‘Arrow’ Season 1, Episode 7 Review – Vigilante Matchmaking

Published 2 years ago by

Stephen Amell and Jessica De Gouw in Arrow Muse of Fire The CW Arrow Season 1, Episode 7 Review   Vigilante Matchmaking

After Arrow took a week off for Thanksgiving, The CW brings Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) back in an episode that’s co-written by DC Comics’ Chief Creative Officer, Geoff Johns – and it features a bit of a conundrum for Arrow as he encounters his first vigilante rival, who may just be his perfect match.

Of course, if you’ve been following Screen Rant’s Arrow coverage, you are well aware that ‘Muse of Fire’ marks the first appearance of Helena Bertinelli, or The Huntress (Jessica De Gouw) – but she’s called that as much as Oliver’s been referred to as Arrow, which is to say, never. In fact, since she doesn’t have much of a gimmick (like a green hood and arrows), and she appears to be killing mob folks with no rhyme or reason, everyone just refers to her as “the killer” – which is sort of in the same vein as everyone calling Oliver “the vigilante.”

At any rate, Arrow does it’s usual blending of thematic elements with the episode’s plotline, but instead of using flashbacks to Oliver’s time spent on the island, ‘Muse of Fire’ is more concerned with establishing a connection between the two young firebrands who’ve taken up a cause they’re willing to kill for. But despite Oliver’s belief that his quest for justice is nobler than her thirst for revenge, Helena sees no such distinction. The bodies Arrow is racking up belong to the same criminal scum she’s trying to eliminate – it’s just the motivation that differs, and not by that much.

Stephen Amell in Arrow Muse of Fire Arrow Season 1, Episode 7 Review   Vigilante Matchmaking

By the episode’s end, however, the two manage to set their differences aside, as the larger, and possibly more important issue begins to present itself. Regardless of the reasons for embarking on their quests, the common bond that exists between them is the isolation they feel as a byproduct of the paths they’ve chosen. In one another’s company, Oliver and Helena can be the people they truly are – no secrets, no lies, and no helmets or face paint required. It’s another reminder of the consequences of Oliver’s double life, and what he’s given up in pursuit of justice.

Sure, Oliver has let Diggle (David Ramsey) in on his secret, but Diggle isn’t as scarred as Ollie – grief-stricken and compelled to act over the loss of his brother, yes, but psychologically speaking, he’s not in the same place as Oliver. Helena, on the other hand, knows what it’s like to want to make up for the sins of the father, and what it means to put everything else in life on hold for a single purpose. In a way, they’re made for each other. That doesn’t mean it’s going to end well, as the two will inevitably become entangled in the mob war between Bertinelli’s crew and China White (Kelly Hu) and the Triads, but for now they at least have that initial spark.

While Helena and Oliver crossing paths as vigilantes – and later, apparently becoming lovers – is the main draw of ‘Muse of Fire,’ the episode also has a rather large reveal up its sleeve. As it turns out, John Barrowman‘s ‘Well-Dressed Man’ is none other than the father of Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell). Although it was handled with an odd, ham-fisted camera movement (who hadn’t already placed Barrowman’s voice behind the fencing helmet?), the build-up to the reveal was actually one of the better Tommy and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) moments the show has produced. Now Moira’s connection to the ‘Well-Dressed Man’ is better explained, but the larger mystery of just what their agenda is remains to be seen. The idea that there is a family connection, though, makes it less of a clandestine conspiracy and more of a Dynasty-like scheme. Right now, it’s tough to say which would be more fun to watch. Still, the development certainly helps to better flesh out a character whose mysterious charm had begun to fade.

Meanwhile, the reveal of Tommy’s father coincides with the younger Merlyn being cut off from his trust fund. Penniless and essentially out of luck, the question now becomes: Will his sudden change of fortune lead Tommy to a greater purpose, or will it turn him toward a life of crime?

Jessica De Gouw and Stephen Amell in Arrow Muse of Fire Arrow Season 1, Episode 7 Review   Vigilante Matchmaking

Various other items:

  • Colin Donnell is 15 years younger than John Barrowman (a fact that makes the casting a bit of a stretch), but in terms of the way the two actors actually look, Barrowman would’ve been more convincing as the son.
  • “Bite the bullet and have a Cobb salad with the woman.”
  • It’s just too bad that the vigilantes’ spark had to include the killing of Bertinelli’s mob enforcer, Tom Salvati (Tahmoh Penikett). Given Penikett’s experience on Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse, one would think he’d earned at least a two-episode stint on Arrow.

Arrow continues next Wednesday with ‘Vendetta’ @8pm on The CW. Check out a preview for the episode below:

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  1. You have to remember that John Barrowman is a near immortal ageless unkillable time traveller.

  2. With the reveal that John Barrowman is Tommy Merlyn’s father, could this be the set up to him actually being Merlyn, Green Arrow’s nemesis….

  3. I like the chemistry (if you can call it that) between Arrow and Huntress. That said, I thought the Huntress’ acting was a little wooden – but it seemed totally fitting for a first season show on the CW. I’m sure her acting will improve as she becomes more comfortable on the show.

    Arrow’s kid sister is the show’s equivalent of Charlie on NBC’s Revolution: so annoying! I really hope she doesn’t evolve into another crime fighter. The actress is fine, but what is she doing every week apart from moving the story along *incrementally*? It’s like the writers give her a few lines whenever they write themselves into a corner and need to redirect one of the principal characters. Every member of Arrow’s family needs a role, but don’t know what they should do with her other than send her off to college/graduate school. Anyone have ideas on the kid sister?

    Also, anyone else loving the island flashbacks? I don’t know much about Arrow’s backstory, so I have no idea who the Asian mentor is back on the island.

    • i hear you on Thea, she is and can be annoying. I just kind of look at her as comic relief. No show is ever going to have every character perfect, but other than her, this show comes pretty close. I can’t see how she could become any kind of crime fighter, she’s to whiney and to drunk most of the time to do anything useful.

      I forgot to mention that is was nice to have Captian Picard, ah, err, I mean Walter back. He’s a great actor, and I really like his character on the show.

    • yup loving the huntress and oly together their a perfect match great chemistry

  4. This was one of the best episodes to date. Barrowman being Tommy’s father is pretty awsome. Colin Donnell is getting better, and there is some good chemistry between he and Katie Cassidy. I do believe, however that Laurel isn’t really all that interested in Tommy, and that rejection could spur him onto a life of crime.

    I do have one MAJOR BEEF however: Oliver needs to stop taking his hood off, and he needs to STOP telling others his identity. I get how she found out who he is, but the scene at the restaurant, there is no need to take the hood off, especially with the video cameras everywhere. Had detective Lance just played a few more seconds of the survalence tape, he would have gotten the identities of both Arrow (hood off) and Huntress (helmet pulled off). This is a bad writing mistake, and needs to stop.

    Other than that, the show is just great, and continues to impress. I just LOVE this show!!

    • He didn’t take his hood of in the restaurant, he pulled Huntress’ helmet off. That’s why he was surprised when she knew he was Arrow in the final scene. She said she knew it by his eyes.

      • Yep, he did. As he was looking at the helmet, after she ran away.

    • He took his hood off after he had cut the power. The cameras were not operational at that moment.

      • that sir, is a great point, and one I did not think of. Well done! ( he still needs to keep his hood on though!!)

        • Yes, he really does need to keep his hood on. I get why he doesn’t tho, sometimes the audience needs to see his face. In Smallville their green arrow did the same thing. As the audience your sitting there thinking he really shouldn’t be showing his face at all. But that’s the thing about superhero shows, we the audience have to let things like this slide…lol

  5. im glad they had that scene about the mom and sister talking about how Oliver MIGHT have changed on the island. that was my one beef with the show. Everyone always was like “oh, Oliver youve been on an island, presumebly alone for 5 years fending for yourself, but youre back now so why are you acting differently than when you were a spoiled kid?” im glad they finally realized that the island might have toughened him up a little.

    and now that that is resolved i have ABSOLUTELY not to complain about this this show!!! next weeks episode looks awesome!

    • +1

  6. I still really dislike the casting for the Bertinelli family. When I think of them, I think of an Italian mob family. Not these white folks with an Italian name. I’m not racist, it was just a part of their characters that gave them more flavor. I hope that with the Huntress coming, they will have Question come in. He is, after all, the one that teaches her that murder and vengeance do not equal justice.

    • I think they were afraid of “Oh my god, you did not just imply that all members of the mafia are Italians!?” pc whining.

      • But they are the BERTINELLI family! And besides, isn’t her father supposed to be dead? I thought he was killed when she was just a little girl?

  7. So I haven’t watched this show yet, but I would like to and would like to start from the beginning. Does anyone know if the first 6 episodes are onDemand or on Netflix? Also, I‘ve never read comics (I watch all the movies though Batman, Spiderman, Avengers, etc…), so will that go against me when I watch this show, or does the show do a good job starting from the beginning and doesn’t assume I should know a lot about the main character and cast already. Thanks.

    • They are OnDemand.

    • Don’t worry about the comics, this show is stand alone. Just start with episode 1, and it will all be clear from that point.

    • I watch it on Hulu Plus (not sure if it’s available on the free side of Hulu though) and they have all the episodes. Makes for a pretty good weekend marathon.

  8. Loved Jessica De Gouw in the role I can’t wait to see how they develope the character. while the revel was ham-fisted I’d did enjoy it. I have a feeling though their going to go a more obvious route with Tommy. LL will go back to Oliver and that with the combination of his father’s influence will turn him into the Dark Archer. I sort of hope they don’t go that way but it feels like thats the purpose with having him cuddle up with LL. we all know its going to come sooner or later with Ollie and her so it will be interesting to see how the writers develop it. This show is quickly becoming my favorite on TV.

  9. There is just something about this show that always has me coming back for more. I don’t know what it is, because its not like its the greatest TV show ever or anything. Just something about it…

    Anyway, great episode.

    I especially enjoyed Ollie and Helena. Kinda reminded me of Bruce/Selina and Dexter/Hannah. Very compelling.

    I also enjoyed the Merlyn/Dad reveal. Didn’t see that coming, I always like when a TV show can surprise me. This looks like it could be very similar to Lex/Lionel on Smallville. They even incorporated fencing, which is a very Luthor thing to do. My first thought when I saw the fencing was Smallville. I wonder if that was intentional or not?…

    Speaking of Luthors, John Glover should be on Arrow. I think that he would fit perfectly into this world and would play a great villain.

  10. Is this show ever going to put masks on their heroes? The motor cycle helmet is just stupid. Why no crossbows? She is famous for using them in the comics, also, are they going to stop using the moral high ground anytime soon? Arrow breaks that guys neck then is all “noo don’t kill the man who murdered the love of your life.” Please. Either you are against killing and you don’t do it for any reason, or you are okay for killing the bad guys. There is no “I can kill but you can’t”.

    • Arrow’s reaction to the neck-breaking was laughable. I didn’t want him to relish her vengeance and make love to her on the corpse, but could his reaction have been any more Twilighty?.

    • Watch the preview for the next episode, some of you concerns are addressed

  11. I really thought everyone already knew about Barrowman being Tommy’s father. Previous episodes were really awesome but the Thanksgiving break made me thought that I might have missed some details about Tommy and Johns relationship in the prev eps.

  12. I feel like this is a Nolan-esque Green Arrow, which is fine because i kinda like having my weekly dose of poor man’s batman. I was kind of hoping that he wouldn’t acquire a partner until season 2 but so far the writers are handling this development well. I hope his sister does not become speedy or that red arrow person (the name escapes me at this time) but i think they’ve set her up to become this, but i hope this doesn’t happen for another 1 or 2 seasons and if it does i hope they show Oliver giving her a training from hell to toughen her up. and since this is a Nolan-esque Green Arrow, i hope they come up with a recurring (spanning multiple seasons) big bad that can hit home and make Arrow suffer. I just don’t feel like Papa Merlyn is that guy but maybe the season ends with Papa Merlyn getting killed by Arrow and Tommy declaring revenge for his father’s murder as a kind of twisted mirror of Oliver’s quest for justice. It’d be awesome for Tommy to figure the Arrow’s identity late in like season 2 and have him set up to destroy the Queen family by any means necessary.