Review: Arrow – Honor Thy Father
By Noor Alnaqeeb (@nooralnaqeeb)
Warning: If you have not seen Arrow season one; episode two, you will have failed your city, and you will have read spoilers.
Quote of the week:
Yeah, I didn’t get it either.
The second episode of the brand new series; also known as the second pilot; also known as make-it-or-break-it time. The episode where motives are recapped and stories are retold. We were reintroduced to Oliver’s time on the island and his motivation behind becoming Arrow. Although some things still remain in the shadows, a few things were brought to light.
This episode’s mission: Mr. Martin Somers. Notorious drug dealer, connected Triad liaison and “honest businessman.” Our central characters in the takedown of the man who *puts on deep ominous voice* “failed his city” are Quentin Lance, Laurel Lance and Oliver Queen. The underlying connection between the characters, who take turns in hating each other, is their desire to save the city from the corrupt. A lawyer, a law enforcer and an outcast of the law; if only they could realize their full potential.
A recurring theme seems to be forming from episode to episode; find the corrupt, watch them disregard Arrow’s instructions to bring about justice and enforce Arrow’s strategy whether they like it or not. Oliver Queen, legally back from the dead, had to deal with the conflicting ideals of honoring his father’s wishes and honoring his father’s memory. In order to honor his wishes, he could not and would not take the leadership position at the company handed to him by his mother. And naturally, in order to do so, he showed up drunk to a banquet held in his father’s memory and went home to tear down Mr. Queen’s tombstone. Oh, the cursed life of the giftedly valiant.
When Queen closed one loved one’s door, two windows of opportunity opened up. The revival of his relationship with his sister, Thea, and his long lost love (who sporadically hates him) Laurel. Speedy is still up to her alcoholic and drug riddled antics and voiced her disapproval of Oliver’s judgment, stating, “You avoid Mom, ignore Walter and judge me.” A damaged, haunted Oliver explained that he still doesn’t know how to talk about what happened. More likely, he just needs more time to get his story straight. Logically, there are going to be some things that don’t quite add up when Oliver makes up the “truth” about what he did for the past five years: minus the bows, arrows and hidden agendas. Thea emotively showed Oliver his own tombstone, explaining “I felt closer to you when you were dead.” Ouch, Olly.
The not-so-light banter inspired Oliver to visit Laurel with his tail between his legs, ice cream in his hands and a DMC (deep meaningful conversation) on his mind. As usual, things didn’t go quite as according to plan. Unless having a white-wig-wearing Triad ninja maniac showing up and trying to kill them was part of the grand scheme of his relationship mending methods. Although Laurel’s father couldn’t be more irate, saying, “When you’re with one of my daughters, people tend to die,” something tells us that this won’t be the last of their flourishing friendship. After all, when a Stephen Amell lookalike knocks on your door after five years of ice-cream-isolation, waiting to have their first bite with you – you ditch the fling with the friend and you might be persuaded to take a liking to them.
Before Quentin swooped in to lecture his daughter about lying low, Oliver and Digs, his bodyguard who he has sworn never to ditch again, save the day and damsel. Here’s hoping a budding side-kick/new best friend relationship is in the making.
With Mr. Martin Somers’ not-so-subtle threat to Quentin, “You and your daughter don’t want to know what I’m capable of when I get emotional,” the deadly Arrow is definitely pointed at the drug smuggling entrepreneur. After the failure of the around-the-clock police protection given to Somers’ victim’s daughter, Laurel and her co-worker and the blatant neglect of Arrow’s commands to Somers to come clean, Arrow decides to force a confession out of him. As a result of this flurry of a fight scene, we see the three law-(kind of)-abiding characters work together. Arrow’s ability to kill Triad members and threaten the truth out of Somers, Quentin’s ability to show up at the scene 0.4 seconds after everything has unraveled, and Laurel’s ability to present evidence before a judge, and voila, we have ourselves a man behind bars. Case closed. Potential realized? Not yet. Just one question though, how does Oliver know Chinese?
The Queen Bee: Mrs. Queen. Didn’t your mother ever tell you not to get into cars with strangers? Especially strangers who don’t speak, who stare at weird symbols, and who are working to find out Arrow’s true identity. I guess you can handle yourself, after all you are an adult – an adult that may or may not have sabotaged the yacht causing the crash that ultimately killed her husband and five others. Did someone say “bad parenting?”
Forever a Flashback: Throughout the episode, we were shown segments of one continuous flashback. A younger, bewildered and more innocent-looking Oliver desperately tried to save his father’s lifeless body from birds of prey. Oliver carried his body up a mountain in order to give his idol a proper burial. But not before finding the infamous leather bound book: no names or targets in sight – just one symbol, sound familiar? As he piled on the last rock: An arrow. Out of nowhere. Through the shoulder. A multilingual, arrow-throwing and vengeance-instilling guru, perhaps? Stay tuned and find out.
Comic book references to enjoy:
1. Currently writing the Green Arrow comic book is one Ann Nocenti – sound familiar? Exactly! Laurel’s client “Emily Nocenti” was part of the lawsuit against Mr. Somers this episode.
2. The legal aid office Laurel works for is called CNRI; say it out loud, really fast, four times… backwards. Just kidding, but phonetically, sounds like Canary doesn’t it?
3. White wig wearing Triad baddy? You may have guessed from her appearance – she’s China White.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars