Arrow Watch: Episode 2 - Honor Thy Father
"... I have to be someone else. I have to be something else."
Now that was a good pilot! Okay, so "Honor Thy Father" is actually the second episode of Arrow, The CW's latest series with DC Comics, but it does a much more elegant job of (re)introducing all the characters, crafting a satisfying story and utilizing the wealth of the super-source material that it's a shame it wasn't the premiere. That's not to say there weren't some really great elements in the pilot (or some shaky moments last night) but the high level of story spoon-feeding shows the series didn't have enough faith in the audience to figure the relationships and backstory out on their own, instead delivering a ton character introductions and on the nose exchanges. Yes, "Honor Thy Father" also has its fair share of exposition (which is why it would also work as the first episode) but it found a better balance by assuming we can keep up, not to mention including three or four great action sequences and a proper "Green Arrow" villain. When the DCU is available, you use it!
"Oh, what's the matter Mom? Afraid we're going to be next?"
Speaking of the DC Comics Universe, perhaps it's not fair to keep harping on how similar in tone (and characterization) Arrow is to the recent Batman movies but ending the opening speech with 'something else' (reminiscent of the Bat's insistence on being more than a man, a symbol) isn't helping to distance itself from Christopher Nolan's trilogy. Not that it wants to, however, it should also realize that the audience is already familiar with the setup and we can move a little more briskly. And give Katie Cassidy's Laurel Lance better lines. "Honor Thy Father," like I said, opens with Ollie monologuing in voice-over while he suits up right before a great action scene really starts the show. Amell is completely convincing kicking ass and his moves with the bow kind of put Hawkeye to shame. Yeah, I said it. The way they shoot the 'arrows' (all meanings intended) is really well done. One thing the show needs to drop though, is the reliance on the TV News to deliver information as televisions advanced the story a few more times tonight after repeated use in the pilot.
"They were bringing me back from the dead. Legally speaking."
Tommy interrupts the Queen's television time to take his best friend to court to be officially resurrected. It sounds like a family affair but Thea isn't interested in being easy to get along with even though her brother was a cast away for five years. Doesn't he know how hard it was at home? And yeah, I get how losing family isn't easy, however, he had NOTHING and the conflict between the siblings is one of the least interesting aspects at the moment. His court proceedings go smoothly, besides a flashback when Ollie is forced to recount the tragic details, and he's pronounced legally alive! He and Tommy bump into Laurel who reminds us of everything that happened between them and her dead sister. You know, in case we forgot. We also meet this week's big bad on the courthouse steps, another Starling City businessman that doesn't mind stepping outside the law to make a buck. Laurel's case serves as a convenient, albeit not all that engaging, way to introduce the episode's crime story involving the Chinese Triad and the murder of a girl's father.
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