Review: Arrow ‘The Huntress Returns’

Review: Arrow ‘The Huntress Returns’

Season 1, Episode 17 - A nice Arrow vs. bad guy scenario without the dragged-out set-up

 

Finally, after three weeks of waiting, Arrow has returned from its brief departure - and the return was worth the wait.  This time around, we get the return of one character that is quickly becoming my favorite vigilante villain, The Huntress.  She’s come back to town after discovering that her father has managed to dodge his just punishment by making a deal with the police to roll over on some other criminals.  Obviously, she’s less than pleased with these developments and so decides that she’s going to finish the revenge that she started.

The biggest problem The Huntress has is that she can’t figure out where dear old dad is being hidden.  So she enlists the help of Arrow to both find her father and secure him from the police who are escorting him.  Oliver isn’t cooperative in helping her at first, but she makes her seriousness known by almost breaking Tommy’s arm and threatening the rest of Oliver’s friends and family.  The daddy-snatching caper doesn’t go off as planned, however, and The Huntress gets caught in a trap.  Oliver is forced to rescue her, if only to make sure she doesn’t roll over on his secret identity.

It turns out to be a mistake, naturally, since The Huntress then pays a visit to Felicity and forces her to hack into the FBI computers to find out where daddy really is.  Arrow goes after his rival to prevent her from putting a crossbow bolt into dad’s back, but The Huntress fights back and Oliver’s new girlfriend (who just happens to end up at the scene before anyone else) becomes a casualty.

Meanwhile, Thea continues her weird little quest to give the guy who snatched her purse a job and help him on the long road to rehabilitation.  Laurel and family try to unravel the question of whether Sarah is really alive or not.  And in the past, Oliver and Slade make their move against the missile system that is their target, trying to negotiate for a way off the island.

It was really nice for the show to finally be able to drop in a villain-of-the-week story that didn’t need some brief and artificial introduction.  We already know who The Huntress is and so the writers were able to get right to the chase.  The fight scenes were better than usual, though that could have been due to the fact that they kept both actors’ faces off the camera and were thus able to use their stunt fighters to the best of their ability.  This is really the first time that the show has been able to revisit a villain that has an actual background (China White and Deadshot don’t count).  Hopefully this will become a trend in the way the writers approach the show, particularly the second season.

One thing that was a bit annoying is the addition of Thea’s boy-toy, Roy.  Based on his kung-fu power, it looks like they may be setting him up to be Arrow’s sidekick at some point.  The actor is already annoying me and I honestly hope he finds another job and they’re forced to write him out. 

The other big annoying thing is the mystery of Sarah.  It is supposed to be connected to the Black Canary character in some way, which would be awesome, but there’s already so damn much going on that it’s hard to sort it out.  Adding even more drama is just going to put the show back in the muddled mess state is was in for the first half of the season.  They should run with what they have for a while until viewers are familiar with the characters and the world.  Just because you’ve established the heroes doesn’t mean you need to bring in more heroes.

Six more episodes to the season and plenty to wrap up regarding the whole Malcolm Merlyn, Moira and “The Undertaking” business.  Not to mention a few people to kill off, since they really can’t enter season 2 with so many people knowing Arrow’s identity.  Let’s hope they keep up the skill of the last few episodes.