This Arrow review contains spoilers.
Arrow Season 6 Episode 2
“Tribute” sputtered out of the gate with a main storyline that even the characters admit we have all seen before. It also serves to remind us of how ridiculous it is that anyone in Star City ever bought that the Hood and the Green Arrow were separate vigilantes – I mean come on, the suits weren’t even that different. On the positive side, this episode set up or built upon several points of conflict between Oliver and people who are fundamentally good (or at least not evil), which will likely be richer in the long run.
Oliver is cleared but Agent Watson isn’t convinced
We finally have Bruce Wayne’s name being dropped, after so many hints. I wasn’t necessarily begging for evidence that Bruce Wayne shares this universe, but I did enjoy Oliver’s overall sass-packed approach to the Green Arrow accusation. Smartass Oliver is way more fun than our usual stone-faced Oliver, and it’s been a while since we’ve seen the former. Hopefully his entry line of, “anything good on the news last night?” is a sign of more to come.
The most intriguing aspect of this is that the photo really was faked – that was no misdirect from Team Arrow. Since Anatoli says it’s not him, who is targeting Oliver? The forgery shifts the suspect list from people who hate the Green Arrow to people who have beef with Oliver as an individual or as the mayor of Star City. Anatoli has no reason to lie about this, and it’s far more narratively interesting if a third party is involved, so I’m inclined to believe him.
The Markovian storyline is slow and strictly utilitarian: we need a way for Anatoli to make his reentrance. I appreciate that they were trying to show Anatoli tripping Oliver up with the line about knowing something a mayor should not know, line, but it’s too clever by half. It’s not exactly a leap to say that a guy who had his goons shoot up a mayor and kidnap a foreign delegation is not a legitimate business man. On the plus side, Anatoli’s history with Oliver and speech about being a good man sets up a meaty conflict.
Agent Watson, however, is not so easily convinced and entirely uninterested in Oliver’s BS, or Rene’s bragging about being a feminist. I like her already. It looks like we’re in for a game of cat and mouse. I’m looking forward to someone with intelligence pursing the Green Arrow’s identity after so many fumbles, although I have a feeling she will eventually go the way of Lance and become an ally, even if an uneasy one.
Felicity and Curtis go into business
Curtis brought us a much-needed dose of reality by discussing the “secret jobs” he assumes everyone has. Well, everyone except Diggle, since Lyla brings home the bacon. Felicity being jealous of Curtis’s “secret job” is downright adorable, and the two of them going into business together will be a fun and narratively convenient way of handling Felicity’s unemployment. Now I just want to see Oliver living that budget, single dad, civil servant life.
I do find it hard to believe that two hardcore nerds (a term I say with love) like Felicity and Curtis would both want to be Steve Jobs instead of the Great and Powerful Woz. What’s the point of dropping some in-crowd references if you’re not going to use them well?
Oliver passes the baton to Diggle
Oliver is rather realistically struggling with fatherhood. Other than hiring his former nanny Raisa, he doesn’t seem to have a clue. Even William looked pretty skeptical at the “punch a kid in the face” advice. And it was William who pushed Oliver toward his major decision by correctly pointing out how little control Oliver has over his own wellbeing and therefore his ultimate ability to continue parenting William.
With his question of “which work” Oliver has to go do, William seems to have no illusions know about his father’s extra-curricular activities. I’m hoping for more development for his character, and his pushing back on his father is a step in the right direction. I also couldn’t help but laugh at his Flash backpack – looks like the kid still has a favorite, and it is not pops.
But what does the general public think about Oliver’s son? Do they know he exists? Where do they think he came from? Agent Watson referenced a death certificate and autopsy for his mother, but “former millionaire playboy Mayor shows up with a ten year old” strikes me as a pretty big story. Why aren’t there more questions from the media about why William wasn’t in Oliver’s life up until five minutes ago?
It’s understandable that Dinah was pissed about nearly getting killed due to Dig’s difficulties. Do vigilantes have workman’s comp? No sooner do Dinah and Diggle come to a resolution about Diggle’s nerve damage, tremor, and resulting gun shyness does Oliver pull the rug out from under that plan by asking Dig to assume the mantle of the Green Arrow. So much for anyone on this show being honest for once.
It seems a little rude that Oliver cites his child as the reason he can’t be the Green Arrow; after all, Diggle has a kid at home, too. Yes, he’s in a two-parent home, but it’s not like Lyla’s job is exactly safe, either. I guess the old self-centered Oliver isn’t completely out of his system.
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