Wednesday, 28 November 2012

‘Arrow,’ Season 1, Episode 7, ‘Muse of Fire’: TV Recap

After a Thanksgiving break last week it is time to get our green hoods and archery equipment out again as well all enjoy the latest episode of Arrow. The CW’s highest rated show is doing just fine thank you very much! It has already been picked up for the full season and the most recent episode was the highest rated one since the pilot. Arrow is going to be around for a while, I suspect.

So, let’s see what our green hero is up to tonight.

The episode starts with Oliver Queen on motorcycle looking insanely cool. He is on his way to meet his evil mother, Moira, for lunch. When he gets to the Queen Consolidated building, mom is waiting outside talking to a man name Caponi about a business deal. Caponi? I wonder if he is mob connected!

Another man on motorcycle pulls up and shoots Caponi several times in the chest, or was he shooting at mom? Oliver checks on his mother and she is fine. He runs off to pursue the assassin, but the bad guy gets away.

Mommy Moira gets checked out by a doctor, who says she has a mild concussion and she can go home. Oliver feels guilty for leaving his mother’s side to chase the gunman. His sister, Thea, scolds him too and makes a crack about no one in the family being able to trust him any longer.

The cops arrive and inform Oliver that the Caponi guys was, “connected, mobbed up to the eyeballs.” Well, we saw that one coming a mile away, didn’t we? The cops think the mob guy was the target, not Moira.

Time to check in with Oliver’s ex-girlfriend, Laurel. She gets a knock at her door and it is Oliver’s best friend Tommy, who is now very into Laurel. Tommy surprises her with a take-out sushi dinner. He asks her out on a date.  I’m betting she is going to say yes.

Oliver is in his hideout, talking to his side-kick, Digg. Oliver has figured out that the dead mob guy, Caponi, was connected to a big-time mob boss named Frank Bertinelli. A bunch of Bertinelli’s men have been hit lately and Oliver figures the best way to find out what is going on is to get close to Bertinelli. I like Oliver having Digg to talk to. It removes the need for voice-over narration from Oliver telling us what is going on. Oliver really wants revenge on the motorcycle killer. “When I find out who this guy is, he’s a dead man.”

I am going to go on the record right now and predict that “this guy” is actually a girl.

Right on cue, we see the assassin drive “his” motorcycle into a garage. There are a bunch of photos of on the wall, many with Xs through them. This is clearly the assassin’s hit list. The killed takes off “his” helmet and… it is girl. I knew it! For my next prediction, I am going with Oliver dating this attractive young lady.

Back at the Queen family mansion, Oliver and his sister are debating which one of them is going to stay in for the night to watch over momma. Thea loses and Oliver gets to go out. Tommy stops by and tells Oliver that he is taking Laurel out on a date. Oliver wishes them well and says he needs to head out for a business meeting.

The meeting is with mob boss Frank Bertinelli at Bertinelli’s house. Look, its Jeffrey Nordling playing Bertinelli. I remember Nordling from the TV show 24 a few years back. He was on Desperate Housewives too. Welcome to the world of bows and arrows, Jeff! Hope you last more than 1 episode! As Olvier and Bertinelli walk into the living room for the meeting, the beautiful assassin walks by. It appears the person killing all of Bertinelli’s men is Bertinelli’s daughter!

Bertinelli and Oliver make some small talk and then Bertinelli says he wants the contract to build a new division for Queen Consolidated. Oliver is agreeable, even though his mother did not want to do business with Bertinelli earlier. Bertinelli’s daughter, the motorcycle assassin, walks into the room. Her name is Helena. Her father has another meeting he needs to go to but he wants Helena and Oliver to have dinner and to discuss the construction contract.

Bertinelli’s meeting is with the Chinese Triad. China White, the female assassin who took on Arrow in an earlier episode is there. She tells Bertinelli that her people are not the ones killing his associates. He says that if he loses any more men, he is going to come after the Triad. China White seems unconcerned.

Helena and Oliver are at dinner. She seems really disdainful toward her father’s business. They start talking about Oliver’s time on his deserted island and seem to be bonding a bit.

Tommy and Laurel are out to dinner too. They too seem to be bonding. The waiter comes up and says that Tommy’s credit card is being denied. I thought Tommy was a billionaire… is he somehow broke now?

Back at Helena and Oliver’s date, they are talking about the cross that Helena wears around her neck. It reminds her of her dead fiancé. They each confess they like the other, at least a little bit. Oliver has to go though, Digg is calling with some crucial information.

Mommy Moira gets an unexpected visitor to her house. It is the “well-dressed man” who we have seen in earlier episodes. He’s the guy Moira plotted with to get her husband killed. He wants to make sure Moira is still dedicated to his evil cause. She is.

Digg’s phone call informs Oliver that Bertinelli’s enforcer is making the rounds, trying to squeeze extra money out of their “protection” clients. His next stop is the same restaurant at which Oliver was just having dinner. Arrow is about to make his first appearance of the episode!

The mobsters are about to break some bones inside the restaurant when Arrow starts taking them out. Suddenly, the motorcycle assassin (Helena) shows up and begins shooting. She’s gunning for the mobsters too, but soon, she and Arrow are fighting. She holds her own for a minute, but Arrow rips her helmet off and sees that it is Helena. She runs off.

The police are looking into the restaurant shooting. Det. Lance, who HATES Oliver, is looking at videotape of the people who ate at the restaurant. He sees Oliver eating with Helena and is quite intrigued. Det. Lance goes to Oliver’s home and warns him to stay away from Helena. Oliver seems unmoved.

Tommy goes to visit his father, to ask about the credit cards being cancelled. It turns out that Tommy’s super-rich daddy is none other than the “well-dressed man!” Whoa!! I did not see that one coming. He lectures Tommy about being lazy and says he has cut him off.

Helena is hanging out in a church graveyard. She is kneeling by her dead fiancé’s tombstone. Oliver has followed her from her house and they start chatting about her loss. She says, “You should stay away from me.” Just then, a van pulls up with some of Bertinelli’s henchmen in it. They grab both Helena and Oliver and take them away.

Oliver and Helena are tied up in a warehouse. They are being questioned by Bertinelli’s right-hand man. Helena admits that she has been killing mob guys because her father had her fiancé killed. The fiancé was killed because he was gathering evidence against Bertinelli. Helena says the person gathering the evidence wasn’t the fiancé, it was her all along. “My father is a monster,” she says.

The lead mobster, who says he killed the fiancé, pulls out a gun and is about to shoot Helena when Oliver busts free of his plastic handcuffs. Helena does too. Maybe plastic cuffs were a bad idea. The two of them each begin taking out mob henchmen, breaking necks left and right, until the lead mobster is the only one left and Helena has him by the throat. She breaks his neck too. “I didn’t have a choice,” she says to Oliver. “No one can know my secret.”

The police are worried as they investigate the crime scene where all the mobsters got killed. They think this will lead to Bertinelli and the Chinese Triad going to war.

Tommy goes to visit Laurel. He confesses that his father has cut him off. She is very sympathetic to his plight.

Oliver goes to visit Helena. She says she knows he is the “hooded vigilante.” She saw the Arrow fight and then saw Oliver fight. She can tell they are one and the same. He now has someone to share his secret with. But he’s resisting and insists that he and Helena are different. She disagrees and makes a pretty convincing argument about how they are each trying to right the wrongs of their fathers. It feels good to have someone to share secrets with and the two of them fall into each other’s arms. A passionate kiss… and the episode is over.

This episode was a real departure from the way the show has gone up until now. There were no flashbacks to the island. It also feels like part 1 of a 2-part episode. Helena’s story certainly needs to be resolved and I suspect she is going to be hurt or killed soon because Arrow doesn’t need another sidekick. Plus, I am sure we are about to get a taste of full-on mob warfare between Bertinelli and the Triad. I guess we will all get to see next week at this time!

Until then, leave your thoughts in the comment section and we can chat about it. I’ll see you there!

If you want to read more of Jason Evans’ commentary on the Movie and TV industry, follow him on Twitter @TVFilmTalk

Catherine Deelay Michelle Branch

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