This week’s ‘Arrow’ seems to play more like the second part of a two-parter rather than a standalone episode. In last week’s “Muse of Fire” episode, Oliver’s investigation of who was responsible for a mob hit that almost claimed his mother’s life lead him to Helena Bertinelli, the daughter of a mob boss who just happens to “get” Oliver’s motives as to why he has become the archer vigilante. John Barrowman’s character was finally revealed and Tommy was cut off from his family’s money.
This week Oliver and Helena grow closer as he trains her to work alongside him in cleaning up Starling City and although Walter has come back home, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t stopped investigating what his lovely wife Moira is up to. As to what he finds, how Tommy will now manage with no money and how far Helena and Oliver’s relationship goes, you’ll just have to read on in this week’s spoilery recap of ‘Arrow!’
The episode picks up a bit after Oliver and Helena’s shared kiss last week. She sneaks out of bed after a romp between the sheets leaving what she thinks is a sleeping Oliver behind. Little does she know that he is watching her as she slips away.
She heads to an alleyway where she aims to kill the leader of the Triad, Zhishan, but Arrow get there to stop her. Helena is angry that he interfered in her plans of pinning Zhishan’s murder on her father in order to destroy her father’s investigation but Oliver insists what she planned was not justice. He offers to bring her into his world to show her what he means.
Since they were already up and about, they head over to Carly’s diner for a late night bite to eat. Oliver tries to convince Helena that there is another way to get back at her dad other than killing people haphazardly and he can show her how. Helena refuses but does thank Oliver for the cup of coffee and the sex before she leaves.
The next morning, Oliver is working out ( yes, ladies and gents – here’s this week’s gratuitous abs shot and they look just as good upside down as they do right side up) and Diggle comes in asking what happened the night before especially since Salvati and his goons have turned up dead. Oliver confesses that Helena knows his secret identity and Diggle is not happy. He tells Oliver that Helena a dangerious killer and if a war between the Bertinelli mob and the Triad occurs because of her, then innocent people could get killed. But Oliver feels that she just needs guidance and feels confident he can keep her from doing anything reckless. Diggle disagrees but Oliver is willing to still try.
Oliver thinks that if he opens up to Helena, she may understand how one can turn vengeance into justice. He takes her to a cemetery where he shows her Sara’s grave. He explains to Helena how awful he was, hurting people he loved before being stranded on the island. He tells her she is like him – on an island. Helena confesses she wants to let him in but doesn’t want to be hurt again. In a rare moment of feeling, Oliver promises he will never hurt her.
Oliver begins training Helena who show’s no aptitude for archery. During a break, he shows her his father’s book and begins to tell her about his mission. Diggle comes in but when Oliver introduces Helena to him, he is rather cold to her. Helena gets the messages and excuses herself so that Oliver can speak to his “associate.”
Diggle is not happy. He tells Oliver he doesn’t trust her and that the only reason Oliver thinks he can change Helena is because he’s lonely and thinks if he succeeds, it proves that Oliver can handle his own issues.
Meanwhile on the other side of town, Felicity Smoak tells Walter that some else was monitoring Moira’s $2 million transfer into Tempest and although she couldn’t find out who it was (“they’re good…NSA good”), she did manage to track down a symbol. Surprise! The symbol is the same as the one in Oliver’s dad’s book of hit lists.
Helena returns to the lair where Oliver informs her that they will be going after Venza, a person in the book who just happens to work for Helena’s dad and sells illegal prescription drugs. But before they go after him, Oliver gives her a small crossbow and shows her the design of her new alter ego’s suit.
At Venza’ warehouse, as the drug dealer is showing his product, the lights go off and Arrow and the Huntress get to work. They manage to keep the bad guys from getting away before the police come. As Oliver and Helena watch the police arrest the criminals in the shadows, he points out that they managed to put a dent in her father’s organization with no one getting hurt. That, he says, is justice. Helena tells him it feels good and kisses him.
Walter, meanwhile, still doesn’t trust Moira even after they had promise to be truthful with one another. He goes around the house searching for something and finds a small wooden box in the grandfather clock with the same symbol on the cover as was found by Felicity. Inside is a book with blank pages similar to the one Robert had.
Tommy is taking Laurel out on a date at an expensive restaurant where he is realizing that having no money doesn’t get you a pass to the front of the line and makes you wait for your table like 99% of the world does. In comes Oliver who sees them and, upon hearing that they are still waiting to get seated, is invited to join them by Helena. (Awkward!!)
Helena soon realizes this was probably not the greatest idea (ya think?) and she begins to put the puzzle together and realizes Laurel is the dead girl’s sister that Oliver was talking about at the cemetery and that his best friend is now dating her.
During the dinner conversation, Laurel lets it slip that Tommy was going to ask Oliver for a job at the nightclub which made Tommy mad. It’s then he realizes that Laurel still loves Oliver and that he should cut his loses now before he gets too hurt. Of course Tommy later apologizes for his outburst which makes watching as their relationship deepen that more endearing.
Tommy wasn’t not the only one who walked out during dinner. Oliver had to chase after Helena as she stormed out of the restaurant. She got angry because she could tell Oliver still loved Laurel and he promised he wouldn’t hurt her. Even though he denies it, she doesn’t believe him and storms off.
Oliver is getting ready for another vigilante night. Diggle comes in and Oliver tells him that he was right about Helena. She is past the point of no return – he saw it in her eyes. He’s kicking himself for not seeing it sooner.
Helena has some anger issues she needs to get through so she heads to the docks where the Triad men are located. She bursts in and shots them, then heads to where Zhishan is seated. After she cold-bloodedly kills him, she tells one of the men who I still alive to tell China White that Frank Bertinelli is responsible. She has just started a war.
And war it is as China White and her men begin their onslaught against Frank in his home. But Arrow is there is prevent any more killings. As he works his way through the Triad and the mob henchmen, China heads to Franks office. Upon seeing him, she manages to pin him against the wall but Arrow’s arrow knocks her weapon out of her hand. Another shot and he maims her in the leg. He tells Frank to run as he takes on more attackers.
Frank doesn’t get too far, though, as Helena is there and shoots him in the leg with her crossbow. She tells him it’s payback for him ordering the hit on Michael but before she can fire off the kill shot, her crossbow is knocked out of her hand. Angrily she approaches Arrow and attacks. Arrow easily deflects her assault but as they are fighting, Frank picks up Helena’s crossbow and shoots her in the chest. Oliver knocks Frank out and takes Helena to his lair before the police arrive.
Helena wakes up angry (her suit is made of armor so the arrow didn’t penetrate) and doesn’t understand why Oliver would save her father. He explains he didn’t save him and tries to make her understand how all the killing she’s done is taking a toll on her. She tells him she won’t stop but Oliver informs her that the police has her dad in custody and they have her laptop with the incriminating evidence. This outcome still doesn’t feel right to Helena and she tells Oliver he was right – she just wants revenge.
As she leaves, Oliver tries one more time to reach the humanity in her and he tells her he cares for her. Helena retorts that she wished she could say the same (Man! The biotch is cold!). She warns him to stay away from her or else she’ll reveal his secret.
After this encounter, Oliver heads to the diner where Diggle finds him trying to drown his sorrows with a basket of chili cheese fries with jalapeños. They talk and Diggle gives him some very wise advice telling him that when he’s ready for love, he’ll find the right person.
Earlier at Queen Consolidated, Walter summoned Felicity and asks her to find out everything she can about the notebook he found in the grandfather clock. Being the genius that she is, she has found a way to decipher what was on the pages. She turns the light off and with a pair of UV glasses, Walter can now read the list of names contained in the book…
And so concludes this recap of ‘Vendetta!’ As the episodes progress, we begin to see a more personal side of Oliver. The walls are coming down and he’s not as hard as he was when he was first found. Here, we really see the loneliness that Oliver bears being alone for so long on the island and then having to push the people who love him away for their own safety. He’s so desperate to have companionship that he ignored the fact that Helena was mental.
If I had to find a sore point with the episode it would be that Diggle has now been related as the token voice of reason that only comes in when Oliver needs to be directed on the right path. The character has a great backstory and David Ramsey is excellent in the role but I feel he’s being underused. Don’t you?
So, what did you think of the episode? Does Walter know more than he lets on? Is Moira really one of the good guys working as a double agent? Are you finding this realistic version of ‘Arrow’ entertaining or do you wish for something more superhero-ish?
The next week episode of ‘Arrow’ will be it’s mid-season finale, so join us next week another all-new ‘Arrow’ episode recap!