Welcome to our latest round table!
This week, we're examining Arrow Season 2 Episode 17, the big Birds of Prey matchup and the mistakes made that ended up putting Thea into the hands of Oliver's nightmare.
Join staff writers Kate Brooks, NcMcHatton, Carla Day, Hank Otero and Carissa Pavlica in the discussion by planting your own answers in the comments.
Did the Birds of Prey episode live up to your expectations?
Kate: Yeah, it did. I really loved this episode. If Helena would've been as fantastic in a Season 1 as she was in this episode, I would have actually liked her character. "If the Huntress shows up I think you should totally kick her ass" - Felicity always on point!
Nick: I tend to temper my expectations of Arrow episodes now since so many have walked the line of predictability this season, and enjoy it for what it is now. I never cared for The Huntress, so to have her back killed the mood for most of the episode.
Carla: It did. I also didn't care for Helena or the Huntress in her previous appearances. She was used well here and really embodied the tortured soul that her father and Oliver helped create. And loved the Black Canary vs. Huntress fight.
Hank: Actually, it exceeded my expectations. I agree with everyone's opinion of The Huntress, never liked the character. That said, I think it was necessary for the writers to wrap up Helena's revenge against her father arc. The writers must have felt it had grown old as well because they ended it. In order for The Huntress to get better storylines, Frank had to go. I'm totally fine with that. Jessica De Gouw never clicked with me last season, but I think this was her best performance on the show so far. I can't believe I'm about to write... I'm looking forward to seeing Helena/Huntress in Season 3.
Carissa: It wasn't all it was cracked up to be in my eyes. There was a lot of hype and it came down to a fight scene. While I enjoyed Helena far more than I have in the past, she should on the Suicide Squad road to redemption, but something tells me she'll take a different route. I'm with Nick; I've learned to temper my expectations.
How did the team go from having eyes on everyone to letting Thea walk off alone?
Kate: Rookie mistake! Slade knew it too. Oliver was so concerned about protecting Thea by making Roy let her go that he wasn't protecting her at all. Good job Ollie!
Nick: Instead of creating something plausible the show used a plot device to force the action forward. It's rather annoying that everyone thinks Roy is the biggest danger in Thea's life, and they let her walk out the front door with no worries of who is outside.
Carla: Oliver lost sight of his priorities. He feared Roy more than Slade in a single moment and it cost Thea more than a broken heart and tears. It was an oversight that he won't easily forget.
Hank: I agree with Nick, this was a lame plot device used to move the story forward. We knew Slade was going to get his hands on Thea, but isn't Roy in the best position to protect her? Oliver has been making seriously questionable decisions this season, but having Roy break up with Thea probably takes the cake.
Carissa: Nothing like losing site of the trees while focusing on the forest! Oliver will try to blame Slade for being an ass, but he should be given props for paying attention in this life or death game when Oliver gave it up. The odds are pretty good that Slade staged the entire Bertinelli situation knowing Oliver would look elsewhere.
Things still feel off with Oliver. Do you think he's bringing his A game right now?
Oliver: Heck no. I don't believe we've ever seen his complete "A Game" and I have this feeling that Slade is definitely going to bring it out in him. In the remaining episodes of season two, I believe we're going to see a version of Oliver that we have never seen and it's exciting.
Nick: Not at all, Oliver is losing to his turmoil. He is so traumatized of his history with Slade, and what he's gone through under his thumb that he's not focusing on being the calm, cool, collected, and forward thinking Arrow. He's reverting back to his immaturity when he first got on the island.
Carla: I think he's doing the best that he can given all that he's facing. He's become the protector of the city, his friends, and his family. He pushes himself to the limit and it's easy to forget that he's just a man.
Hank: Carla's right, he's doing the best he can with everything that's going on. Unfortunately, it's affecting his A game big time. As I mentioned before, Ollie is making some very questionable choices. Let's hope he snaps out of it soon.
Carissa: As I said above, looking back I'm betting Slade organized the Bertinelli situtation so he could take advantage of Oliver's weakness -- trying to save everyone. Slade knows Oliver very well, and he's thinking he'll spend the rest of his life trying not to let another Shado event occur, even when it means he loses sight of those most important to him.
What will be the ramifications for Oliver forcing Roy to break up with Thea only to have her kidnapped?
Kate: I have a lots of feelings about this. I firmly believe that Oliver was trying to motivate Roy to learn how to control his anger and his newfound abilities by using Thea to that advantage. However, it backfired. And now Oliver is going to have to justify making that decision and live with whatever consequences come of it. In the end, I hope that Roy would want to control his abilities but I believe he's just going to be further pissed off.
Nick: Roy's not going to be happy with Oliver for making him break up with Thea. I'm curious if he's going to willingly go be by Slade's side to save her, and Slade might end up being the one who will teach Roy to better control the Mrakuru coursing through his system.
Carla: A fight. A nasty physical fight that will be powered by the heart crushing pain and guilt that they both feel.
Hank: I agree with everyone, Roy's not going to be pleased at all. Like Nick, I also wonder if ultimately Roy will go with Slade to protect Thea. Oliver hasn't been successful reaching or training Roy, perhaps he decides the Mirakuru guru is the way to go?
Carissa: It would be interesting if Roy traded himself for Thea. I like that idea a lot. It would not only increase his anger toward Oliver but give him a bird's eye view into exactly what Mirakuru can do to someone, and that's knowledge Roy really needs, even if he gets it in an unlikely fashion.
Once you let the darkness in inside, it never comes out. It's even in the promo now. Talk about it.
Kate: This saying, I feel is going to be the theme for the remaining episodes of the season. Our heroes were not always heroes they were first "killers" and it's this darkness that haunts them. Sarah and Oliver are going to have to reach into who they used to be, killers, to be able to defeat Slade. There's no avoiding killing Slade to move on. In the end it just proves that the darkness never comes out.
Nick: Darkness manifests itself on the actions you take and your morality, and there's no coming back from some of them. Thus, they wear down the soul, blacken it, and those actions weigh on you for the rest of your life, thus, never coming out.
Carla: Many of the characters have done things that have darkened their souls and now they are working to change and do things differently. That said, if they are pushed and those that they love are threatened it's easy to revert back. How far will they go to protect someone they love? For these people there is no line to worry about crossing.
Hank: I noticed the line whispered in the latest promo and immediately thought this was important. As Kate says, it's probably going to be the theme for the remaining episodes of Season 2. Our heroes are going to have to access that dark place they've been fighting so hard against, in order to bring down Slade/Deathstroke. I'm hoping they don't kill Deathstroke off, he's such an important character in the DC Universe. Manu Bennett can even make an appearance on The Flash in the future. We'll see how it all plays out, but my money's on Deathstroke surviving.
Carissa: It really stood out to me that the first person to say it after hearing it from Helena was Laurel, as she used bribery to retain her job. They're saying once you've gone to the dark side, there is nothing you won't do to get what you need. What you want and what you need are different and knowing how to use the darkness for needs instead of wants will be what makes heroes out of some and villains out of others.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.