Arrow Season 1, Episode 2 & 3
Honor Thy Father
Plot Rundown – Present
- Oliver goes to court with his family to be legally resurrected from the dead.
- Oliver is after the next name on the list: Martin Somers, a man with dealings to the Chinese Triad, currently being targeted by Laurel Lance and her law firm.
- Moira and Walter offer Oliver a job at Queen Consolidated (his father’s company) but Oliver declines, disappointing them.
- After failing to connect with Thea, Oliver goes to see Laurel, seeking somebody to open up to, but they’re interrupted by an assassin hired by Somers (China White). They’re saved by Diggle in the knick of time, with a little assistance from Oliver.
- Oliver goes after Somers, taking China White in combat, and procures the confession the authorities needed to lock up Somers.
- Coming to terms with having to play the fool in order to continue his father’s crusade, Oliver publicly humiliates himself while admitting he’s not his father and never will be.
- Moira is working with a mystery man with ties to Oliver’s list, as she reveals to the audience that the boat Oliver and his father were on was sabotaged.
Plot Rundown – Flashbacks
- Arriving on the Island, Oliver finally buries his father, finding the list on his person in the process. Inside however, every page is blank.
- Oliver is attacked by a hooded archer, who wears similar clothing to Oliver’s hooded alter ego.
After such a great pilot episode, it’s a shame that we get a rather lack-luster follow up. The episode is very much filler that fails because it mostly rehashes plot points from the pilot such as Oliver having to act like a playboy to protect his secret, him not opening up about what happened, and holding on to a lot of trauma. Also, the antagonist is not very interesting. SHE’S A MEMBER OF THE TRIAD! Okay…but anything else that makes her unique? You wouldn’t believe this if I told you, but she’s going to be in a ton more episodes. There are a couple of nice tidbits though.
For the first time, we get to see Laurel and her father Quinton interact with each other. Her father is EXTREMELY overprotective of her which leads to Laurel and him getting into many heated arguments. It’s understandable on Quinton’s part because he already lost one daughter, so he’ll do everything in his power to protect her. Because we establish Laurel as being a fan of the Hood, these two will be arguing a lot more in the future.
We also get some really nice Diggle scenes. Not only does he prove himself to be a badass when he was able to hold his own against China White, he also keeps on proving to be a very wise character. While everyone else thought nothing of Oliver’s lucky knife throw that stopped China White, he immediately questions it. Before that, he provides some pretty relatable insight for Oliver:
“Home is a battlefield. Back home, they’re all trying to get you. Get you to open up, be somebody you’re not sure you are anymore.”
From this line, parallels start forming between Oliver and Diggle. They both spent five years away from civilization in more violent environments and Diggle understands how Oliver is returning to a home that expects a very different version of who he’s become. It’s subtle, but you can tell that a friendship is starting to form here.
If there’s one major problem in this episode, it’s the lack of communication with Oliver. Because Oliver is the only one who knows his secret and is maintaining his playboy façade, we don’t really get any opportunities for people to connect and open up with the real Oliver Queen. At least in Batman/Bruce Wayne had Alfred to talk to. Here, that relationship doesn’t really exist with any character. Fortunately, that changes in the next episode.
Plot Rundown – Present
- Oliver hunts down the next name on the list. Before Oliver can question the man, he’s killed by a sniper as Oliver gets shot by a poisoned bullet. Oliver returns to his lair to use herbs from the island that heal him back to full strength.
- Oliver traces the poison and learns that it’s used exclusively by a well-known shooter codenamed “Deadshot”, an assassin who tattoos the names of his victims on his own body.
- Meanwhile, Oliver decides to build a club above his base to serve as an alibi for his late night vigilante runs. He enlists Tommy to help him.
- Using one of Deadshot’s bullets, Oliver determines they can be procured by the Russian mob known as the Bratva. He goes to the Bratva, asking for help, revealing that he is a CAPTAIN OF THE BRATVA? How in the world…moving on.
- Deadshot keeps killing more industry leaders as the police investigate Walter because all of his competition is disappearing one by one.
- The Bratva reveal Deadshot’s name (Floyd Lawton) and location to Oliver. He goes after Deadshot as the two square off, ending with Deadshot escaping and Oliver taking his laptop.
- Oliver has the laptop analyzed by a quirky Queen Consolidated IT girl named Felicity Smoak. She reveals the laptop is actually owned by one of Walter’s competitors, Warren Patel, and contains the blueprints for a building where an auction will be held that Walter will be attending.
- In his hooded attire, Oliver gives the laptop to Quinton, warning him about Deadshot and asking him to provide security at the auction.
- During the auction, the police acquire Warren as Deadshot prepares to make his shot on Walter. Fortunately, Quinton sees the red dot from the sniper and saves Walter’s life.
- Oliver suits up, taking on Deadshot once more. Oliver defeats him, shooting an arrow in his eye, but not before Deadshot gets the chance to shoot Diggle with a poisoned bullet. Oliver takes Diggle back to his lair, cures his poison, and reveals his identity to him.
Plot Rundown – Flashbacks
- The archer takes Oliver to a cave, claiming he attacked him to protect him. He offers the same herbs we saw Oliver use to cure his poison from Deadshot and mends Oliver’s wounds.
- While the archer is asleep, the fearful Oliver runs away only to be trapped by a net. The archer frees him as we later see a plethora of armed men examining the net Oliver was caught in.
This is an IMMENSELY better episode then the last one. There are higher stakes because Oliver’s family is being targeted, a cool antagonist, Oliver is showcasing some impressive investigation skills, and a plethora of great set ups for the future.
We do see the repetitive subplot of Thea following Oliver’s party boy footsteps, but it’s handled in a different was as we see how it affects her relationship with her mother. Moira never punishes Thea, which is questioned by Oliver. This leads to Moira trying to ground Thea, only for Thea to brush her off. Afterwards, we get a very touching moment of Moira admitting she doesn’t know how to talk to Thea like her father did and Thea being happy that Moira finally mentioned her father since he died.
Speaking of Thea, she ends up being the one to reveal to Oliver that Laurel and Tommy have been sleeping together (something Oliver already knew, but brings the plot point out in the open). Not only do we see Tommy sincerely apologizing to Oliver for what he did, but it’s also what sparks Tommy to promise Laurel he’ll be the person she deserves as she agrees to go out with him. Thus, the love triangle subplot begins.
Next up, we learn that not only does Diggle have a sister-in-law, Carly, we learn that his brother was murdered while working as a bodyguard. Factor that in with one of the names on Deadshot’s chest being “Andrew Diggle”, and you know that there is just a can of worms just begging to be opened. Before we get to the biggest set up of the episode, there’s one more thing to discuss.
Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) is an absolute delight for the brief amount of screen time she receives in this episode. Very funny, quirky, and plays off very well with Oliver. She doesn’t even have to speak sometimes as her expressions just say it all. Fun fact: this was actually supposed to be her only appearance. Because of her great chemistry with Stephen Amell, Rickard’s role was expanded, which would eventually lead to this recurring character becoming a part of the main cast. We’ll talk about her character when she eventually upgrades from comic relief tech support, but for now she’s doing a great job and I look forward to her future appearances.
Finally, we have the solution to my complaint of Oliver’s lack of communication: revealing to Diggle that he’s the Hood. Diggle is a great choice for Oliver’s first secret keeper. It was set up very well, from back in the pilot when Diggle was keeping up with Oliver’s escape attempts as his bodyguard, to showcasing parallels to Oliver.
Overall, Lone Gunman demonstrates the best qualities of Arrow’s first season while Honor Thy Father demonstrates some of the clumsier qualities. But as we look towards the next episode, the show is forever changed due to someone knowing Oliver’s secret, a plot point most shows hold off on for seasons. How will the show differ because of this quick change? Well, come back next week as we look into this new dynamic as Oliver faces the potential threat of the whole world learning his secret.
Until next time, this is Xander signing off.