Arrow: The Huntress Returns Season 1 Episode 17 Review

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Arrow returned from a brief hiatus with another strong episode that brought back a villain from the past.

The episode lived up to its title as the Huntress returned to Starling City to get the revenge she so gravely desires. Back in November when the character was introduced, Jessica De Gouw was stiff and unapologetically melodramatic. Luckily, the young actress has improved and made the Huntress a character I have no problem seeing return from time to time.

De Gouw’s newfound playfulness was revealed in the opening scene as she impersonated a stripper to get to her father’s attorney. From there she quickly showed up at the Queen household, threatened Oliver’s family, and pinned Tommy to a table until Oliver agreed to help her.

It was fun to see Arrow with a partner of sorts again. Of course it didn’t last long as Huntress got herself captured. Although the interrogation scene where she stared McKenna in the face was hauntingly sexy. Even scarier was when she appeared behind Felicity.

Of course this means war for Oliver who follows her to her father’s safe-house. Their battle was a ton of fun to watch. There was even some real tension as McKenna entered the scene without back-up, allowing Huntress to shoot her. But my question is, why didn’t McKenna just die? She broke up with Oliver in the hospital and is moving away, why not just off her? The guilt would have been a great character move for Oliver! Superhero fans know that Spider-man’s guilt over the death of Gwen Stacy and others is what drives him. It felt like a missed opportunity to me.

At least Tommy reconciled with his best friend turned vigilante in the closing moments.

But the Huntress wasn’t the only vigilante being set up for an appearance in the future. Thea continued her misguided friendship with Roy Harper, the man who will likely eventually become Red Arrow, Oliver’s sidekick. He saved her from some thugs but got stabbed. I actually appreciated his fear of needles (because I still almost cry when a doctor says I need one) and Thea’s kiss to take his mind off it. There’s a lot to look forward to here in the future I hope.

We also got some development from the last episodes cliffhanger, Laurel’s mother returning. Which basically meant that everyone just kind of argued. Laurel’s seen better days on this series.

The island got the short end of the stick this week, although we did get a totally badass moment with Slade Wilson dual-wielding pistols and taking out some guards. Other than that, not much.

The Huntress Returns could have been a complete failure, but thankfully De Gouw stepped up her game and made the Huntress a fun and formidable foe for Arrow to face. Subplots aside, this was a very solid entry. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty


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