Arrow: Honor Thy Father


There are some very concrete reasons to not like Prometheus

Team Arrow is very much having a season where they just can’t win no matter what they do. They’ve finally proven to the world at large that Prometheus (still being called the Throwing Star Killer by the press, a much less cool name) is Adrian Chase. That should be a banner day, shouldn’t it? Well, when you reveal the former District Attorney of a major city is a crazed serial killer, defense attorneys start collectively licking their lips and rubbing their hands. As a result of this latest scandal in Star City, a judge has released 36 violent felons back out on the street. Just what the reeling city needs.

Still processing that piece of bad news, Oliver gets another shock. SWAT tells him they need to clear City Hall, because a mysterious package has arrived in Oliver’s office. The sender name is Simon Morrison, Adrian Chase’s birth name. Oliver ignores everyone, pushes past the police, and opens the crate. Inside is a concrete slab with a badly decomposed body in it. Dinah, in her useful (if improbable) secret identity as a Star City Police Officer, manages to ID the body as Henry Goodwin, a former city councilman from the Glades. Everyone is puzzled, as there are no known links between Goodwin, who has been missing for years, and either Oliver or Adrian/Simon.

Down in the Lair, the team is in crisis mode, but I’m having trouble remembering when they weren’t. Some of them are out on the street, following the newly released criminals. Dinah is trying to follow up leads on the dead councilman. Oliver and Felicity at least seem to be on better terms than they have in a while, likely from last episode’s shared near death experience.

The writers of the show finally remember Thea can do more than be “out of town” and she comes back to Oliver’s office to say hi. Her timing is horrible, as Dinah and Quentin (why a deputy mayor is doing an investigation, I don’t know, but they don’t sweat that kind of thing much on this show) have come up with a suspect in Goodwin’s death. Unfortunately, it’s Robert Queen, Oliver’s dad and Thea’s… what do you call someone who raised you as their own not knowing you were the product of your wife having an affair? Step dad doesn’t seem to cut it.

Quentin is sure that Robert is being framed. With all she’s learned, even Thea doesn’t really believe this. Oliver is sure this is all part of some elaborate head-game of Prometheus’. Oliver, because that’s his default setting now, talks about a press conference. Between press conferences on this show and business meetings in Iron Fist, it really is the age of the corporate hero.

Rene and Quentin, who seem to be bonding in spite of themselves, get their own scene when Rene tells Quentin that he’s got a hearing about custody of his daughter. As they share good news, Felicity figures out where the concrete probably came from. Spartan and I’m-dressed-in-black-so-I’m-not-Green-Arrow go to check it out. They don’t find a clue, but they do trigger a really elaborate death trap involving trap doors and fresh concrete. I think this might be the first comic book villain style trap I’ve seen on the series.

Dinah and Curtis get pulled off watching Derek Sampson, the thug made into a metahuman by Wild Dog a while back, to go save Oliver and Diggle. There’s a lot of arguing about Chase’s motives and who is in on what as the rescue happens. Finally, they get a lead on a lawyer called Kaufman, who has ties to both Oliver’s and Chase’s fathers. Are they finally getting somewhere?

No, of course not. Chase really seems to have attained a ridiculous level of knowledge about Star City and the Queen family. I still don’t know how he learned about the Legends team. At any rate, under yet another name, Chase has been in contact with Kaufman and gave him a video to give to Oliver, because Chase knew Oliver would find out. Because Chase knows everything. Have I mentioned I’m getting a bit sick of Chase?

Oliver votes for destroying the video, with the logic that, if Chase wants him to see it, then he will refuse to. I’m not sure if that’s a good idea or Oliver acting like an angry child. Felicity warns Oliver that the team has tracked Samson to another chemical company. As Oliver rushes off to deal with that, Thea sits down at the computer.

To fill the action quota for the show, there’s a fight between Team Arrow and Sampson’s thugs. Weirdly, Black Canary is using a gun in this fight. Between her powers, her fighting skill, and her staff, I’m not sure why she’s adding gunslinger to her resume. Maybe she’s been hanging around with Rene and John too long. The fight gets wrapped up and Thea leaves an urgent message for Oliver. Of course she watched the video, and of course it’s more bad news.

Oliver and Thea spend a scene feeling sorry for themselves at the latest development about their father (for lack of a better term). Oliver muses on Robert’s bit about “I’m not the man you think I am.” Thea calls herself a monster and reflects on Malcolm being her father. Felicity texts with updates on the case, mercifully ending the scene.

Since chemistry is a science that keeps improving, it turns out the chemicals Chase is stealing are going to make an even worse bio-agent than his father’s original plan. Felicity and Curtis techno-babble a lot and work out a way to trace some of the chemicals. Rene is freaked out about a hearing for his daughter. I guess he thought the court would just hand her over if he showed up. Quentin tries to reassure him, but I don’t think Rene is listening.

Oliver watches a different video from his father, one that helped launch his crusade years ago. Felicity sympathizes with him about the pressure he’s under, but says that as long as your dad got you started on this and you’re making a difference, who really cares why? Personally, I think that’s a good point. Turns out Oliver has been hiding a video from Thea all this time, too. The detector beeps, and points them at a new location: The Robert Queen Applied Sciences Center. Irony alert!

It’s showdown time, as Team Arrow faces off with Chase and his not so merry men. While the lower ranks clash and Mr. Terrific deals with the doomsday weapon, Oliver (as Green Arrow again, finally) fights Prometheus in a stairwell. I really thought this was a decoy at first, since Prometheus is largely silent for most of the fight. Usually, he won’t shut up. Oliver finally beats him with the same twisted emotional logic that led to the “MARTHA” moment in “Batman v Superman: Zach Snyder is Still Afraid of Color.”

Things end in a series of ups and downs. The team celebrates their win, which is long overdue. Oliver gives Thea the video from Robert, and she watches it. It’s actually a good thing. Less good is the hearing for custody of Zoe Ramirez, Rene’s daughter. Oliver, naturally, gives a press conference about recent events, which Chase watches from his new ARGUS cell with a smirk on his face. That bodes ill.

They did a better than usual job on the title this time. With all the family drama flying around “Honor Thy Father” seemed very appropriate.

Flashback theater is seemingly increasingly unneeded. Most of this week’s is Oliver and Anatoli setting up Oliver’s “rescue” from Lian Yu. The last few pieces for when the show started get put in place, but then Oliver gets a surprise right at the very end. Ok, I didn’t see that one coming.

What I liked: Oliver is finally back in costume, and Chase is finally behind bars. Those two things right there make it a great episode as far as I’m concerned. It’s nice to see Oliver and Felicity back on better terms. I’m still expecting they’re going to get back together eventually. The judge letting all the criminals out sucked for the team, but made a certain degree of sense. I’m also glad the team, collectively, didn’t try and bury the revelations this week.

What I didn’t: Of all the bad guys the team has faced, we get a rematch with Sampson? Don’t get me wrong, he fights ok, but he’s just not that interesting. The show has done this kind of thing before, but what the heck happened to Vigilante? He’s just… gone, without a word. Did Prometheus kill him in that last encounter? If so, where’s the body and the news? And who was he? I have to admit, I’m sick of both Chase and Queen family drama. It’s like Dallas with costumes.

I’ll give this one a high 3.5 out of 5. There’s a bit of time before the finale, so I’m curious to see what nasty surprise Chase has to build up for the cliffhanger. If he doesn’t have one, this could easily have been a season finale that went out on a high note for once.