Synopsis: Oliver – aka Arrow – inadvertently hooks up with the Bertinelli mafia family of Starling City and sorta, on purpose, hooks up with the crime boss’s daughter who also turns out to be The Huntress – a vigilante superhero like him.
Details: The opening has a mysterious all-black-clad motorcycle gunman seemingly making an assassination attempt on Oliver’s mom, Moira, while she’s outside a building talking with a questionable character of ill repute when the motorcycle gunman fires off a few rounds in a drive-by, killing the Ill Repute Man [we think, because most of the subsequent scenes are more concerned with Moira’s health – she’s fine, what happened to the other dude!? Is he dead? He sure looked dead when he got shot – but you know how remarkable the recovery process is in these video game television shows]. Oliver takes off after the motorcycle gunman on foot – suspend belief at this time – and showing Usain Bolt speed, gets close enough to throw a metal rod at the bike before a truck interrupts his superhuman attempt in a classic cartoon cut-him-off-at-the-pass maneuver.
Once it is determined Moira is okay – duh – Thea shows family solidarity by immediately chiding her supposedly superhero brother for being unable to chase down the motorcycle and generally not being very good at his superhero gig. Have we mentioned that Thea’s scenes in this series are usually a good time to go to the bathroom or get some beer from the refrigerator? Meanwhile, Tommy “Eddie Haskell” Merlyn asks Laurel on a date and things start to go down the mushy path and zzzzzz, yawn, zzzz, booorriiing. Zzzzzzz.
When the show finally wakes up again, we discover that the man Moira was talking to was part of the villainous Bertinelli mafia crime family in Starling City – has Valerie been informed of her family’s surreptitious activities while she was working “One Day At a Time”? We then learn that the motorcycle gunman is not a gunman at all, but rather, a gunwoman [or perhaps, gunperson] who is, in reality, Helena Bertinelli – the daughter of the Bertinelli family mafia crime boss! [insert dramatic music here] – and possible younger daughter of Valerie . Oliver visits the Bertinelli Palace of Darkness Fortress Mansion in a blatant but coy attempt to get the lowdown on what the Bertinellis have up their collective sleeves and to see if, maybe, they’d be interested in a little croquet and backyard BBQ while watching the Jets game next weekend? Well, that’s what it should have been but it wound up being a dinner date with Helena the Huntress [her official title as far as the IRS is concerned] after he catches a glimpse of her drifting by in snooping mode in the Fortress Mansion.
A brief interlude involving a scene with the Thea character with Moira comes next but, as always, ignore all scenes containing the Thea character and go get beer [you have 75 seconds] and move on to an neven briefer appearance of Nikki Minaj [actually, China White in her Nikki Minaj wig] assuring Big Boss Bertinelli that her Triad girlfriends would have nothing to do with their family shindigs as she has better things to do like shop to enhance her wig collection. Meanwhile, Angry Police Chief Wiggum Lance also makes a brief appearance to warn everybody that the sky is falling and there might be a gang war in Starling City!
Helena and Oliver go on their previously planned din-din date where Helena subtly reveals that she would like her family business to die while Oliver tries to pretend like he understands when he’s a typical guy and really is trying to figure out how to make it all about himself. During this ongoing tussle, we are switched over to Tommy/Eddie’s dinner date with Laurel for a Battle of the Dinner Dates! The more compelling conversation is taking place at the angst-y vigilante table until…Eddie’s credit card gets declined to end that date. Game. Set. Match.
Eddie’s card is declined because his father is revealed to be Starling City’s Mr. Bad Guy and he’s been cut off from his trust fund. As such, Eddie’s father is not involved in a courtship, but that doesn’t stop him from stopping by Moira’s bedroom to remind her not to be doing business with unsavory types not named himself.
Big Boss Bertinelli sends out his henchman to find out who killed his baddie at the beginning of the episode and the henchman eventually narrows it down to Helena and takes both her and Oliver off to a what appears to be a warehouse where they are tied to chairs old-school interrogation way. But they don’t make the material to tie up hostages like they used to and both Oliver and Helena easily escape their confinements after the henchman admits that it was him who killed Helena’s fiancée – acting on her father’s orders, naturally. That’s all it takes to set off Helena and Oliver, who then kill everybody in the room except for themselves and the chairs.
From there, the episode drives off the cliff with a few stops on the way down – a Tommy/Eddie and Laurel scene, yet another Thea scene [more beer!] and the return of Walter from Australia – before we get to the real meat of the episode with Helena and Oliver exchanging saliva and smooches after getting all worked up from their big fight and leaving the big question for the next episode – will she be the future Mrs. Arrow? Who will be her bridesmaids? Will there be a spinoff? Will Helena kill Thea in a wedding day rage? More fun is surely to come.
The Poop and Skinny: First and foremost – no voiceovers this week! Second – no flashbacks either! This automatically makes this episode of Arrow the second-best ever [because you needed flashbacks in that first episode]. We would have liked to have had a Van Halen soundtrack for this episode as an inside joke to the Bertinelli crime family name and we’re sure it’s coming – but maybe Starling City can show us that they celebrate the holidays with a little decoration or something? Would it kill you to put up a tree and some tinsel in the Queen mansion, make some spiked eggnog and slap in the Grinch DVD?