Arrow: “Birds of Prey” Season 2 Episode 17 Review

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It’s Sara’s turn to get a character-other-than-Oliver centric episode as the Canary takes on the Huntress. Just add Oracle (or perhaps, Felicity?) and you’ve got the titular Bird of Prey.

The Huntress wasn’t the best villain to come out of the premier season of Arrow, but the groundwork laid then has a tremendous payoff at the end of the episode.

But first, it’s time for some sister bonding between Sara and Laurel, both of whom were on the top of their game this week. Sara, behind Oliver and Felicity, is the most interesting part of Team Arrow, and certainly the best addition this season (sorry Roy).

Laurel, meanwhile, has actually become one of the most annoying characters on TV, but this episode did a lot to redeem that. When she is all-too-easily given her job back just in time for the trial of Frank Bertinelli, the Huntress, his daughter Helena, takes the court house hostage. Laurel remains safe for the moment, as Sara infiltrates and guides her sister while behind a mask. I’ll admit, it was a pretty massive suspension of disbelief that Laurel didn’t recognize Sara under a blonde wig, a small mask, and a voice disguiser. But I suppose it’s still better than Clark Kent and his glasses.

Canary and Huntress eventually do battle, of course, which sends Canary out a window where Arrow is waiting for her. This gives Laurel a lot of screen time without a superhero there to save her. I was impressed with how the episode framed her comeback to work and the good that it does for her. This was also the first entry in a long while that her alcoholism didn’t come across as forced.

Eventually, Huntress takes Laurel alone, tricking the cops in the process. Arrow and Canary are offering her a trade for her father. But the cops breakup the party. Arrow leaves to deal with them while Canary and Huntress get a second, significantly more charged fight. But then Huntress realizes that her father is already dead, killed in the crossfire. This turn of events could make the Huntress a character to root for in the future. Her final conversation with Oliver in prison seemed to indicate that maybe Helena could work with them someday. After all, Huntress is occasionally a hero in the comics.

Both the island flashbacks and the Roy subplot left much to be desired. When Roy can’t control his anger on a Team Arrow outing, Oliver says he’s a danger to Thea and forces her to break up with her. It was honestly really boring stuff that only served to give the show more of something it doesn’t need more of: relationship drama.

The island crawled this week too as Slade holds Oliver hostage and radios to Sara for one of the escapees that can fix the Amazo’s engine. The island only works when things move quickly, which they really did not here.

But the main plot still was enough to carry this episode. Yes, Jessica De Gouw could use some work as Huntress, but maybe with her father dead the character can become something different. Sara and Laurel both had great development here as well. Now, bring on Deathstroke! Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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