Alex Lynch Reviews: ARROW - "Honor Thy Father" & Digital Chapter #2

Arrow's target this week is Martin Somers and China White, but was it a successful hunt? Also, the second digital tie-in comic from Arrow producers hit Comixology today, what does it hold? Find out after the jump...

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By Alex Lynch - 10/17/2012
Arrow’s pilot episode didn’t get a warm welcome from some of our contributors, and I wasn’t overly impressed by the pilot either. I would’ve given it 3/5 stars for its debut episode, and I’m known for being a huge, enthusiastic fan of the show. So how does the second episode – “Honor Thy Father” – improve off of the pilot?



To start, the episode kicks off with an action packed sequence showcasing Oliver’s combat skills. Arrow takes on multiple thugs at once, utilizing his bow and hands in multiple and creative ways, all thanks to amazing stunt coordinator James Bamford and the rest of the team. The scene actually slightly reminded me of Batman: Arkham City’s fluid combat system. Oliver then threatens someone on his father’s list, using a good method of hiding his voice that isn’t as ridiculous as Bale’s Batman or Hartley’s deepness used within Smallville. The episode’s opening was a very strong, fast-paced, heart-pumping launch. ”Honor Thy Father” takes the action dial and turns it up to “awesome” compared to the pilot, where it simply was at “great”. Almost every action scene in the episode neared the level of perfection, knowing just when to slow or speed up the pace. Something special about Arrow is its fights, proving that there are plenty of ways to take down people instead of the ol’ one-two, something that Clark seemed to do on Smallville because of his powers. China White and Arrow’s fight was great, but had a few hiccups that could’ve easily lost the momentum.



The episode also throws us more of Laurel’s life as an attorney, something that we barely got to see in the pilot. Katie Cassidy is great in the role and a convincing lawyer, taking the case of Ms. Nocenti (shout out to Catwoman’s writer) as her father was murdered for discovering Martin Somers’ ties to the Chinese Triad. Although the sequence was somewhat short, the performances outweigh what we saw from the in-court scenes featured in the Daredevil film, while almost matching up with Aaron Eckhart’s Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight. We finally get to see John Diggle is action as well -- who is soon to become a fan-favorite badass -- as he actually saves Oliver and Laurel from China White. Thea Queen becomes more involved in the episode, and more emotional as she discovers the real extent of Oliver’s injuries from the island. I am very impressed with Willa Holland’s performance as Thea (that’s pronounced Thee-A, by the way) Queen, and I love the chemistry and history these two have together. Detective Quentin Lance appears to now have a strong presence in the series, however I found him to be slightly unlikeable. He’s snarky and confident, but I can’t help but feel that Paul Blackthorne isn’t doing his best with this series if he wants to become both Oliver and Arrow’s nemesis.



My biggest gripe with Arrow lies with the villains who come from Robert Queen’s list. So far, I haven’t found Adam Hunt or Martin Somers the LEAST bit intimidating or threatening, mostly because we haven’t seen what they’ve done to Starling City. We know Martin Somers is a mean, vindictive man who kills to get what he wants (with the help of China White), but we have no reason as to why Arrow truly should go after him instead of bigger threats, which is why I am glad that the producers are bringing in well-known and established villains like Deadshot, Deathstroke, etc. However, by making sure the villains don’t die gives them an opportunity to return and redeem themselves with proper story and vengeance. One other thing I also felt was disappointing was the lack of many island flashbacks, which I feel are one of the interesting points of Arrow’s first season. Stephen Amell’s narration could also use some work, as it feels forced, and the way he speaks isn’t exactly perfect. It does however; keep true to the style of a comic book with narration from the main character which I find is extremely interesting and likeable, personally.

A solid and well-improved episode of Arrow featuring the wonderful Kelly Hu as China White, Stephen Amell doesn’t disappoint as the costumed vigilante while all supporting cast up their game with proper stories and build up.



3.5/5 Stars.






Arrow’s second digital chapter follows a basic tale of a curropt business man getting taken down by Arrow, but with a great twist at the end teasing some upcoming storylines. In the book, Scott Morgan has been siphoning energy from Central City’s (yes, The Flash reference!) electrical grid, and Arrow gives him six hours to give it all up and turn himself in to police custody with all the necessary evidence. The great thing about this digital chapter, however is that it up-scales the violence with firearm headshots and blood, but still stays true to the gritty tone of Arrow. A negative about the comic is that it lacks the incredible fight scenes from the show, something that can’t be transferred over especially when the art is low-tier with almost unrecognizable likenesses from Sergio Sandoval’s pencils. The story interestingly ties in to the show, while giving us a huge tease at the ending. This digital book isn’t as good or consistent as Smallville Season 11, but still worth only 99 cents.

An average story mixed with less than average art makes this Arrow chapter struggle, but the huge tease at the end makes it deserving of your ninety-nine cents through Comixology or the DC Comics app.



3/5 Stars.





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23 Comments
Connerkentver1 - 10/17/2012, 9:35 PM
Spoiler Alert!!!!,Best new show of the fall season. Crazy ending, wtf is up with the blank book and Arrow shooting Ollie on the island?? It's getting very good and I'm very much looking forward to the rest of the season.
Connerkentver1 - 10/17/2012, 9:36 PM
How the [frick] did his dead dad fill out the book?
LP4 - 10/17/2012, 9:36 PM
This show is [frick]ing awesome.

Haters can hate
ultimatemarvelfan - 10/17/2012, 9:49 PM
not a huge Dc fan but i dig the show its good.
CharacterAssassin - 10/17/2012, 9:55 PM
They either need to kill off the Detective or get him some better dialogue. He sux. Amell reminds me too much of a young Chris O'Donnell.
CharacterAssassin - 10/17/2012, 10:01 PM
I meant to say the Detective sux. Amell is doing just fine with Arrow but with the Queen part they need to tighten his lines.
BlackGetsuga3 - 10/17/2012, 10:24 PM
Totally agree with the young Chris O'Donnel comment, I see him so much..they even make some of the same inflections, second episode really picked it up I think, looking forward to the next one
DarkArts - 10/17/2012, 10:39 PM
Steve Amell seems to be struggling in the role. And at times he delivers lines as if hes playing an android.

Ollie is not a well developed character at all. We get the whole "Im going to pretend to be a punk rich playboy thing". And in the episode he does this at the end and Amell at 1st acts like hes going to pretend to be drunk. But astonishingly, Amell can't act drunk. And its as if Queen just gives up on the idea.
Queen acts like hes a mature guy when no ones looking, then at times he acts immature when hes not even pretending then he half asses the rich boy act.
They established that Queens bodyguard is skilled in combat then hes easily choked out by Queen in the pilot which means queen is supposedly better. However Queen fares no better than the bodyguard against VS. White. We even had a very odd and loud grunt from Amell as White literally kicks Queen in the ass delivering some unintentional humor.
And the Arrow with a voice recorder thing, thats inadmissible evidence, and is just another lame brain idea from the writers.

We see more of the outrageously bad and insane story idea where Queens father needlessly killed himself, and puts his son Ollie through a traumatic experience.

Queen seems to kill guys but spares then main bad guys the scratches them off the list which is weird. If they get out of jail what does he do?
And the bad guys are just smart mouths with money. Not once does Queen confront them with whatever they have done.
Its a really poorly planned and written show.
Mmasoldier - 10/17/2012, 11:56 PM
^^^^^^^^@ Alex lynch.....explain to me how the show is so terrible? It's interesting, entertaining and done well. The action is good, the dialogue can be better and so can the wardrobe. To many people are dressed to perfect in certain scenes. It's an overall good show. Besides supernatural what other shows are better? Btw I hated smallville it was like watching a chic show with fake superhero acting and terrible cgi. The budget isn't big enough for powers and good legit cgi.
Battabing - 10/18/2012, 12:47 AM
The last minute really made me sit up and take notice. Obviously, there's something up with that island.
AstroZombie - 10/18/2012, 1:23 AM
This show shamelessly rips off the Nolan Batman films. You got the lawyer girlfriend/childhood friend, her father in the Jim Gordon role, the Bodyguard in the Alfred role. Hell, they even mentioned "Applied Sciences" in tonights episode.
Ceejay - 10/18/2012, 2:40 AM
I can't get past bows and arrows out-doing every sub machine gun and automatic weapon fire in closed rooms. It's as cheesy and ridiculous as the Smallville version but with better fight choreography, that's all. Samllville GA at least wore shades, this guy has spray paint over his eyes!

This is as bad as The Cape and no where as good as No Ordinary Family.
RorMachine - 10/18/2012, 5:27 AM
Jesus. Ok, I'm not writing up another review for an ep of a tv show so I'll give my thoughts here. Explain to me what exactly he does he do to his voice when he's Arrow? Because all I hear is him pitching it slightly higher, and sounding like a whiny kid when he does it.. I laughed out loud at a couple of the demands/threats he made to the villains while sounding like little Miss Muffet.

And what is with the eye paint? They way they show him put on and remove his hood without it being present and then all of a sudden it's there while he's running around as Arrow..either her carries a super-fast working makeup remover or it's actually supposed to be a shadow from the hood, which is of course laughable.

Can't argue that the action is impressive, if a bit unbelievable but hey it IS a comic book show, I'll always allow for a bit of that suspension of disbelief.

What I won't allow for is bad writing and acting and we once again had some of that on display. Amell is ok as Queen, but a terrible Arrow. Cassidy a convincing lawyer? Please! If I was in that courtroom I'd be looking around for the hidden camera or the stripper pole. The supporting cast are still phoning it in, and are still working of a mediocre script when doing it. We also had a ridiculous cut during the China White/Arrow fight..they are scrapping, we cut to the police arriving..then Arrow is out running into the scruffy overacting Chief dude..pants.

Last scene when Queen is shot with the arrow - "aaaah, ooooh, ahhhhh" Awful, just awful eye rolling stuff.

BUT, I did think it was a step up over last week's. I am intrigued by the island stuff so will prob keep watching only for that. I find all of the douchey, socialite current stuff boring as hell.

2 and a half stars for this one.
DCjohnny - 10/18/2012, 5:37 AM
i am very excited for the next episode....
TheGothamKnight1939 - 10/18/2012, 6:22 AM
@Mmasoldier

While I like this show, here are two shows that I watch that are much better:
Sherlock
Person of Interest
KeithM - 10/18/2012, 8:49 AM
Does anyone watch Alphas?

It has superpowered heroes, although they don't wear costumes. It's well acted. The characters are interesting and the stories are pretty good. I've not caught the second season yet (waiting for it to finish so I can watch them all in a block), but I enjoyed the first. So if you need a superhero fix - with actual powers - give it a try; it's a lot better than Arrow sounds...
superotherside - 10/18/2012, 9:35 AM
Great review bro. ;) I'm enjoying the show as well. It isn't for everyone but I have enjoyed it so far.
IgnurRant - 10/18/2012, 12:36 PM
I love how fanboys love to constantly critizce Bale's Batman voice, but if you read the comcis you would know tht is EXACTLY how his voice is described on multiple occasions.
IgnurRant - 10/18/2012, 12:37 PM
Well im glad RorMachine isn't doing any more reviews. haha terrible.
miggyman24 - 10/18/2012, 2:17 PM
really starting to love this show its getting good it will be one of the best shows on tv once it finds its feet.
Pooh - 10/18/2012, 7:06 PM
On one hand I'm glad they patched the relationship with Dinah (Canary). But on the other hand I'm kind of creeped out by Arrow's tactics.

I hope I don't have to hear about his sisters drug problems in every episode.

Too bad Dinah's dad is a dirty cop.

I'm confused why Arrow hates his stepdad, the CFO, so much.
Pooh - 10/18/2012, 7:09 PM
@TheDukeOfNY, Good catch. They did mention applied sciences.
Kevinwillpeabodyproperties - 11/11/2012, 7:43 PM
Love this show. For people who complain Stephen is too bland as Oliver........

HELLO he is playing a guy who was on a fregin island for five years. I think he is gonna be a little dull and suck at socialing.i think it's perfect

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