In this episode of Arrow, we learn to honor thy father, suspect thy mother, and respect thine obligatory workout montage.
A brief recap for those of you just tuning in: Ollie is now regularly donning the hood, as we see in his cold open skirmish with a practically unnamed corporate baddie. Unfortunately, to accomplish this he’s having to find creative new ways to get Dig into hot water. Meanwhile, Mum and Walter are trying to get Ollie into the corporate world, and Speedy is mostly being a seething mass of young angst and resentment. Laurel, on the other hand, is taking on this week’s Revenge List name, a shipping magnate named Martin Somers with ties to the Chinese Triad and China White.
After a heart-to-angst chat with Speedy, Ollie decides that he hasn’t been open enough with his loved ones and decides to attempt to rectify this by showing up at his ex-girlfriend’s apartment with a carton of Chunky Monkey. As we all know, Chunky Monkey is the ultimate apology gift when one has slept with one’s girlfriend’s sister on the night of her untimely death at sea.
Ollie and Laurel’s pending reconciliation scene is interrupted by Triad assassins trying to take out our erstwhile heroine. After bringing down all of Team Evil except for the aforementioned China White, Ollie takes up his quiver once more and scares a surprisingly court-admissible confession out of Mr. Somers.
The lesson that Ollie takes away from this week’s events is that he’s going to have to keep up a careless, playboy front if he wants to keep his friends and family safe from his vigilante lifestyle. This seems to work out pretty well for Mum, who quickly takes the news of his fecklessness to a shady villain-type character in a shady, villain-type black limousine.
I definitely enjoyed this episode. While not nearly as dense as the pilot, “Honor Thy Father” still followed through on many of its promises: fast-paced action scenes, family drama, and lots of backstory. We’re slowly finding out what happened on the island, though it seems to be a safe bet that we’ll be getting island flashbacks for at least the entire first season. It was my assumption that Dad passed on an already-filled List O’ Badguys, but it’s looking like Ollie filled that in on his own, begging the question of where and how he was able to do that research during his time away. Word of God is that the names on the list aren’t going to be episodic villains, in that Ollie won’t be crossing off one name every week.
I have to admit, I’m somewhat relieved that we’ll be seeing more of Party!Ollie. Oliver’s quiet PTSD is an understandable character choice, but the delivery can get wooden and boring very quickly. He’s much more entertaining to watch as either the Arrow or the playboy. Willa Holland’s delivery of the explanation of the gravestones in the backyard certainly carried that scene through any brooding, furrowed-brow moments, though. I’m also desperately hoping that Papa Lance is going to get some character depth soon, rather than becoming a caricature on his crusade to bring down both Arrow and Oliver Queen.
Nothing really struck me this week, so I’m going to go with Arrow’s new catchphrase: “You have failed this city.” I’m hoping it’s going to turn into his own “You are the weakest link!”
Things to Ponder:
- New skills evidently learned on the island include knife fighting and what I’m guessing was Mandarin. What kind of Renaissance man must that mysterious, hooded, soon-to-be-mentor-figure be?
- We’ve been told that there’s a good possibility that Laurel may eventually become Black Canary. After her “OMG, thank you for saving me, you big, strong, manly ex-boyfriend, you!” display, I’m thinking she’s got a ways to go before she reaches action heroine status.
- I’m willing to bet that Dig is going to be the first one to discover Ollie’s “secret.” Any takers?
Review By: Jennifer Steele
Photo Credit: Jack Rowand/The CW © 2012 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved.