Arrow Season 1 Review “Honor Thy Father”

The second episode of Arrow continued to deliver soapy superhero eyecandy this week in “Honor Thy Father.” Thus far, the targets of Arrow‘s hit list have mostly been among the wealthy and powerful – members of society who might not be considered criminals to the unsuspecting public. Arrow‘s targets are the kind of people that pull the strings behind the scenes and benefit financially before issuing an assassination order. They play dirty without ever getting their own hands soiled.

This was the case with Martin Sommers whose professional, congenial demeanor hid ties to a notorious crime organization known as The Triad. In exchange for providing The Triad a port for drug trafficking, Martin profited handsomely.

How Martin was tied to Queen Industries and to Oliver’s father isn’t exactly clear. Through Oliver’s flashbacks of the island we saw how Oliver came to possess the notebook which appeared blank when Oliver first opened it. It’s possible that the names were written in that notebook using a special invisible ink, but it also seems possible that Oliver wrote those names into the notebook himself over the course of his time on the island.

There wasn’t quite as much action this week, but the action we did see was just as splendid as in the pilot. Oliver had his first run in with China White, a villain I expect will return throughout the series as she wasn’t completely defeated or captured in this episode. I particularly enjoyed Mr. Diggle’s fight against China White. After seeing Oliver constantly escape his watch, and after hearing Dig tell us about his “three tours in Afghanistan” over and over again, I appreciated being able to actually see him kick some serious butt. Oliver did help out in the end, but Dig put up a great fight.

Dig’s relationship with a reluctant Oliver is developing nicely. Dig is one of the only characters that can understand or relate to Oliver and he seems to realize that Oliver might be suffering some kind of PTSD. While everyone else seems to be giving Oliver grief for not being mature enough, not being open enough, not being normal enough, Dig seems to be the only one that realizes that Oliver is hiding his struggle to adjust and he’s doing it incredibly well.

Arrow‘s dorky voice-over narration stuck around this week (then again, so did all the awesomeness, so I guess I’ll let it slide.) Part of Oliver’s many voice-overs explained that what he had learned from his father after their yacht was destroyed was that his family’s wealth had been built on the suffering of others. This revelation was the driving force behind his heroic action in the city, but he realized that he couldn’t be the Oliver that everyone wanted him to be and make amends for his family’s wrongs. In a scene near his father’s tombstone, Oliver explained to his deceased father: “to honor your wishes, I need to dishonor your memory.”

Judging from Oliver’s mother’s secret meeting with a yet-to-be-revealed person (“Well Dressed Man” perhaps?) I expect there’s an even more troubling secret the surviving Queen family is trying to hide besides the unscrupulous nature of their wealth. I can’t tell if Oliver already knows everything that his mother had done and why she had done it, but it she would have to be hiding a secret so sinister that she would be willing to sacrifice her son to keep things under wraps.

We’re only two episodes in and it’s clear that Arrow really knows how to do a killer cliffhanger. I’m dying to find out what he went through on that island and who that Arrow-look-a-like was who shot him through the chest. I’m really enjoying the ride that Arrow is taking us on as they slowly reveal Oliver’s back story, so as much as I’d love to get all the answers now, I’m going to try my hardest to be patient… at least until next week.