Arrow Conversations: The Huntress Returns [INTERVIEW with EP/Creator Marc Guggenheim & actress Jessica De Gouw]
This week’s episode was like a measuring stick, showing us how far some characters have come and how little others have evolvedÂ since we last saw them.
Laurel made the biggest strides, both returning to the DA’s office and finally beginning to recognize what her sister and her family has been through. Roy also made a big step, choosing for once not to be selfish and to put other’s welfare before his own happiness. And Sara put her own feelings aside and spared Helena (unlike she did with Hendrick on the island), taking a big step towards being what she considers “a good guy”.Â But one character was stuck in her ways and refused to budge.
Upon her return, it was clear that Helena (aka The Huntress) stillÂ had vengeance on her mind. She returned to Starling City to kill her father and avenge her fiancee’s death, clearly havingÂ experienced none of the moral development that Oliver has encountered in the past year. That’s what made their final conversation so interesting.
When they met, they were in a very similar place and headed down similar paths. However, now its exactly one year later and Helena has returned with the same vendetta while Oliver’s approach has changed drastically. Oliver tries to help Helena see the error of her ways and that her father’s death would not bring her fiancee back, but Helena had one singular aim and she was not about to be deterred. It was only after her father was killed that she was able to take off the blinders and see the reality of the situation.
Helena: You know, I thought I’d feel different now that he’s dead, but I don’t. You always told me that killing him wouldn’t change anything. You were right.
Oliver: I was wrong too.
Helena: About what?
Oliver: I thought I could help you. To stop you from being a killer. But I was just starting and I was a killer too.
Helena: And what are you now?
Oliver: I’m trying to be better.
Helena: It’s so stupid but I keep thinking, now that he’s dead, my father and Michael are together and I’m still here, alone.
Oliver: You’re not alone.
I love this shift in Helena’s character and how Arrow uses guest characters to illustrate changes in our weekly characters. In a Q&A with EP/Creator Marc Guggenheim and Huntress actress Jessica De Gouw, Guggenheim seconded that thought when sharing with us his feelings on the final scene.
“The advantage of bringing The Huntress back in this season and Oliver’s arc is really is that last scene between Oliver and Helena. It gave us a chance to articulate how far Oliver has come in his evolution. That had he met Helena today, at this point in his evolution, maybe even there wouldn’t be a Huntress. Maybe he would’ve solved the problem of her vendetta in a different way. Back in episode 7 and 8 of last year, he was trying to channel her in to some more positive direction, her anger and her vengeance, and I think left to his own devices now, he would try it in a different way. And I think the tragedy of episode 17 is that just as he’s developed this clarity within himself that he could pass on to her, Helena is in jail. For the time being.”
I just hope that it’s not another full year before we have a chance to see Helena again. Don’t get me wrong, I like the characterÂ but when her appearances are so few and far between, I find it more and more difficult to both care and remember the depth of herÂ struggle.
But Guggenheim gave us hope when he mentioned his own interest in The Huntress and how he’d eventually like to bringÂ her to the small screen on a weekly basis.
“I’d love to do a Huntress series where we cover the year she spent between episodes 117 and 217 from her perspective, you know, traveling the world and hunting for her father. You never know, all things are possible.”
When asked what she sees for Helena’s future, Jessica De Gouw was steadfast that her character seems to have hit a turning point and is in a place where she can make a change for the better.
“At the end of this episode, she is certainly in a place where she can be redeemed and if she is in a place where she comes back it’ll be interesting to see her explore fighting for good or very different reasons. She does what she thought she needed to do and it wasn’t what she thought so you shift and change gear and evolve as a person”
Guggenheim even chimed in to give us his opinion on what he hoped to see for Helena down the road.
“One of the things we would love to do at some point is do an episode where you have Black Canary, Felicity and the Huntress working together, that’s on our show bucket-list.”
Now that’s something we’ll definitely tune in to see! Fingers crossed for season 3!
Be sure to watch Arrow Â Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
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