instead of racing back to stop her killing her father, same dialouge, same camera shots, same everything.

The two new full cast member were kind of inevitable, although how it means those characters are going to develop is uncertain especially the second one.

Was I the only one laughing at the opening scene? Jessica De Gouw in what I've seen charitably refered to as the 'catholic schoolgirl' version of the Huntress costume was completely ridiculous, but I suppose it's done now and it gives the producers a reason never to have Jessica wear anything like it again because they've already done it once.

Ollie & Roy, is there a secret parkour fighting school that they both went to or something?
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Haha, I questioned the SWAT vans scene too. No idea why both vans didn't have SWAT waiting in em.
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They just don't have the resources, I guess? Catching one is better than catching none.

But no, it's not explained at all, so they just look really dumb when it comes to launching an operation to catch two murderous vigilantes.
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Yeah...that van-scene didn't make much sense. And where did they get the intel on her being involved with the Hood anyway?
Another funny moment was when they came to rescue Felicity and then Oliver stormed out of the room delivering his one-liner without asking where the actual address was. I guess he called her cell moments later realizing he doesn't know where he's headed? Haha, yeah youre right. One shouldn't think too hard about plot gaps in this showl.
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They knew she was involved with the Hood because of the last time she was around they were both seen together.
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The episode was disappointing with nothing much happening and Helena not clearly dealt with. Oliver has become sloppy in the last few episode and its like he is confused about his mission and the list is not important. Not a big fan of Roy Harper but his story is unfolding well and i will like to see more of him in the future considering he will be a regular in the next season and happy Felicity too. The show should focus more on Malcolm and his motives for Starling City as the other archer, Moira's plans, the whereabout of Walter and improve Diggle & co from being mere yes men.
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Damn, I liked Janina Gavankar...
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I Disagree i don't like Roy Harper and i have no idea why they made him a regular (what about Teen Wolf ??)
on the other hand i love Filicity and becoming a regular cast member in season 2 was a great thing to do
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It was announced a while ago that Colton Haynes wouldn't be returning for Season 3 of Teen Wolf...
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well that's for the best i dind't like Jackson i hope Roy is a better character
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I loved jackson, though he was a lot full of himself haha. so far the characters seem to be kinda similar in attitude though one is loaded and the other poor.
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There's some sort of sexy time (a bra is shown - racy for the CW) and Oliver doesn't take his shirt off? RUDE! Colton's shirtless hospital escapade wasn't interesting because his character is a twat so that doesn't count.
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