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Arrow – Honor Thy Fathers Review

"They weren't saints."

Season 5 has been a refreshing turn for Arrow, so much so that an episode like “Honor Thy Fathers” is still great among bigger highlights this year. Without a doubt, this big turnaround is due largely to Prometheus, the awesome villain played by the talented Josh Segarra. This week that story came back to the forefront. After taking a slight detour to address the Oliver and Felicity relationship in the previous two episodes, this week saw good advancement of the overarching story, valuable character development, and a unifying theme that not only tied the episode together but also the series as a whole.

Fathers seem to be all the talk these days. It’s definitely appropriate too. Both Oliver and Adrian are where they’re at because of their fathers. This is brought back into the spotlight and we get to see some development into who these men were and how it affected their sons. In the end, we further learn that these guys were really not that great. This is such an important factor to remember when looking at both Oliver and Adrian and their own crusades. They are so blinded by the image they have of their fathers that they don’t see the real person behind the memory. The showdown at the end of the episode lets all this loose after everyone gets their share of truth bombs. Oliver realizes that he is his own man. Adrian succumbs to the fact that his father never loved him and his insane plan for revenge may have been for nothing. It’s quite the turning point for these characters.

When I first saw the scene where Adrian surrenders and Oliver knocks him out, I felt like it was too easy. It also doesn’t help that I know there are two more episodes to follow. Seeing that final scene with Adrian and his crooked smile shed a lot of light on that scene. Those fatal words about his father really did affect him, but he has a game plan. This is not the end of his story and you can see that in his performance. Josh Segarra really nails the character.

Everything that happened with Adrian himself happened towards the end of the episode. So what took up the rest of the time? Well, Samson from earlier in the season was back. Unfortunately, that’s about it. He served as a pawn in Adrian’s plan to finish off the chemical attack his father planned all those years ago. The character is an interesting one, especially with his ability to withstand any amount of pain, so it was disappointing to see him go underutilized.

Flashbacks did not take us to Russia but instead back to the island. Watching as Anatoly and Oliver prepared to set up the rescue that we saw way back in the first episode felt strange. The timing feels off. That scraggly caveman look doesn’t happen overnight and what about some of the loose ends we left in Russia? One thing was certain. The show really is bringing the fifth season full circle. With two episodes left, it’s clear that we’re wrapping up the island story and the flashbacks as well.

Thea made her grand return, just in time to have her soul crushed once again. No more than a minute passed before news that her father was being accused of murder came right to her feet. This girl has gone through a lot, so I found it believable that she didn’t question the authenticity of these claims. It was a nice contrast between brother and sister as well. It gives credence to Robert’s words to Thea about her being Oliver’s other strength.

I’m having trouble appreciating the Rene storyline. It’s actually really well set up. After we learned about Rene’s past, Lance takes it upon himself to become a father figure who guides him into starting the process of getting his daughter back. The odd part is that it’s all happening now. Adrian is loose and on the run and things are continuously ramping up to the finale. It’s tough to go from a scene where Adrian is captured to a scene where Rene doesn’t appear for his court hearing. Yes, yes, it’s about fathers again so it does tie into the theme, but the actual story feels out of place. It’s a good story to tell but the placement doesn’t feel right.

Arrow is getting back on track and putting its full focus back on the Prometheus story. We’re already getting good setup for the finale, so it all goes uphill from here!

Rating
8.0
Pros
  • Great unifying theme
  • Prometheus is devious
Cons
  • Underutilized villain of the week
  • Rene's story is out of place

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