TV Review: ARROW Season 1, Episode 2 'Honor Thy Father'

PrintE-mail Written by Joel Harley

Like Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark before him, Ollie Queen returns home from his formative adventures to find someone making a mess of the family business. His own personal Rutger Hauer or Obadiah Stane is Walter (Colin Salmon) who seems to be running the business straight from Ollie's mother's bedroom. Not cool. Oliver is understandably angry to find his mother shacked up with another man (although one could do far worse than Colin Salmon) and throws a strop.

Storming out of rooms, wearing a hoodie and covering his face with black eyeliner, Oliver Queen is hardly presenting himself as the world's most mature superhero, but at least he has the moves to back it up. The episode opens with Ollie unleashing his inner Robin Hood, stealing money from the rich to give to the poor. This gives him the opportunity to indulge in a bit more parkour and show off with a few trick shots from his bow and arrow. So far it all seems a bit like Batman Begins crossed with 24, but as long as the action remains slick and the script amusing (this week the Kardashians come in for a bit of a bashing) we can put up with that. Although when Oliver announced that “I can't be the Oliver everyone wants me to be,” we can't have been alone in expecting him to finish the sentence with something like “but I can be the Oliver everyone needs me to be.” Green Arrow has always been a poor man's Batman in the wrong writers' hands, and Arrow is currently suffering from that.

Oliver isn't the only one throwing strops and annoying the wrong people. Girlfriend Dinah 'Laurel' Lance is ruffling feathers, attempting to prosecute an infamous gangster. Assassin China White (Kelly Hu, dressed like Lady Gaga) is dispatched to deal with the problem. Thankfully both Ollie and his bodyguard Diggle are on hand to protect the poor damsel (evidently this is a much quieter Black Canary than we're used to seeing). A bromance is perhaps imminent when Ollie and Diggle bond over stories of Afghanistan and the weight of kitchen knives. Very switched on, it appears that Diggle is aware that there's more to Ollie than meets the eye. It's a good job this Arrow already has its Speedy (that'd be Ollie's whiny little sister) – hunky as David Ramsay might be (well, everyone is) we can do without seeing him join Stephen Amell in the skintight spandex. Those looking for such things in a television programme will be pleased – Oliver spends plenty of time showing off his pecs and thoughtfully posing in front of mirrors.

Ollie spends more time shirtless than he does as alter ego Green Arrow. But when he finally does slap on the guyliner, bow and spandex, the action is fast and fun. There's a nice showdown between Green Arrow and China White, and the episode ends with a lovely teaser. Little flashbacks to Ollie's time on the island promise a version of LOST, in reverse. It also reveals how Oliver got the first of his scars. Ow.

Much like last week's debut episode, Honor thy Father is fast paced, frenetic and fun. Its comic book roots occasionally take a back seat, but Arrow is never far away from a fight scene.

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