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Arrow #217 - Birds of Prey Review

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Huntress returns to Starling City and it puts Laurel in danger.

*WARNING! Thar be spoilers in here!*

Frank Bertinelli is finally brought in, so you can bet that means his daughter, Helena Bertinelli aka the Huntress, will make her way back to Starling City. I'll be blunt: her prior appearances didn't exactly generate the show's best moments, and, while this isn't the best episode around, it's certainly not bad, either.

First and foremost, Roy actually plays a role in this episode! Huzzah! It's almost like the writers knew the character was being neglected because he makes a remark along the lines of, "I thought you'd never ask me" when he's given the chance to go back out and help fight crime. To be totally honest, the development with him feels a little rushed. I understand where Ollie's coming from, but it felt like his decision regarding Thea was made pretty abruptly and wasn't given the full amount of thought it deserves. Yes, Oliver is afraid Roy could lash out and hurt his sister, but she's also the one thing keeping him in check. Also, keeping Roy distant from Thea means she's less likely to have a super-strong dude by her side a good amount of the time, and isn't that needed now more than ever? I mean, we all know this ultimately happened just so the end could occur, but it would have been cool to see this dynamic develop a little more over the past few episodes. Gripes aside, we can all agree his brief display of healing and strength was really cool, yes?

The plot that revolves around Huntress,Black Canary, and Laurel generated some good performances but came off feeling pretty safe. There were so many moments where I wanted them to take a risk and offer a reveal but they managed to dance around delivering one every time. After all, Laurel being in Sara's personal space and staring at her makes it a little tough to suspense disbelief and I was hoping she may be able to put together the pieces on her own. Still, these conversations were engaging, even if the overall message about killing felt a little too redundant at times.

The choreography during the action sequences were solid, but did anyone else want to do a double-take when someone did a crazy flip after taking an arrow to the leg? I mean, I get it looks cool, but that seemed a little over the top, right? The fights elsewhere were definitely enjoyable, but having fewer close-ups would maybe allow us to better appreciate each move that's made in the melee.

The writers packed a fair amount of fan service in this one, too. From a nickname to finding a way to work in Gail Simone's name, there were quite a few bits scattered here and there that served as a nice nod to the source material. And yes, we saw the return of the canary cry! Or at least the technological version of it.

Once again, Slade's reserved for the cliffhanger (in the modern era, that is). Don't get me wrong, what happens absolutely has a ton of promise for the upcoming episode, but saving him for the very end has happened so frequently that it's lost a good deal of impact. Also, I get the reason behind why Thea gets in the car, but didn't she say she wants to be alone and hasn't she walked that way plenty of other times before? Like I said, what goes down has a lot of potential, but teasing Slade at the end has become so common that it doesn't pack as much of a punch as it could. Oh, and I'm sure I'm not the only person a little letdown over zero follow-up with the uneasy alliance between Green Arrow and Amanda Waller/the Suicide Squad.

I know I have a lot of complaints about Birds of Prey, but I still think it's an alright episode. Tackling the subject of killing felt a little overdone and is something they've already addressed quite a few times before in the show, but given the scenario, it wound up producing some pretty good performances from the cast and included a few entertaining bits of action. Even though I think Slade is reserved for the cliffhanger far too often, I'd be a total liar if I said I wasn't excited for the next episode.

84 Comments
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Posted by Wolverine08

When ever I see Sarah's boobs in her costume I'm all like:

Edited by MrMazz
Posted by iceslick

@k4tzm4n: Hey I noticed you didn't put much thoughts on Helena in this review. How well you think they did with the character this time? Did you think she's improved? I think they very well improved her character a bit and looks she will finally get her redemption judging from the end. I didn't like this episode very much either. I felt things went a little too fast just to get to the action and it felt way too over the top. I didn't like the premise of Roy either it felt too rush as well and Laurel being back as a lawyer was way too quickly also. I think this entirely episode was too rushed, lol. I think the only improvement was the Huntress. I honestly on fence of giving this episode a 2 or a 3.

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Posted by SupBatz

Come on, Katz! You didn't even mention Ollie's conversation with Thea aboit secrets. That was easily the high point of the episode for me. Just more proof that Thea is one of the best characters on the show, despite her often minimal role.

The episode was pretty good, I thought. Definitely better than last week. I enjoyed Huntress in this episode. It's nice that they moved her away from the cheesy angst that followed her last season and instead just focused on making her cold and ruthless. And her conversation with Ollie at the end almost made me like her. Plus, seeing her and Canary fight was a real treat. Definitely a step up from the character's season one appearances.

It was nice to see Roy in a more prominent role. Though I cannot stress enough how annoyed I am that they went with the break-up route. I unerstand the logic, but the generic "act like an asshole so you break up with me because I'm too dangerous" approach is wearing thin. It would have been more effective if Ollie had just ordered that Roy keep his distance from Thea and that this led to her being alone when Slade found her.

Laurel was pleasant, for the most part. I agree that suspension of disbelief was a bit difficult here. I wish that the director had made Sara stand more in the shadows, just so that it didn't seem so odd that Laurel wasn't recognizing her. I'm not ure what exactly to make of the ending. If Laurel has been diabarred, does she really have the opportunity to get he job back just like that? It seemed a bit off. And how exactly did the DA benefit from a) organizing the set-up and b) bringing Laurel into it? All that was just bizarre.

The island scenes were brief but effective. And while there was a bit of redundancy in the "no kill" policy, I wasn't bothered by it.

All in all, solid episode. Best since the Clock King episode, in my opinion. 8.5/10

Posted by longbowhunter

Last season I stopped watching during the Huntress episodes. I'll try and power through this one.

Edited by darkbeam

Hated this episode.

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Posted by Saren

I blame Huntress.

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Edited by SynCig

I thought this was a good episode. It was certainly better than all of the other Huntress episodes (which I hated). There were a few eye roll worthy moments but I'd still give this episode 4 stars.

Edit: I'd like to add that I agree with everything that you said in your review but for some reason I wouldn't dock it two stars for those flaws. I think a part of it was I came in expecting the episode to be as bad as the previous Huntress installments so I was pleasantly surprised.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

All the episodes involving Huntress are always weak.

When ever I see Sarah's boobs in her costume I'm all like:

HELL YEAH!!!

Posted by AllStarHit-Girl

Much Much better then the passed Huntress episodes. I liked this one a lot actually.

Posted by JetiiMitra

Yeah, this was the most "meh" episode for a while. It's not that it wasn't enjoyable, but it wasn't par for the most recent episodes. There were a few good bits but it was mostly filler IMO.

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Posted by Wolverine08

@madeinbangladesh: I mean..... they're just all up in your face man. Hard to ignore.

Posted by Jphu8414

Huh, I actually liked this episode

But yeah I think we're all just waiting for Deathstroke to come in

Posted by JetiiMitra

@jphu8414 said:

Huh, I actually liked this episode

But yeah I think we're all just waiting for Deathstroke to come in

That might be it. Last episode I was pumped to find out just what Slade had been up to after Amanda Waller calling him Deathstroke, but then he was reduced to "last-minute reveal" for the fourth or fifth time.

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Posted by Gotham331

This episode didn't overwhelm. It was just blah. Coming off the last two episodes, this episode was really underwhelming. Hopefully next week will be as explosive as the sneak peek looked.

Posted by JakeN7

This episode was so meh...

I know why they made Roy make out with blondie, but it still made him look like a d-bag. His constant rage fits are getting really old, and so is Slade being the cliffhanger. Also, after Suicide Squad being what it sounded like, I was hoping Birds of Prey would be an actual team-up episode.

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Posted by The Stegman

I hate this Huntress so much.

Posted by CheeseSticks

I actually like Huntress with Ollie better than Ollie with Sarah. I'm probably in the minority here but I like crazy girl.

Good episode overall, I just find stupid that Laurel doesn't recognized Sarah in her costume. I mean, she's the same. At least Ollie is hiding a bit when he's putting his head down.

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Edited by CheeseSticks

And I think we can all agree that Helena is wayyyyyy hotter than Sarah

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Posted by JetiiMitra

And I think we can all agree that Helena is wayyyyyy hotter than Sarah

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Posted by patrat18

@saren said:

I blame Huntress.

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Posted by TheFirstLantern

At least Next Week looks like its going to be killer.

Posted by CheeseSticks

@cheesesticks said:

And I think we can all agree that Helena is wayyyyyy hotter than Sarah

Seriously? You don't think so? Meh, i guess i'm the only one. I dunno, maybe I like brunette better.

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Posted by JetiiMitra

@mitrageist said:

@cheesesticks said:

And I think we can all agree that Helena is wayyyyyy hotter than Sarah

Seriously? You don't think so? Meh, i guess i'm the only one. I dunno, maybe I like brunette better.

She has her "wow" moments but Lotz consistently good looking for me.

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Edited by viin

Ive never liked the Huntress in this show so...I did like Sara's voice changer though. And the part where Felicity told Sara to kick the her ass was great. Even Dig nodded.

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Edited by UltimateSMfan

Highlight of this episode for me,Sarah's voice changer and the ending ,oh and i find the actress who plays huntress very attractive plus this episode with her did not completely suck so thats good. Seriously though only one major complaint from me, Laurel can't recognise her sister? i mean i'd be ok with that except Sarah has a very distinct chin.

@wolverine08 said:

When ever I see Sarah's boobs in her costume I'm all like:

Oh my God! totally! i mean damn!! that zipper was really low this episode,maybe she uses it as a kind of distraction technique when fighting guys :P Frat boys and boobs lol

Posted by Wolverine08

@wolverine08 said:

When ever I see Sarah's boobs in her costume I'm all like:

Oh my God! totally! i mean damn!! that zipper was really low this episode,maybe she uses it as a kind of distraction technique when fighting guys :P Frat boys and boobs lol

She has to be using the boobs tactically man!

Posted by Cloakx14

All the episodes involving Huntress are always weak.

@wolverine08 said:

When ever I see Sarah's boobs in her costume I'm all like:

HELL YEAH!!!

same here & she is much hotter than huntress.

Posted by Wolverine08

@cloakx14 said:

@madeinbangladesh said:

All the episodes involving Huntress are always weak.

@wolverine08 said:

When ever I see Sarah's boobs in her costume I'm all like:

HELL YEAH!!!

same here & she is much hotter than huntress.

Agreed homie.

Edited by The Stegman

@ultimatesmfan:

Highlight of this episode for me,Sarah's voice changer and the ending ,oh and i find the actress who plays huntress very attractive plus this episode with her did not completely suck so thats good. Seriously though only one major complaint from me, Laurel can't recognise her sister? i mean i'd be ok with that except Sarah has a very distinct chin.

I KNOW RIGHT???? The entire episode I was like "Come on Laurel, how many blondes do you know with a dimple in their chin like that??"

A part of me feels like she has to have a suspicion, especially when she stopped Sarah from killing Huntress. Which, I'm actually glad they had a distinct winner of the fight, shows who the better fighter /really/ is.

Posted by Nightwing4

To be fair to Roy, you can totally see the pain in his eyes when he's breaking it off with Thea, and he DID know how out of control he was too.

Huntress was so polarizingly human in the police station scene compared to the hostage scenes. Was a little abrupt of a change. Doubtless setting up for her role as an anti-hero after she escapes from prison/joins the Suicide Squad.

In other news, the Thea/Sarah "Save one" scenario is playing out perfectly, much to my disappointment.

Edited by reaverlation

This episode was meh.I just want freaking Malcolm Merlyn back!!!

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Edited by Mapuia_Ralte

@mitrageist said:

@cheesesticks said:

And I think we can all agree that Helena is wayyyyyy hotter than Sarah

Seriously? You don't think so? Meh, i guess i'm the only one. I dunno, maybe I like brunette better.

Funny how it was 'all' of us then one person disagrees and it came down to being 'only you'. :P

Posted by MisterNefarious
Edited by ComicStooge

When ever I see Sarah's boobs in her costume I'm all like:

You're the reason feminism exists, bro.

Posted by timdrakefan

My Thoughts:

1. Laurel knows that it's Sara a.) she knows that a bunch of crazy assassins kidnapped their mother over Sara b.) Sara's chin is hard to get over, and the horrible domino mask does nothing to hide her identity

2. Felicity is HILARIOUS.: "I think you should kick Helena's ass" (along with Digg's head nod)

3. Helena was set up to come back as an anti-villain. Breaking out of jail will be nothing for someone with her skills. Speaking of her "skills", either Ollie is the BEST teacher in the world, or Helena has done some training on her own. There is NO way that she can be that good based off a few weeks training with Ollie, I mean look at Roy's skill set (or lack thereof)

4. Slade is going to make Ollie choose between Thea and Sara, Sara sacrifices herself for Thea, Laurel becomes the Black Canary.

5. Not THIS would make for great TV: Slade kidnaps Thea, right? Who's Thea's father? Malcolm Merlyn teams up with Team Arrow to kick Slade's behind.

SIdenote: Umm, Quentin definitely knocked out the SWAT dude to keep him from taking out Ollie. I'm assuming that the SWAT leader ranks hire than a beat cop, so isn't that striking a superior officer? Won't he have to answer for that? Especially, since the reason that he was demoted in the first place was because he helped out the "Arrow".

Posted by Neon_Jackal

@cheesesticks: I agree with you man, I cannot stand Sarah, Helena is heaps more attractive.

Edited by Shallbecomeabattoo

@neon_jackal: I am more of a dark hair fan and cannot stand blond most of the times, but Sarah is very good looking. The only thing that brings her looks down is the Mr. Burns like "overbite of death" she has going on. I am not very nit picky when it comes to looks, but I hate giant overbites. It makes the most beautiful person look dumb like a rock. Man, I hate people who attack others because of their looks, but I needed to get this out. Sorry. Sarah is still a sexy lady.

Oh yeah, Helena is hot too. She is pretty much my type of girl.

Edited by CheeseSticks

@mapuia_ralte: I know right. My dream is broken :(.

But I was certain that everyone hated Sarah. Well, no wonder I had a crazy GF in the past. I find Helena (Jessica) far more attractive.

@neon_jackal : Glad I'm not the only one!

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Edited by Lurkero

I really want Huntress's character to be likable. In her first episodes the writers tried really hard to make her seem like an anti-villain rather than an anti-hero. Is it asking too much that some characters on the show be more practical about who they need to kill in order to get things done? I like the idea of the Huntress, but I don't like what they've done so far. This episode seems like they are improving Huntress's character though.

When Ollie first saw Slade in the present he immediately tried to kill Slade. Now, imagine in a future scene where Ollie has a chance to kill Slade and he hesitates. That would be a very convenient hesitation for the sake of the writers and it would be inconsistent with what Ollie did before. Characters like Huntress are there so that other characters occasionally die.

I'm tired of them arguing about killing. All of their lives are in danger. And after spending all those years on the island both Sara and Ollie should know its either kill or be killed.

The Roy-Thea relationship was handled poorly. Roy should be there to protect Thea. In fact, Arrow needs a "tank" more than ever now that Slade is actively attacking them. I'm disappointed with that one.

Huntress shouldn't have been able to spar with Sara for any length of time. Huntress is not a trained fighter, Sara is. I'm glad Sara clearly won that fight though. I wonder how they will handle Roy and his lack of training. It would be bad writing if Roy suddenly becomes an expert marksman so perhaps Arrow will have a different version of "Red Arrow"

@wolverine08 said:

When ever I see Sarah's boobs in her costume I'm all like:

You're the reason feminism exists, bro.

Tell me about it. One of the worst things of any comment thread is when people decide to spend time talking about who's "hotter" as if that is a point of pertinent discussion. It's really annoying.

Edited by CheeseSticks

Wow, relax guy. Us talking about who's hotter wont hurt anyone. I get it, you like feminist and you hate guys talking about girls like that. Just ignore us if you don't like it. I'm perfectly comfortable of having the discussion I had.

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Edited by ComicStooge

@lurkero said:

I really want Huntress's character to be likable. In her first episodes the writers tried really hard to make her seem like an anti-villain rather than an anti-hero. Is it asking too much that some characters on the show be more practical about who they need to kill in order to get things done? I like the idea of the Huntress, but I don't like what they've done so far. This episode seems like they are improving Huntress's character though.

When Ollie first saw Slade in the present he immediately tried to kill Slade. Now, imagine in a future scene where Ollie has a chance to kill Slade and he hesitates. That would be a very convenient hesitation for the sake of the writers and it would be inconsistent with what Ollie did before. Characters like Huntress are there so that other characters occasionally die.

I'm tired of them arguing about killing. All of their lives are in danger. And after spending all those years on the island both Sara and Ollie should know its either kill or be killed.

The Roy-Thea relationship was handled poorly. Roy should be there to protect Thea. In fact, Arrow needs a "tank" more than ever now that Slade is actively attacking them. I'm disappointed with that one.

Huntress shouldn't have been able to spar with Sara for any length of time. Huntress is not a trained fighter, Sara is. I'm glad Sara clearly won that fight though. I wonder how they will handle Roy and his lack of training. It would be bad writing if Roy suddenly becomes an expert marksman so perhaps Arrow will have a different version of "Red Arrow"

@comicstooge said:

@wolverine08 said:

When ever I see Sarah's boobs in her costume I'm all like:

You're the reason feminism exists, bro.

Tell me about it. One of the worst things of any comment thread is when people decide to spend time talking about who's "hotter" as if that is a point of pertinent discussion. It's really annoying.

Haha, I was mostly teasing him, but I kinda agree with you. I'm sure there are perv threads that can be made for such conversations.

Edited by Lurkero

@comicstooge: @cheesesticks:

I didn't want to imply that there is anything wrong with talking about who you find attractive, but I think its a bit disingenuous to spend time talking about who's hotter. It's an opinion, and contributes nothing to the discussion about the episode. Personally I feel that that kind of discussion is unwelcoming to diversity in the media. It contributes to the idea that female characters are eye candy even when a story is being serious. There are times when people are presented as eye candy, and I don't think this is one.

I don't t mean to sound feminist, there is definitely a double standard. Females talk about who they find attractive too. I'm sure when females watch The Vampire Diaries there is a lot of discussion about which male is more attractive. But, if I wanted to talk about an episode of Vampire Diaries and a bunch of the posts are just about who's hotter I would be annoyed.

An all out shirtless training session with Ollie, Diggle, and Roy is sure to bring up the same discussion of who's hotter right?

And to stay on topic:

Laurel and Thea better start putting some damn clues together. I don't see the benefit of Oliver and Sara keeping secrets from their families. It's time they stopped hiding so that they can move past the part of the show where characters are constantly saying "I gotta go."

Posted by danhimself

I really hate that Huntress comes off so psychopathish in this episode

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Posted by GodOfMischief

What annoys me is that nobody seems to be able to recognise Ollie or Sara.

Posted by Saren

You know what would make me happy? If Malcolm showed up to save Thea and then threw down with Slade. That would make me happy.

Moderator
Edited by CheeseSticks

@lurkero said:

@comicstooge: @cheesesticks:

I didn't want to imply that there is anything wrong with talking about who you find attractive, but I think its a bit disingenuous to spend time talking about who's hotter. It's an opinion, and contributes nothing to the discussion about the episode. Personally I feel that that kind of discussion is unwelcoming to diversity in the media. It contributes to the idea that female characters are eye candy even when a story is being serious. There are times when people are presented as eye candy, and I don't think this is one.

I don't t mean to sound feminist, there is definitely a double standard. Females talk about who they find attractive too. I'm sure when females watch The Vampire Diaries there is a lot of discussion about which male is more attractive. But, if I wanted to talk about an episode of Vampire Diaries and a bunch of the posts are just about who's hotter I would be annoyed.

An all out shirtless training session with Ollie, Diggle, and Roy is sure to bring up the same discussion of who's hotter right?

And to stay on topic:

Laurel and Thea better start putting some damn clues together. I don't see the benefit of Oliver and Sara keeping secrets from their families. It's time they stopped hiding so that they can move past the part of the show where characters are constantly saying "I gotta go."

Well, I wouldn't really care. I would simply ignore the discussion. And don't tell me we contribute to the idea of female character as eye candy when the show himself are dressing them to show their boobs and their ass. Just google the naem of Sarah actress in google images and you'll see that I don't think she cares.

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Edited by mrcolinm

Sara is so terrible, all of those bullets and arrows flying around last night and not one of them could have hit her?

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