Arrow 2.17 Review: ”Birds of Prey”

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One of the first DC characters that Arrow introduced in season 1 was the character of Helena Bertinelli/The Huntress (played by the great Jessica de Gouw). While that character received a lot of mixed reactions in her three episodes, we always enjoyed what they did with that character from the start.

For someone who is a bit familiar with the Huntress from the comics and (mostly) the animated versions, I think De Gouw was a great casting choice for the character as she did have a similar feeling to the comic as well as the animated version. We were quite excited when it was announced that they were doing another Huntress episode and with a title like “Birds of Prey”, it was a big deal because of what may happen down the line.

While we enjoyed her previous episodes, “Birds of Prey” was easily De Gouw’s best episode as of yet. You could really see that Helena was gone as she was just Huntress throughout the whole episode. Even though we will probably not get a lot of background on where she was for the past year, we felt that she was lost which was an important theme to feature in this episode. Despite that we like Jeffrey Nordling as an actor: his character should have been killed off in Helena’s third episode last season, but it’s like they say, better late than never right?

It was quite emotional to see Huntress finally hit rock bottom and seeing her main goal for the past year, taken away from her. While we were hoping for some more interaction between her and Oliver, the scene that they had at the end really kicked off a redemption for her. Hopefully now that this arc is over, they will focus on giving Huntress a new role in season 3 and since she is going to be able to redeem herself, we wouldn’t mind seeing her as a regular character next year.

The thing that surprised us so much was that in the end, it wasn’t actually Sara/Canary who banged some sense into Helena, it was in fact Laurel. Because the title was “Birds of Prey”, we simply assumed that Sara would be the one who straighten Helena out since she is right now the show’s Canary.

But instead they did something remarkable by having Laurel be the one to do it, in addition, remind the viewer’s why Laurel will one day be the definitive Black Canary for this show. As much as we enjoy Caity Lotz’s character and the Black Canary that she gets to play, we just don’t see her taking Laurel’s place by the time the series is over. The producers always said that Sara’s role would be the beginning of the Black Canary story and that it would be a huge impact on Laurel. Who knows what will happen, but I hope they stick to the comics when it comes to this subject.

Regardless of how you have felt about Laurel this season, it can’t be denied that this past few episodes has really started to turn things around for Laurel. Katie Cassidy is shining stronger than ever and it makes me, a big fan of her, happy to see the Laurel that we always envisioned. Now there is still a lot of room left for improvement, but you can’t deny that the direction for Laurel is starting to get better.

You think we would be angry at Roy for what he did to Thea last night, but the person that we really are upset at is Oliver. Roy would have never made out with that girl in order to break things up with Thea if Oliver hadn’t force him to stay away from her. While we can understand where he is coming from and he did have some legit reasons to ask Roy to stay away from her. But if he is willing to trust Roy with his secret and letting him be part of Team Arrow, he should be able to trust him to be in a relationship with Thea while being able to protect her. I rarely have a problem with Oliver, but last night it was the first time in a long time.

While Roy is still having a problem with the Mirakuru, Oliver should know that he would never be able to hurt Thea. It was a great comic moment when Oliver referred to Roy as “Speedy” and even though that “Arsenal” is the name and persona they are heading for, it was still great to just hear Oliver call him that.

“Birds of Prey” was another solid episode in what has been a strong season for the show and just like with “Suicide Squad”, this episode is also setting things up for season 3. De Gouw was strong in this episode and hopefully we will be seeing more of the Huntress next year.

Arrow airs on Wednesday nights, 8/7c on The CW.

[Photo via Cate Cameron/The CW — © 2014 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.]

Andy has contributed to sites such as KSiteTV, Across the Airwaves, and It's Just Movies. He has always had a big passion for writing. Follow him on Twitter @AndyBehbakht
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  • Neo84

    If they make Laurel the Black Canary (esp. within 2-3 seasons), I’m done with this show. There is no way I will buy Laurel in the role right now. Her whole arc of this season is just bad. This episode had some forced moments too. Caity rocks the role and they should keep her.

  • bbussey

    Agreed. With it taking a couple of years each for both Oliver and Sara to become proficient and another two or so years to further develop into their Arrow and Canary alter-egos respectively, it doesn’t seem to be enough seasons left to get Laurel up to that level. Even Helena was already two years into her evolution to Huntress before crossing paths with Oliver in Season 1. Plus, Caity has now set the standard. I’m hoping that Caity is around at least another season or two as Canary, long enough to see the redemption of Huntress. I’d like to see Felicity/Sara/Helena as the initial Birds of Prey trilogy when that first adventure eventually occurs.

    • bbussey

      To clarify – I won’t be done with the show if Laurel becomes Black Canary prematurely, but I will be disappointed with the development. The character hasn’t been written well since the first third of the first season. I could picture her in the role then. But not since the back half of Season 1 and the addition of Caity Lotz to the series.