Arrow: “Tribute” Review


By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)

Arrow‘s latest episode, “Tribute,” was a vast improvement from the previous one, “Fallout.” There were too many repeated story beats in “Fallout,” but “Tribute” showed that the series is willing and able to venture in a new direction. 
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
After a somewhat rough season-opening episode, Arrow stepped it up in episode two. Sometimes a season premiere has to do a ton of table setting. Now, looking back at “Fallout,” it was a pure set-up episode for the season to come.
Even though the change in Diggle becoming Green Arrow is not going to be permanent, allowing Arrow to step out of its comfort zone is something to be applauded. Six seasons in, a show can get complacent, but by shaking it up and making Diggle the Green Arrow, it gives the series a sense of a renewed energy.
Oliver realizing that his number one job now is being a father is the most self-actualized thing he has done this entire series. He finally gets it. It’s so refreshing to see Oliver get his head out of the sand. Throughout the series, he’s been so entrenched in himself that becoming a father has helped him become selfless. It’s amazing character growth. I just can’t wait for the episode where he eventually regresses.
Rene has been a tough character to figure out, but he finally has seemed to find his place. His budding relationship with Lance and now Oliver have been fantastic. Giving him a daughter toward the end of last season substantially helped his character. Being a father has been his best trait and now he is able to guide Oliver through his newfound parenthood. The scene between the two discussing the subject was great. 
When it was revealed that Diggle had nerve damage, I was disappointed. I was hoping Arrow would journey into a PTSD storyline for the former soldier. For a character who is so strong, it would have been a much more interesting storyline to see him struggle with something that he can’t physically overcome, like he will his nerve damage. A physical injury is something easily overcome in a comic book show; just look at Felicity. She was paralyzed, but now thanks to some technology, she’s able to walk with no problem.
I was delighted to see Anatoly back. He is one of the few people from the island flashbacks that we are able to see in the present day. Creating relationships that survived beyond the island are the ones that have brought the best storylines. These relationships have a long and complicated history and create an inner struggle for Oliver when facing them. Over time, this became the advantage of having flashbacks. Anatoly’s journey with Oliver, like Slade’s, was one of brotherhood until it went wrong, so seeing him back and being an antagonist for Team Arrow is always a treat. 
We need to applaud whoever does the opening title card sequence. They added symbols for the entire Team Arrow. For a few seasons now, the show has been an ensemble piece. It’s no longer a lone man on a mission and the series finally recognized that. Major props. 
And finally, hey! A Batman reference! Good for you Arrow, good for you. 

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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