Arrow Review: The Vigilante Sting

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The secret of Oliver's hidden identity is taking a toll on he and everyone - and it started to show during "The Huntress Returns."

Helena was a bit of a pain before she turned Huntress, but after tonight I'm fairly certain Oliver regrets his decision to take her under his wing. His teachings obviously didn't stick, as she's still unable to see right from wrong and tends to use every bit of training she has had for her own purpose, no matter who gets caught in the cross hairs.

Oliver's Disruption

Helena returned to town when she learned her father, Frank Bertinelli, made a deal to enter witness protection. He'd get a new identity and would be able to live happily every after. She wasn't going to have any of that... and I can't blame her. But as far as I'm concerned, if she couldn't do it on her own, then she was out of luck.

Instead, she decided to take the one man who showed her that she could survive in an ugly world and use skills to get what she needed without hurting others to do just that. She turned Oliver's world upside down in her desperation to get him to assist her in her plan to find her father.

It was kind of funny that the big deal going down, a two-van parade with one hiding her father so nobody would know in which he actually rode, was a sting operation to get the vigilante "The Hood" and the newly named "Huntress." Even funnier was that when face to face with Det. Lance and Oliver's girlfriend, she gave him up. By adding a few extra sentences of a personal nature behind the reveal of Oliver as the vigilante, they didn't believe her.

Oliver saved her again and added even more regret to a very long list. Not only had she already tied down Felicty for information on what turned out to be the sting operation, but McKenna was eventually shot; not by arrow either, by Helena and a gun, fracturing her femur and sending her off the force and out of Starling City for at least a year. She'll be moving to Coast City (If I heard that right, then maybe she'll run into the Green Lantern. She does like the "green" boys) to live with her sister since they have the best rehab around.

The only positive thing I can say about the Huntress is ya gotta give Helena credit for being a well-dressed badass. She never shows up to the party in her Huntress attire without full makeup. If I were going out hunting, I wouldn't give too poops whether I had lipstick and eyeliner on. I'd slap on some Carmex and call it good.

Also during the hour, Ollie's nightclub, Verdant, opened to quite the fanfare. It's also where Helena took her first victim, or leverage, in her attempt to get Oliver to help her. She hurt Tommy pretty good. At first I thought it would anger Tommy to find himself in such a position, but instead he realized just how horrible it must be for Oliver to be covering such a large piece of himself from those he loves.

Tommy was having a hard enough time keeping things quiet in front of Laurel, as she wondered why his hand was wrapped and knew he was lying to her. She was having issues of her own with her mother about Sarah and her father angry that he was even being asked to look into the charade.

As it turned out, Dinah didn't come with a lot of clues about Sarah's survival. Only a photo someone took of a girl on an island near where the boat went down and a few other clues we have yet to hear about. I was kind of hoping Dinah had been out there kicking up the stones herself, but instead she came home to Det. Lance to get him to do the hard work. That doesn't seem like a very first generation Black Canary thing to do, does it?

My questions about the photo were: what exactly did Oliver see of Sarah's disappearance from the boat? He made it to an island, so was she in good enough shape to have done the same? If she was out there and apparently well dressed and being photographed by tourists, why didn't she ask for help? Does she have amnesia and is living happily on that island? If that's the case, and Dinah somehow tracked down the one tourist who happened to take her photo, did she go to that island, and if so, where did the amnesiac go?

Aaack! Soo many questions. The one thing I don't want is for Sarah to be Black Canary. After Laurel's ass-kicking scenes, I have my mind made up for her character to be the one, and I refuse to accept a substitute. Plus, I like Katie Cassidy and she needs to be doing more than moping around. She's much more fun when in action.

Finally, Thea reached out to Roy Harper, got him a job at Verdant and he didn't show. But when she was attacked in his alley, he was there in a jiff! Aha! Speedy! I loved how he was running off the walls and all that fun cartoon stuff people do. He managed to get himself stabbed, but that also got him kissed by Thea. I'd call that a win.

I really enjoyed watching the people around Oliver who did and didn't know his secret be shattered in different ways because of it. I think that's going to be the most interesting part of the story to play out as the season ends; how he handles so many knowing, how to protect them and how to keep others from finding out without them getting hurt as well.


Editor Rating: 4.3 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (84 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter and on Google+.


@Neejan I understand what you're saying and it summarizes the situation quite accurately. However, I guess what I'm going for is that I fundamentally disagree with some of the Green Arrow's principles. Sometimes, death is the only means of truly silencing the in justice. The Hood is beyond Oliver Queen, it's evolved to the point where anyone can be under the green costume. Helena is still at revenge stage which is why Oliver should let her experience that phase because no matter how many times he verbally admonishes her she won't be able to move on.


Good episode, but not great. But this week's story really helped me understand the complexities in Oliver's life as a hero and the impact on his friends who know and don't know his secret. @Warlow1 What about a bromance? Also: Oliver can identify his primitive motives for becoming the Hood in Helena. That is why it was so difficult for him: his relation with Helena made really clear what the Green Arrow stands for and how he has developed over time (beginning from the island period).


It makes no sense to me why Oliver is so worked up about Helena getting revenge on her father. It's the equivalent of the death penalty, something Oliver is in no position to deny Helena's right to execute. There's no slippery slope because the reason is fundamentally sound and the punishment is equal to the weight of the crime her father committed. Innocent lives were lost only because Oliver refused to let her deliver justice the first time around. Other than that, fantastic show all around. I look forward to more flashback scenes especially because of Manu Bennet(Crixus the Undefeated Gaul in the Starz Original Series "Sparatacus").


I agree with the reviewer, too many questions about the things revealed in this did Laurels sister really make it out of the boat wreak and is on one of those tiny islands, living without her memory and thriving? I think that they're going to end up finding out that she's become the girlfriend of one of the bad guys on the Island that Ollie lived on. She will have lost her memory and will be living with this guy like her former life didn't exist. I enjoyed seeing Alex Kingston playing the mum in this ep, especially across from the handsome Paul Blackstone as Laurels father. I am also glad that Tommy and Ollie made up. I am a bit worried about Speedy's relationship with the thief...I have a feeling, though there's great chemistry there, that he is going to get her into more trouble than he's worth.


Another good episode as this is probably my favorite show at the moment. As far as whom Olly finally hooks up with I fully expect Laurel to be the one. McKenna is great but we all know he loves Laurel the most. Its typical tv show storyline fare to before hooking up the main character and his preferred main squeeze you have one or both of them start relationships with others that dont work out. Then you those two together. I dont mind kind of expecting this to happen as long as along the way they do a good job of writing the whole thing which Arrow has done so far. Really Olly and Laurel will be lovers either by the end of this season or the beginning of next.


I LOVED this episode.I know plenty people don't like Helena but I LOVE her.she and Mckenna are my fave gals on this show.when she asked olly whether he still loves her I couldn't wait to hear his answer.I love both of them together so much
Am I the only one who loves mckenna??I was like yes olly has finally found a great gal and now she's leaving??I cried a bit when she told olly she was moving.I hope she comes back very soon.I love both of them together.
And I hope helena guest stars in feature episodes!!!LovED this Episode!


I disagree with Steve about "rushing things". I'm glad they're rushing and moving fast. Much more exciting that way. Plus, the writers only have a little over 40 minutes to tell 3 or 4 storylines each ep, and have to be very efficient in each scene. I read somewhere they'll be off the island by the end of the season. I wonder if the Undertaking storyline will be done by the end of the season and they'll move on to something else. So much potential. I don't like Katie Cassidy either, but she's here to stay, just hope she takes a few more acting lessons during the break.


I'm with Jackie and Eclipse, there is way too much secret sharing way too fast. It is starting to not even feel like a secret anymore. I mean, who else is left? Mom, sis, and Laurel are the only ones of the main group, and Laurel will obviously be finding out sooner rather than later, so what is the point? And sidebar, if Sarah ends up being alive, I am done with the show. No, I don;t want her to show up as herself, or as another DC character, or any other way people are speculating. She needs to be dead. When you base a huge part of your main character's development on the death of a person--that person needs to remain dead or it was all for nothing. BTW, for everyone hoping Laurel won't end up being Canary, the network has already confirmed that she will, so we'd better start getting used to her. :-/


Ok I don't really like Helena, I feel like she is to obsessed with killing her own father, plus she is jealous of every female in Oliver's life. McKenna is a good characters sucks that she's probably gonna be off the show now. Katie Cassidy is a terrible actress. I feel like to many people know Oliver's secret. Hopefully Roy takes the job at the nightclub & becomes Speedy or Red Arrow after some mentoring by Oliver. Can the stop calling him "The Hood" or "The Vigilante" just call him Arrow or Green Arrow. I also feel like they rush things, this season Oliver has been shown with 3 female relationships & have Ben up against like 10 known DC villains & 4 people already know his secret. Now this thing with Sarah is bullshit we all watched her die the first episode.

Sarah silva

Another fantastic episode.
I am glad Tommy came around at the end. I felt bad when he got hurt but the look of sadness on Oliver's face and what he said to Helena, proved to Tommy how much Oliver cares about him and I think that made Tommy realize all that Oliver is going through.
I am not sure what to think of Dinah, I think she knows more than she is admitting too.
I do not like Helena she is the opposite of Oliver. He does bad things sometimes but with good intentions, Helena just does bad things.
Poor Oliver just can not get a break in the girlfriend department.

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Arrow Season 1 Episode 17 Quotes

Yeah, congratulations Ollie. The club doesn't completely suck.


So you really believe this garbage your mother's selling about Sarah being alive on Fantasy Island?

Det. Lance