Black Canary (whether it’s Sara or Laurel) may be Oliver Queen’s primary female crimefighting partner, but they weren’t the first women that fought baddies alongside Oliver. One of the more notable characters introduced during Arrow Season 1 was Helena Bertinelli, a.k.a The Huntress,who has been one of the more popular recurring characters on the series despite only appearing in four episodes. Many fans have been asking when we’ll see the crossbow-wielding femme fatale again, and while another appearance is likely, it won’t be happening this season.

Executive producer Marc Guggenheim went on his Tumblr page this weekend to announce that actress Jessica De Gouw won’t be reprising her role as Huntress during Season 3. Said Guggenheim:
We’d been discussing an episode that would return Helena Bertinelli to Arrow for Season 3, but it didn’t come together for a variety of reasons having nothing to do with Jessica or her willingness to return. As most of you know, despite doing 23 episodes a season — god help me — we still somehow manage to run out of room to tell certain stories (e.g., Felicity’s parents). Unfortunately, Helena’s episode in Season 3 was one of those casualties of our lack of real estate. We value Jessica and the character she created too much to waste both of them on a story we can’t give proper attention to.

Fortunately for Huntress fans, she is reappearing in the Arrow continuity this month. Guggenheim noted that issue #13 of Arrow Season 2.5 (which was released today) features Helena, and unlike her last appearance in the digital-first comic book, her return is “not a hoax, not a dream, and not a hallucination.” One image in the post shows her wearing her Huntress outfit while another has her getting up close and personal with Felicity, their first face-to-face encounter since Season 1’s “The Huntress Returns.” This means that at some between “Birds of Prey” and “The Calm” (the Season 3 premiere), Helena was able to escape custody; but whether she’ll be free or imprisoned when we see her again in live-action remains to be seen.

The last time Arrow fans saw Helena in “Birds of Prey,” she attempted to kill her father after the Starling City Police Department captured him. Frank ended up being accidentally killed in a crossfire between the SCPD S.W.A.T. team and the vigilantes, and after Helena was arrested, she told Oliver that while she didn’t regret her actions, she now felt alone with both her father and fiancé dead.

Meanwhile, Arrow Season 3 has been quite hectic, from the battle with Ra’s al Ghul that saw Oliver teaming with Malcolm Merlyn to defeat the League of Assassins leader, to Oliver and Felicity’s erratic relationship and the latter working closely with Ray Palmer, the future Atom.

With all that, it’s understandable that they weren’t able to fit Huntress into the story this season. However, like Guggenheim says later in the post, Arrow is coming back for Season 4, and since they have a “kick-ass idea for a Helena story,” we may reunite with her during the 2015-2016 TV season.

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

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