The Huntress returns to Arrow tonight (The CW, 8/7c) on a mission of revenge, and she’s also aiming… to score her own show?
An off-shoot is certainly on the wish list of executive producer Marc Guggenheim. But first, Helena reemerges in Starling City this week and takes Laurel — among others — hostage just as the recovering alcoholic lawyer is finally starting to get her mojo back at work. Enter: The Canary (aka little sis Sara)!
Read on as Guggenheim and guest star Jessica De Gouw, aka The Huntress, share six things to know about the action-packed hour.
IT’S A SISTER ACT | Episode 17 “was very much designed to be a Laurel and Sara story using Helena as the fulcrum in that relationship, and Oliver definitely does take a little bit more of a back seat,” previews Guggenheim.
IT’S A COMEBACK STORY | “This is the episode where Laurel gets her groove back,” reveals the EP. “We knew that we wanted to return Laurel to the D.A.’s office and we knew that Laurel, by the end of the episode, had to be in a good emotional place. So we wanted to emotionally and professionally reestablish her.”
IT’S A BLAST FROM THE PAST | “Obviously, when you’re talking about bringing [Laurel] back to the D.A.’s office, you naturally think about, ‘OK, what case is she prosecuting?’” Guggenheim says. “The scenarios that resonate best with us are, ‘What’s a case that could affect a character who we care about?” And that led [executive producer] Andrew [Kreisberg] to pitch the idea, ‘What if Frank Bertinelli is being prosecuted and The Huntress comes back to town?’”
THE HUNTRESS IS A DIFFERENT BEAST | “She’s, literally, been off the show for a year,” notes Guggenheim. “What’s Helena been doing during that time? What mental state is she in? What emotional state is she in? We definitely went into this with [the idea], ‘We’ve got to wrap up the whole Helena and her father storyline.’” Adds De Gouw: “There’s an ease to her, as well as having that darkness. I think she’s let go of a lot. She’s let go of all these complications, and she’s got a very focused aim.”
IT WAS A WELCOME CHANGE | “Look, [on NBC's Dracula] I was running about in a corset for a long time, so coming back and fighting people was all I could’ve possibly [wanted],” says the actress with a laugh. “I got to do something entirely different to what I was doing — worlds, worlds apart.”
IT COULD LAUNCH A NEW SHOW… MAYBE | Although Guggenheim admits any decision about a Birds of Prey spin-off is “way above my pay grade,” he does have some ideas on how to keep it alive. “One of the things we would love to do at some point is an episode where you’ve got Black Canary, Felicity and The Huntress working together,” he says. “That’s on our show bucket list. As far as what becomes a series, what doesn’t become a series, one thing I’ve talked to D.C. Comics about is, I’d love to do a Huntress series – I mentioned this to Jessica – where we cover the year that she spent between Episodes 117 and 217, from her perspective, traveling the world and hunting for her father. You never know, all things are possible, as long as we’ve got Jessica’s willing participation.”
The women of Arrow will take center stage on Wednesday (8/7c, The CW) when The Huntress returns to Starling City to settle a serious score against daddy dearest.
When Frank Bertinelli (Jeffrey Nordling) finally gets pinched after a year on the run, Helena (Jessica de Gouw) will return in hopes of getting vengeance on her father. But this isn’t The Huntress that Oliver (Stephen Amell) remembers.
“She’s been all over the world chasing her dad to no avail thus far,” de Gouw says. “And then she comes back to Starling where it all began, so she has to deal with not only encountering her father again, but also encountering Oliver, Laurel [Katie Cassidy] and this town that she was, at one point, thriving in. Of course, she’s a little different this time around. She’s let go of a lot. She’s let go of all these complications and she’s got a very focused aim.”
Of course, her aim will put her directly at odds with Oliver, who has vowed not to kill his enemies since his former flame left town. Worse though is when she comes face-to-face with Sara (Caity Lotz), who is a kindred spirit when it comes to crossing the line to get vengeance. That will be especially evident when The Huntress inadvertently takes Laurel hostage and goes toe-to-toe with the Canary in an awesome battle sure to make fanboys (or girls!) squee. After all, it’s not every day that future Birds of Prey team members are duking it out.
But another future Bird will get to sing as Laurel also gets a taste of the action during the episode. “This is the episode where Laurel gets her groove back,” executive producerMarc Guggenheim says. “We knew we wanted to return Laurel to the D.A.’s office and we knew that Laurel, by the end of the episode, had to be in a good, emotional place.”
Though the Birds will be one member short, the producers already have plans on how to bring Oracle into the fold. “One of the things we’d love to do at some point is do an episode where you’ve got Black Canary, Felicity [Emily Bett Rickards] and The Huntress working together,” Guggenheim teases. “That’s on our show bucket list.”