Arrow Watch: Episode 17 - The Huntress Returns

"The Hood's girlfriend is back."

It's been a few weeks since we saw the Starling City vigilante in action but Arrow finally returned last night to keep fighting the good fight. The CW superhero series took its second brief hiatus of the first season after ending the sixteen episode, "Dead to Rights", with more than a few cliffhangers to drive fans crazy waiting for "The Huntress Returns." Like Jessica de Gouw reprising her role as Helena Bertinelli isn't exciting enough, the previous installment also concluded with one game changing surprise after another. From Oliver's (too) honest exchange with Tommy and then saving the latter's bad dad to the arrival of the estranged Mrs. Lance with news of sister Sarah's possible survival, it was a fantastic, albeit cruel, way for Arrow to end before taking off for almost a month. But this week "The Huntress Returns" and it's time for some answers. As well as raising more questions. It's got to be that island! 4, 8, 16, 23, 42...

"I want a way off this island."

Purgatory island and the past seems like as good a place to start as any, even though the thread, as usual, runs through the entirety of "The Huntress Returns" and complements the main story in the present either thematically or simply in showing the development of Oliver's tactics as Arrow. In this case, the strategy that Ollie develops on the island so that he and Slade can make a successful assault on the ballistic missiles, or whatever the hell the possible war starting artillery is called, informs the plan he hatches with Huntress. The relationship between the pair of castaways is always entertaining to watch, even more so as Oliver continues to increasingly pull his weight and actually contribute to the mischief. Even if he can't kill a dozen guys in a blink of an eye. Yet, And that's probably why I find the island parts so fun recently, it's essentially two shit disturbers sneaking around the island and wreaking havoc on the faceless henchmen. Literally, they all wear balaclavas. Only the big bad is allowed to has a face!

"How many girlfriends do you have?"

Okay. Maybe not the most appropriate quote for the Laurel section of the recap but I still see her with Oliver more than Tommy. Even when Ollie's out with any of his numerous ladies, all of which I think I like more than her even if she's getting better. This week picked up with the aforementioned cliffhanger of Mrs. Lance, played by the always great Alex Kingston, showing up with new information about her supposedly dead daughter. I'm not sure where this thread is heading but bringing back Sarah would obviously create more drama but perhaps not the kind fans of the series are really hoping to see. I know it's The CW but there are enough romances in play already, no need to add another figure to the Swing City. Sorry. Starling City. Anyway, Detective Dad isn't happy to see his (ex)wife or rehash the details of his daughter's death but his lovely Laurel convinces him otherwise. I wonder what they will find? As far as she and Tommy, they had a bumpy week as well, although it had more to do with his baggage about his best friend being a killer. We'll get there.

"Excuse me. Back to my life of crime."

Oh, young love. Maybe I'm a sap but I'm kind of liking the developing relationship between Thea and Roy Harper despite the cringe worthy scene in the hospital where we discover the cure for trypanophobia is a kiss from a beautiful woman. To be fair, Colton Haynes isn't too bad to look at himself and the young actor has recently singed on as a series regular for the second season. And it's not just his blossoming romance with Thea that is keeping him around, Roy is also known in the DC Comics as Speedy, the Green Arrow's sidekick. We also know that Oliver's nickname for Thea is Speedy so the writers will probably skip that moniker and go right to his older superhero persona, Red Arrow. I mean, he's already rocking that red hood and saving lives with his bad ass parkour skills. Like I said. Not good with needles though. Or showing up for work, swelling his pride or avoiding sharp objects. How long before he stumbles his way into the Arrow Cave?

"It's the bad girls I'm worried about."

As promised, the episode titled "The Huntress Returns" opens with, well, The Huntress returning and somehow they managed to make Jessica de Gouw look even sexier. Maybe it was the stripper costume? Oh and something tells me we should prepare for even more sexy de Gouw (great band name) since she signed on to co-star with Jonathan Rhys-Meyers for NBC's Dracula. After ridding Starling City of her criminal dad's criminal lawyer, Dig is wise to her reappearance and immediately starts mothering Ollie into killing his crazy ex-girlfriend. His words. But our hero can't just murder her in cold blood, mostly because of his code but also his feelings for the wounded, hot Huntress. It isn't long before her not so veiled threat come to fruition as she uses Tommy to convince Arrow to help her take down her father and the U.S. Marshall transporting him to his cushy witness protection location. Good timing too since Tommy was seriously pissed with Oliver for being a badass superhero who saved his father. Idiot.

"Now get out of my city."

For those wondering, Verdant means 'of the bright green color of lush grass, which is totally a good name for a club. At least they got Steve Aoki to DJ. Whoever that is. I did like his shirt. While the party rages, Tommy's sulking is cut short by the kidnapping and Ollie begins planning the assassination. And telling Dig not to say I told you so. His plan to contain the violence ends up going rather well, mostly because the police, Detective Dad and Lieutenant Girlfriend (SHIVA!) finally managed to pull off a coup of their own and nab Huntress. She's downtown just long enough to play with the police (not to mention audience, "Oliver Queen...") and get under McKenna's skin before being busted out by her former boyfriend Bad move Arrow, since the all to easy rescue results in some violence against the Smoak (not cool) and Huntress going on a crossbow massacre of U.S. Marshals. Oh, and shotgunning your great girlfriend right out of town! I'll miss you Shiva. And Huntress. You blew it this week Ollie. But the episode was still pretty entertaining. No way she catches that arrow.

Arrow returns with Episode 18, "Salvation," next Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.