Be warned, if you haven’t seen the latest episode of Arrow then I suggest you stop reading. Now that I’ve given the spoiler warning, let’s recap this latest episode of Arrow.
In the latest episode of Arrow, titled Birds of Prey, Ollie’s vicious ex-girlfriend Helena Bertinelli, also known as The Huntress, returns with a vengeance. As a personal fan of both the character and the actress, Jessica De Gouw, as well as the Bird of Prey comic series, I was excited to see her return to the show. However this episode in particular did not win me over.
In the comics, as well as in the characters first introduction to the show, she was a grey character, a character willing to do what she needed to in order to get the job done, even if it meant crossing the line. Now, in the comics, that caused major problems between her and the rest of the Bat Family, so it fit in the show that the rift would happen between her and Oliver Queen (played by Stephen Amell), billionaire who fights crime at night. The parallels were well thought out within the show, but throughout the characters recurring appearances, her character has become darker, darker than I would have liked. No longer is she a character in the grey, but this recent episode has pushed her character to the darker side of the hero to.villain spectrum, a moment evident when she begins to take hostages in order to kill her father in cold blood.
Now as much as I love the show and Jessica De Gouw’s portrayal of the character, my issue with the writing is the fact that they have made her character much darker than needed. Now, this may have been because De Gouw joined the cast of Dracula, thus causing the writers to give her an exit episode, weaving it into the overall plot and explaining a long departure from the show. With the fate of that show hanging by threads, maybe we will see more of her next season.
As for the rest of the episode, I loved it. The fact that Sara Lance is the current Black Canary is amazing. Admittedly, the actress, Caity Lotz, seems a little stiff regarding her facial expressions when she’s Sara Lance, but when she suits up as the Black Canary, she’s pretty darn amazing. What the writers have done with her character is well thought out. One of the older origin stories about Black Canary is the fact that it was originally Dinah’s mother before Dinah took on the mask – or in her case, fishnets – herself. Instead, it’s Sara. It’s a doorway the writers have opened that they don’t have to explore if they don’t want to, or in case the show doesn’t last that long. Taking away her power instead making it a supersonic device, also serves to better the ground the character and focus more on her skills and character, rather than her superpower. Its an aspect of the show that grounds it, keeping it away from the fantastical, keeping the show grounded, something that continuously impresses me.
“Birds of Prey”, was a well-written episode that left many doors half open, allowing for many liberties anyone part of the show can take advantage off. The catfights amazingly choreographed, even taking advantage and putting Laural (played by Katie Cassidy) in the action, once again showing a hint of what she could be capable of as the Black Canary. While this show is categorized as a drama it never losses it’s comedic parts. Examples are when Felicity tells her to kick Huntress a** and Diggle nods. This team of writers and actors are amazing at remaining series while also incorporating the essence that first created comics: the lighthearted (campy) nature behind the heroes.
All I can say is this: this show is way better than Smallville ever was.
Sources: The CW