- "Was there ever a day when you were just... happy to be away from everything? No pressure from your family, no need to be the person that everyone else expect you to be. Was there ever a day when..."
- "When I didn't feel lost, I felt free? More than one. And those are the days that I miss."
- —Helena Bertinelli and Oliver Queen
"Muse of Fire" is the seventh episode of the first season of , and the seventh episode overall. It aired on November 28, 2012.
|Oliver encounters a mysterious woman, Helena Bertinelli, daughter of mob boss Frank Bertinelli, who he can finally be himself with, but he soon comes to realize she's hiding dangerous secrets of her own. Helena is on her own personal mission of vengeance and Oliver is caught in the middle. Meanwhile, Tommy is blindsided by an unfortunate turn of events and turns to Laurel for support.|
- Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/The Hood
- Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance
- Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn
- David Ramsey as John Diggle
- Willa Holland as Thea Queen
- Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
- Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance
- Kelly Hu as Chien Na Wei/China White
- Colin Salmon as Walter Steele
- Roger Cross as Detective Lucas Hilton
- Jessica De Gouw as Helena Bertinelli
- Jeffrey Nordling as Frank Bertinelli
- Tahmoh Penikett as Nick Salvati
- John Cassini as Russo
- John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn
- Hiro Kanagawa as Dr. Neil Lamb
- David H. Lyle as Zhishan
- Sachin Sahel as Waiter
- Eli Shapera as Street Kid
- Sanya Silver as Jenny Russo
- Lee Vincent as CSU Tech
- Benjamin Wilkinson as Paul Copani
After a phone call from Thea reminding him that he is supposed to be having lunch with his mother, Oliver goes to meet her on his motorcycle. Moira and a man named Paul Copani emerge from Queen Consolidated. Paul wants Moira to go over a building contact, but she doesn't want to do business with him. Suddenly another motorcycle drives up on the sidewalk and the rider shoots Paul several times in the chest with an automatic gun. After checking that Moira wasn't hit, Oliver chases the motorcyclist on foot and is almost able to catch up with him or her before a passing truck interferes and the shooter escapes cleanly.
Moira hit her head during the event and is treated at the hospital by Dr. Lamb for a concussion. Thea has been unable to reach Walter by phone. In the hospital hallway, Thea doesn't seem to believe that Oliver left their mother to get the number of the killer's license plate. Sergeant Quentin Lance and Detective Lucas Hilton arrive at the hospital soon after and Oliver tells them that he wants his mother to get some security, but Quentin doesn't think it's necessary since the guy she was talking to was mob-connected and he is certain that Paul must have been the target.
Tommy drops by to visit Laurel with Japanese food. He wants to ask her out on a proper date at some time in the near future and they discuss the on-again, off-again nature of their relationship.
While Oliver trains at the hideout, John suggests that he take some time off, given the recent events. Oliver tells John that Paul worked for a man named Frank Bertinelli. Publicly, Frank is CEO of a major construction company, but he is a major player in the Starling City Mafia and Paul is the third associate to fall to this assassin's bullets. Oliver wants to go undercover and get close to Frank to figure out what is going on. He says he thinks his sister is right to think he's not being honest, as he can't tell them he's fast enough to nearly catch a motorcycle on foot. His goal now is to protect his family.
We see the motorcycle driver arrive at a garage and removes the helmet, revealing a dark haired woman, The Huntress. She draws an X through a photo of Paul on a corkboard full of photos and smiles.
Thea is preparing to leave Queen Manor for a night on the town. Oliver tells her he will not be able to relieve her as previously planned, as something important has come up. As Thea is expressing her annoyance, Tommy drops by to ask about Moira. He also tells him about dating Laurel. Oliver wishes the best for the both of them.
Oliver drops by the Bertinelli Estate where Frank introduces his caporegime Nick Salvati and as they go to have a drink and discuss business, Oliver spots the woman motorcyclist at the top of the stairs.
During a girls' night in with Moira, Thea expresses displeasure at Oliver's recent behavior. Moira suggests that they give him the benefit of the doubt. Spending 5 years apart from civilization probably changed him, they should try to accept him for who he is now.
Frank says he wants the building contract for Queen Consolidated's Applied Sciences division as Nick leaves to take a phone call. Moira had obviously been telling him no, but Oliver says he's leaning the other way. The Huntress walks into the room and is introduced as Frank's daughter, Helena. Frank needs to leave for a quick meeting. He has a phone call with Nick and asks Helena to take Oliver out for dinner. She's reluctant, bitterly accusing her father of "pimping out your daughter" and calling Oliver "the rich man's Lindsay Lohan", but after being reminded that the family business is dying, she ultimately agrees.
Frank and Nick meet with the Chinese Triad's Red Pole Enforcer, Zhishan, with China White serving as his interpreter. They say they are not responsible for the attacks on his people, but Frank arrogantly promises that if they don't stop now, "I'm coming for you." After they leave, Nick asks his boss what the Chinese Triad would have to gain by coming after him, but Frank says that no one has ever credited the Chinese Triad with rational thinking and arrogantly doesn't think anyone else is powerful enough to threaten him.
Quentin and Lucas are listening to this exchange. They wonder if another organized crime family is responsible, but Quentin points out the last shooting was not done by a pro.
At dinner, Helena asks Oliver why his family would want to be in business with her father. She clearly is not dealing well with the pressure of her family. She asks Oliver about being alone on the island and if there was ever a time when he just felt "free". He admits that there were many times like that.
Tommy and Laurel go to an Indian restaurant for dinner and Tommy expresses his desire for a fresh start between the two of them. The waiter returns, saying that Tommy's credit card has been declined, and he has been ordered to confiscate it.
Oliver comments on a cross Helena is wearing. It was a gift from her late fiancé, Michael Staton. They are hitting it off when John calls him with word he has to leave. As he excuses himself, Helena warns him to be careful dealing with her father.
Malcolm drops by to see Moira in her bedroom. He's there to make sure her convictions haven't changed based on recent events and she assures him they have not.
John pulled Oliver out of his dinner because Nick has been going around town violently anyone who owes Frank protection money. The next potential victim is the owner of Russo's, the restaurant where he had dinner with Helena. Nick and an associate are looking for a second payment for the month. Just before they can break the fingers of Mr. Russo and his wife Jenny, both the Hood and the Huntress show up to thwart the criminals. In the ensuing fracas, Nick escapes and the Hood and the Huntress end up fighting each other. Near the end of the fight, The Hood pulls off her helmet and sees who she is. Helena rushes off, with him ultimately choosing to let her go.
Back at the hideout, Oliver is adamant that Helena must have a good reason for targeting her family. John isn't interested in her reasons, just that she's a killer, who will start a mob war if she isn't stopped. Oliver insists he knows what he's doing, but John doesn't believe him.
Looking through security footage of the night of the fight, Quentin and a CSU technician spot Oliver having dinner with Helena. He drops by Queen Manor and tells him to stay away from Helena. Quentin thinks he's repaying Oliver for almost getting him killed a few weeks back.
Tommy visits his father and demands to know why he has been cut off. Malcolm calls his son "a joke that is no longer funny" and says he's tired of Tommy's "chronic irresponsibility and terminal laziness", so he is yanking away his trust fund and freezing all his assets.
Oliver follows Helena to Michael's grave. She says that losing him changed her. Her love for him turned to a hate that she cannot let go of. As she tells Oliver to stay away from her, Nick pulls up and loads them both into a van at gunpoint.
Oliver and Helena are taken to an abandoned warehouse and tied up. Nick tells Helena that he knows that she has betrayed the family, as he found her crucifix at Russo's. Helena reveals she wanted revenge on her father for ordering Michael's death. Nick reveals that Michael was an informant for the FBI, he found his laptop with evidence that would have destroyed the family if the Feds had gotten hold of it. Helena says it was her laptop and denounces her father as a monster. Nick taunts her by revealing that he shot Michael in the heart, his personal calling card, and now he will kill her the same way. Before he can pull the trigger, Oliver breaks free of his restraints and tackles Nick. While Nick staggers to his feet, his goons attack Oliver. Helena breaks free of her own restraints and savagely attacks Nick. As Oliver disposes of his opponents, Nick tells Helena that she will "burn in hell" for what she has done and Helena tells him that it will be worth it, before snapping his neck. When Oliver looks at her questioningly, she replies, "I didn't have a choice, Oliver. No one can know my secret!"
Quentin and Lucas review security footage of the fight. Both of them have ruled out the Hood as a suspect, but Quentin is concerned Frank will think the Triad was behind the killings of Nick and his thugs and "start World War III".
Tommy goes to see Laurel and tells her that all of his assets has been frozen, he has consequently lost his car and his apartment. She thinks he'll be fine.
Walter arrives in town and shows up at Moira's side. He says he's there because he misses her.
Thea apologizes to Oliver for chewing him out at the hospital, saying she's just worried about him. She understands the need for secrets, but he needs to find someone he can share them with.
Oliver sneaks into Helena's apartment. She's figured out that he's the Hood after seeing his fighting style. He tells her that what she's doing is revenge rather than justice. She thinks they're the same. He disagrees, but they both feel relieved to finally be able to open up to somebody. Oliver and Helena share a long, deep kiss.
Preparation ran from September 5 until September 13, 2012. Shooting ran from September 14 until September 25, 2012.
- This is the first episode to not feature flashback scenes of Oliver on the island.
- After Helena kills Nick, she says "No one can know my secret". This parallels a quote in "", in which Oliver kills one of his kidnappers and before doing so says, "Nobody can know my secret".
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