REVIEW: Arrow, S5 Ep21 – Honor Thy Fathers

While last week’s episode ended with Adrian Chase finding Oliver’s son, William, “Honor Thy Fathers” opts out of touching on this plot point. It focuses on another plot involving Chase messing with Oliver’s personal life, this time attacking his father’s name. “Honor Thy Fathers” deals a lot with both Oliver and Thea coming to terms with the people their parents used to be, but also sees Team Arrow face off against returning villain Derek Sampson played by former WWE wrestler Cody Runnels. Additionally, this week’s flashbacks answer a question that fans have been asking for a long time now.

Cody Runnels returns as Derek Sampson

Adrian Chase continues to prove to audiences that he is not the most menacing, but most annoying villain the Green Arrow has ever faced. This time he goes as far as discovering and resurfacing the dead body of someone Robert Queen accidentally pushed into a vat of concrete years ago, potentially ruining the Queen legacy. By the episode’s end, this plan doesn’t to go the way Chase probably wanted it to. Both Oliver and Thea further accept the terrible things their parents have done, and Oliver’s mayorship doesn’t seem to be threatened in the slightest.

The Derek Sampson subplot was fine for the most part, as it lead to some fun action sequences, but it seemed very season one villain-of-the-week. Although, considering Cody Runnels and Stephen Amell’s history on the WWE, it’s always fun seeing Runnels make a reappearance on the series.

Where “Honor Thy Fathers” really shined was in the subplot involving Rene and the custody battle of his daughter. Serving as almost polar opposites, Rene and Lance always make for some compelling moments together. As their relationship grows deeper we begin to see how much Lance cares for Rene’s plight involving his daughter. Having had two daughters himself, one currently deceased and the other having adventures in time travel, Lance understands the importance of being there for family. He doesn’t want Rene to make a mistake that could jeopardize his relationship with his daughter.

The subplot ends on a sad note though, as Rene chooses not to attend a custody hearing because he doesn’t want to put his daughter through any more anguish regarding this subject. The ending is not only sad, but also a bit frustrating since we know Rene is a good person overall and should do whatever it takes to be with his daughter again. After this action by Rene, it’s hard to say where his story will go next.

Mr. Terrific and Spartan suit up

For the most part the flashbacks in “Honor Thy Fathers” were pointless, as we see Oliver return to the island of Lian Yu. We see him go about making a makeshift grave for Slade as he pins an arrow through Slade’s mask which washed up onto shore, an iconic image we’ve seen since season one.

Before ending with the cliffhanger that Kovar (Dolph Lundgren) has found Oliver on Lian Yu, the flashbacks do answer a very important question I’ve been curious about for a couple of seasons now. That question being, how does Oliver grow a full beard by the time he is found on Lian Yu in the beginning of season one? The answer is… it’s a fake? I get the impression that the writers of Arrow originally intended for Oliver to be on Lian Yu for all five years leading to a real beard being grown, but with the evolution of his origin and the character bouncing back and forth from Hong Kong to Russia, it’s funny that they would go the fake beard route in order to cover up any possible continuity errors.

“Honor Thy Fathers” seemed to retread a lot of ground we’ve seen the show take on in the past. In particular, seeing Oliver and Thea deal with what horrible people their parents were. Because of this the episode seemed kind of pointless, and the fact that this latest discovery regarding Robert Queen has no lasting consequences definitely supports the pointlessness of the story. At least we got to see Thea return to the screen after having been M.I.A. for almost half of the season. Hopefully her reemergence means we’ll be seeing her suit up as Speedy once again before the season’s end, but it’s doubtful. “Honor Thy Fathers” saving grace was the subplot involving Rene, but it wasn’t enough to make up for an overall dull episode. Also, Adrian Chase wasn’t fooling anyone with his surrender in the conclusion. We always know he has another ace up his sleeve, and judging from the trailer for next week’s episode he certainly does. Check out the The CW’s official trailer for “Missing” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Honor Thy Fathers” in the comments.



Tags: , ,