Welcome back, Arrow-heads! Some things you might want to remember going into this one: last time we saw Helena Bertinelli aka The Huntress was when she took Ollie’s cop girlfriend out of commission while trying to kill her father. She got stopped by Arrow, and daddy Frank escaped to…somewhere. Also, now that Laurel is going to AA and has stopped blaming everyone for her issues, she’s looking for employment. Oh, and Slade Wilson is going to kill Ollie and everyone he knows. Just keeping things in perspective.
Daddy’s Come Home. Ollie and Sara are out in costume on patrol, but mainly are there to shadow Quentin during a big raid on some Mafioso. During the raid, Arrow follows one of the fleeing men and discovers its none other than the long missing Frank Bertinelli. Afterwards while talking to Quentin and Sara, Quentin points out if he’s in town, Helena might be coming too. Meanwhile, Laurel gets a call during one of her AA meetings from Adam at the DA’s office. He wants her back to prosecute Frank Bertinelli, and seeing as she’s sober and Adam has cleared up that sanctions stuff, that’s a bonus. I’m sure someone will bring up his psychotic vengeful daughter eventually to her.
Hunting Helena. While Team Arrow convenes about finding Helena (and introducing Sara to another of Ollie’s damaged lovers), they find she’s rented a car into town. Roy gets to tag along to help, but almost loses it when the driver shoots him in the hand. Ollie mentions “Speedy”, being Thea, and calms him down enough to see the driver isn’t Helena. She paid off some guy to drive it around, and got into town taking some other sap hostage. That hostage is okay, and Roy’s hand wound is all but healed up by the time everyone gets back to Arrow HQ. Sara decides to visit Laurel upon hearing she’s handling the Bertinelli case, and warns something’s wrong with this. Oh, you have no clue.
Disorder In The Courthouse. Ollie decides to go to the courthouse to shadow Laurel instead of Sara because, well, she’s not too happy with Ollie seeming ready to go kid gloves on Helena. As Frank’s getting moved into the courthouse, Helena appears under a smoke bomb to finish off daddy. Only, he’s not as scared because a SWAT team comes in to surround them. It looks like Frank was part of a trap to catch Helena, and oh nuts, she kind of prepared for that too. Some of the people there whip out machine guns and push the SWAT team back, taking hostages. In the middle of this, Ollie gets Laurel out of the lobby and Frank out of the courthouse. Outside, we find out that Adam arranged this whole thing, and that Helena will start killing the hostages unless she gets Frank.
Hunter and Canary. Sara manages to sneak in to retrieve Laurel, who reveals she knows why she was assigned this case to begin with: she was just expendable window dressing in Adam’s plot to capture Helena. She almost goes for a drink in one of the offices until Sara talks her down from it. But Laurel then refuses to be taken out, and instead free the hostages from Helena. So, Sara puts one of those sonic devices to use on the gunmen and fights with Helena. A few quips about Ollie dressing up his girlfriends and a hard fall by Sara out of the building later (and talk about a gut churning shot of her plummeting), Laurel’s now a hostage. Ollie contacts Helena, and is offered a new deal: he can collect Frank and trade him for Laurel.
Fair Trade. At the police station, Quentin suggests moving Frank, and manages to get him to Ollie and Sara, who’ve got their own plan to save Laurel and probably Frank. The overeager SWAT captain wants his team to move in, and if they see any costumed people, shoot them. By this point, Helena’s been called by Ollie about the trade and she ducks out of the SWAT team coming in, with Laurel as a hostage. They meet up at an abandoned warehouse (naturally) where Frank says how disappointed he is in how she’s turned out and Ollie tries to talk Helena out of her killing her dad. Oh, almost forgot something: overeager SWAT captain finds out Laurel’s phone GPS is running, and takes off on his own to…well, start shooting like a maniac at everyone at that warehouse. Guy really hates vigilantes, as you can tell. He gets knocked out by Quentin, and Sara almost kills Helena before Laurel talks her out of it. She’s barely gasping for air when Helena sees one of those bullets meant for her killed Frank. She babbles about how she should’ve killed him as Quentin restrains her and the dynamic duo of Arrow and Canary take off.
Stuck On A Boat With Nothing To Do, Except… I feel we should take a brief break to discuss the island flashbacks this episode, because Captain Slade of the Amazo is having some trouble. While the hull is fixed, no one on board can fix the engine. It turns out someone is alive who can: Hendrik, part of the escapees with Sara. While electrocuting Ollie, Slade offers a trade between them of Hendrik for Ollie. Sara takes a reluctant Hendrik captive while Slade leaves a memento on Ollie of his sins: Shado’s back tattoo on the same place for Ollie. I’m just going to suggest this, but Slade ‘s not going to cut Ollie loose so easily.
“Once you let the darkness inside, it never comes out.” In the here and now, Ollie gets to see Helena before she’s carted off to jail. She finally gets Ollie’s point about revenge not solving anything, and is reminded that she can be a better person now. Sure, after a lifetime sentence for holding people hostage, murdering a lot of Mafia people and cops, and severely injuring Ollie’s cop girlfriend from season one, sure, I guess that’s a realistic goal. Anyhoo, Laurel hears about Adam’s termination from the DA’s office, and blackmails the DA into giving her back her job, lest the media hears about Adam’s failed operation. Sober Laurel FTW! For the lose, its Thea this episode, when Ollie “recommends” Roy stay clear of Thea, because of those superpowered anger issues and all. When his attempt to say its over doesn’t have the correct effect, he starts making out with one of the waitresses in Thea’s office. Ollie visits Thea as she’s upset about everyone lying to her, everyone but Ollie, of course. Before we can have that awkward “I told Roy to break up with you/I’m a vigilante/you’re actually my half-sister” talk, she wants to go home alone for the night. And adding to Thea’s losing streak, she gets offered and accepts a ride home…from Slade Wilson! Oh no, Thea. Oh no.
–Comic book connections: “Gail St. and Simone” is a nice tip of the hat to Gail Simone, one of the better-known writers of the Birds of Prey comic for DC.
–Really, of all the ways out of a final showdown, we get “vigilante-hating SWAT guy”? Out of all the badassery this episode, this is probably the only thing that rang rushed. And what happened to him anyway? He still have his job? Does he know Quentin suckerpunched him? Answers, people!
–Despite Thea’s probably doomed ride home with Slade, she’s smart enough to see why Roy was making out with that girl, even if she doesn’t know why he did.
–I’m sure they tested Adam for traces of Vertigo when they kicked him out of the DA’s office, right?
–“I think if she shows up you should totally kick her ass.” And the best part? Diggle nods in agreement.
–Nice little cell phone accident regarding Quentin calling the Arrow and Ollie’s cell phone ringing brings us this response from a surprised Felicity: “It’s getting really hard to keep track of who knows whose secret identity.” In all fairness, Felicity, can’t really disagree on that.
–Ollie’s reaction to Sara picking up on that description of Helena being his ex-girlfriend: “That’s what you took from that sentence?”
–“Anyone with boobs can get a frat boy to do anything.” “I was a frat boy.” “I rest my case.”
So, what did you think? Leave your thoughts and theories below as we come next week for “Deathstroke”…