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Arrow: Honor Thy Father

Dig: "Home is a battlefield."

I like the theme of this second episode – that, in the struggle to find our place in the world, sometimes our family can't see us the way we want them to. Oliver and Laurel are both condemned to follow their parent's legacy but realizing they can't do it the way they wish. Perhaps the producers drove home this theme a little too literally, but this is already shaping up to be a fairly blunt show.

I think I was a bit unfair with the Smallville comparisons last week. Although I found this episode rife with them, I found that they didn't bother me nearly as much this time, most likely because this show isn't focused on teenagers. The dark and mature revenge theme paints things with a wider moral and emotional palette, using more than just black and white.

Which brings me to the somewhat sticky subject of Oliver's behavior as Green Arrow. He feels like a wild animal recently released from a cage back into the wilderness. He doesn't seem to have any moral compass, and in fact he isn't much better than a common criminal at this point. So maybe I was wrong and he didn't start off as a hero right out of the box. Which is probably why they focused on the idea of bringing someone in on his secret.

Diggle and Thea stand out for me as potential allies for Oliver, whereas his best bud Tom keeps giving me villain vibes. (Maybe it's because he looks like a younger version of Paul Ryan, no offense intended towards the actor). Not that I think Laurel won't eventually find out Oliver's secret.  I mean, her character is based on Dinah Lance, aka Black Canary, so the superhero path is probably in her future. But I think it's a bit early for her to find out.

The mob plot was a little bit of a throwaway, yet it was a nice framework to display the important family dynamics being built up. Plus, I was really surprised how they handled China White (which is a really horrible name IMO). In the previews for this episode, they built her up to be the villain of the week. But she turned out to be almost a secondary player, and her appearance served more as an introduction. That probably means that the producers are thinking more long term, which I like.  I think starting a rogues gallery of reoccurring villains is a good idea. I'm always for complex arc building. Let's just hope that the plot and the growing catalog of baddies doesn't devolve into something convoluted and silly.


Papa Queen's little black book of secrets was written with invisible ink? Talk about paranoid.

Very Revenge-esqe saga sell.

I'm really finding the whole mother-is-evil plot line to be obnoxious. Maybe later it'll get better, but Mama Queen is no Lionel Luthor.

Laurel and Quentin could turn out to be this shows version of Lex and Lionel, well except that they're good guys for now.

Are the producers building up Diggle to be a parallel hero, rather than some kind of sidekick for Oliver? His skills seem to be almost on par with Oliver, which would suggest he could hold his own. I guess it's just a matter of time before we get multiple heroes. Until then, I'll hold off judging whether or not the show can handle it.

I loved the green marble floors in the Queen corporate office.

Is Walter a good guy? I sort of like him, which may be because I watched him get cubed in the first Resident Evil movie.


Generic Female Lawyer #10: "The Queen family is only entitled to one miracle, I'm afraid."

Laurel: "What are you doing here?"
Oliver: "They were bringing me back from the dead. Legally speaking."

Laurel: "Oliver just got back from five years on an uncharted island. Before that, he was cheating on me with my sister. He was with her when she died. Last week, he told me to stay away from him. It was really good advice."

Oliver: "Sorry to give you so much grief."
Diggle: "I served three tours in Afghanistan, Mister Queen. You don't even come close to my definition of grief."

Thea: "Dead people don't want anything. It's one of the benefits of being dead."
Oliver: "I was dead, and I wanted a lot."
Thea: "Except for your family. You've been home a week, and all you do is avoid Mom, ignore Walter, and judge me."

Detective Lance: "No arguments."
Laurel: "I'm a lawyer. I live to argue."
Detective Lance: "I'm your father. I live to keep you safe."

Laurel: "Protective custody? I seem to recall you trying that once I discovered boys. It didn't work then, either."

Oliver: "I'm a jerk. Before the island, I was a jerk. And now, I'm just a... I'm a damaged jerk."

Oliver: (to his father's gravestone) "I didn't know how painful it would be to keep my secrets. You asked me to save the city, to right your wrongs. I will. I swear. But to do that, I can't be the Oliver that everyone wants me to be. Which means that sometimes, to honor your wishes, I need to dishonor your memory. I'm sorry."

Despite this episode being flawed, I liked it a bit more than the pilot.

3 out of 4 Daddy issues.

Samantha M. Quinn spends most of her time in front of a computer typing away at one thing or another; when she has free time, she enjoys pretty much anything science fiction or fantasy-related.


  1. Great review, J.D. You captured so much of what I was thinking, especially along the lines of Green Arrow's behavior which I find a bit unsettling right now.

    Thank you for clearing up the whole invisible ink thing. When Oliver found the book on the island with the blank pages, I was confused. Now I see I was just being old.

    Loved the Paul Ryan comparison -- made me laugh out loud.

  2. I thought this was a nice follow-up to the premiere. I agree that the Evil Mommy plot is kinda weak. Which is a shame, because I really like Susanna Thompson.

    As for who will be first to learn about Ollie's secret identity, I think Thea & Diggle make the two most obvious candidates. Diggle's obviously not fooled by Oliver's antics, he knows something's up. I don't know if he'll be come a fellow vigilante, though he can certainly handle himself pretty well. I think at the very least though he could help Oliver keep his cover, maybe be the getaway driver on occasion(kinda like an Alfred that can kick ass).

    With Thea, the most logical scenario I see for her finding out is if she hits rock bottom with her substance issues, and Oliver revealing himself as Arrow is an element of his rescuing of her(either from a dire situation, or just in general). I think Laurel finding out is gonna take more time, though for God's sake I hope they don't drag it out the way they did Clark & Lana over on Smallville, that got painful!

  3. You did it, you invoked the name of my least favorite LL.... shame on you :p

    In all seriousness, if they are going to do a a Laurel/Oliver romance than they need to bring her in before the two year mark. Otherwise it'll just get frustrating. As for Thea... she might work as some kind of sidekick. I never thought of a Alfred angle for Diggle, makes sense though.

    Thanks for the comments :)

  4. Okay, this settles it. I'm not a superhero fan. The pilot was okay, but this episode bored the heck out of me. I tried, but I ended up spending most of this episode paying more attention to my dog than the TV. In my defense, he was snoring and it was adorable. Arrow is officially off my watch list. Le sigh. Stephen Arnell is such a studly. I'm glad you all seem to enjoy the show though. :)

    Loved your Paul Ryan comment. I always got the villain vibe from Walter. I think it's the eyebrows.

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  6. I found this episode to be MUCH weaker than the pilot which I adored. I don't know but it just felt so exposition-y. And Oliver's Arrow voice? So growly and cheesy. Especially the whole "you failed this city" spiel.
    Nevertheless, I still have high hopes for this show and I have a feeling this episode was probably the weakest the show will ever get.

  7. and by the way are we sure it was invisible ink? I assumed the twist was that Oliver's dad didn't really fill out the notebook and that Oliver eventually did with the help of whoever on that island.

  8. Great Review! I'm enjoying this show and thought the episode was fine. There's a bit of weak acting and some plot holes but I'm enjoying the flashbacks a lot and didn't even think of invisible ink or alternatives. I also enjoy how you are bringing out the already existing verse because I only know it a little bit and it's fun to make those connections. Thanks for making the episode more enjoyable.

  9. Colin Salmon (Walter) is currently on Strictly Come Dancing (UK version of Dancing With the Stars)- yummy

  10. Invisible ink? I hadn't thought of that! I thought -when the notebook appeared blank- that Oliver had filled it up with what his dad told him... not that he had a chance to tell him much with the other guy there (they died at the same time). Mkes more sense for it to be invisible ink! And thinking about it, the colour definitely looks like my old experiments with lemon juice and a candle flame! ;o)

    I'm definitely enjoying this show, and I hope they keep up the rythm!
    My big "ugh" is when Green Arrow tells the baddies "you failed this city". Sounds contrived, like they're trying to come up with some kind of catch phrase...

    Can't wait to see who discovers his secret first!


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