‘Arrow’ Recap: Episode 1.17, ‘The Huntress Returns’

by Ryan Rigley

After a two week long hiatus, “Arrow” picks up with the return of a character Oliver Queen wishes he had never met: Helena Bertinelli, otherwise known as the Huntress.


Seducing a slimy older man into the private room of sleazy strip joint, Huntress is quick to point her crossbow where it doesn’t belong – right in the poor guy’s whimpering face. The slimeball in question turns out to be Helena’s father’s attorney, Gus. But with little to no information on Frank Bertinelli’s whereabouts, Gus is sentenced to the inevitable death by crossbow.

The next day, Oliver Queen shows McKenna Hall around his new nightclub, Verdant, pointing out the fact that he’s booked Steve Aoki to DJ. With opening night only a few hours away, Oliver asks McKenna to be his date to which she replies yes. Obviously.

On the bad side of town, Thea and her nameless Asian friend walk down a particularly dangerous looking street when they come across Roy Harper. Thea approaches him, explaining that she’s not stalking him and that she just works in the area. She then offers Roy a job as a valet as her brother’s new nightclub.

In the Arrow Cave, Diggle shows Oliver surveillance footage of Helena killing Gus at that strip club. Oliver tells Diggle to figure out why she’s back in town, then storms off. Later, Oliver comes home to find Thea and Helena chatting in his living room. Sending Thea to her room, Oliver confronts Helena about why she’s back in town. Helena reveals to him that her father’s consecutive life sentences have been reduced and that she wants to murder him before he can be released from prison. Oliver, of course, refuses to help her, which causes Helena to threaten Oliver’s entire family.

In a flashback to the island, Oliver and Slade spy on Fires’ enemy camp. They notice the new missile launcher that the enemies have acquired and immediately set out to destroy it. Approaching the launcher, Oliver decides to change the plan and steal the weapon’s circuit board with the hopes of using it for leverage against Fires.

At the grand opening of Verdant, the Queens and McKenna Hall toast to Oliver’s new-found success. On the other side of the room, Laurel notices that something is wrong with Tommy. Then Helena shows up. Oliver receives a note that is supposedly from Tommy, telling him to meet down in the Arrow Cave. When Oliver gets down there, he comes face to face with an angry Helena holding Tommy in an arm lock. Threatening to break Tommy’s arm, Oliver agrees to help Helena find her father.

Later, Oliver and Diggle inform Helena that her father is being transported to a safe house via two armored vans: one real, one decoy. The next day, Thea shows up on Roy Harper’s doorstep asking him why he never showed up for work. Roy replies that he isn’t looking for charity and subsequently slams the door in her face. As she makes her way home, Thea is approached by two muggers who are soon beat up by a hooded Roy. Unfortunately, Roy is also stabbed in the process.

That night, Oliver and Helena suit up and chase down the two armored vans on their motorcycles. Oliver catches up to his van, blowing the doors off and realizing that he’s found the decoy. As Helena approaches her van, three heavily armed police officers jump out of the back of the vehicle. Detective Lance and Mckenna Hall show up in a squad car, arresting Helena as Oliver watches on in dismay.

In the interrogation room, Lance and McKenna offer to cut Helena a deal if she gives up the vigilante’s identity. She tells them that it’s Oliver Queen, but neither of them believe her for some reason. Then the lights conveniently cut out and the Hood shows up to break Helena free. Oliver hands Helena a passport and a one way ticket to Rome, telling her to get out of his city.

Helena decides not to take Oliver up on his offer, choosing instead to steal a new crossbow from a local sporting good store and the location of her father’s warehouse from Felicity Smoak over at Queen Consolidated. Oliver heads to the safe house as fast as possible, but Helena has already killed a plethora of innocent people. As she chases her father out of the house, Oliver takes aim deciding to do something that he should have done a long time ago.

Oliver shoots an arrow right at Helena’s heart, but surprisingly she manages to catch the arrow mid-flight. The two engage in a heated fist fight before McKenna Hall shows up. With her gun pointed right at Oliver’s back, Helena shoots McKenna in the hip allowing for her to escape.

The next day, Oliver visits McKenna in the hospital. McKenna tells Oliver that she has a shattered femur and requires at least a year’s worth of physical therapy. Then she breaks up with him, stating that she’s moving in with her sister on the other side of the country.

In a flashback, Oliver radios Fires informing him that he and Slade have the circuit board for his new missile launcher. Fires asks Oliver what he wants in exchange, to which Oliver replies “a way off of the island.”

One of the high points of last night’s episode, in my opinion, was finally seeing Roy Harper in action. Obviously, he has to be able to defend himself growing up in the warzone that is the Glades. But how exactly did he become so amazing at hand to hand combat? What else could he be capable of? Shooting arrows with unparalleled precision, mayhaps? Also, the scene with him and Thea in the hospital revealed Roy’s hesitance towards needles. Could this be a reference to his junkie past? Hopefully we’ll find out the answers to these questions and more on next week’s episode of “Arrow!”

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