Arrow S2x17 “Birds of Prey”
Warning! Potential Spoilers
Arrow’s last episode, Suicide Squad was one of the best of the season. Birds of Prey was an episode so full of potential and it was something that I was looking forward to so much, but the end result turned out to be one of the weakest episodes of Season 2 to date, even if it was still better than the majority of the Season 1 episodes.
For a start, whilst there was a title “Birds of Prey” and whilst yes, there was never going to be a Birds of Prey teamup right from the start, this episode never really convinced me of the idea that a Birds of Prey spinoff could work, without further development – and the biggest problem here is Jessica de Gouw, who plays Helena. Whilst The Huntress was one of the first attempts to include the wider DC Universe into Arrow, de Gouw lacked the acting talent required and was largely weak in her role, meaning that the Huntress episodes were among the weakest of season one – and whilst she had a bigger improvement in her role thanks to the stint in Dracula, it still can’t quite stand up to the majority of the rest of the cast. But like Season 2 itself, everything is improving, for the better.
First of all, it was our first proper chance since the brief scene in The Promise to see the Team Arrow working together. Roy, Sara, Diggle and even Quentin, and the result was pulled off very well indeed – hopefully there’ll be more to come. Marc Guggenheim has stated that the upcoming episode entitled Man In The Hood will see people learn about Ollie’s identity, and based on the events in this episode I can predict that Thea and Quentin will be among them – especially given Thea’s meeting with Slade at the end of the episode – and with Quentin’s close proximity to both Sara and Arrow it’s only a matter of time, which also hints that the series is starting to move towards its endgame, especially with the next episode entitled “Deathstroke“.
Also, this episode continues to show signs of improvement for Laurel. Whilst she may be setting a new record for people who get kidnapped on this show – not even being safe in her own home, I’m surprised that she’s more paranoid than she is.
Also, the flashback sequences were great this week. Of course, Slade would know all the Roman references, but also there’s a good role played by Sara this week as the action is less Oliver-centric. It’s a fun break from the usual storyline, and served as some decent development. Back in the present, the action scenes were still there and they were very good indeed, with the dark lighting allowing for an awesome battle between Sara and Helena which was one of the highlights of the episode.
But the biggest problem of this episode is the fact that it never really matches the high quality of the previous Arrow episodes. There’s no real wow factor and whilst there may be fan service like the namedropping of Gail Simone or the use of the Canary Cry (at least the techniques version) it never really has the same level of execution as the Suicide Squad episode. However, it’s still entertaining – and is far from unwatchable.