Tonight’s episode of Arrow, titled “Birds of Prey,” brings back Jessica de Gouw as Oliver Queen’s somewhat unhinged “psycho ex-girlfriend” Helena Bertinelli, who also has the alter ego of The Huntress. It’s been a year since we last saw her and Oliver’s code of conduct has changed, but has hers? That’s a theme that is explored tonight, as she makes another attempt at getting revenge against her father, Frank (Jeffrey Nordling).
Those expecting the comics’ Birds of Prey or even that seen in the WB TV series won’t get everything they want just yet, but changes are good we’ll see a team-up of their own complete with their very own Oracle someday. For now, though, it’s more about the CONFLICT that happens between the Black Canary and the Huntress.
Who would have thought that by the series’ 40th episode that we’d already have a Black Canary/Huntress episode to begin with? The amount of progress on this show is pretty incredible.
Where “Birds of Prey” shines for me, honestly, is the humor in some of the dialogue in this episode, which was written by Mark Bemesderfer and A.C. Bradley. The recap of Helena’s past is amusing, and something related to a code name for Roy Harper is discussed with humorous results. Fans of the comics’ Birds should keep their ears open for a Gail Simone shoutout, too. Additionally, I like that there is development for the Helena character and I’m really curious where they go next with her.
I’m ALSO curious where they take Roy Harper in the final six episodes of the season, as Roy has to make some tough choices tonight. (Yes, we finally get to see him hanging with Team Arrow — about time, right?)
The action in tonight’s show is what you expect. Some great fight choreography and scenes by a team that is honestly the best in the business. Audiences certainly won’t get bored.
Which is not to say that tonight’s show is perfect. There are mechanisms to get Laurel back in place at the D.A.’s office which are a bit sudden and contrived considering her character journey, but in a show where we are expected to believe in Mirakuru, I guess that has to slide. Even so, this story felt like it belonged more in the early part of the season and instead was held until Jessica de Gouw would be available. There is a bright side to the return to the D.A.’s office, though, and that’s the return of Dylan Bruce as Adam Donner. This might not have meant much to me last year but having become addicted to Orphan Black in the past few months it’s a familiar face that I enjoy seeing.
On the subject of Laurel, I will also say I like that we’ve had a lot of growth for the Lance family lately. I still can’t get over the notion that Quentin knows his daughter is the Black Canary but doesn’t once think that maybe the guy in the hood is actually Oliver, but maybe he’s just choosing to ignore that fact. I also really like the interaction we get between Laurel and the Black Canary this week — although, again, suspending disbelief that Laurel can’t figure out that’s her sister right next to her. I have a feeling Laurel is going to figure out that Sara is the Canary eventually, and it’s probably going to have tragic consequences. We’ll see eventually if I’m right.
Last but not least, stay for the cliffhanger. Arrow never lets us down there, right, and this one is one of my favorites that has me anxious with anticipation for next week’s show already.
Arrow is new tonight (March 26) at 8PM ET on The CW. Take a look at some preview images here!