Arrow Continues to Impress with “Honor Thy Father” [Review]

Arrow TV Show, Episode 2 Honor They Father Review

The second episode of Arrow, “Honor Thy Father,” continues to hit the bullseye.

Season 1, Episode 2: Honor Thy Father

After last week’s premiere, its hard to imagine that the follow up could be better, but that rare state of affairs has happily befallen fans of the CW’s new superhero series. Jumping in with Arrow in full swing, the action is quicker, harder, and more exciting while continuing to tell a compelling story through present day altercations and the hardships of his past.

This time his mother and step-father are trying to push him into a leadership role at Queen Consolidated after having him legally brought back to life, but seeing that such would interfere with his plans as the hooded vigilante, he has to figure out a way to decline that his parents will accept. Meanwhile, his sister hits him hard in the heart with an emotional confession of how she dealt with the death of their father and him that prompts him make a visit to Laurel so that he can begin opening up a little, and there he begins to figure out what he needs to do to succeed in his goals. But thanks to his earlier interference with a case Laurel has taken to court, their night is cut short and we get to see Diggle in action while he gets to see Ollie in action… sorta. And finally as Ollie brings his attentions back to this week’s target, all of it leads up to a great confrontation between Arrow and China White.

The writing of this show is absolutely fantastic. Continuing its Nolan-esque take on the character, the show manages to keep you gripped even as we follow Ollie in the everyday. Its characterizations are accurate while unique, and the new people bring a certain charm that I’m not sure would exist otherwise, especially for long time Arrow fans, like myself, who are unable to know whats coming next thanks to the extended cast. I’m personally loving the relationship between Ollie and his sister, Thea, and look forward to see how it plays out over the series, and whether or not she will eventually become the “Speedy” her childish nickname suggests. I’m also interested to see how Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance, deals with the realization that the Arrow vigilante is actually on his side, and fighting for the same goals he is. Its not as cut and dry as he would like to think, and while this particular angle has been seen before in other superhero shows, the relationship between him and Ollie makes it all a bit more intriguing, in my opinion.

As for the villains of the series, aside from the cardboard cut out businessmen that the Arrow has been targeting so far, we have now seen two, albeit short lived, comic book villains. In the first episode, we saw Constantine Drakon as Adam Hunt’s head of security put up an unexpected fight, catching our hero off guard. This week we get China White, a Triad drug dealer who, in the comics, played a central role on the island in Year One. On the surface, in this show, she is very much the same, but whats interesting is that we have a sort of hint that this may not be the first time Ollie and our villain have met. What I mean by this is that when she comes up behind him, rather than telling him in English to get away from her business partner, she tells him to do so in Chinese, fully expecting him to understand her, which he does. The back and forth itself doesn’t indicate much either way, and while it may have just been another way for the writer’s to point out Ollie’s bizarre education gained as a castaway, I think her doing as she did could be indicative that she, in fact, did play a role on the island as she did in the comics, and that this was actually a reunion of enemies rather than a first encounter, but we’ll have to wait and see.

As for the bigger question this episode gave us, I’d like to point to the final part of this episode’s island flashback where Ollie is shot (and seemingly killed) by a hooded man with a bow. Many people are saying this is going to be his teacher, a man who trains him on the island, but I looked at it a little differently. Yes, it could be that, but given the story of the episode in the present day, I’m thinking this may have been a metaphorical sequence indicating that Ollie died on that island, and that something else survived.

At any rate, with the show now two episodes down, I think its safe to say that this one is a true home run. We’ll have to wait for next week to see if the consistency is truly here to stay, but its looking absolutely fantastic at the moment, so here’s hoping the series continues to better itself with each new episode.

A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING

Pros Cons
Arrow is off to a great start, and is proving the Pilot wasn’t just a fluke. None, this show is absolutely fantastic.
Rating
100%


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1 Comment

  1. Grizzleybruin says:

    Whoa . . . did not catch that China White – Arrow have history with that tiny little exchange. Really loving this series. . . . .really getting a Batman feel . . . in a good way.

    It occurred to me that Ollie using a bow and arrow to take down thugs with automatics was no different than Batman doing the same with batarangs. He kills, sure, but that just saves us the obligatory “fellow hero comes to town, makes nice until they part ways over whether or not to kill badguys” episode that becomes standard with such a character choice. Smallville had that universe’s huntress doing the exact same thing they pulled off infinitely better with her in the JLU cartoon.
    I think that bit with the teacher served 2 purposes: The one that most people are speculating, and the one you mentioned. Tell you what: He definitely got shot, so if that was a hallucination, you were right. But if there was an Arrow on that island before Olli, we’ll know the meaning was two fold.
    BUT i have to admit, seeing the teacher makes a LOT more sense on several levels: Having him carve out a bow and just master archery over night like they did in Smallville flash backs with Justin Hartley was sooooooo dumb. Its times like those that remind me why radioactive exposure would make for such an effective “getting super-powers” plot point in most back-stories.

    But showing that Ollie had a real life ‘Ra’s al Ghul’ by his side? That’s F’n brilliant! The suit, the bow, the training . . .it all makes sense. And you just KNOW that Ollie knows his Mom had a hand in his father’s death . . . .which makes their whole exchange soooo much more interesting!

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A DC fanboy at heart, even if I have more than a few problems with the reboot, my love for DC heroes (especially Team Arrow) is a significant part of my life.