TV Review: ARROW Series 1, Episode 8 'Vendetta'

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

It's Training Day for superheroes as Green Arrow takes fledgeling crime-fighter Huntress under his wing to teach her the ropes. But as you might expect from a girl who had her fiancé murdered by her own father, she's a volatile one, so he'd better watch out.

It starts off well, with Ollie getting Helena her own outfit (“does it come in purple?”) and little crossbow. As they raid a gang of drug dealers, it looks as though the Green Arrow/Huntress partnership is a winning combination; they certainly make short work of Helena's father's goombahs. But when Ollie mixes his love life with crime-fighting one, a spanner is thrown in the works. This comes in the form of an awkward double date shared by Ollie, Helena, Laurel and Tommy. She may know a thing or two about punching gangsters in the face, but Helena doesn't deal too well with love triangles. Sensing the history and obvious chemistry between Ollie and Laurel, she throws a wobbly and immediately resumes her hit list where she left off.

If only Ollie had listened to doubtful Dig, the voice of reason. He's been telling Ollie all along that the Huntress is a bad 'un. Too busy with his topless training routine, Ollie disregards his bodyguard's warnings. Well, maybe he's just jealous about there being another sidekick in town.

There are some great fight scenes in Vendetta, and it's nice to see Green Arrow doing his thing with another vigilante in tow. Her costume looks pretty stupid (going for the standard domino mask and eyeliner that most television-level superheroes tend to sport) but the handheld crossbow is a nice wink to the comic books (even if she does ditch it five minutes later) and she's certainly got herself some nifty moves. Kelly Hu's China White is relegated to another cameo, with the pair mostly spending their night beating up faceless goons and Helena's dad instead.

The show's use of Huntress certainly helps Arrow's cause. It's allowed Ollie to chill out a little – and to realise that killing people isn't always the way forward. There is some nice musing on the difference between justice and vengeance. These are old questions (answered within the first hour or so of Batman Begins) but it's good that Arrow is asking them. It's better than the show's subplot – pretty young people being angsty and in love with one another. The other subplot we can deal with just fine – but that's because it involves Colin Salmon as Walter. He may not have done much over the course of the series but never mind that, it's Colin Salmon. I could watch Colin Salmon all day, even if he's just taking his step-daughter to school or chilling around the office. Coincidentally, that's all he has been doing so far. Step it up a notch maybe, Walter?

The action culminates with GA attempting to stop Huntress from killing her own father. He succeeds, but only narrowly. With her father in prison, she demands that Ollie leave her alone or else she'll spill his real identity to the world. Understandably crushed, Oliver nips to the local diner for a nice romantic meal with the one constant in his life (and the one person he can be honest with), Dig. As his fellow unlucky-in-love billionaire superhero Bruce Wayne could have told him, the crime-fighter doesn't always get the girl.

Hey, it's not easy being green.

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