Arrow Review – Season 2, Episode 17: Birds Of Prey


People were psyched when they found out this episode was called “Birds of Prey.” I think some fans actually thought Canary and Huntress would work together the way they have in comics.

Um, no. The Arrow version of Helena Bertinelli (I always picture Peter Griffin from Family Guy calling her Helena Bert and Ernie) is too far gone down the road to revenge for that. Or is she? Read on to find out what we learned on that score.

Not So Quick Summary: Detective Lance and the police are getting ready to go after a dangerous criminal, with Arrow and Canary watching their backs. Lance ends up getting shot during the confrontation, but he’s okay since he’s wearing a vest. Canary throws his shooter out a window, while Oliver takes down someone with a bolo arrow … and it’s Frank Bertinelli. Uh oh. Back at the Arrow Lair, the team gets the lowdown on “Oliver’s psycho ex-girlfriend.”

Laurel Lance is attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting when she gets a call from Adam Donner. Amazingly, he claims he’s cleared up her problems with the bar and wants her back on the job to try Bertinelli’s case. Yes, that makes all kinds of sense.

Roy Harper buys Thea Queen a bracelet, apparently spending everything he has to do so. Team Arrow gets a lead on Helena, and Oliver gives his blessing for Roy to go back into the field. Unfortunately, the driver of the car they confront is a decoy who shoots Roy through the hand. He goes nuts,, and Ollie has to talk him down by calling him Speedy. Funny, that.

Thanks to his mirakuru-enhanced healing, Roy is okay, but he doesn’t want to be called Speedy. Oliver points out the trouble Roy’s still having controlling his temper and asks/demands he stay away from his sister. Another discussion goes equally poorly, as Laurel tells Sara she’s not dropping the case.

Diggle and Sara taunt Oliver for readying non-lethal arrows to take on Helena — something that struck me as odd since he’s been trying not to kill anyone all season. Reasoning that neither of them think straight when it comes to family members, he wants Sara to sit this one out. You can imagine how that goes over.

When Frank goes to trial, the whole thing becomes a debacle. The cops have set up a trap for Helena using her dad as bait, but she has her own gunmen disguised in the crowd. Hostages are taken, and while Ollie manages to get Frank safely outside into police custody, Laurel is stuck inside the courthouse.

Canary is already on the case, though, and she meets up with and saves Laurel … who tries sneaking a drink while they’re hiding. Barely managing not to blow her secret ID by saying she saw Laurel’s AA bracelet (smooth!), Canary challenges her not to crawl back into the bottle and show how strong she is. In return, we get this exchange:

Laurel: “Are you one of the good guys?”

Canary: “No, but I’m friends with them.”

Meanwhile, Roy almost goes off on someone who bumps into him at Verdant. He tries breaking up with Thea, but she’s not having it.

Canary and Huntress go toe-to-toe with Helena winning. Arrow arrives to prevent a crossbow arrow from ending Canary’s night badly, but Laurel is taken hostage. Helena proposes a trade: Frank for Laurel.

Thea walks in on Roy making out with another girl and runs out crying. Back at the hostage crisis, Laurel explains to Helena that she knows loss (remember Tommy?), but the Huntress says she can’t come back from her brush with the darkness. A SWAT team moves in, but Helena has disguised herself as a cop and is already gone, holding Laurel at gunpoint.

As you might expect, Canary won’t promise not to kill Huntress. But will they make the trade? The cops decide to shoot at everyone with a mask, turning things chaotic. Canary and Huntress go for Round 2, with Sara saying she held back the first time. Lance saves Arrow from a SWAT team member just in time for him to stop Canary from strangling Huntress. Oh, and Frank’s been shot dead, leaving Helena to mournfully say, “It was supposed to be me …”

Ollie visits Helena in jail, where she reveals that her dad’s death has not given her the satisfaction she thought she’d feel. Ironically, her father and Michael are together in death while she’s stuck alive and alone, though Oliver assures her she’s not. I smell a redemption arc next season!

The DA says Donner has been fired for his stunt but that Laurel can’t have her job back. Or maybe she can, if she blackmails her way into it. Seems Laurel learned something about darkness from Helena.

Oliver finds Thea upset over Roy, then has to sit there with that “Oh crap, I feel bad” look on his face when his sister tells him that he’s the only person not keeping secrets from her. His next stop is to see Sara, and he tells her she did well by choosing not to kill Helena. Her response: “That’s what heroes do, right?”

While an obviously distraught Roy continues to freak out, Thea accepts a ride home … from Slade Wilson. Oh no!

Meanwhile, On The Island: Slade takes some time out from torturing Oliver to learn that the Amazo is crippled since its engine is wrecked. He radios the survivors on the island, asking to trade Ollie for Hendrick in a scene that parallels what’s going on in the present. Sara is reluctant to do so, knowing it’ll likely mean sending Hendrick to his death (and he’s not too keen on it either). Eventually, Hendrick makes the decision easier by pulling a gun and threatening to kill the Russian until Sara knocks him out. Looks like he’ll be back on the Amazo after all.

Final Thought: Sometimes less is more on this show. Even though Felicity was hardly in this episode, she got in some great lines, particularly one about how difficult it is to keep track of who knows whose secret identities.

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