The pilot of Arrow left me incredibly excited to the rest of the series. While a darker, more grounded version of superheroes has been done before, a superhero that kills people constantly has not been on television before. Even though there was a throwaway line in the pilot where Adam Hunt claims Green Arrow put his men in the hospital, that guys whose neck he broke in the pilot and that one guy who took an arrow in the chest and fell off at least a fourth story catwalk onto a concrete dock this episode are clearly dead.
I realized while watching “Honor They Father” that the incredible amount of death in a superhero show is not what really attracts me to Arrow, instead it’s just the incredible amount of action in general. There are shows with action in them, I still watch Burn Notice every time a new episode is on (yeah, I’m that guy), but there aren’t any shows I’m aware of with action like this. Perhaps Arrow will slow, but as of now, even 24 still had episodes without crazy shootouts.
As Laurel, who I’m counting down the episodes until she becomes Black Canary, brings a civil suit against Martin Summers for the murder of a dock worker, Oliver has to take him down and fend off his mother trying to force a company position down his throat. Summers, while not a threat on his own, brings in the might of the triad and China White after Green Arrow threatens him. The action involved and the ‘mission’ for this episode was fun, but there were much better elements.
Oliver attempts to make up with Laurel and ends up in the middle of an attempt to kill her. His body guard rushes in and takes out the henchmen, but China White almost murders him before oliver disarms her with a thrown butter knife. At this point, he clearly knows that something is going on with Oliver, but he doesn’t know the details yet. I figure that he’ll be the first person who finds out that Oliver is Green Arrow, but I have no idea how and when.
Unfortunately, the mediocre dialog shines through when Laurel’s cop dad is trying to force her to not do her job. I get the whole father protecting his daughter thing, but come on. A “Your the only thing I have left” line is way too overused. That and Oliver’s mother can’t show that she’s responsible for the shipwreck, she has to specifically say: “Oliver doesn’t know that we sabotaged the ship.”
Nolan briefly had Bruce Wayne act like a dick in his first film, but he was told that he had to respect his family’s name while crusading as Batman. Oliver, instead, realizes that in order to be the hero his father wanted him to be, he’s going to have to piss all over his legacy by refusing to work for the company and generally act like the billionaire, playboy douchebag he was before the shipwreck. It’s an interesting facade he’s going to have to keep up, though if they don’t watch it Oliver could suffer some serious melodrama because of it, and no one wants that.
“Honor Thy Father” continues Arrow’s trend of absolutely thrilling me. Sure, the dialog still isn’t up to snuff. It really feels like someone pulled comic book dialog from the 90s straight into the show. While the action and intensity does try and make up for it, unless it takes a clear step up soon, it’s going to be a huge detraction moving forward. They have such a solid concept and execution, it’s just when anyone opens their mouth I feel like we’re just wasting twenty years of tight comic scripts.