Arrow: Birds of Prey Review -

Arrow Review

Mania Grade: C-

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  • Episode: Birds of Prey (Season 2, Episode 17)
  • Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Caity Lotz
  • Written By: Mark Bemesderfer & A.C. Bradley
  • Directed By: John Behring
  • Network: The CW
  • Studio: Warner Brothers, DC Comics
  • Series:

Arrow: Birds of Prey Review

Catfight or Birdfight?

By Tim Janson     March 27, 2014

Several weeks back when I looked at the titles of upcoming Arrow episodes “Birds of Prey” was one I circled with anticipation.  Might we see Oracle?  Batgirl?  Hawkgirl?  Could we see any of the other members that have graced the pages of DC Comics over the years?  But when the preview came along last week it immediately looked disappointing.  It seemed as if our Birds of Prey would turn out to be nothing more than a love triangle catfight between Oliver’s past and present girlfriends.  Fortunately it did not turn out to be that bad…but it still wasn’t good.

My take from this episode was someone decided that there should be a fight between The Huntress and Black Canary and a quick, hackneyed plot was thrown together to facilitate the idea. Officer Lance leads a raid on a criminal warehouse with Arrow and Black Canary along for backup.  The raid results in a shootout and one of the men apprehended turns out to be crime boss Frank Bertinelli.  This leads to the first two problems.  I don’t pretend to be an expert on police procedures or chains of command but why would Lance, now demoted down to just an officer, be leading a raid with apparently no supervisor present?  The entire Lance demotion has been bungled.  The guy is still a detective in duties if not in title.

Secondly, Frank Bertinelli has been seen as a wealthy crime boss who lives in a mansion.  The whole idea of him hanging out with low end thugs in a warehouse came off as a cheap plot contrivance solely to get him into police custody.  And why?  So his daughter Helena, The Huntress, could storm back into Starling City to kill her father, leading to the aforementioned showdown with Black Canary.  But even before we get to that point there are more issues with the writing this week.

Out of the blue Laurel’s boss District Attorney Donner offers her her old job back specifically to be involved in the Bertinelli trial.  However it turns out that the trial was merely a trap to lure out the Huntress.  Helena had prepared for a trap by having her own men in the courthouse.  She takes several people, including Laurel hostage and we soon have a standoff between her group, and an overly aggressive SWAT team whose leader wants to shoot anyone wearing a costume.  The sloppy writing rears its ugly head here as well.  Whose bright idea was it to put several innocent people in danger to setup a trap in such a public place?

Eventually we do get to the showdown battle between The Huntress and Black Canary…two of them actually in surprisingly dynamic fight scenes.  While Helena gets the best in the first round, Canary tells her it’s because she was holding back and manages to take her out in the deciding fall, ending the standoff with Helena being arrested.  In other developments, Roy’s continuing problems with controlling his anger forces him (at Oliver’s STRONG suggestion) to break off his relationship with Thea.  On the island, Slade is torturing Oliver to force Sara to return the ship’s engineer so he can repair the broken down engine.

While I actually ended up enjoying the two fights between Black Canary and The Huntress, the shoddy way in which we got there diminished the conflicts.  Why would any DA agree to put people into such a dangerous situation?  And what about the courtroom judge?  Wouldn’t they have told the DA, “You’re Nuts!” to the idea?  Getting back to “Officer” Lance for a second…Is this guy the worst detective in the world?  So maybe we have to suspend belief when he meets with the Arrow that he somehow doesn’t recognize Oliver…but when he calls him on the Bat Phone…err…Arrow Phone and Oliver’s phone rings at exactly that moment when they are standing right next to each other?  No wonder why he was demoted.  And at the end he punches and knocks out the SWAT team leader?  Would this not be considered aiding and abetting?

Without a doubt the weakest episode of season two but considering it was episode 17 of the season I suppose that’s not too bad.


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Eldogg42 3/27/2014 10:14:39 AM

I still like the show, but it is starting to slide down to Smallville-esque writing.  Hopefully it picks up.  Now, I stood by Smallville through the whole series, but the writing was very weak.

Iridan 3/27/2014 10:59:52 AM

I liked the episode. Yeah, the whole main plot line might have been weak, but I really don't remember what happed to the Huntress' father from last season. And yeah, the whole 'detective' Lance situation needs to be cleaned up.

For me, the rest of the episode made up for it. I really enjoyed the bit when Lance called the Arrow and Oliver's phone rang right next to him. I thought that was hilarious.

jonniej1017 3/27/2014 1:33:37 PM

I agree about the whole phone thing..  but what about Oliver and Sara always being together and then you see Canary and Arrow together all the time??  No one puts 2 and 2 together on this??? Like Detective Lance or Laurel the attorney??  Seems a little stupid to me now and esp after this episode of seeing them together constantly.  But in dont think the espisode was that bad to give it a c-.. maybe a B -


DarkJedi41 3/27/2014 2:52:21 PM

 Yeah - your rating is clearly based on what you wanted the episode to be not what it was. The plot holes were not that big. They said Bertinellli was there trying to collect old debts he was strapped for cash. This was not the shows best episode but it was not a C-.  The scene where Canary asks Felicty and Diggs what they think she should do about huntress was great.

samson 3/27/2014 4:32:04 PM

 This is the kind of writing that doomed Heroes. Definitely a C-. 

Mooncrow 3/27/2014 6:41:28 PM

 I'm not usually an overly critical comic geek, but this one was kind of weak. Hopefully it picks up again, without the "filler" episodes.

redslayer 3/27/2014 10:55:35 PM

I don't particularly think this was the greatest episode, but Canary vs Huntress saved the whole thing for me!

Can't get enogh of Sarah in her leather gear

Mayhem101878 3/28/2014 5:12:46 AM

I enjoyed this episode. As far as your questions go, the acctual DA told Laurel that Donner wasn't working with any authorization when he called her in and that the whole Huntress trap was unauthorized. Frank was wearing a wire and was not going to be put on trial it was all part of the trap. So that should answer that bunch of questions/plot holes for you.

As for Lance not figureing out the identity of the Arrow, first of all when the phone rang Oliver clearly showed Lance the phone and said that it was his mother calling, and secondly who's to say he dosedn't know who he is and just figures if he wants to tell him then he will. After all if you figured out a hero's identity before they felt they wanted to tell you would you blurt out to them that you knew who they were?

Like DarkJedi41 said Frank was there collecting old debts after all he's been on the run and in hiding so deep that his own daughter couldn't find him which I'm sure would cost a lot of money plus he wouldn't be living a high lifestyle if he was on the run.

I'll agree that it wasn't the best episode, but a C- is a little harsh maybe a B or B-.

Alobar 3/28/2014 8:15:35 AM

This show is tiring me. CW crap is infecting it.


tjanson 3/28/2014 8:39:34 AM

 Mayhem....yeah sorry not buying that.

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