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Arrow - Honor Thy Father - Review

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Arrow “Honor Thy Fathers” was written by the team of Marc Guggenheim and Sarah Tarkoff and was directed by Laura Belsey. The episode features the return of Willa Holland as Thea. It seems like a somewhat gratuitous appearance as she doesn’t do a lot to move the plot along, but the episode does end with some hope that she might stick around to offer her brother the support Robert (Jamey Sheridan) thinks she needs. The flashbacks also seem to hint at the forthcoming return of Deathstroke – love that image of the mask on the beach!

The episode begins with Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) telling Oliver (Stephen Amell) that all of Chase’s convictions are being re-tried and the prisoners have been released pending those trials. It’s not great news. The team immediately starts keeping an eye on the most dangerous ones and that includes Derek Sampson (Cody Runnels). It’s not long before the team figures out that Sampson is working with Chase (Josh Segarra), who is trying to re-create his father’s bio-weapon – only worse.

Oliver receives a “package” from Simon Morrison – Chase’s real name – which turns out to be Henry Goodwin – a councilman from the Glades who went missing in 2002. The forensic evidence points to Robert Queen and a video tape of the security footage confirms it. Both Thea and Oliver must come to terms with their father’s legacy. Both question whether they’ve inherited all the horrible qualities of their parents.

Oliver once again questions his crusade, but I’m hoping they’ve finally laid this to rest now. Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) is back to being the voice of reason. She tells Oliver that his father inspired him – it doesn’t matter how – to do good, to serve the city. Being the Green Arrow honors that legacy. She tells him to stop living for his father and to live for himself. This is a theme that runs through the episode, and I really hope that the series takes it to heart! It’s right after this that Oliver finally gets back in the Green Arrow suit for the final confrontation with Chase.

Oliver also passes this advice on to Thea. He finally shows her the tape that their father left for her. He hadn’t because he’d thought it would be a burden for her. In it, Robert tells her that he’s proud of her, and that she is stronger than her brother. He tells her that Oliver will need to lean on her. Thea draws comfort from the video. But she also tells Oliver that she can’t reconcile that video with the one of their father covering up a murder. Oliver points out that their parents were complex people. Something that a lot of adults never come to terms with – parents are people too. Oliver tells her that they have to leave the past in the past and lead their own lives.

The idea of leaving the past in the past also plays strongly in Rene’s (Rick Gonzalez) storyline as he tries to get Zoe (Eliza Faria) back. I love the dynamic between Rene and Quentin, who continues to help him try to get his daughter back – something Quentin would do anything to have for himself.

        Rene is excited until he finds out that there will be a hearing and he’ll have to testify. He doesn’t want to remind Zoe of all the terrible things that happened in their past. Quentin tells him that he can’t do anything about the past, but Rene can focus on the future so the new memories far outweigh the old. Unfortunately, Rene fails to show up for the hearing… but why?

Oliver and Diggle getting trapped in the most watery concrete I’ve ever seen was a bit silly. However, the finally fight between Chase and Oliver – and the rest of the team bringing down Sampson was pretty good. I loved that Diggle now has trick bullets!

The fight between Oliver and Chase is great, but I did have to wonder how Oliver thought he was going to be able to beat Chase when Chase has defeated him every time. It seemed a bit implausible that he would simply defeat him with words, but that seems to be what happened. It’s a nice touch that they’ve already established that Oliver really isn’t his father’s son – although, I thought we’d already established that Robert’s own journey was to realize he was doing the wrong thing and try to stop the Undertaking. Chase, on the other hand, is living in the past, trying to be his father’s son in every way. Using the past to honor his father. Oliver tells Chase that his father was going to disown him – not because he was illegitimate but because Chase is crazy. Oliver rubs it in by saying that whatever his father was, he knows that Robert would never have abandoned him. After all, Robert gave up his own life so that Oliver could live. Chase simply kneels and tells Oliver to kill him, but Oliver is determined to see Chase face justice.

Oliver holds a press conference and tells the father that his father was guilty. But he also tells them what he tried to explain to Thea. His father wasn’t just a horrible person – he also gave his life to save Oliver. He tells them that he sacrificed himself so that Oliver could live and create a better legacy.

Both Thea and Chase watch the press conference. Chase is in a glass box in custody. It’s clear that this is exactly where he expected to end up as he smiles at Oliver’s words. He had to know that Oliver wouldn’t kill him. And of course, all this talk of legacy and fathers also points to Oliver’s own legacy in William. Where is William? Felicity tells Oliver at the outset of the episode that she hasn’t been able to locate him – will she simply give up now?

In the flashbacks, Anatoly (David Nykl) drops Oliver off on the Island. It was a nice nod to the theme of the past and fathers that Oliver explains that he learned to fly because his father loved vintage planes. On the Island, they find Deathstroke’s mask. Oliver shows Anatoly the graveyard, and Anatoly tries one final time to dissuade Oliver from taking on the sins of the past. He also warns him about leaving that kind of burden on those closest to him – who will pay for Oliver’s sins? Oliver once again tells Anatoly that the hood is an identity for his enemies to focus on to prevent them from targeting those closest to Oliver.

Anatoly leaves Oliver with a knapsack full of a disguise? Is that our excuse for the dreadful wigs in the early seasons?!?! It was nice to have a final scene in which the two were friends – and before the show ruined Anatoly’s character. The flashback ends with Oliver being darted by Kovar (Dolph Lundgren). I’m really hoping to see Manu Bennett – Slade Wilson/Deathstroke – show up for an epic fight with Lundgren to save Oliver!

Only two episodes left in the season – but of course, those two episodes are our big tip off that big-bad Chase isn’t defeated yet. What did you think of the episode? What are you hoping to see before the end of the season? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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