'Arrow' Review: Trapped in the Huntress's 'Vendetta'

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Tonight’s episode of “Arrow” was boring. I’m sorry, but there’s no way to sugarcoat that. “Vendetta” felt more like a pilot episode for a potential Huntress spinoff than the eighth episode of a show about Oliver Queen and his quest for justice. I guess if you’re a fan of the Huntress or of Helena that might be a good thing, but for those of us who are here for the actual cast and not the guest stars? That made for one long hour of television.

Last week, I had issues with the speed at which Oliver and Helena’s relationship developed and I’m not talking about the fact that they hit the sheets on the first date. I’m not judging that. But the writing made it seem like we were supposed to believe they were long lost soulmates or something and that was so ridiculous because they went from strangers to kindred spirits in less than forty minutes. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not asking for more screen time for the Huntress, I just think that the pacing was nonexistent.

Anyway, this week picked up where that episode left off, but Helena wasn’t having the warm fuzzy feeling that Oliver was. She basically thanked him for the sex and that was that. Then, there was a long, drawn-out scene of Oliver working out, shirtless, while he had a conversation with Dig about Helena. If someone came in here and put a gun to my head, I could not tell you what that conversation was about. I’m not even sorry because if the writers wanted us to pay attention to the dialogue, they should have put Oliver in a parka or at least a t-shirt.

From what I gathered, Helena wants revenge against the Triad and her father, but Oliver wants to show her that killing people is not always the answer. First, he tried to teach her how to use his crossbow, which did not offend me as much as I thought the scene was going to. (It was more instructional than sexy like the iconic “Smallville” scene was. Some things are sacred). Anyway, Helena sucked at the archery thing, but she enjoyed taking down the criminals in her new costume. It was purple, which from what I understand, is a shout out to her comic book character. Oh, and at one point, Oliver took her to Sarah’s grave…? I’m not sure why that was a fun date, but it made her want to be a better person.

Or it did until she found out about Oliver and Laurel and the fact that he’s still totally in love with her. In one of the few scenes that didn’t suck, Oliver, Helena, Laurel and Tommy inadvertently went on a double date. Things were going well until Laurel awkwardly brought up that Tommy was supposed to ask Oliver for a job. That didn’t go over well and Helena realized Oliver was still in love with Laurel and then she decided that she was going to get her revenge on by grabbing some guns and going to shoot some people.

Arrow showed up to survey the carnage and Helena was about to shoot her mobster father with an arrow, but Oliver knocked it away from her and then the two had a cool fight scene that ended with Helena’s father shooting her with the crossbow. But don’t worry, it wasn’t a fatal wound. She was, however, super pissed at Oliver and basically said that she was going to go out and kill more people because she liked it and hated him. Or something along those lines; I wasn’t paying attention at that point. But mobster daddy is going to jail thanks to all the evidence Helena gathered prior to her fiancé getting murdered.

What else happened? Dig and Oliver’s bromance hit a snag because Dig was not there for Helena anymore than the audience, but once she was gone, he tried to comfort Oliver and strongly hinted that there was other love out there for him. Tommy and Laurel are a real couple now and Tommy told Oliver the truth about his dad cutting him off and Oliver offered to let him manage his new nightclub. Meanwhile, Walter and Felicity discovered the trick to reading the journal. Not going to lie: I’m officially worried for Walter’s survival. I assume Felicity will be okay, but who knows?

Here’s my biggest problem with this show: I want to love it. I want to look forward to it every week and spend an insane amount of time speculating about it and counting down the minutes to the next episode and dissecting all the spoilers like my fangirl heart depends on it. But the show continues to disappoint me week after week. But here’s the thing; tonight’s episode aside, it’s never bad. It’s just not that good and it could be epic. Obviously, I’m going to keep watching because I like the actors and the potential is there, but I need more from the show. I need more episodes like “Legacies.”

Next week is the midseason finale and the final episode of 2012. There’s a new archer in town and he’s murdering people. Who is he? Here’s hoping he’s a lot more interesting than the Huntress…

 

 

About The Author

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Editorial Director since 2012. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.