Now that you’ve seen tonight’s episode of Arrow, titled “Birds of Prey”, you can check out series star Caity Lotz’s recent interview without too much fear of spoilers. She wasn’t lying when she talked up the crazy amount of action, stunts, and fight sequences in this hour. While this episode certainly satisfied adrenaline seekers, there was plenty of drama to be found as well. Hit the jump for my recap and review, and for a reminder of why you shouldn’t take rides from strangers.
Island Time took a bit of a backseat in this episode, which was front-loaded with plenty of fights between the ever-growing number of masked vigilantes. While on the Amazo, Oliver spent his island screentime hanging from chains and getting tortured. When it becomes apparent that the ship’s engines are busted, Slade offers to trade Oliver for Hendrick (Artine Brown), who survived the battle along with Sara and Anatoli (David Nykl). Let’s just say that Hendrick is aggressively persuaded to take this deal, though the last thing we see is Oliver’s new tattoo, one that comes courtesy of Slade and is a copy of Shado’s.
Now, in contemporary times, notorious mobster Frank Bertinelli (Jeffrey Nordling) gets picked up in a police operation that’s aimed at taking down Hugo Mannheim (a possible nod to DC’s Bruno Mannheim?). This is all well and good, except that Frank was responsible for the death of his daughter’s fiance, and his daughter is now out for blood. Dubbed The Huntress (Jessica De Gouw), she returns to Starling City to put her father down for good.
Standing in her way are not just her former mentor, Arrow, but Black Canary as well. She’s not only interested in keeping Oliver’s former girlfriend away from him, but protecting her sister, Laurel, from collateral damage due to The Huntress’ vengeance. Laurel’s battle with addiction, while irritating at times, actually comes into play here in a plot that lands the struggling former lawyer in a hostage situation with the masked marauder. It’s all rather convoluted, but the writers do a fair job of keeping it all straight in this episode.
While the action was awesome in this episode, which is saying something since this series never disappoints, it was the dramatic interactions between characters that helped to fill in the narrative gaps. And just about everybody got their screentime. Oliver and Sara have a difference of opinion in how to deal with vigilantes, especially when it comes to those who threaten their family members. Sara and Laurel share a heart to heart in the midst of the hostage situation, during which it becomes pretty clear that Laurel sees right through her sister’s disguise. In a bit of a surprise turn, Roy breaks things off with Thea under Oliver’s orders, since he still can’t control his Mirakuru rage (sure can take a bullet though). Even this week’s big bad, The Huntress, gets to share in a heart to heart with Laurel, Oliver, and, briefly, her own father. Her incarceration leads one to believe that she might appear in a future appearance of the Suicide Squad, or more likely, the Birds of Prey team itself.
In the end, Canary keeps her humanity and stops short of becoming as vengeful as The Huntress, Helena Bertinelli misses her one chance at vengeance (thanks to the wild shooting by S.W.A.T. Captain Stein … odd) but appears ready to turn over a new leaf, and Oliver dodges what could have been the most deadly love triangle in the show’s history. But what of our poor Thea? After having her heart broken by Roy and confiding in her brother as the only one of the family who doesn’t keep secrets from her (yeah…about that), she decides to walk home alone. No harm in that, right? At least not until Mr. Slade Wilson rolls up and offers her a ride. Never trust strangers, especially those with an eyepatch and an Australian accent.
Frank Bertinelli: “Did my daughter send you to kill me?”
Detective Lance: “I know you don’t think our perps have Mirandas, but you can’t just throw them out the window.”
Oliver: “You ready to get back in the field?” Roy: “I thought you’d never ask.”
Felicity: “Boobs can get a frat boy to do anything.” Oliver: “I was a frat boy.” Felicity: “I rest my case.”
Roy: “That’s why you called me Speedy … I thought you were trying to give him a nickname. For the record, don’t call me Speedy.”
Slade: “During the attack, unfortunately I decapitated the engineer.”
Sara: “What do you guys think?” Felicity: “Oh, I think if The Huntress shows up, you should totally kick her ass.”
So the news reporters are quickly becoming my favorite side characters. They show up just when our heroes need to know a bit of information or the viewers need to be reminded of an important plot point after the commercial break!
Captain Stein: “This, Mr. Donner, is what happens when you let freaks with masks run wild?” – No idea why this guy was so nutso. If you know a DC corollary, let us know!
Felicity: “It’s getting really difficult to keep track of who knows whose secret identity.” – Agreed! I could have sworn Detective Lance knew Ollie’s secret.
The Huntress: “Oliver sure does like to dress up his girls.”
The Huntress: “Once you let the darkness inside, it never comes out.”
I missed the mention of Gail Simone, best known as the writer of DC’s “Birds of Prey” series.
Thea: “You’re the only one that doesn’t lie to me, Ollie. You’re the only one I know that doesn’t keep secrets from me.”
Check out a promo for next week’s episode of Arrow, titled “Deathstroke”: