by Ryan Rigley
In the aftermath of last week’s episode, “Vendetta” picks up with Oliver and Helena post-coitus as Helena sneaks off to assassinate some triads. Oliver, who of course comes to Helena’s rescue just in the knick of time, pleads with her to think about what it is that she’s doing and even offers to train her in the ways of the vigilante.
As promised, this week’s episode of “Arrow” showcases that inevitable transition from Helena Bertinelli, daughter of the mob boss Frank Bertinelli, into the Huntress, a crossbow-wielding anti-hero. But when Oliver takes Helena in as his protégé, Diggle threatens to leave the Arrowcave once and for all. Especially, if Helena means to create a deadly gang war between the triads and her father’s mafia family.
Initially, Helena is hesitant to take Oliver’s advice; thanking him for the coffee and the sex and then leaving without saying goodbye. However, Oliver is very quick to change her mind. Showing up at her house unexpectedly, Oliver takes Helena to the graveyard to show her the tombstone of Sara Lance. As Oliver explains how he saw Sara die before his very eyes as a direct result of his own actions, Helena tears up and takes him by the hand.
At the Arrowcave the next day, Oliver teaches Helena how to shoot a bow and arrow. Getting frustrated with her lack of progress, Helena tosses several objects into the air with Oliver pinning down each one of them with his impeccably placed arrows. Impressed with his archery skills, Helena tells Oliver that she has feelings for him but is afraid of being hurt again (with her fiance being murdered by her own father not too long ago). Oliver reciprocates those feelings and promises not to hurt her. Ever.
Meanwhile, over at Queen Consolidated, Ms. Smoke pays a recently returned Walter a visit with new information about his wife’s shady past. She shows him a symbol that she found that matches the symbol seen on the evil Well Dressed Man’s notebook in previous episodes. Walter proceeds to rummage around in Moira’s room, eventually finding a blank notebook with that same symbol on the front cover hidden inside an old grandfather clock.
After making her debut as Huntress and getting a handful of drug dealers arrested, Helena and Oliver show up to Starling City’s fanciest restaurant at the same time as Laurel and Tommy. Deciding to sit together, Helena comes to learn all about the weird love triangle going on between Oliver, Laurel, and Tommy. She drinks more champagne and eventually gets really pissed off at Oliver for still having feelings for Laurel.
Realizing that Diggle was right all along, Oliver suits up and heads to the Bertinelli residence just as the triads are sent to kill Frank Bertinelli and his entire crime family. China White, the leader of the triads, is poised to kill Frank Bertinelli, but Oliver kills her at the last minute allowing Frank to flee into the woods. Frank is then subdued by an arrow shot out of Helena’s crossbow, finally revealing to her father that she’s been killing his men in order to get back at him for killing her fiance.
Oliver shoots the crossbow out of Helena’s hands, causing the two of them to fight. Helena, who is accidentally shot during the tussle, is brought back to the Arrowcave in order to be patched up. She then proceeds to break up with Oliver, who later decides to drown his sorrows in a plate of chili cheese fries.
Back at Queen Consolidated, Ms. Smoke brings Walter the mysterious notebook and makes him put on these special UV Spectrum glasses. Walter then sees that the blank notebook is actually filled with a list of names written in invisible ink. On the other side of town, Tommy pays Oliver a visit confessing to his lack of a trust fund and pleading for a job at his new nightclub. Oliver subsequently appoints Tommy general manager, the first real job that Tommy has ever had in his entire life.
What stands out most to me about “Vendetta” is, again, the lack of flashbacks. I guess now with Oliver being able to talk to someone about his time on the island, there’s less of a reason for him to reminisce about the whole ordeal. However, now that the Huntress has been fully introduced and let loose upon Starling City, hopefully things will start getting back to normal with next week’s episode. I, for one, cannot wait to learn more about Deathstroke!