Arrow 1.17 "The Huntress Returns" REVIEW

TV REVIEW: Who are you calling Daddy's Girl?

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Episode 1.17
Writers: Jake Coburn & Lana Cho
Director: Guy Norman Bee

THE ONE WHERE: The Huntress is back in Starling, on the trail of her father. Lance, meanwhile, confronts the possibility that his other daughter may be alive...

THE VERDICT: So the Huntress blends in perfectly in a Starling City strip joint. Is this a sly commentary on the fact that modern superheroine costumes really aren’t that far removed from poledancer’s kit – or just a shameless piece of perving to perk up an otherwise routine instalment? Yes, after a run of strong stories this is ultimately a low-wattage instalment of Arrow , in spite of a welcome encore by Jessica De Gouw as the crossbow-packing vigilante, oscillating nicely between cop-baiting self-possession and full-on crazy-ex nuttiness (it's all in the eyes...). There’s a solid vendetta premise in place but the tale never quite builds to a head of steam (and the island flashback feels particularly irrelevant this week, content to simply inch us closer to Oliver’s eventual escape). The resolution of Tommy’s discovery that Oliver is the Hood feels particularly pat – “I know that I’ve been a jerk lately,” he confesses, another emotional beat that rings hollow, the sound of writers manoeuvering characters back into a convenient status quo. Above all you wish that the show had the guts to actually let Helena kill McKenna and run with the implications, testing Oliver’s ever-strengthening moral code to the absolute limit. Now that would really deliver a kick.

HMM: Roy’s clearly being set up for boy wonder sidekick duty, if his parkour-powered rescue of Thea from the muggers is any indication. Is his aversion to needles a crucial character touch, though – or just a nod to his comic book counterpart’s self-perforating junkie past?

DID YOU SPOT?: We see Dig studying a headline revealing that Deadshot is suspected of assassinating the president of Bialya – a fictional Middle-Eastern nation in the DC Universe ruled by the ruthless Queen Bee. It was first seen in Justice League 2 in 1987.

Oliver : “Thank you.”
Diggle : “It's my job.”
Oliver : “For not saying ‘I told you so.’”
Diggle : “Night's young.”

Nick Setchfield
Editor-at-Large, SFX Magazine

Nick Setchfield is the Editor-at-Large for SFX Magazine, writing features, reviews, interviews, and more for the monthly issues. However, he is also a freelance journalist and author with Titan Books. His original novels are called The War in the Dark, and The Spider Dance. He's also written a book on James Bond called Mission Statements.