Arrow Episode 7 - Muse of Fire (2012): TV Recap
Watch "Muse of Fire" Now!
As Oliver arrives for his lunch date with his mom, an assassin on a motorcycle shoots at Moira and her companion, a mobbed-up businessman. Moira suffers a concussion, which forces her to rest at home for the rest of the episode. Oliver leaves his mother lying on the sidewalk to chase after the motorcycle on foot, but his excuse that he was attempting to catch the criminal’s license plate number doesn’t sit well with Thea. “Maybe you should spend a little less time trying to be a hero. You’re obviously not very good at it.” She doesn’t buy Oliver’s explanation, and rightfully thinks he’s lying, but it’s unclear what exactly she thinks he was trying to do. Of all the lame excuses Oliver has given (or not even tried to give), this one is pretty good! He checked on his mom, saw she wasn’t shot, told a bystander to call 911, and then took off after a bad guy to potentially gather a clue that would lead to an arrest. What’s wrong with that, Thea?
It turns out the man who was the actual target of the killing was working for Bertinelli Construction, so Oliver wonders who could be targeting Bertinelli. To find out, he decides to “go undercover” as himself trying to make a business deal. If he can’t be honest with his family, he can at least protect them.
1. Applied Sciences is the division of Wayne Enterprises where Morgan Freeman worked in Batman Begins. Obviously, Oliver is getting ready to have someone working on building him an arsenal of trick arrows and an arrowcar.
As Oliver plots his next move in his Arrowcave, the motorcycle assassin pulls into his own base of operations. He’s got a board filled with pictures of targets, similar to Oliver’s book of names. He crosses off the man he just murdered and removes his helmet to reveal… hey, that’s not a guy at all! It’s a hot chick!
Oliver’s undercover meeting with Frank Bertinelli to discuss the contracts for building the new Queen Applied Sciences Division1 is going well until Frank has to take another meeting. He sends his daughter Helena, the hot biker assassin, to dinner with Oliver while he meets with China White, a representative of the Triad. She denies the Triad’s involvement in the assassinations of his employees, but Frank doesn’t believe her. He should, though. The police have this meeting bugged, and point out that the shooter is an amateur assassin, because some of the bullets miss their target.
Helena and Oliver are both dissatisfied to be on their dinner date, until Helena asks Oliver about his time on the island. Was he ever “happy to be away from everything? No pressure from your family, no need to be the person everyone else expects you to be?” Oliver says the days when “I didn’t feel lost, I felt free” are the days he misses.
While Oliver and Helena unexpectedly enjoy each other’s company, Tommy and Laurel are on their own dinner date. Though Tommy is making progress toward a real relationship with Laurel, rather than a booty call situation, his credit card is declined and confiscated, an embarrassing development for someone who relies so heavily on his wealth.
Oliver starts to open up, and tells Helena that he doesn’t know how truthful he can really be with people. She recognizes that his ordeal was a crucible that changed him, as the death of her fiancé has changed her. This connection between them helps Oliver realize that Helena may be someone he can be honest with, until Diggle calls and he has to excuse himself. Helena warns Ollie to be careful with her father.
Diggle warns Oliver that Bertinelli’s goon Salvati is making his collections pickups, and is heading to Russo’s, the restaurant he was just at with Helena. He switches over to his green togs and jumps in to protect the restaurateur, only to find the bike assassin on the scene. During their battle, Oliver breaks her visor and rips off her helmet, stunned to see that Helena is the one killing her father’s business partners. (Of course, in the comics, Helena trades in the motorcyle helmet for spandex as the Huntress.)
Upset that his purchasing power has been cut off, Tommy pays a visit to his father, who, in true Lex-and-Lionel-from-Smallville style, is busy fencing. The mask obscures his identity at first, but he turns out to be the well-dressed man who keeps menacing Moira.
After the dustup at the restaurant, Oliver finds Helena at her fiancé’s grave. She explains that the depth of emotion she felt for her beloved didn’t disappear when he died, but that the love has turned to hatred. Salvati and his goons arrive on the scene to kidnap Helena and Oliver. Helena lost her signature necklace during the restaurant fight, so Salvati finally realized who had been attacking the family business. During their capture, Helena tells Salvati that she’s been killing her father’s associates because he had her fiancé Michael killed. Well, of course. That’s what you do when you find out someone has been gathering evidence and snitching to the FBI. Except that laptop in Michael’s bag was Helena’s: she was the one planning to take down her father’s business. That’s got to make her feel guilty. Salvati is about to shoot Helena in the chest, just like he did with Michael, when Oliver slips free of his zip-tie handcuffs and tackles him to the floor. Helena breaks free as well, and starts fighting Salvati while Oliver handles the other thugs. Helena punches him in the face, which apparently breaks his neck. Oliver is shocked and appalled (even though he had just snapped the neck of his own thug). “I didn’t have a choice, Oliver. No one can know my secret.” This is a callback to the first episode, when Oliver chases down a thug and snaps his neck. His justification for killing is exactly the same: anything to protect his secret.
Thanks to Thea’s pleading for Oliver to share his secrets with someone, even if it can’t be with her, Ollie shows up unannounced at Helena’s place. She recognizes that he’s the hooded vigilante after seeing him fight the thugs at the warehouse. He tries to talk her out of her mission, because though it feels like justice, it’s just revenge. “Isn’t the man in the hood fighting to set things right? Why is your vendetta more valid than mine? We’re the same, you and I.” Oliver denies this, the same way he denied his similarity to the assassin Deadshot. But where is his moral high ground coming from? Both of them are acting as vigilantes, and sometimes killing people, in an attempt to right the wrongs of their fathers. Helena’s more right than he realizes, I think. Oliver puts his infatuation with Laurel on the back burner for a while once he discovers how good it feels to tell the truth, and goes in for the kiss.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8pm Eastern on CW. Muse of Fire originally aired 11/28/12.