By: Adam Basciano
“Oliver meets a kindred spirit: the daughter of a mobster who has her own desire for vengeance. Meanwhile, Tommy turns to Laurel for help.”
This episode was co-written by one of my favourite writers in the comic book industry, Mr. Geoff Johns. When he writes anything, my expectation is that it will be great, and of course, I wasn’t disappointed. The kindred spirit with a desire for vengeance is DC Comics heroine, Helena Bertinelli a.k.a. The Huntress. Played by Australian actress Jessica De Gouw, the character was given a fantastic introduction. In the comic books her vigilantism is brought on by the death of her family by a rival mob organization. In the episode, Helena’s disdain for the mafia comes at the hands of her own family, who had her fiance killed. While slightly changing the circumstances, the show has maintained the comic book integrity of her origins. They also managed to touch on the importance being Catholic is to Helena without getting preachy, by putting special importance on her crucifix necklace. It worth noting that both Stephen Amell and Jessica De Gouw had great romantic chemistry together. You could sense it immediately during the restaurant scene, while they were sharing their respective trauma’s with one another. The scenes between those two, coupled with the New 52 comic books dispel the notion that DC Comics heroes are beyond reproach and without problems. Helena and Oliver are damaged and have a whole list of issues to deal with. When written correctly these heroes can be humanized, but maintain their “mythological” component. As a person of Italian heritage, I have to give props to Jessica De Gouw on her delivery of that one piece of dialogue in Italian. Well done.
No matter how much the producers want me to, I’m just not buying Laurel and Tommy as a couple. This is not a deterant towards Colin Donnell and Katie Cassidy, as they have been fine. It’s just not believable. It doesn’t feel natural. The only reason this relationship exists is to create a love triangle, and it shows. Tommy’s role in this episode is not a complete waste. On his date with Laurel, Tommy’s credit card is declined. Tommy goes to confront his father, who is none other than the mysterious “Well Dressed Man,” played by John Barrowman. So it’s safe to assume that the actor is the famous DC Comics villain Merlyn, who I previously thought Colin Donnell’s character would one day become. That’s a genius little twist by the creative team.
“Muse of Fire” once again reinforces my belief that “Arrow” has the best television fight choreography and stunt work currently on television. Oliver chasing down Huntress on foot while she speeds away in a motorcycle, the hand to hand fight in the restaurant, and the tag-team fight against Frank Bertinelli’s cronies. The later had the most bone breaks on the CW network, I’m almost certain of that. This episode goes against type, addressing one of Kyle’s concerns in his last review. We see the return of China White, if ever so briefly. This was a great opening salvo for the Huntress and with the fallout from this episode carrying over, I cannot wait until next week.