Arrow Review: “Birds Of Prey” (Season 2, Episode 17)

Birds of Prey

I know that superhero TV shows require a bit of suspension of disbelief, but Laurel getting her job back was a bit of a stretch for me. It felt like a simple way to get her into trouble, as she’s later taken hostage when Huntress shows up to kill her father. This also gives Canary the chance to interact with Laurel who, get this, doesn’t recognize that Canary is her sister. Chew on that one for a second.

Aren’t we past the point of a domino mask completely hiding one’s identity? I mean, it’s her sister for Pete’s sake! And she spends a lot of time talking to her from a distance of about two or three feet. Sure, Canary has one of those nifty voice-changer things, but I’m not buying it. I know Laurel is a bit gullible, but come on.

It was nice to see Roy return and get the chance to work in the field again, though I can’t for the life of me figure out why they don’t put a mask on him. He looks completely ridiculous fighting crime next to two people in full-on superhero costumes. I know that he’s new to the team, and has powers that they don’t, but doesn’t his identity deserve to be protected just as much as theirs? After all, if someone recognizes or spots him they could easily track him back to Thea, or even Oliver and Sara.

Roy still suffers from Mirakuru-induced rage issues, which prompts Oliver to ask him to leave Thea. Oliver doesn’t believe Thea is safe if Roy can’t get a grip on his rage, and though I get where Oliver’s coming from, I don’t think now is best time to do that. Last week they mentioned that Roy was staying close to Thea to protect her from Slade, so putting some distance between them, rage or not, was a bad idea. After all, what happens once Thea walks home after her breakup with Roy? She gets kidnapped by Slade. Brilliant plan, Oliver.

Other than the Roy and Laurel issues, this was a solid episode, packed with some of the show’s trademark well-choreographed fight sequences. It was nice to see Canary in action, and I was a fan of Huntress back in season 1 so it was great to see her return. I also like that they planted some seeds that hint that maybe she won’t stay on the wrong side of the law for long, which means perhaps we can see a true Birds of Prey someday.

As I said before, the theme this week was darkness, and each character came face to face with their own inner demons. Laurel discovered that she still has darkness within her, and utilizes it to blackmail herself into getting her job back. For real this time. Canary grapples with not killing Huntress, while Huntress’ plan to murder her father is taken from her, opening her eyes to the fact that that wouldn’t have brought her peace anyway. Roy, of course, is still battling his demons and is forced to leave Thea because of it, and Oliver is faced with the fact that he not only created Huntress by giving her a taste for blood, but created Deathstroke all those years ago, too.

All in all, “Birds of Prey” won’t be remembered for being the strongest episode of the series, or of the season for that matter, but it was still a solid hour of entertainment that gave us exactly what we want from our costumed vigilantes. Now that Thea has been kidnapped, Slade has the upper hand and I cannot wait to find out what he has in store for Team Arrow as we go into the final stretch of season 2.

Quick Thoughts:

  • Lots of DC comics references this week. I liked that Oliver called Roy “Speedy.” His reasoning was touching, and Roy’s reaction to it was quite funny.
  • Mentioned this week are Hugo Mannheim (a nod to Bruno Mannheim, a mob boss from the Superman comics) and Gail Simone, a writer on the Birds of Prey books.
  • I really liked the moment when Officer Lance calls The Arrow, only to have Oliver’s cell phone ring right next to him. “It’s my mom,” was a good save, but sooner or later Lance is going to figure it out… right?
  • I’m really liking Canary, which has me worried. Seeing Laurel waving a baton around means they’re giving a nod to her potential transformation someday, and we can’t have two Canaries, can we? Please kill Laurel instead!
  • There was a cool nod to Oliver’s Shado tattoo as well. The show doesn’t only get its references right, it handles its continuity with similar care.

See you next week for more Arrow!