11:55 pm EDT, March 26, 2014

‘Arrow’ season 2, episode 17 recap: Letting the darkness inside

Arrow season 2, episode 17, “Birds of Prey,” aired tonight, featuring the return of the Huntress.

Setting the stage

The episode opens with Arrow and Canary helping Lance’s squad catch Frank Bertinelli. As Bertinelli’s taken into police custody, Lance realizes that Helena’s bound to roll into town.

Sara, though, has no idea who Helena is, so Team Arrow catches her up. According to Felicity, Helena’s been dropping bodies for the last year while looking for her father.

Arrow season 2, episode 17 recap Arrow

Elsewhere, during Laurel’s second AA meeting of the day, she gets a call from Donner. He called in favors to take care of her disbarment, and he wants her to try the Bertinelli case.


At Verdant, Roy gives Thea an expensive bracelet before he’s called into the field when Felicity tracks Helena to a rental car. The Arrow, Canary, and Roy stop the car, and the driver shoots Roy through the hand, triggering his rage. Oliver reaches him by calling him Speedy, Thea’s nickname.

It turns out the driver was a decoy; Helena actually got into Starling via carjacking. While waiting for another lead, Oliver checks in on Roy. Though Roy says he’s in control (and that Oliver should never call him Speedy again), Oliver wants him to stay away from Thea.

When news hits that Laurel is trying the Bertinelli case, Sara tries to convince her to drop the case, but she refuses. Meanwhile, Sara and Oliver fight over how to deal with Helena. Oliver tells Sara not to get involved since the situation is personal. He has met his trained assassin girlfriend, right?

Huntress returns

Oliver arrives at the courthouse in time for Huntress to attack her father. However, she quickly realizes she’s fallen into a trap, with Bertinelli as the bait. A shootout commences between the cops and Huntress and her men. Oliver gets Bertinelli out, but Laurel is still inside.

Helena’s demand is simply her father; if he’s not turned over to her, she’ll start killing hostages.

Arrow season 2, episode 17 recap Huntress

Sister, sister

Canary rescues Laurel from one of Huntress’ thugs. They end up hiding out in an office, and Laurel’s ready to dive back into the bottle after realizing she was put on the case because she’s expendable.

She laments that she came back to work because she wanted to show Sara she was as strong as her. Canary tells Laurel to show her instead, so Laurel caps the bottle and they head out.

The Arrow contacts Canary and tells her to get Laurel out, but Laurel refuses to leave while innocent hostages are in danger.

Once you let the darkness inside…

Helena is ready to start killing hostages when Canary ambushes her. Canary, though, is distracted when Laurel is attacked, and Huntress pushes her out a window. She breaks her fall, but Laurel is now a hostage.

When the Arrow calls Huntress, she demands her father in exchange for Laurel. Lance transfers Bertinelli into a police van, where Canary and the Arrow are waiting.

Meanwhile, Laurel tries appealing to Helena, telling her about Tommy’s death and her resulting addiction. She tells Helena she doesn’t have to do this, but Helena disagrees, replying, “Once you let the darkness inside, it never comes out.”

The Arrow informs Huntress of the exchange, and Helena and Laurel leave the courthouse with Helena dressing as a police officer. The cops, though, track them via Laurel’s cell phone.

Arrow season 2, episode 17 recap Laurel

…it never comes out

As the two parties converge for the exchange, Bertinelli says he’s sorry for hurting the little girl his daughter once was. Huntress is about to shoot him when the cops open fire.

In the confusion, Canary confronts Huntress again. Canary ends up with the upper hand and is prepared to kill Huntress, but Laurel stops her. In the wake of the fight, Helena finds that her father was shot and killed in the crossfire. It’s over.

At the police station, Oliver visits Helena. She doesn’t feel different now that her father’s dead, meaning Oliver was right all along. He says he was wrong in thinking he could help her when he was hurting and a killer himself, though he’s trying to be better now. He also tells Helena she’s not alone.

Laurel learns Donner was fired. According to the D.A., he also didn’t have the power to rehire her. Laurel, though, threatens to tell the press about Donner’s involvement in the hostage situation if she’s not reinstated. The D.A., after agreeing, says she thought blackmail was below Laurel. In a chilling moment, Laurel repeats Helena’s words.

What heroes do

The same night, Roy loses his cool at Verdant and realizes Oliver’s right about being a danger. He tries to break up with Thea, but she refuses to accept it, saying she won’t let Roy go through whatever he’s going through alone. Roy eventually resorts to making out with the bartender where Thea would find them, and Thea throws the bracelet at him.

Later, Oliver finds Thea crying. She’s upset about all the lying going on around her, from Roy to their mother. She twists the knife by telling Oliver he’s the only one who never lies to her before leaving.

Meanwhile in the Arrow cave, an upset Roy crumples Thea’s metal bracelet like paper.

The episode then closes with Slade offering Thea a ride home.

Arrow season 2, episode 17 recap Sara

Meanwhile, on the island…

The freighter’s engine was damaged during the assault, and the sole engineer is dead. There seems to be one other person who could fix the engine: Hendrick, who made it to the island with Sara’s group.

Slade, who has been busy torturing and tattooing Oliver, calls the plane’s radio and proposes an exchange of Oliver for Hendrick. He gives Sara an hour before he’ll kill Oliver. Hendrick refuses and is ready to shoot his way free, but Sara knocks him out and the escapees tie him up.

Watch a promo for the next episode

What did you think of ‘Arrow’ season 2, episode 17, ‘Birds of Prey’?

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