Arrow knocks it out of the park with Huntress
‘Arrow’ knocked it out of the park by adding Huntress to its guest cast. Jessica De Gouw did an awesome job. Also, adding the always kickbutt Tahmoh ‘Helo’ Penikett doubly amped up the action.
Arrow continues to develop and deliver as a TV show. Each week, the writers introduce flaws in Ollie’s plans and present him with characters that mirror him in a bizarro way. This week, throwing Huntress into the fray continued Ollie’s development. Out of the bat-family, I always liked bathing-suit-cut-out Huntress the least. But, as a character, she contained an irrational rage. However, because Huntress was essentially bat-candy and Katie Cassidy played Laurel as the sassy girl next door, I had pretty low expectations for the character. Luckily, Jessica De Gouw hit it out of the ballpark, without ever playing the character as the sad little pretty girl. De Gouw’s portrayal hit every single angle that ever existed in the character from rage to sadness to an incredible loss without playing to a pre-established template. Seriously, when she cried in the end over her fiancee while whispering no one could know her secret, I saw the true Huntress that lurked in the comics, but most artists buried by focusing more on her body over her character.
All I have to say to the Arrow writers, producers and directors is … damn! You guys are good!
I have to hand it to the writers for not closing their eyes to Ollie’s weakness (or the weaknesses in the Bat-canon). They hit on my main issue with Huntress in the Batman comics world. Despite his cruelty, Batman viewed Huntress as a wild card. While she didn’t adhere to his law, I always saw their tactics as similar. Likewise, I view Arrow’s Ollie as a cold-blooded killer. Sure, he gives his main targets a chance, but he kills their henchmen without batting an eye. At the end of the day, he only cares about his father’s vendetta and the 1% of Gotham. I never understood why he seemed so anti-Deadpool and now so anti-Huntress, when he does the same thing. Sure, he might’ve created a “code” for himself, but until he acknowledges that he kills people and realizes that a true hero tries to save everyone, not just the people related to him, he’s stuck in a tunneled mindset. So, bringing Helena on as an exact mirror of his life with Jessica De Gouw basically paralleling Stephen Amell’s deliberately empty portrayal rocks.
I love Helena’s introduction because the character’s honesty and Digg’s truth-talking all force Ollie to continue moving forward. While he feels his vendetta sets him apart from his family, in some ways, he’s still just a spoiled rich kid acting out. While Diggs points that out verbally, Helena, as Ollie’s mirror, points it out physically. (On a side note, I’m going to start calling Digg Alfred. At first I thought they planned on using him as Green Lantern, Green Arrow’s moral action buddy, but, considering Digg hangs out in the mansion wearing a suit, I think we know who he resembles most).
I don’t quite understand why Thea and Ollie’s mother seem determined to have the old Ollie back. Old Ollie sounds like a prick. He cheated on his girlfriend WITH her SISTER!!! He hung out with the smarmiest looking dude in town and was an entitled douche to everyone. Now, he no longer hangs around the house without anything to do. Plus, he wants to get a job and run his own business. Um, he sounds like an ADULT. And, his family doesn’t want their late-twenties son to grow up?! WHAT?! WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?! If I lived at home at my age, hung around the house all day, used my family’s money, showed no desire to have a job, and hung out with bad influences, my family wouldn’t exactly smile at that.
Considering Thea is Speedy and Tommy is probably Merlyn, whenever Ollie does the opposite of what they want, it’s probably a good thing. On a side note, I have to congratulate the writers with the name-dropping. Last week, everyone inexplicably started using the Speedy nickname with Thea so we knew who she related to in the comic canon. Now, they’re doing the same with Tommy (where Laurel started calling him by a last name she previously never used). If a teenager’s angry that she has to stay home rather than clubbing in the middle of the week by herself, that’s a good thing. (Am I the only one who forgot she’s still in high school and isn’t of the voting age?) While I like Tommy’s softer side, a dude who’s angry that he has to get a job and can’t live off his parents is still a Scrub in my book. So, good on you, Arrow for the continuing development.
I’m glad Huntress will return next week and I’m glad they didn’t pencil her into a one-episode deal with an actress like De Gouw. The character and the writing accompanying her entrance get mega-props. The costume department equally deserves accolades. The simple silver cross and quiet black dress hit on Helena’s personality and core costume without any bells and whistles. Do I need to say anything about the awesome fight scenes that seamlessly intersected with the dialogue and character development? Nope. Because it’s perfect. Oh, and, casting Tahmoh “Helo” Penikett (Battlestar Galactica) as the boss’ right hand? Sheer awesomeness.
Good job, Arrow. Keep it up.