Arrow: Honor Thy Fathers

"Maybe it's time to stop living for your father and start living for yourself. Just leave the past in the past."

So clearly, the theme was daddy issues.

Specifically, Oliver's father was morally murky, but ultimately a good dad. Thea's biological father was not only a super villain, he's a manipulative bastard.  Chase's father was a criminal who realized his son was awful and distanced himself from him, so — not a good dad. Quentin, whose love for his daughters never wavered, and who tortures himself daily because of the fact that he's lost them both permanently, even though Sara is technically still alive. And Rene, who could be a good father if he could just get over his own self-hatred and inferiority complex. That's a pretty wide scale of father figures, from awful to good and everything in between.

(The following paragraph contains spoilers for the first season of Dexter.)

Of course, the primary plot was more of Prometheus's incredibly convoluted plan to break Oliver Queen. This week, he feigned defeat in order to get himself captured for reasons that only make sense to criminals like the Joker. Which brings me to the point that occurred to me this week, and that's the kind of villain Prometheus is. He isn't fun. Malcolm Merlyn, Slade Wilson, Damien Darhk were all fun, to one degree or another. Prometheus is just a serial killer. He's interesting, but in the same vein as the Ice Truck Killer. And Arrow is not Dexter. I don't know why I'm bringing up Dexter again. There must be a reason why it keeps coming to mind. Maybe the parallels between Prometheus's obsession with Oliver and the Ice Truck Killer and Dexter are making me wonder if Prometheus will turn out to be Oliver's brother or something.

(End Dexter spoilers)

Chase's origins has been murky at best, with different identities and a mother who clearly has issues. Now he's focusing on Oliver's son and the fact that they never resolved Chase meeting William at the bus stop means there's more to the plot than a simple kidnapping. I think. At this point, trying to understand the motivations and plans of this villain are like trying to undo a tangled mess of strings. You can do it, but it would take a lot of time and patience, and I'm starting to run out of that.

On a positive note, Felicity and Oliver seem to be reconnecting, and she seems almost like her old self, and there were serious romantic vibes coming off her. Curtis was once again our most valuable player, along with Dinah and Rene. Thea's return was very welcome, and again, she had some really nice scenes with Oliver and Quentin.

There seems to be a duality to this season that is keeping me from being invested, the main villain is just too dark and brings everything down. But the character stuff is all so good and fun that I want to like the rest of what's going on. I'm so conflicted. Oh, well.

Flashback:

Things are starting to wrap up. We had the final, sad goodbye to Anatoly, probably the last time we'll see him as a friend. Oliver is on the island with a bag of fake beard. The Deathstroke mask was established. And now the final arc has been set up with Kovar knocking out Oliver. I am really looking forward to the flashbacks being over for good. Maybe next year they'll shift to what they did in the last episode, with a scene from a previous post-Lian Yu season that we didn't get a chance to see.

Bits:

-- Lots of Papa Queen. We even saw his grave and his goodbye messages to his children. I don't know why they added the fact that he accidentally killed someone, except to make him not perfect? But it was nice to see him back.

-- Speaking of graves, those four lined up were a sad tribute to the characters that have been killed off over the length of the series, maybe even as a goodbye to the island itself.

-- In the cold open, when they showed the man in the concrete, my first thought was: Jimmy Hoffa?

-- The return of the one off villain Sampson turned out to be a highlight, with all the actions scenes playing off the incredibly good team dynamics. I truly hope they continue with this group of characters next season.

-- The cement trap was just silly.

Quotes:

Felicity: "Gas chromatograph kicked back something very interesting on that concrete, traces of soil with high levels of copper concentrate."
Diggle: "Yeah, I think you and I have very different ideas of what 'interesting' means."
Felicity: "Uh — well, I cross-referenced Queen consolidated construction locations with areas of the city rich in copper and..."
Diggle: "And you think you know where Goodwin was killed."
Felicity: "Well, nothing concrete... but yeah."
(I loved Felicity's face as she realized the bad pun.)

Anatoly: "Maybe drinking before flying not such good idea. Or not drink enough. I don't know."
Oliver: "Well, it's getting worse. So we're close."
Anatoly: "I pretend that is good thing."

Oliver: "So we had to move off the Sampson stakeout?"
Felicity: "Yes. Because John and you were reenacting the paleo version of my favorite scene from Witness." (Oliver gives them a look of confusion)
Curtis: "Harrison Ford almost getting buried under the corn in the barn silo."
Felicity: "Ah, that's the one."
Dinah: "Oh, right. And for those of us who haven't seen every movie ever, they mean it was a trap."
Curtis: "Who hasn't seen Witness?"

Oliver: "The Hood, Anatoly, is an identity."
Anatoly: "One you think channels monster inside you."
Oliver: "And protects the people that are closest to me. I do it this way, my enemies will target the Hood. Not the ones I care for."
Anatoly: "You are many things, Oliver Queen. But until today, I did not count 'naïve' as one of them. The people closest to you always pay the most for your sins. You are paying for your father's. Who will pay for yours?"

Oliver: "Rene's right."
Rene: "Oh, say that again."

Good episode, with some minor flaws. Just like the team, it is too early to start celebrating the end.

2 1/2 out of 4 no good terrible fathers.

J.D. Balthazar is a confirmed nerd who loves most things sci-fi or fantasy-related.

1 comment:

Patryk said...

So Chase got himself captured and is held in ARGUS where the Flash needs to go to take the Dominator power source. So crossover time for the last time before the finale? :) Or maybe Chase wants to free Black Siren.

Chase getting arrested because he wants to and a vat of concrete are both kinda Jokery. There is also the William trump card. I bet he was given to Talia to train to be a next monster in the future. Maybe Chase is content with killing Oliver a lot later, but using his own son.

Thea is soo leaving at the end of the season. I'm calling it now. We need space in the cast for Rene and Dinah to stay as regulars.