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TV Review: Arrow: Season 1 – “Vendetta”

By: Kyle Shultz

Arrow Title Card

In continuation from last week’s episode of “Muse of Fire” we get “Vendetta” which features the return of not only Helena Bertinelli played by Jessica De Gouw, who we finally see become The Huntress, and kicks some major ass, but also the rather short return of China White played by Kelly Hu. Unfortunately this episode is not co-written by Geoff Johns, only last weeks was, which personally I think Geoff should’ve written this episode as well, but that doesn’t hurt this episode…too much.

What I love the most about this episode is that Oliver finally has someone who he can relate to, and talk to in Helena. A little more than he can with Diggle, who warns him that she cannot be trusted, that she has killed too much, and that some people cannot be saved. Oliver simply lets this go in one ear and out the other, he thinks and swears that he can save her. While at a graveyard Oliver reveals to Helena that he and his previous girlfriend were getting a little too serious, and as Oliver says at the time, he didn’t do serious well. He ended up cheating on her with Sarah and that ended up with Sarah’s death on the yacht that also left Oliver stranded on an island for a few years. Oliver training Helena in the use of the bow was a nice fun scene, I liked it. Her reaction to the bow was great, but Oliver tells her that using a bow is about patience and discipline. Then the scene turned into a quick demonstration scene where Helena threw objects in the air just to see how good he is. He’s Arrow; he has to be good!!

Helena Is Impressed

We also get a little more of Felicity in this episode and her scenes kind of remind me of Chloe Sullivan from “Smallville”, just quirkier. Not too much, more in the way that she acts and a few of her lines instantly made me think, “That’s something Chloe would say/do” Felicity decides to go behind Walter’s back and pries further into the money transfer to the Tempest account by Moira. She says she found out that someone else was tracking the account, and led to finding that mysterious image that no one really knows, except the writers, fans of the show recognize it, but we’re still questioning what it’s for. This causes Walter to get more curious as to what his wife is doing, so he decides to pry too. Only to find a mysterious blank notebook, similar to the one Oliver obtained from his father’s dead body on the island 5 years ago, and he recruits Felicity’s help in finding out what the notebook is for, and why is it blank, and tells her the last person he had to help him died suddenly and asked if she was still up for it, she says that she hates mysteries, they bug her, and that they need to be solved. Felicity later comes back to tell Walter that the notebook contains a list of names when viewed under a special UV filter, maybe that IS a copy of Oliver’s notebook, but why are there two? Got to love the bounds of questions in this show.

Meeting with Oliver once more, Helena goes out on assignment with him, though under Oliver’s conditions. He says that guns are unpredictable and dangerous, so he gives Helena a mini crossbow. He tells her that she can’t go out like that, and shows what could be a design on his computer, Helena’s “Does it come in purple?” line is a nice touch and of course an obvious influenced line from Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” when Bruce asks Lucius if the Tumbler comes in black. Donning the black and purple costume, she and Arrow bust up a local drug operation, Helena saying “You have failed this city” was a really nice touch in showing that it is a partnership, and she’s not just a sidekick and later remarking how good it made her feel to enact justice with Oliver without killing, though she likes more than just the justice part. The next day, we see that all that is happening is really hurting Helena’s father Frank, and Helena smirks at the notion of it, simply because she’s happy she’s throwing her dad down a few pegs.

Vendetta

There’s a little double date scene between Laurel & Tommy and Oliver & Helena worth noting, only because Helena realizes that Laurel and Oliver used to date, and that Oliver still has feelings for her, but now Dinah is dating Tommy, who is Oliver’s best friend. To that Tommy admits they are prime for reality TV.  Breaking apart, Tommy is mad at Dinah for always running to Oliver for help; while Helena ditches Oliver for manipulating her with someone he clearly still loves. The next scene shows that Helena is done doing things Oliver’s way and goes back to her way of doing things, still in costume but this time with guns. The fact that she leaves one Triad member alive, just to tell him that her father was behind the attack, shows us further that she really wants Frank dead. Oliver comes into the scene later, discovers the bodies and calls Diggle to tell him to prepare for war.

We see that the Triad got the word out pretty quick, in that China White and her crew infiltrate Bertinelli’s mansion. Oliver comes into to save Frank, from both the Triad and Helena. This whole scene is great and one of my favorite fights of the episode. Helena interferes with Frank trying to flee the scene, and outs herself. Before she can deliver the final blow, Oliver comes in and the two square off, ending in Frank shooting Helena. The fact that Frank shot Helena with her own weapon, given to her by Oliver, is really kind of poetic, and shows that Frank is not afraid to do whatever he needs to survive and to keep the business afloat.

Arrow - Vendetta

In the end, once Helena recuperates, Oliver tells her that her father being in jail is justice; he doesn’t deserve death. Helena disagrees and believes that he should die for what he did. It’s nice to see that in this episode Oliver was the one trying to get someone not to kill. It used to be Diggle trying to get Oliver to quit taking lives, now it’s not. Overall I though this was a really great episode, love The Huntress and I cannot wait to see her return, and I cannot wait to see the midseason finale and to find out who that mysterious archer is. Adam has one theory about who it is, which I do have to agree with him on, let’s hope he’s right!

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