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Arrow - Tribute - Review

Arrow “Tribute” was directed by Laura Belsey with the story by Adam Schwartz (whose other credits include Fred: The Show, So Random! and Sonny with a Chance – and no, I’ve never heard of them either) and with the teleplay written by Marc Guggenheim and Beth Schwarz. Overall, I felt like this episode didn’t break new ground. The storylines are all starting to seem the same. I was surprised by Anatoly (David Nykl) showing up to be the bad guy – and I’m still sad to see him truly be on opposite sides with Oliver (Stephen Amell), but it’s always nice to have Nykl guest star as he always turns in a solid performance. I am also mourning the loss of sensible, ex-soldier Diggle (David Ramsey). It’s nice to see him get a juicy storyline, but did it have to be at the sacrifice of his character?

As the episode opens, Oliver is once again having to deal with the press and having been revealed as the Green Arrow – though it’s pointed out that before he was accused of being the Hood – so this is completely different! I did like how Oliver dismissed it – he’s not Bruce Wayne! He’s not a superhero, and c’mon, photos can be doctored!

We have a new thorn in Oliver’s side in the guise of FBI Agent Samanda Watson (Sydelle Noel) who is determined to conduct a full investigation into the actions of the Green Arrow – who she sees as a criminal!

There was some fun banter in the lair between Curtis (Echo Kellum) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). Curtis owns up that he has a secret job – he has to make money somehow! Which gets them to wondering how Diggle makes ends meet – but of course, he’s married to the head of Argus, so he can afford to be a crime-fighting-husband! By the end of the episode, Felicity, who needs a job, and Curtis decide to go into business together – and wasn’t this how they started out together? Curtis worked for Felicity at Palmer Industries… Can this go well?

Oliver, the businessmen behind the Marcovian Project, some reporters, and Quentin (Paul Blackthorn) are ambushed at a warehouse. Oliver can’t fight back because he’d expose himself, and Anatoly shows up and takes the businessmen hostage. He holds them for a $20 million ransom – the exact amount that the city has just received to rebuild police headquarters!

Felicity and Curtis track them to a restaurant and Diggle, Dinah, and Oliver manage to recover 3 of the 4 hostages. Anatoly still has the CEO and has poisoned him. Anatoly needs money and time to rebuild his position and show that he is not weak. Oliver gets an antidote from Dr Schwartz (Venus Terzo) – and I’m always happy to see Terzo back and hope we get to see more of her going forward.

Meanwhile, Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) confronts Diggle about his physical condition, and he admits that he got hit by shrapnel on the Island and he as degenerative nerve damage which has caused a tremor. So he didn’t hesitate to shoot in the last episode because he was nervous but because he knew he couldn’t be sure about his aim. Dinah points out that he’s putting the entire team in danger by not telling them he’s not 100%. Diggle agrees to tell Oliver.

Oliver, Diggle, Dinah, Curtis, and Rene (Rick Gonzalez) go in when Curtis and Felicity track Anatoly to a shipyard. Oliver shoots the CEO with the antidote, so Anatoly shoots the CEO and kills him. Oliver is shocked and declares that Anatoly used to be an honorable man. Anatoly insists that he is still honorable – he didn’t go after William (Jack Moore) and he wasn’t the one who leaked Oliver’s picture to the media.

There are a couple of nice tie ins to the William storyline in the episode. William is being picked on by bullies at school, so Oliver tells him to punch the biggest guy in the nose with no warning. It will take him down and establish William’s dominance – exactly what Anatoly is trying to do. However, William is still acting out because he’s worried that Oliver is going to go out and not come home, leaving him all alone with nobody. William is actually more realistic than Oliver as William points out that it’s not up to Oliver if he comes back or not – at least not 100%.

Oliver comes home after the final confrontation with Anatoly and apologizes to William. He admits that he was wrong and that going forward he will try 100% to be the best father. But he’s also realized that he’s still putting William in real danger – the next crook won’t be as “honorable” as Anatoly. The thing that did bother me here is that Oliver has a huge extended family with the team – why not let William into that circle?

Naturally, Oliver’s solution is to ask Diggle to take over permanently as the Green Arrow – and naturally, instead of just telling Oliver that truth as he’d promised Dinah he would do, Diggle agrees to take over.

I did like how William’s story somewhat mirrored the main plot, but overall, I felt like we’ve been here and done this. And where did our sensible soldier go? Diggle would never stand on stupid pride and put the team at risk! What do you think? Did you like the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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