Arrow: ‘Honor Thy Fathers’ Review
Oliver’s legacy is in question.
Warning: There will be spoilers in this review.
Arrow is wrapping up its fifth season soon, but Adrian Chase is still playing mind games with Oliver Queen. Chase is still out to tarnish Oliver’s legacy as the Green Arrow, but now he’s trying to shed light on Robert Queen’s dark past as well. Oliver became the Green Arrow (or The Hood) to honor his father’s wishes to save the city. Turns out, the man Oliver has been honoring was a killer… or at least someone who was good at covering up lethal accidents. I guess Chase thought it would break Oliver to find out the truth about his father. However, it only resulted in Ollie donning the Green Arrow suit once again.
Yes sir, this episode was all about daddy issues. From Oliver and Thea facing the fact that their father wasn’t perfect (chuckle), to Adrian finding out his father, the man he’s been trying to avenge, wanted to disown him because he knew his son was bat sh*t crazy, and then even Rene struggled with the idea of gaining his parenting rights for his daughter back. This episode of Arrow didn’t exactly paint a pretty picture of fatherhood.
I’m not entirely sure why it was important for Chase to point out that Oliver’s father was a morally flawed man, but it really shouldn’t have come as a shock to Oliver. Considering his mother’s wrong doings and corrupt misadventures, and the fact that Robert killed a man right in front of his son on a raft in season one, covering up the death of an acquaintance should not shatter Oliver’s world. The Queen family is pretty screwed up. Just sayin’. While Oliver did his usual brooding act, Thea (yes, Thea came back) approached the possibility of their father being a killer with more of an open mind, I was happy to see that they eventually just decided to move on and make their own future rather than harp on the past.
Once coming to the realization that despite the request of helping the city coming from a man with a checkered past, the city needed the Green Arrow regardless, so Oliver has been doing the right thing all along. It sure was great to seeing Ollie ditch the dull black threads and ski mask and put on the Green Arrow suit. I seriously thought we wouldn’t see it until the finale. I also thought they would have made a big deal about it, making for a more dramatic return. But okay, I can work with a subtle return. What’s important was being able to see the Green Arrow kick Prometheus’ ass in yet another vicious fight between the two during the climatic showdown of the episode. Both actors (or stuntmen, maybe) fight like they really mean it, which gives each confrontation some much emotional weight.
Chase submitting to Oliver after finding out his father planned on disowning him came way too easy. I’ll admit, he played it off well, but this guy has been so hard to take down, there’s no way Oliver can believe this is the end of Chase’s reign. Especially knowing he has allies out there. No, no, this is obviously part of his plan for whatever reason. Chances are while he sits and smirks in his A.R.G.U.S. cell, his allies will probably cause a sh*t storm all over Starling City. One disappointing aspect of the episode was it not banking off the idea that everyone Chase ever prosecuted was now free. It made me think all hell was going to break loose around the city with all of those violent criminals running around. Yet, the only villain to make an appearance was Derek Sampson (Cody Rhodes), making his sort of meaningless return. He was teaming up with Prometheus to release a chemical bomb, but their partnership was short lived and unexplored. So now that I think of it, maybe some of the other criminals are now allies with Chase and were just waiting for the go ahead to strike some chaos. Maybe it was Chase’s intentions to give Team Arrow an easy win. From here on out, we can just assume everything that happens is because it’s all part of Chase’s plan.
Keeping up with the daddy issues, Rene had a chance to gain custody of his daughter, but he blew it… or did he? I wanted to slap him for not wanting to testify at the custody hearing because he was too afraid his daughter would be traumatized by the memory of the cooking accident that took place last time he was in charge of taking care of her. Like good ol’ Lance told him, it would be better for him not to harp on that old memory and make better memories with her in his custody. I really think Paul Blackthorne did a superb job playing Lance as he passionately pleaded with the bull headed Rene. He didn’t even have to mention the loss of his own daughter for us to know he was thinking about her while trying to make Rene do what was right fir his daughter. The emotional team up between Rene and Lance has been going so well because it seems as if Rene is slightly maturing because of Lance. However, when Rene didn’t show up for the hearing, I was mad. It was as if Lance’s efforts were all for nothing, and that little girl would leave the court disappointed. But then I started thinking, what if he was taken or held up by an allie of Prometheus. The preview for next week’s episode suggests the team is being picked off by Chase’s allies Maybe it started with Rene. At least, that better be the reason why he wasn’t there for the hearing.
As far as the flashbacks go, we returned to Lian Yu with Oliver and Anatoly setting up for his big rescue off the island. It’s great seeing how this five year flashback arc is finally wrapping up. I’m really hoping there will be no more weekly flashbacks in season six. I really enjoyed the dialogue between Anatoly and Oliver this week. It shows that they were really close, and despite Anatoly not agreeing with Oliver’s decision to be on the island, he wasn’t judgemental and was willing to assist him. It’s almost sad considering the fallout they will have in the future. We finally know why the Deathstroke mask was on the island in the first place. It was nice for the show to fill in that gap. Also interesting to hear Oliver refer to Slade Wilson as his friend. Yet another person Oliver will have a conflict with in the future. The flashback has one final conflict however, seeing that Kovar (Dolph Lundgren) made his return, waiting for the right time to capture Oliver once Anatoly left. I’m guessing Oliver is going to have to endure some torture from Kovar and his henchmen, only to escape later. I’m curious to see what Kovar is going to do with whatever new abilities he’s been given by Merlyn. I’m not entirely sure how this will play out, and whether or not it Kovar’s story will end in the flashbacks. I was kind of hoping we’d see him in the present time, but it seems likely he’ll be dealt with on Lian Yu.
“Honor Thy Fathers” was a good episode with a lot of progress focusing on Oliver’s legacy and battle with Adrian Chase. The first half somewhat dragged, but at least it was building upon its plot and left us with a thrilling action packed conclusion. Although the victory is too good to be true, it was nice to see the team less on edge and happy for a change. Of course, that happiness is not meant to last, which makes the anticipation much higher to see how Chase is going to cause another blow to the team. It was great seeing Thea again, and even better that it was a worthwhile return, being that she was involved in the plot and not just a quirky reminder that she’s still part of the cast. The fact that she returned and still has issues to get over is a relief. I was worried she’d magically be all better. Yet, she’s still a complicated, tortured soul. I find that to make her a compelling character. Derek Sampson’s involvement should have been stronger, but at least it was clear Prometheus was the dominant threat of the episode. Even though Adrian Chase/Prometheus didn’t have a lot of screen time, his fight with Oliver made the wait worth it. With only two more episodes to go, hopefully, the pace and intensity can only increase. Honestly, I’m just too excited for Slade Wilson to return.