Arrow: Vendetta

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by Noor Alnaqeeb (@nooralnaqeeb)

Warning: Do not read on if you haven’t seen Arrow Season One, Episode Eight: Vendetta

Last week on Arrow, when Helena Bertinelli passionately told Oliver “You feel the same way I do,” she wasn’t just talking about hard, cold revenge. That much was evident when this week’s episode opened with the sneaky vigilante hopping out of Oliver’s bed, into her clothes and out the door. Her next move? Find and kill Triad members. Expectedly, Oliver found her and interrupted her game plan. And so the argument continues: revenge versus justice.

In the best two minutes of topless television history, Diggle scolds a shirtless Oliver during his work out for letting Helena into his life. He is convinced the entire ordeal will end badly, but Oliver believes he can save her. With the Triad on her self-destructive trail and her father vetting for self-survival, Oliver might be in over his head.

The main plot points this episode showed the development of storylines that have taken a stand still lately. Walter Steele is back from Australia and he still has questions. And thankfully, Felicity, his super-genius employee, is here to help. She’s found out that someone else has been tracking Moira’s financial movements and the only trace they left behind was a symbol. The same symbol we have continuously seen throughout Arrow that is associated with the evil men and women of Oliver’s hit list. And that is exactly what Walter’s snooping leads him to – an exact copy of Oliver’s leather bound brown book, and again, thanks to Felicity, he can read the seemingly blank pages.

Speaking of blank pages, Oliver takes Helena to Sara Lance’s grave to show her reason. He delivers a heartfelt speech about guilt, loss and the effects of vengeful acts. Helena agrees to let him in after he promises never to hurt her. And so he lets her in – into his increasingly not-so-secret lair. He teaches her a few things about discipline, patience and arrow-shooting. Their vigilante bonding session is cute, but Diggle arrives and is definitely not impressed.

Nevertheless, Oliver takes Helena on their third date – a vigilante-run to bring Anthony Fenza to justice. Romantic… I guess.  Helena uses Oliver’s “You have failed this city” catchphrase and the duo seem pretty adorable working together. Helena now has a purple, skin-tight, crime-fighting get up and the ability to use a crossbow; and the Huntress is finally revealed. In order to bring a bout of normalcy to their relationship, Oliver takes Helena to a new restaurant called Table Salt. And lo and behold, they bump into Laurel and Tommy who agree to join them at their table instead of waiting for Tommy’s unfunded requests to be adhered to. Awkward? That’s not even the half of it.

During the love-square dinner date, Laurel tells Oliver that Tommy has wanted to ask him for a job. Not taking his friend seriously, Oliver laughs in his face – Tommy leaves in a huff, Laurel leaves with concern, and Helena leaves after realizing that Laurel is the love of Oliver’s life. Now it’s awkward.

After Helena’s disappointment in Oliver breaking his promise to never hurt her and as no good thing lasts forever, Helena is back to her revenge-seeking ways. Her anger leads her to a poker game with the main members of the Triad present; she kills everyone and leaves a messenger to blame her father for the attack. During the retaliation, Helena goes after her father and explains the reasons behind her vendetta against him. Arrow shows up just in time to stop Helena killing him, giving her father a chance to shoot her. While Mr. Bertinelli guiltlessly almost killed his daughter, Oliver took her back to his hideout and fixed her up just to have her storm off, never wanting to see him again. Mr. Bertinelli is safe behind bars with the mounds of evidence found on his laptop piling up against him.

After being abandoned by the closest female companion Oliver has had in a while, Diggle gives him very fatherly advice about finding the right girl. Diggle is starting to resemble somewhat of a spirit guide and a few hints were thrown our way that he might have a thing for his brother’s widower. In a final scene, Tommy shows up at Oliver’s place and asks for a real job, not just trust fund money he hasn’t worked for and the two agree to work together on Oliver’s night club.

This episode was well executed, displaying the different interlocked plotlines. The loose ends have been dealt with and I find the character’s personalities are being fleshed out. As everything seems to be settling into equilibrium, the mid-season finale airs next week and we can only wonder what bombshells will be dropped.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars



    One Comment

  1. Chuck and Firefly FanDecember 10th, 2012 at 2:47 am

    “the best two minutes of topless television history.” lol great writing. It was a good episode but it is a bit wishy-washy on the whole revenge and justice aspect. What Oliver is doing seems to be alot like revenge to since they havent really explained how the people in the list have polluted the city. I know they want to leave that for later episodes but a bit of reassurance would be great. Regardless, its a great show. Possibly the best new show of 2012. I cant think of anything better.

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