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Recap | Arrow: ‘Vendetta’

“Vendetta,” the conclusion of Arrow’s two-part Huntress story arc, gives us Helena in full costume, new developments with Tommy Merlyn (could he be the Dark Archer in next week’s episode?) and some Triad/mob action.

Last week we met Helena Bertinelli, the daughter of a mob boss who’s been taking out her family’s criminal associates (and letting the assassinations get pinned on the Chinese Triad) after her father had her fiancé killed.

“Vendetta” opens with Oliver and Helena in bed together, following their shared realization at the end of last week’s episode that their nighttime activities (of the non-sexual variety) have a lot in common.

Helena creeps out of bed, hops on her motorcycle and heads to shoot the leader of the Triad (flanked by China White) only to have her gun knocked away at the last second by Arrow. She was hoping that killing the Triad leader would cause the gang to finish off her father’s already-weakened organization. She’s understandably upset at Oliver for spoiling her plan.

At Starling City’s local burger joint, Oliver explains he only kills people when it’s “absolutely necessary” and implores Helena to find a way to take down her father’s organization without putting innocent people at risk. Uninterested, she responds only with, “Thank you for the coffee … and the sex.” Back at Arrow HQ, Diggle makes it clear he thinks hanging with Helena is a bad idea.

Meanwhile, Moira explains to husband Walter why she had the Queen yacht salvaged, but he clearly doesn’t trust her now (though he tries to act like everything is back to normal between them).

Speaking of deceitful family members, Helena feigns sympathy as her father complains about his men being murdered. Oliver drops by the Bertinelli house to pick up Helena up for a date, to the pleasure of her father. So what sort of date do they go on? A walk on the beach? Dinner and a movie? Nope, Oliver and Helena’s destination is the cemetery, where he shows her Sara Lance’s grave and explains he was sleeping with his girlfriend’s sister.

“I brought her on the yacht and she died right in front of me,” he says, explaining that he wasn’t a good person before the shipwreck. “I was selfish.” His effort to connect with Helena isn’t successful, however, as she’s hesitant to lower her guard. After all, the last guy she got close to was killed.

OK, they can’t get emotionally close; physically isn’t much of a problem. In the very next scene, Oliver and Helena are hip to hip as he tries to demonstrate how to best utilize a bow and arrow, which evolves into him showing off as she tosses objects into the air for him to shoot.

Then Oliver reveals his little book of names, some of which she recognizes as people with whom her father works. Diggle walks in and is introduced to Helena as his “associate.” However, Diggle makes it clear he wants nothing to do with Oliver’s new friend. “You can trust her,” Oliver later insists. “Except I don’t,” Diggle counters.

Speaking of bad businessmen, last week we learned that Tommy’s father is their leader – the shadowy bad guy Moira is always meeting with – and that Mr. Merlyn cut off Tommy from the family’s fortune. This week, Laurel suggest Tommy get a job – perhaps even at Oliver’s new nightclub (you remember, the one he’s opening to help maintain his secret identity).

Felicity Smoak, aka the world’s hottest I.T. girl, is back this week, telling Walter she’s not the only person who was tracking the money withdrew (embezzled?) from the company. There’s another hacker in the mix! Walter tells Felicity she’ll be suspended if she continues prying into his wife’s personal business without authorization. Still, he kept what information she found: a mysterious image with a Ghostbusters-type “no” symbol on it. Later he goes looking through the Queen mansion and finds something of Moira’s with the same image on it. Hmm … He also finds a notebook similar to the one Oliver received from his father. He gives it to Felicity, who figures out the seemingly empty book contains a list of names, which you can only see with the assistance of some cool glasses from the applied-sciences division. Walter is of course intrigued.

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Arrow and Huntress (the latter in costume for the first time) bust a drug operation together, beating up bad guys without killing them and severely hurting the mob’s business. Oliver points out afterward how effective (and relatively bloodless) the whole thing was. “What do you think?” he asks. “I think this feels good,” she replies.

Even as Huntress develops, we start to see signs that Tommy could be inching closer to his comic-book counterpart. Laurel, Tommy, Oliver and Helena end up at restaurant together, with tensions quickly rising, as anyone with eyes can tell Laurel and Oliver are basically soulmates. Tommy can’t hide his jealousy, and it doesn’t help that Oliver is still wealthy. Could the combination of envy, and evil father and his feelings for Laurel turn Tommy toward costumed villainy?

Digg was right about Huntress; she can’t be trusted. Case in point: After the awkward double date, Helena immediately gives on the idea of “deathless heroism.
trading in the crossbow Oliver gave her for a gun so she can finish what she started by killing off the Triad’s leader.

Blaming the mob for the hit, just as Helena had hoped, China White and the Triad mount an all-out assault on Bertinelli’s house. Arrow arrives just in time to help Helena’s father escape – just in time for him to be wounded by a crossbow bolt fired by his own daughter. Arrow prevents Helena from killing her father, who turns around and shoots his daughter with her own crossbow. Arrow carries Helena back to his headquarters, where she makes it clear she’s as hellbent as ever on seeing her father dead. She threatens to reveal Arrow’s identity if he tries to stop her.

It’s safe to say at this point Oliver and Helena are no longer a couple.

Oliver and Digg do some male bonding at the burger place and talk about meeting the right girl some day, with Digg hinting he may have feelings for his brother’s widow suggesting Ollie has already met the right one (that is, Laurel). Tommy later shows up at Oliver’s house to apologize for the tension at dinner and to tell him about his current state of poverty. Oliver offers him the manager position at his new club.

The episode ends with Helena on her motorcycle: back on the hunt!


  • z1co80

    I thought this was an excellent episode, Probably the best so far.

    Really enjoyed it.

  • Jaynova

    I thought the symbol looked more like that thing on Dr. Strange’s Sanctum Sanctorum.

  • stanisloski

    It’s official, just about all the women on this show are unlikable (except for IT girl, but give her time). Jessica De Gouw (despite the comic book lines she was given) was really able to show pain and empathy, making her character more human than any on the show (except for Ollie). She has really good eyes and the cemetery scene (as well as the flirtatious shooting scene) is probably the best in the series so far. Her last line, rebuffing Ollie, killed her for me, but it makes sense viewers draw closer to Ollie the more pain he’s in.The show has a real women problem. While most of the female characters have good reason for being mad at Ollie, you can’t have a show where all your female characters are constantly PO’ed. Thea is awful (Willa Holland is actually good at playing this unlikable figure). Mom is a possible villain (although she’s going through a transformation as of late). Laurel (Black Canary in the comics) is unfortunately made for the comic book Green Arrow who is much more like Tommy Merlin, a care-free sort who needs a serious woman to make him grow up. That’s not THIS Ollie. Also, the actors have zero chemistry. Predictions: Dig is going to hook up with his ex-sister-in-law.
    Dig is going to get killed off at some point, as will Laurel’s Dad.
    More female characters will be thrown at Ollie to break his heart and make Laurel jealous.
    Mom will turn out to be a villain, but will give up her life to save Ollie’s.
    Step-dad will either become good friends with Ollie or a bitter enemy over his wife’s death.
    Thea will conveniently be sent away or re-written with a new actress (again, not her fault).
    Ollie and Tommy’s bromance will die with…(1) Ollie and Laurel hooking up and…
    (2) The Hood will kill Tommy’s Dad making them mortal enemies.Oh, Sara’s still alive!

  • dagnabbit

    This show is getting better.  It has had a nasty habit of introducing new spins of DC characters and immediately throwing them away, hopefully this does not happen with the Huntress.

    One thing that is bugging me is that Ollie is so duplicitous about killing.  Laurel and Diggle had gotten on Ollie’s ass about killing, which I thought was cool, though it hasn’t stopped him.  His usual MO is to kill all of some boss’ henchmen and spare the boss.    Helena’s is just the opposite, kill the boss and withdraw, minimizing the engagement.  I don’t see how Ollie’s approach holds high ground over hers, in fact, it might be worse.

  • Spike

      I thought the unsympathetic Huntress was perfect.   It would have been fun if they showed her on the motorcycle passing a sign saying “Welcome to Gotham”

  • bm

    umm…are you posting this on every Arrow recap online?

  • Will Fitzgerald

    That seems like a spoiler right there in the headline excerpt. Thanks for that.

  • hate ARROW

    Gee  looks just like the huntress.  screams the huntress……NOT.

    PLease tell me how this not visually generic.

  • alex

    still not digging the “you have failed this city” line. i actually laughed out loud when huntress said this line in the episode.

    but all in all, a good series. not the best so far, but i’m giving it time.

  • sandwich eater

    To me the weirdest part was the IT lady finding a random image on their computers.  That doesn’t really make any sense.  If you could hack into a companies secure servers why would you leave a random jpeg of you secret organization’s logo behind.  The only explanation is that they did it on purpose like the Joker giving his victims a Joker card in the Dark Knight.