Arrow Review: “Vendetta”

Jethro shoots us another Arrow:

Oliver learns that things don’t always go his way. So do I. I thought we were over that whole love triangle thing.

Information for this episode may be found at TVRage and IMDb.

Title: “Vendetta”

Cast and Crew

Director: Ken Fink

Writers: Beth Schwartz and Andrew Kreisberg

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green arrow

Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance

David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle

Willa Holland as Thea “Speedy” Queen

Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance

Colin Salmon as Walter Steele

Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen

Jessica De Gouw as Helena Bertinelli/Huntress

Full cast and crew can be found here.

Premise

Oliver tries to “rescue” Helena by mentoring her in the Ways Of
Occasionally Non-Lethal Justice Serving.

High Points

  • I liked that Oliver got told he was wrong, ended up being wrong, and
    admitted to it.
  • Dig’s sister-in-law’s reaction to Oliver and Helena at her diner
    stood out for me.

Low Points

  • Ok really? The whole Oliver/Laurel/Tommy thing isn’t over? Come ON.
  • I’m still underwhelmed with Jessica De Gouw’s acting. She looks the part a lot more this week, though.

WTH Points

  • Reports that The Vigilante’s accomplice was “possibly a woman”.
    Seriously? “Possibly”? this is why the police hate eye witnesses because apparently they’re all possibly blind.

The Scores:

Originality: Superhero tries to save potential superhero from life of moral ambiguity. We’ve seen that before. We’ve even seen it fail
spectacularly before. As I mentioned in the high points, I do like that Oliver actually acknowledged he was wrong and seemed genuinely in pain over his decisions. One again, Arrow takes a not super original premise but shows a nice degree of originality in the presentation. And, to be honest, I didn’t know which way it’d go till Helena had her drama Queen moment at the restaurant. I give it a 4/6.

Effects: Again nothing spectacular, but the action sequences were fairly good. There were some low-tech moments – for instance, during the archery lesson there were a few shots landing off-camera. I think Arrow is showing us that you can have a superhero show with decent amounts of action without requiring planets to blow up or people shooting lightning at each other all over the place. 4/6.

Story: Ugh. Ok, I’ll start with the good parts.

The storyline itself was fairly solid. Oliver tries to set Huntress on the correct path for his specific brand of non-violent…ver have any idea
what the other is up to (and Walter definitely doesn’t know about Oliver’s
secret identity), they really can’tver have any idea what the other is up
to (and Walter definitely doesn’t know about Oliver’s secret identity),
they really can’tver have any idea what the other is up to (and Walter
definitely doesn’t know about Oliver’s secret identity), they really
can’tver have any idea what the other is up to (and Walter definitely
doesn’t know about Oliver’s secret identity), they really can’t do that.

But oh, oh, oh, Helena.

Maybe this is a Me thing, but I just can’t handle Drama Queens. That whole restaurant scene was painful for me. Helena just freaking out because they ran into Oliver’s ex? Who’s now dating someone else? And they’re all old friends? Big deal. And accusing Oliver of manipulating her because apparently everything he told her is the truth? Come on. “Dude!” I almost yelled at the TV, “let her go, you are SO better off.”

Still giving it a 4/6.

Acting: I’m still underwhelmed by Jessica De Gouw… as Helena. I realise she’s actually pretty good as Huntress. Christie Laing (who plays Dig’s sister-in-law) consistently does a fantastic job with the three lines she has, and she was actually the stand-out for me this week. I do have a small nit – I’m not super-buying Emily Bett Rickards as the Super Nerd Walter is using to help figure out what Moira is up to. This is mostly because I, uh, lets say I know super-nerds in real life and we.. I mean they are not like that at all. Still, that’s more writing than acting. 5/6.

Emotional Response: You know, I think it should have been higher than it actually was. I mean, it would have been nice if Oliver got a partner, or at least a confidant, or at least if it didn’t blow up in his face. But I’m not terribly sad about it because, as mentioned, I think he’s better off without her. Eh. 4/6

Production: Good as always. We had some new sets and locations, and as usual they look good. Huntress’ “costume” was subtle but effective (not that it’d keep people from recognising her but that’s a convention).
5/6

Overall: I don’t think this was a bad episode, as such, but it did have some points that annoyed me. Which I’ve already gone into quite a bit of rant-worthy detail above. 4/6.

In total, Arrow: Vendetta receives 30/42
drama-queen-drenched points.

9 replies on “Arrow Review: “Vendetta””

  1. JD DeLuzio says:

    I wonder if there’s a specific reason they’re using the Huntress at present, instead of the Arrow’s traditional female associate, Black Canary. Presumably, they (eventually) intend to use the Canary, since her alter-ego exists in the show.

    • Jethro says:

      Who is Black Canary’s alter ego? I looked it up and I can’t remember who that was in the show.

      I think right now they’re trying to keep the whole Oliver/Tommy/Laurel thing going, and if he got another love interest that would make me really happy. I mean, uh, make it so they couldn’t do that.

      • JD DeLuzio says:

        The version of the Canary associated with Green Arrow is Dinah “Laurel” Lance, though that version has the “sonic scream” powers as well as her fighting abilities. Katie Cassidy has stated in interviews she believes she will eventually be playing the Black Canary on the show.

        • Jethro says:

          Oh GOD, that means they HAVE to keep that triangle going.

          Also if DC and Marvel want to please stop having so many different versions of everyone with different names it’d help me out a lot.

          • JD DeLuzio says:

            Long history in pop culture does that.

            For a long time, the 40s and the 60s Canaries existed on different earths. Post-Crisis on Infinite Earths, they became mother and daughter. I don’t know what the New 52 status quo is.

            The whole thing gets complicated further by the fact that the Black Canary started out as a copy of Harvey Comics’ lesser-known Black Cat, one of the first female superheroes (think The Cat and the Canary). Of course, the Black Cat took a cue from Catwoman, who had already appeared, and was first known as “the Cat.” Marvel took the Black Canary and gave us the Black Widow (Marvel also has a totally different character called the Black Cat as well. They also once had a vigilante called “the Cat,” who later became the character Tigra).

            Sit down, take a deep breath, and have a glass of water. At least Arrow hasn’t featured anyone called “the Flash.”

            • Jethro says:

              That was more a tongue-in-cheek joke. I know they do this, but it doesn’t stop it from being confusing to us people aren’t (through no fault of our own) comic-book geeks (:

  2. Fez says:

    I was also underwhelmed by De Gouw’s acting. Hopefully they do have her back eventually. I think there is a lot of potential there, but part of me felt like that whole jealousy/upset thing was a little forced on her part, pulling away since she felt maybe like she was getting too close and/or softening up, which didn’t go well with her ultimate agenda.

    And given her “costume” and the people she was targeting, I’d say there was about zero chance she would get away without being recognized if anyone got a half-decent look at her.

    • Jethro says:

      Like I said, drama queen.

      And yeah, if nothing else her DAD knows it was her and he’s still alive and about to be interrogated quite thoroughly.

  3. Cyclops says:

    Crossovers and other characters may be showing up.

    This is totally my own speculation, but the minute it was said “Starling City’s very own vigilante” by omission they admit other cities have their own vigilantes (and in the comic books, we all know how that goes).

    It was very interesting that they brought up Huntress, that plus the comment from DeLuzio who mentions she said she might play the part of Black Canary leave me a bit less freaked out at the “similar character names that have nothing to do with who they should be” factor.

    The acting isn’t great, but if the series holds on for a couple of seasons more it will very likely pull up more from the DC universe.

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