‘Arrow’ Review: “Honor Thy Father”
‘Arrow’ lets loose another shot in the second episode of the series "Honor Thy Father," as Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) settles into the the details of his old life, while coming to tangle with villain China White (Kelly Hu) as Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) goes after a corrupt official with ties to the Chinese Triads.
Last week's 'Arrow' series premiere introduced us to the world of Starling City, as Oliver returned from a five-year marooning determined to avenge his father and save his city by donning the guise of hooded avenger 'Arrow,' though the circumstances of his accident go far deeper than he realizes. So, what does the second episode of 'Arrow' bring? Does it hit the same bullseye as the pilot?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Arrow’s second episode, "Honor Thy Father!"
After recapping the weapon he became on the island, Arrow fights a number of baddies on a rooftop. Saving one for last, Arrow holds his face to a ventilation fan, and demands that he return capital to some jilted citizens he'd stolen it from, to which the man tearfully obliges. The next morning, Oliver prepares to go with his family to the courthouse to have himself declared legally alive, as the family watches the previous night’s exploits on the TV.
After being mobbed by the press and standing before the judge, Oliver lies by claiming he was the only survivor of the yacht, while flashing back to first reaching the island. With the proof standing before her, the judge declares Oliver legally alive as he shrugs off going to Queen headquarters with his mother. Running into Laurel, he receives another typically cold reception, overhearing on his way out that his ex-girlfriend is going after a corrupt businessman named Martin Somers, who may have killed the father of one of Laurel’s clients.
While Laurel’s efforts in court fail, Oliver trains and prepares to go after Somers himself. In a dark warehouse that night, Arrow takes down all of Somers’ security, and hangs him upside down outside, firing arrows to graze his cheek as the hero demands Somers confess to the murder. Back at the Queen mansion, Moira chews out Diggle for having been given the slip again, though Oliver returns claiming he needed some alone time with a woman after 5 years in isolation. Moira begs that he not ditch his protection, lest she lose her son again, and Oliver makes nice with Diggle. Speedy passes on her way out, asking her brother not to lecture her, given that the week he’s been home has been filled with ignoring, avoidance, and judgement on his part.
At Somers’ warehouse, Detective Lance puts together that Arrow was the source of the man’s earlier panicked 911 call, to which Somers threatens to go after he or his litigious daughter if they don’t give him what he wants. Meanwhile at the Queen building, Oliver settles into his new office, as Moira and Walter attempt to give him a leadership position, though Oliver insists he’s not qualified and declines the offer.
Downstairs, Diggle comforts Oliver by relating people at home often want you to be something you’re not, as Oliver remembers his first days on the island trying to keep seagulls from his decomposing father’s body, despite the awful smell. Meanwhile, Laurel’s client insists she wants justice for her murdered father, as Detective Lance shows up with a police protection detail to be kept with them at all times. Good thing, too, considering Martin Somers has hired China White to take both Laurel and her client out!
Speedy interrupts Oliver dressing, finally getting a good look at the many scars that have ravaged his body from time spend on the island. Upset that Oliver doesn’t want to talk about things, she takes him out on the grounds to show him his and their father’s graves, which she would often come out to talk to. However, since Oliver’s return, she’s felt less close to him than talking to his grave, and begs him to let someone in.
Oliver takes Speedy’s advice to heart, and pays an unwelcome visit to Laurel. Reluctantly, the two share a pint of ice cream as Oliver explains that the island only made him a damaged jerk from the jerk he already was. She reminds him that he can turn down his mother’s invitation to work at Queen Industries, making a point to show her the kind of man he wants to be when Oliver hears a noise. Suddenly, thugs burst into the apartment, China White included, and Oliver does his best to fend them off. His efforts are aided by Diggle, who almost buys the farm himself if not for Oliver’s timely intervention. In the aftermath, Detective Lance begs Oliver to stay away from his other daughter, lest he get her killed as well.
After Diggle brings up that he saw how much accuracy with which Oliver threw the knife that saved him, Oliver suits up for his next mission. Martin Somers attempts to flee, knowing that China White’s failure will mean Triad vengeance, but his escape comes too late as Oliver has already made his presence known at the dock. Back at her apartment, Detective Lance begs his daughter not to go after such dangerous criminals in court, when he’s interrupted by news that Arrow has begun his attack on Somers’ shipping yards.
Arrow manages to corner Somers in a silo, and even elicits a confession before China White attacks him once more. The fight culminates in a stalemate, as both run off when the cops arrive, and Detective Lance gets the drop on Arrow. Faster than Lance can react, Oliver disarms him with an arrow, which sticks to the wall behind the detective. Seeing a green flashing button on the arrow, Lance hits it and realizes that Somers’ confession was recorded, as Arrow disappears into the night.
Realizing that Laurel was right about showing his mother who he wants to be, Oliver pretends to be drunk and crashes the dedication of his science building in his father’s honor to announce publicly that he has no intention of pretending to measure up to the man by running his company. Later, Somers is arrested for his crimes, and while Laurel believes Arrow ultimately did a good thing, Lance vows to take him down no matter what.
Oliver crosses Somers’ name out of his journal, before flashing back to the island, where he first found the blank book in his dead father’s pocket, containing only a mysterious crossroads symbol in the jacket. Back in the present, Oliver’s mother Moira gets into the limo of a mysterious man shown to have the same symbol on his notebook, to whom she explains that her son knows nothing of how the yacht was sabotaged.
While Speedy watches, Oliver speaks to his father’s grave of how difficult reconnecting with people turned out to be, and apologizes for the public persona he has to keep up in order to accomplish his goals. Wanting to ultimately honor his father, Oliver realizes he must first bring some dishonor to the name and has the grave taken down.
Back on the island, we see Oliver truly bury his father on a cliff-side, before he himself is hit in the chest with an arrow! The shot came from a mysterious figure in the distance, dressed as the green hooded figure we know Oliver will eventually become!
We have to say, we're very much enjoying the cinematic quality of 'Arrow,' which manages to hold onto its 'Batman Begins'-style tone through its second episode. The inclusion of China White didn't seem to add much to the proceedings, but the fight scenes were certainly thrilling, and plenty of mysteries remain afoot in both past and present. The real question remains, just how long can 'Arrow' sustain its rapid pace before exhaustion sets in, and we're left with a new generic crook to take down every week?
What say you? Did you feel that ‘Arrow’ hit the mark with it's follow-up to the premiere? What did you like about "Honor Thy Father?" Join us next week for another all-new ‘Arrow’ episode recap of “Lone Gunmen” on The CW!