After two weeks, “The Huntress Returns” as the new episode of Arrow. It didn’t really get any better, but at least it didn’t get too much worse.
As the episode name implies, Helena’s back. She’s still killing mobsters. In case anyone’s wondering, yes, it’s still different then when Oliver kills people because of vague, undefined reasons. Although, Helena really loses the upper ground in that fight when she decides to take it out on innocent people, hurting Tommy in the process. That development comes out of left field. While she hasn’t always been careful and she lets bystanders get hurt, Helena never actually sets out to hurt bystanders. Indeed, it runs counterintuitive to her goals of killing her father for murdering a bystander.
Speaking of weird characterization and double standards, Diggle advocates just flat out killing Helena. So, yeah. Pragmatically speaking, that makes sense. But it’s really hard to argue that Oliver is a better person than that murdering Helena when he’s contemplating murdering her. Also, Diggle has always been the one to keep Oliver in check. It’s just weird to see him to trying to unleash Oliver on someone. Especially when Diggle clearly states he wouldn’t unleash Oliver on Deadshot, who is as dangerous as Helena and perhaps moreso.
Then Helena gets arrested, which is probably the best overall situation. Admittedly, she could tell them that Oliver is the vigilante. In fact, she does tell them that, but then goes on a bit of a completely justified rant about how Oliver uses women left, right, and center and the police dismiss her. So, Oliver has to break her out before she actually tells the police. It goes bad again because what did he really think was going to happen? Helena steals a new crossbow and then gets Felicity to find her father. Oliver makes it to the nicest safe house in the world just in time to find out Helena murdered all the bystanders, and still stops her from killing her father because that would make him a murderer by proxy. (As opposed to all the people he’s actually killed making him a murder, I guess).
Meanwhile, Tommy just sort of shuts down now that he knows Oliver’s secret identity. Laurel also isn’t faring well as she’s caught between her parents fighting over the possibility of Sarah actually being alive. Somehow, this threatens to tear them apart despite the fact that most of their relationship has been built on family drama and uncomfortable secrets. It’s a little disappointing as their relationship used to be the best part of the show.
Also, something, something, Thea and Roy. They exist and they’re apparently a thing now. It’s only even remotely interesting when Roy beats up some thugs trying to mug Thea. They end up making out in a hospital after he gets stabbed. And that’s really about it. Thin and shallow as it is, though, it’s still better done than any of the Oliver issues that take up the bulk of the episode.
Really, the worst part of this episode is that nothing of consequence happens. There should have been some fall-out after “Dead to Rights.” Instead, there’s just a whole lot of business as usual, even going back to a plot that was better off dead and buried several episodes ago.