Last episode ended with the very public revelation that Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow. Again. What is this, like the third time this has happened? Fourth? At least they mention that a few times during the episode. I have to admit, I don’t get what “Tribute” is supposed to mean as a title. It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense from anything that happens.
The show starts with a mob scene of a press conference that Oliver handles surprisingly well. He even mentions in passing a major DC character they’ve hinted at before but never named directly. Rene has good news for them about the insurance from the attack on the police academy. Good news can’t last long on this show, of course, and they get a new visitor: FBI Agent Watson, who will be investigating Oliver in the wake of the newest revelation. She makes the questionable point that he was cleared of being the Hood, not Green Arrow. Really, does the general public not think that the Star City Vigilante/Hood/Arrow/Green Arrow are the same guy? It’s been a series of different tall, blond, bow-wielding vigilantes?
Down in the Lair, Curtis and Felicity are trying to work on where the picture of Oliver in the Green Arrow costume came from. In some nice continuity, they do mention the Human Target, who helped them out of a similar jam before. He’s out of the country right now, but I liked Curtis describing him as “the world’s best cosplayer.” They do manage to figure out the envelope the picture was in came internally from Channel 52, who ran the story. Naturally enough, they wonder if Prometheus set this up before the big island showdown. They also finally acknowledge one of the things I’ve been wondering about: how the team supports themselves with most of them having no jobs. Curtis, at least, does some free-lance coding. He also mentions his divorce in the past tense, so I guess we went from Paul serving him the papers to it being over off-screen.
Oliver and Quentin take some industrialists from Markovia around the site of a potential new factory while reporters pester Oliver with Green Arrow questions, which he’s not going to answer. The Markovian CEO jokes that if Oliver really is Green Arrow, they’ll double their investment. This gets cut short when gunmen attack. Quentin and Oliver manage to get everyone to safety in the van, but their escape is short-lived when more thugs turn up outside. The team is led by an old friend: Anatoli from the Bratva. Oliver and Anatoli spar about secrets before Anatoli takes the Markovians away.
Diggle and Dinah talk for a bit. Diggle is worried about Oliver. Dinah, very understandably, is worried about Diggle’s ongoing problem with using his gun in combat. After they argue about that for a bit, they wonder if the Russians, not Prometheus, leaked the photo of Oliver in costume to make it so he couldn’t respond easily to their attack.
Felicity and Curtis talk about ways to find the Russians by tracking how they’re being paid, and Felicity keeps pestering Curtis about his secret coding job. Oliver and Quentin are working the phones, dealing with the Markovian Embassy and Vortex, the company they were working for. Channel 52, apparently the only news in Star City, comes on with a new bulletin: the Russians are demanding $20 million dollars for the Markovians’ return. As if he didn’t have enough going on, Oliver gets called away because of a problem at William’s school. William got into a fight at school because some of the other kids were picking on him about his father being Green Arrow. Ollie gives him some questionable advice before having to take off to handle more Green Arrow business. I kinda wonder what the limo driver though about being told to just drop Oliver off on the side of the road.
All of a sudden it becomes night, and the team attacks the restaurant Felicity has steered them towards. There’s lot of fighting, and Spartan screws up with his gun again, which Black Canary sees. They manage to save three out of four of the Makovians, but the CEO isn’t with the others. Rene and Quentin have a very unproductive meeting with Agent Watson, which never gets started because Oliver has been called away for more William problems. After some really awkward conversation among those three, the show cuts to the Queen home.
William is beating on his Flash backpack, and Oliver comments he got it from a very good friend of his. William’s current issue is that he’s worried about Oliver not coming home. Even the kid knows that being a masked hero isn’t exactly the safest occupation. When Oliver gets a call and has to go, William asks which work it is.
Anatoli video chats his newest threat, that he’s poisoned the CEO. He also knows the city has the money he demands, because he somehow or other knows about the big insurance payment Rene got pushed through. While the team goes over the video for a clue, Dinah and John argue more about what’s happening to him during his fights. He finally breaks down enough to tell her he was injured in the explosions on Lian Yu and now has nerve damage. Among the problems here are that no one saw him bleeding from any injury, and that he keeps priding himself on being a professional soldier. Well, he’s going to let his team get killed because he’s too proud to tell them he’s hurt, which isn’t very professional.
Felicity keeps prodding Curtis about his coding jobs, and then they get a lead on the picture. That discussion gets interrupted by the computer getting a new hit on the missing Russians. Rene breaks some bad news to Oliver about Agent Watson wanting to talk to William. Oliver is pissed off and vows this won’t happen. Felicity shares the newest lead, and Rene says he’s ready to get back in the field. That’s a really quick recovery from a collapsed lung.
In an abandoned shipyard, which at least isn’t a warehouse, the team goes after the Russians again. After another big fight where Black Canary almost gets killed because of Spartan’s injury, Oliver and Anatoli come face to face. There’s more taunting and an interesting way of delivering a cure, and Anatoli taunts Oliver about several things. Interestingly, he clings to his sense of honor and says he didn’t release the picture that’s been causing all the problems recently.
Oliver finally makes it to Watson’s office, and they argue about her seeing William. As this goes on, an agent rushes in and turns on the news. Channel 52 is now running a story saying the picture of Mayor Queen was faked. Watson says she’s not giving up the investigation, although what grounds she has to go forward I’m not real clear on.
The wrap up scenes zip around all over the place. Felicity and Curtis talk about who faked the picture of Oliver and a new plan for their future. Black Canary and Spartan argue about his keeping secrets and he finally sees reason. Oliver and William finally have a good scene together, and later Oliver makes an… interesting… proposition to John. I don’t see how it’s going to work, but that’s for another day.
What I liked: The action was good, as it usually is. Black Canary is really doing well in the field, and might be their best operative at this point, after Oliver at least. Anatoli is evil, but I believe his claims about not being behind the picture. I’m glad they finally addressed the money issue.
What I didn’t:: Diggle hiding his injury is just plain stupid, and I don’t buy that no one saw he was hurt on the island. And the description of his injury doesn’t make any sense either. I suppose Watson is going to be playing Javert to Oliver’s Valjean, but she really has no reason to keep investigating him. William’s sole function seems to be to sew drama flakes. And Oliver’s big idea at the end makes no sense at all. And the title didn’t make any sense, either.
This is a really uneven season so far, and they’re doing some things that just don’t work. I’m giving this one a 2.5 out of 5.