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Arrow Conversations: “The Huntress Returns” 

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

Oh Arrow, how I missed thee! This week’s return brought back some familiar faces while also getting rid of some new ones. Normally I would highlight a moment that played in to some bigger theme of the episode (and this week, I would definitely go with the characters only seeing what they want to see), but there were so many great one-on-ones that I feel like I’d be remiss to leave any out. Instead, here are my random conversational moments of goodness.

As usual, I have to start with my love for Ollie and Diggle. These two have an exceptional dynamic together and you can always sense both the mutual respect and mutual desire to challenge each other in everything they do. That being said, they also provide us with MUCH of the comic relief in what can otherwise be heavy subject matter. I loved the scene at the club where Ollie asks Diggle to get additional security to watch over Moira and Thea after Helena threatens his family. After Diggle agrees, the conversation continues as such:

Oliver: “Thank you”
Diggle: “It’s my job”
Oliver: “For not saying ‘I told you so’”
Diggle: “The nights still young”

These two spar like siblings, yet you always know that they have each other’s back. And despite the fact that Diggle “works for” Oliver, I love that he is also a mentor and guide in certain ways and has no trouble calling Oliver out in an attempt to set him back on his path. We saw this later in the episode when the two were arguing about how to handle the situation with Helena (aka The Huntress).

Oliver: “Do you want me to kill her?”
Diggle: “I think you would’ve a long time ago if she looked like me instead of the T-Mobile girl. She’s a stone cold killer, Oliver”
Oliver: “She’s not even…”

As we learned, they’re both right. Helena has no trouble when it comes to killing, but as Oliver points out, it’s not just killing for killing sake. She is working from a place of pain and has a purpose and a vendetta she feels she needs to fulfill. Granted, this doesn’t make her actions justifiable and as we see, many people (both innocent and not), get hurt in the process. But I do appreciate that both Oliver and Diggle have a different stance on the topic and ultimately, in the end, it has to be a matter of the greater good and whether logic or compassion are worth more. As we saw in this case, Oliver realized Diggle’s logical and unemotional perspective had to prevail…although now that she’s gotten away, I’m not convinced that Oliver won’t continue to look for another solution.

That leads me to my next set of interactions this week: Tommy and Oliver. In their first interaction since Oliver’s big reveal, it broke my heart to see the animosity Tommy holds against Oliver.

Tommy: “You’re a murderer. You were my best friend in life and now it’s like a don’t even know you”

Despite the fact that I feel badly for Oliver, I also can’t blame Tommy. He knows that Oliver did it to protect him, but that being said, seeing your friend in a whole new light is never easy. Especially when the press is portraying him as cold-blooded killer. Although, after Tommy comes face to face with Laurel and is unable to tell her the truth, he begins to realize how difficult Oliver’s life must be and how hiding secrets from the one you love isn’t always easy. However, it was Oliver’s enlightenment in this conversation that was the most difficult for me. Post-island Oliver has always done everything for everyone else. He looks out for the greater good of others and as we’ve seen, often puts himself second, which is why this revelation is difficult to stomach.

Oliver: “I was wrong to think I could have it both ways. That I could do what I do and still have a normal life.”
Tommy: “Except if you’re alone, you’re never gonna be happy.”
Oliver: “Maybe not, but me being happy isn’t what’s important right now.”

Oh Oliver, such a noble gesture. The fact that he thinks he’s possibly been selfish to this point worries me and makes me desperately hope that this new found conviction doesn’t lead him to be reckless or to sacrifice himself even more than he already does.

Okay, so I know I said that I wouldn’t talk theme, but the more I wrote, the more I realized I can’t let it go. So now a quick recap on how many of our characters only see what they want to see. Starting with Tommy and Oliver, as the first quote above shows, in the beginning of the episode Tommy can only see Oliver as the friend who betrayed him. He wasn’t able to see all that Oliver has taken on and sacrificed to make Starling City a better place. Tommy took the betrayal personally and it wasn’t until he was face to face with Laurel that he realized that that has become the life to which Oliver is subjected and how Oliver’s need to keep secrets is not selfish, but rather noble.

Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW

Detective Lance also faced a similar dilemma when he discovered that his wife was back in town. Apparently she left him three years ago and has not made contact since…so as we would expect, Detective Lance is harboring some animosity and anger. And it’s these feelings that blind him from seeing his wife as anything besides the “bad guy.” Initially, he resists her attempt to share evidence that their daughter, Sarah, is alive and despite how much we all know Detective Lance wants that, the fact that it is coming from his ex is reason enough for him to shut her down. However, with the loss of one of his agents and coming to terms with the fact that not everything is always as it appears, he begins to bend and opens to the possibility.

Another pairing I’m looking forward to seeing more is Thea and Roy. To this point, their relationship has been more or less antagonistic since Roy can and will only see Thea as a snobby rich girl. However, hopefully her concern for him and attempt to not only get him a job, but also save him from the horror of a needle (side note – did this feel like foreshadowing to anyone else?) will open his eyes and allow him to see her as more.

Finally, Oliver and Helena. Despite knowing that Helena has the capacity to kill and is somewhat reckless, Oliver initially refuses to see her as anything except a wounded daughter. It’s undeniable that their past relationship and his feelings for her have clouded his judgment, as Diggle pointed out, but the leniency he shows her as a result is more than she deserves. She blackmails him and uses his friends and family as leverage to get him to help her, making it clear that she is determined to exact her revenge, regardless of who gets hurt in the process.  It is clear Oliver wants to believe she is good and wants to fix her, but as we see in the end, he realizes that he’s been somewhat blinded to the truth all along. Helena is nothing like Oliver. They may have bonded over lost love and betrayal, but the way that they handled it and the way they choose to rectify it define who they really are as characters. And since Helena was able to escape, I have no doubt these feelings will test Oliver again in the future. As we’ve seen, Oliver has a big heart and even though it is what fuels him, it can also sometimes get him in trouble.

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on the CW.

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