After introducing their version of the Suicide Squad in an awesome episode last week, ‘Arrow’ now tackles another fan favorite tandem from the DC Universe by bringing the Birds of Prey to Starling City this week. However, unlike their comic book counter parts, the masked vigilantes known as Black Canary and the Huntress are at each others throats. It’s bad enough that his ex is back in town, but things are never that simple for Oliver Queen these days as Helena Bertinelli returns to her hometown to finally get rid of her mob boss father once and for all.

Just as Diggle stepped into the spotlight in the last episode, another one of the Arrow’s allies became the center of attention in this episode. This time around, Sara Lance takes center stage as we learn some of the hard decisions that she has had to make regarding the Emerald Archer both in the past and in the present. Back on the island, Slade forced her to make a tough call that involved trading one person’s life for Ollie’s, but now in the present, she has to learn to control her vengeance so that she doesn’t become as ruthless as the Huntress.

The first thing worth noting about this episode is that it managed to balance action and drama very well. The hour just flew by because I was so engulfed in the excellent action sequences and the intricate story containing incredible character development. It’s totally a step in the right direction for a show that seems to have more downs than ups in terms of quality. I feel like part of that is because they’ve eased up on building episodes completely around Oliver all the time. By focusing on Dig and Sara these past two weeks, the writers are making the supporting cast much stronger characters that can adequately support the load along with our main protagonist. The machine definitely runs better when all the parts are strong.

There were a ton of great lines throughout the episode too. For starters, the interaction between Felicity and Oliver about frat boys was golden. Felicity: “Boobs can get a frat boy to do anything.” Oliver: “I was a frat boy.” Felicity: “I rest my case.” Felicity Smoak is one of my favorite parts of the show anyway, but whenever she brings the sass like that, she’s even better. She even had a line about Canary kicking the Huntress’ ass later on. But besides Felicity, Roy and Helena had some great lines as well. I freaked when Ollie called Roy “Speedy”, which happens to be his nickname for Thea in the show, but when the young ward exclaims that he’s ready to get back in the field after weeks of being left out, I felt like Roy was saying what we were all thinking. Finally, I can’t talk about great lines without mentioning Helena saying, “Oliver sure likes to dress up his girls.” The bottom line is that the writers were super on point with everything in this episode, but most especially in the dialogue department. I mean, they even gave a shout out to writer Gail Simone and that alone is awesome.

The last thing that I’ll say is that these past few episodes focusing on other members of Team Arrow absolutely do not feel like filler. On other shows (or in past episodes of this show), they might throw in some adventures that distract from the main storyline of a season. But in the case of ‘Arrow’, they’ve done a great job of keeping the impending Arrow Vs. Deathstroke confrontation relevant and present while everything else is going on. We definitely haven’t forgotten that the war is still coming, but now we’ve been cleverly fed some important supplemental information thanks to these expertly assembled episodes as of late.

I feel like I say this a lot due to the fact that wrestling announcers say it almost every week, but after seeing this episode and the promo for next week’s episode, business really is about to pick up. ‘Arrow’ has been displaying some of their best work as of late and I can’t wait to see what they bring us next, especially if they’re talking about bringing these dangerous ladies together again in another spinoff.

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‘Arrow’ starring Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Katie Cassidy, and Manu Bennett airs every Wednesday at 8:00pm on The CW.