Arrow: Honor Thy Father Review (

By:Tim Janson
Review Date: Thursday, October 18, 2012

Comic book fans are some of the most loyal fans there are.  But their loyalty comes with a price.  The price being that many are like mother hens when it comes to their possessiveness towards their favorite characters.  I think they’d rather never see their favorite heroes on the big or small screen unless they are done exactly like they are in the comics.  But TV shows and films need to reach the masses, not the niche market of comic books.  So like it or not, we have to put up with a certain degree of soap opera drama and angst.  

In Arrow’s second episode “Honor Ty Father” we actually have some of those soap opera elements, so pervasive in the pilot, toned down quite a bit.  The episode opens with Oliver Queen doing a voice over, recounting his father’s death and making his oath to right the wrongs of his father and other wealthy businessmen of Starling City who have taken advantage of the weak and downtrodden to build their financial empires.

Oliver’s latest target is Marc Summers, a man with ties to a Chinese Triad, who is responsible for the murder of an innocent man and is now threatening his daughter.  Laurel Lance also becomes a target as the prosecuting attorney in the trial against Summers.  Oliver faces his first true challenge since returning home in the guise of the Triad assassin, China White.  Through a series of short flashbacks, we begin to learn more about what happened to Oliver during his five years on the island, and how his body came to be so horribly scarred.

The action in “Honor Thy Father” was scaled back from last week’s pilot and largely forgettable.  The showdown with China White was all too brief.  While it’s Oliver’s goal to settle the score with all of these wealthy but dishonest businessmen, these “villains” themselves are poorly developed and one dimensional.  Rich bad guy of the week looks like it’s Smallville’s equivalent of meteor rock mutant of the week.  Is this supposed to be some veiled slam against the wealthy?  Is President Obama one of the show’s writers?  Let’s hope that this Robin Hood act is short term or at least can offer some antagonists with a little more sizzle.

One interesting development was Oliver’s relationship with his bodyguard, John.  John’s no dummy and he already suspects what Oliver is up to in his late night disappearances.  Are they evolving an Alfred Pennyworth/Batman type of relationship?  Seems we might be going in that direction.  As mentioned last week, Stephen Amell already has it over Justin Hartley as Green Arrow.  He has an edge that the charming, but interminably boring Hartley could never seem to muster.

Mania Grade: C+
Episode: Honor Thy Father
Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy and Colin Donnell
Directed By: David Barrett
Written By: Mort Weisinger (characters created by), George Papp (characters created by),
Network: The CW