Arrow Episode 17 - The Huntress Returns (2013): TV Recap
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Helena Bertinelli uses a sexy costume, very reminiscent of the comics version of her superhero garb, to infiltrate a strip club. Whether this is a commentary on how women in comics dress or just a convenient excuse to show some skin, we’ll never know. But it does provide a great opportunity for Helena to get her father’s lawyer alone in the VIP room (assuming her father’s lawyer wouldn’t recognize a notorious client’s murderous daughter). Helena questions him about finding her father, but he doesn’t have the answers she needs. Frank Bertinelli is turning state’s evidence and going into the witness protection program, so his lawyer isn’t privy to his whereabouts. She kills him anyway, and sets out to get some help finding her father.
With Oliver’s appropriately named nightclub, Verdant, set to open, he invites McKenna Hall to be his date for the evening. Thea thinks this would be a great opportunity to help her mugger, Roy Harper, get a job, so she stops by his place to see if he would be interested. Diggle is extremely concerned that Helena is going to reveal Oliver’s identity and ruin their vigilante business. It’s worse than he expected, though. Helena shows up at Oliver house, and talks to Thea and Moira. Despite Oliver’s protestations that she is seeking murder, not justice, she not-so-subtly threatens to harm Oliver’s family if he doesn’t help her.
At the club opening (starring DJ Steve Aoki!), Helena finds Tommy and takes him down to the arrowcave. She’s got him in a nasty grip, ready to break his arm if Oliver doesn’t help her find her father. Beyond Tommy, she points out that there is a whole club full of leverage upstairs, so Oliver finally gives in and agrees to assist her. Tommy might not realize it in the moment, but he is getting an up-close look at one of the many reasons Oliver tried to keep this part of his life hidden from s friends and family.
While Oliver, Helena, and Diggle try to figure out where to find Frank Bertinelli, Felicity stumbles into the arrowcave talking about how much she’d like to hack the FBI database. Oliver is horrified, and sends her away immediately, like a parent reacting to a child walking in on an adult conversation. He obviously didn’t want to expose Felicity to Helena, or let her know that he was planning on compromising his principles when she is on the fence about whether to help out the team.
Thea heads off to Roy Harper’s place again, this time to confront him about why he didn’t show up for the job she got him. Maybe it’s stubborn pride, and he doesn’t want to be a charity case for a spoiled rich girl, or maybe stealing is just easier than being a valet. Either way, Thea leaves disappointed with Roy. Her exit leads her right into another mugging, though. This time it’s not a handsome rogue in a hoodie; it’s two thugs with a knife! Luckily (Or creepily? Was he following her?), Roy was nearby. He parkoured those thugs into submission with his ability to jump off walls, but still sustained a stab wound. Thea takes him to a hospital so he can get stitched up. Though he’s not afraid to fight knife-wielding goons, it appears he does have a fear of needles. Right before the doctor sticks him, Thea gives him a kiss to take his mind off his shot.
Oliver and Helena get set to attack the vans transporting her father, but they will need to split up. Hey believe Frank is in one of the vans, while the other is merely a decoy. Oliver peels after his van and blows the back doors off it, revealing an empty cargo hold. He races to track down Helena, but is too late. She stopped her van, but instead of finding her father, she found a sting operation designed to trap her. Detective Lance and McKenna Hall take her into custody.
Lance realizes she must know the identity of the vigilante, and offers to make things easier on her if she will give him up. Helena immediately blurts out, “Oliver Queen,” but then starts talking to McKenna about what a terrible guy he is, and how he used her and both of Lance’s daughters. The officers think she’s just trying to rattle them, instead of telling them the truth they were looking for. Before she can really mess up Ollie’s life, he breaks into the police headquarters and spirits her away. He provides her with a fake passport and a plane ticket to Rome, telling her that she has no shot of finding her father now that the police realize she’s trying to track him down.
Felicity tries to call Oliver to warn him about his “psycho ex-girlfriend” possibly robbing a sporting goods store of a high-powered crossbow. He doesn’t get the call because he’s knocking boots with McKenna, but Helena is standing right there as she finishes the call. She remembers Felicity’s enthusiasm about hacking the FBI, and forces her to find the safe house where they are keeping her dad. Oliver and Diggle rescue Felicity, who sends Oliver to the correct address.
Helena storms the safe house, taking out multiple guards with one shot each. Good thing she got that high-powered crossbow and never misses! Oliver arrives to stop her, though. In the confusion, Helena switches from her crossbow to one of the shotguns lying around. Frank has escaped outside, so Helena follows with Oliver right behind her. Oliver and Helena face each other in a standoff until it becomes clear that Oliver is willing to kill her. He fires his bow, and Helena quickly drops her gun and catches the arrow. That’s a very advanced maneuver; you’d almost think it was too outlandish to be believed.
While they face off, McKenna has arrived on the scene, ready to take both of them into custody. Oliver lowers his weapon, but Helena picks the shotgun back up and blasts away, gravely injuring McKenna as she makes her escape.
Later Oliver visits McKenna in the hospital. She has a shattered femur, which will take a year to recover from. She is going to move to Coast City, where they have the best shattered femur rehab, to live with her sister¸ which effectively ends their relationship.
Detective Lance is at the precinct, meeting with Dinah. He is finally ready to listen to her evidence that Sarah might still be alive. Is he opening himself up to the hope that Sarah could have pulled an Oliver and survived on an island for five years? Or is he just being polite so he can try to talk some sense into her?
Tommy now realizes why Oliver had to keep his secret from him, and realizes the toll keeping it takes on him. Oliver sees now that it was wrong of him to think he could ever be a vigilante and have a normal romantic life. Though being alone won’t make him happy, he is prepared to put the needs of the city ahead of his own life.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm Eastern on CW. The Huntress Returns originally aired 3/20/13.