In the second to last episode of Arrow before the series goes on its midseason break (Is it just me or are more shows taking longer breaks halfway through their seasons?) we get to see Helena (Jessica de Gouw) go full blown Huntress while Ollie (Stephen Amell) tries to reign her in, Diggle (David Ramsey) gets jealous, and Walter (Colin Salmon) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) become a detective duo. I’m thinking spinoff for these two, but more on that later.

We left the vigilante, sorta couple last week making out in Helena’s apartment and unsurprisingly we begin this episode with them asleep in bed. Man, CW, why you gotta leave the good bits off screen? Then Helena wakes up, sneaks away, and attempts to kill some head honcho for the Triad. Her goal is to spark a gang war between the Triad and her father in order to punish him for murdering her fiance. Sounds like a sound plan to me, but of course Oliver shows up in time to stop her.

Kids, today’s episode is brought to you by the letters “V” for vengeance, “J” for justice, and we’re gonna learn all about how they differ. Or not, because the show itself seems to be a little confused.

I will point out Ollie is probably not be the best person to train Starling City’s new vigilante and teach her how to not cross the line, because, really? Ollie, you’ve been doing a great job at skewing the line between revenge and justice since day one. Thank goodness you’ve let Diggle in on everything, because without your personal Jiminy Cricket this town would be screwed. He doesn’t trust Helena and I almost wonder if he’s a little jealous of her. A few episodes back you would have thought he and Ollie were about to team up and take on the world, but now he’s been regulated to occasionally popping in to smack sense into the trust fund baby turned crime fighter.

Diggle sums up the problem with Oliver trying to train Helena perfectly when he says, “You’re like a dope fiend who thinks he can deal with his own addiction by making another addict go straight.” Ding, ding, ding! This comes right after a scene that can only be described as super hero foreplay where Helena and Ollie cuddle while shooting arrows followed with Ollie showing off by shooting anything Helena can toss in the air. So Oliver’s in no place to actually take in any of the advice Diggle gives and continues to work with Helena. He gives her a crossbow – FANGIRL SQUEE! – and shops online for her new crime fighting duds, which come in purple – FANGIRL SQUEE NUMERO DOS!

They head out on the town, bust up some drug dealing thugs, and neither one kills anyone. All in all a very successful evening I can only assume was consummated as they made love on the rooftops with the costumes still on. Again, I’m assuming, but this relationship has some serious Batman/Catwoman overtones and I know that’s how they like it.

Meanwhile, with Walter back in town he and Moira (Susanna Thompson) are trying to save their marriage by being honest with each other. This obviously translates into Walter continuing to investigate his wife with the help of hot techie genius, Felicity Smoak. This girl is hands down my favorite character because she’s the only one who isn’t so serious all the time. TV show characters, lighten up, you’re starring in a ridiculous comic book show, have some fun. Anyway, these two go all World’s Greatest Detective and discover someone else was tracking Moira’s suspicious business dealings and discover a familiar – to the audience anyway – looking symbol.

The short of it is Walter is still uber-suspicious and when he searches Moira’s room comes across a very familiar – again, to the audience – looking book and takes it into Felicity for analysis. She comes up with a pair of 3D glasses she yanked from the movie theatre after catching Twilight: Breaking Dawn on her lunch break– I mean, a pair of infrared goggles that allow the wearer to read the invisible ink on the page. Guess what!? It’s the same list of names Oliver has in his little book. Who knew? The list is back, long live the list.

Ollie, Helena, Tommy, and Laurel end up on a double date after the two couples bump into one another at a fancy new restaurant. Calling is hella awkward is an understatement, and it’s painful to watch Helena as she realizes she sitting at a table with Ollie’s ex and his best friend whom she’s now dating. Especially when earlier Oliver gave her the whole story of how he fucked up that relationship with Laurel by sleeping with her sister. Helena believes she’s being manipulated, because she is, and leaves. Tommy storms off too but it’s all wrapped up in him not wanting to ask Ollie for help since being cut off from his daddy’s money, blah, blah, blah.

Helena’s gone, and not just from the date but over the edge. She wants her vengeance and isn’t going to let anyone stop her. She shows up at a Triad poker game, kills the boss dude, kicks the shit out of everyone else, and leaves them all with the impression it was at her father’s behest. Girl’s got her gang war. China White (Kelly Hu) – oh yeah, remember her? – launches an attack on the Bertinelli residence in retaliation. In the panic and confusion Helena is able to corner her father and reveal how it was her who took down his crime empire. While she’s readying to shoot him with the crossbow and deliver the final blow Oliver swoops in to stop her.

He denies her vengeance, but gives her justice. And she isn’t pleased about it one bit. After Ollie ruined her patricide she took a arrow in the shoulder from her own father, at which point the cops show up and Ollie has to carry her away. Back at the arrow cave he treats her wound, she wakes up, yells at him, admits she did want revenge and now that she’s been denied it, she’s done with Ollie. Helena leaves, threatening to reveal his identity were Ollie to follow her. Hmm, I wonder if her knowing his secret identity will ever come back to bite him the ass?

In the end Helena may be a lost cause, consumed by her grief and lust for vengeance, but Oliver may be able to final become the hero. He’s trying to help the city more and worry less about that damn list, though we know that’s coming back since Walter’s got a copy. He’s taking notes from Batman and making an attempt to not just kill people, but rather leave ’em for the cops. And maybe, he’ll be able to let his friends and family in since his practice run with Helena.

Next week it’s the midseason finale! Check out the preview below,

Category: Comics, reviews, TV

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