Arrow, Season 5, Episode 21, “Honor Thy Fathers”
Remember back in high school and college, you’d reach a certain point late in the school year when the teachers stopped with the new information, and focused on reviewing the highlights that will prove to be important on the final exams?
This week’s Arrow had all the feel of that kind of time out for review. Many fans won’t mind this mini-retread episode, because OLLIE TOTALLY TOUCHED FELICITY’S SHOULDER LIKE HE USED TO, WHICH MEANS OLICITY IS TOTALLY BACK ON!!!!
While it is worth noting that Oliver and Felicity have developed a new level of trust and breezy intimacy that we haven’t seen in a while, the show’s focus was reviewing how we got to this point, as Chase kicked off what’s sure to be his last evil scheme that is supposed to be the climax of the season.
It all starts when a mysterious crate is delivered to Ollie’s office. With Chase still in the wind, the cops believe it could be a bomb, but since the name on the return address is Chase’s birth name, Ollie knows this package is to be seen, not exploded.
It turns out, it is a block of concrete with a dead body inside. (Side note here: Oliver really needs to recruit the metahuman delivery dude/chick who was able to manhandle a 1,000 pound-plus weight into Ollie’s office without a forklift or palate jack. Somebody that strong is worth 100 Wild Dogs).
The body is a man connected to both Oliver and Adrian’s father, and Robert Queen’s DNA is under the fingernails of the corpse. This sets off a crisis of conscience for both Ollie and Thea, who dropped in from parts unknown to help her brother weather the latest crisis.
To further complicate matters, every criminal that Chase prosecuted is now going to get a new trial, and is out on bail to cause mayhem across Star City (all according to Chase’s plans I’m sure).
At this point, the review process really kicks in:
- There’s video evidence that Robert Queen is a cold blooded killer, but we already knew that because for the longest time, he was a part of a plan to kill poor people in order to get a better re-development deal in The Glades.
- Thea still thinks she’s a monster.
- Ollie likes to keep secrets for people’s “own good.”
- Rene and Lance are the cutest platonic couple on the show (it’s so precious when they call each other “Hoss”). Rene rightly has doubts that having full custody of his daughter is the right thing for her, and he fails to appear at a custody hearing.
- New Canary and Curtis are competent at vigilante justice.
- The team has to band together to snuff out an evil scheme that involves one of the criminals out on bail.
- There are flashbacks. Ollie returns to the island to set up his “rescue” and return to the world to start saving Starling City; unfortunately, Kovar and his tranq dart have other plans.
In all this recirculation, there are some forward steps for both plot and character. Oliver acts on Felicity’s advice the first time, and dons the Arrow costume again. Also, Oliver shows Thea a video message their father made that Ollie has been sitting on for five years – Thea didn’t even have to find it on her own, and then hate Ollie’s guts for it first … he just gave it to her.
It all led to the showdown between Chase and Ollie that kind of had a hint of a “Martha moment” to it. Both men are motivated by their fathers. Ollie’s mission is part of his father’s desire to save Star City. Chase is doing what he’s doing to get a measure of revenge for his father. Ollie comes to an important revelation that he relays to Chase during a monologue break in their fight. As bad a person as Oliver’s dad might have been, he loved his children and would sacrifice anything (including his own life) to help them, while Chase’s dad was ready to disown him because Adrian was a total nutjob.
This seems to shock Chase, and he lays down his sword.
Team Arrow takes time out to celebrate their victory, not knowing that “getting captured as part of your nefarious plan” was the cover story in the latest issue of “Evil Mastermind Monthly.” In a glass case at Argus is exactly where Chase wants to be.
In all, this was a serviceable episode. Parts needed to be moved around and positioned for the season finale, and Arrow did it in a quick, entertaining way. One can only hope the season will end in a way that is worthy of the villain it created.