Arrow "Honor Thy Father" Review: The Second-Episode Blues

Arrow S01E02: "Honor Thy Father"

Second episodes are tough. Pilots, while no cakewalk, have a clear goal: Convince a network to buy, and then convince an audience to come back for Episode 2. Second episodes have to keep the audience that returned, but they also tend to work at bringing in anyone who didn’t see Episode 1, and that makes them sometimes function like a second pilot.

“Honor Thy Father” ended up very firmly in that "second pilot" camp. There was a lot of expository dialogue to explain things that were previously discussed or learned in the pilot, and lots of characters declared things as explicitly as possible. It made the episode seem clunky and more than a little overstuffed, especially in the first half, which was a whirl of “I was on an island!” “You told me to stay away from you!” “You were dead, I had no one, I turned to drugs and partying!” et cetera.

But with that said, it was the second episode, so we sort of need to move on and hope the show doesn’t do this every week. Some shows can pull it off with a surprising amount of ease (The Vampire Diaries is really good about organically working in internal recapping), and hopefully Arrow will transition into that next week.

Luckily, in between all the expository stuff, there were some genuinely good moments to be had. I think the best bit, apart from Laurel and Oliver eating ice cream (and I’ll get to that), was Diggle and Oliver in the car after Oliver shut down the notion of Diggle taking a position in Queen Consolidated. Speaking from apparent experience, Diggle said, "Back home, they're trying to 'get you'...," and there was this brief moment of bonding between the two, a degree of understanding that both have gone through unpleasant things (to say the least) and that the people who haven't gone through them just don’t, and can’t, comprehend the state those unpleasant things have left them in.

And that was sort of the crux of the episode, the notion that it’s hard to understand other people’s pain. Everyone’s having problems with moving on and working through their grief. Oliver and Thea can’t completely reconnect because Oliver’s just trying to prevent her from making his mistakes (while still putting on the public persona of making those mistakes); Oliver and Laurel have gone from anger to walking on eggshells; and even Quentin and Laurel are on different pages, especially Quentin, who is petrified of losing another daughter.

That’s why moments like Oliver with Diggle, or Oliver enjoying ice cream with Laurel, work for me. There’s a thematic consistency to them as Oliver attempts to come to grips with his life and works to reconnect with others. Yes, this idea was served up quite obviously at the end of the episode as Oliver addressed his father’s gravestone, but I was okay with them spelling it out since, unlike the voiceovers (which remain horrible), it felt motivated by the character and the episode’s plot.

But by now you may be tired of hearing me talk about things like feelings and characters. What about all the costume stuff? Well, it was pretty good from an action standpoint. Both big fights, Diggle with China White and then Oliver with China White, were generally well-shot and exciting. I preferred Diggle versus China White, if only because it showed that Diggle isn’t completely incompetent at the whole bodyguard thing.

I don’t have much to say yet about Kelly Hu as China White. She had like eight lines, so there’s no real sense of character at this point. To be fair, China White’s not the most developed character in the comics. She’s only appeared in Andy Diggle’s Green Arrow: Year One series, and there she was the head of a major crime organization, she specialized in drugs, and she was on the island Oliver washed up on. There, she was running an opium farm and a heroin factory (as you would expect, given her name), and Oliver, as part of his assumption of the hero mantle, shut it down and freed the slaves who work for her.

On Arrow, China White seems to be an enforcer for the Chinese Triad, but so far we don't have a lot of information. Hu’s slated for a few more episodes, so I suspect that we’ll learn more about China White beyond the fact that she’s a really good at hand-to-hand combat and likes little curved knives.

Flashback-wise, which is perhaps the most pressing issue for many folks based on the comments on last week's review, Arrow is still piecemealing out that narrative, so settle in. Oliver acquired the notebook from his father’s corpse, but it was blank except for some sort of symbol. And then someone shot him through the chest with an arrow. Maybe that person put the names in the notebook. And taught Oliver Russian. And those mad computer skills.

The symbol, of course, was seen with whomever Moira was meeting with and assuring that Oliver is still totally clueless about whatever’s going on in Starling City. I’m okay with Moira’s conspiracy being at the tail end of each episode for now, since the show’s still establishing itself (and it’s a very comic book-y thing to do). I’m sure it’ll become more prominent as we go forward.

All in all, "Honor Thy Father" was not a great second episode, but it had some good stuff sprinkled throughout. What did you all think?



NOTES


– Oliver’s “You failed this city” spiel isn’t exactly working. I get the impulse behind the speech (it gives him an avenging tone, and it makes him an extension of the city, which is cool), but I don’t think it’s “there” yet.

Arrow may have a tough time balancing Public Asshole Oliver and Working to Reconnect with His Sister and Ex-girlfriend Oliver. At some point it’s just going to seem a touch odd, and it won’t be Amell’s fault, since I think he’s hitting each version. There’s a dissonance the writers will need to work through; there needs to be some sort of consistency to connect them.

– Laurel was representing a woman named Emily Nocenti. Currently writing the Green Arrow comic book is Ann Nocenti (she’s also writing the Catwoman series). I suppose these little name references could get old, but I rather like them. I hope they save O’Neil (in honor of Dennis O’Neil) for someone really cool.

– Speaking of Laurel, the legal aid office is called CNRI? Like canary. Cute.

– This episode’s moment in pointless pedantry: The painted-on mask seemed haphazardly applied. I don’t care.

– What I do sort of care about is that I thought the show had taken care of Oliver rescinding the death certificate off-screen during the pilot, given all the easy access to resources he had, but nope. It wasn't a very well-organized chain of events, and apart from the desire to recap the pilot, doing the legalities could’ve been handled in a couple of lines during this week's episode as opposed to taking up the whole first chunk of it.

Arrow "Honor Thy Father" Photos


What'd you think of Episode 2?

Comments (143)
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I liked the second episode. I thought it further helped establish the characters. I don't know the comics, so all this is new territory for me. Blank slate here. I need these characters to be established. I need their motivations laid out for me. I think this show wouldn't work without the flashbacks. We need the insight of what happened on that island over a span of 5 years to understand what made Oliver the man he is now. Especially (and I can't state this enough) for those of us who don't know the comics!!! I'm still unsure about Laurel. I love the onscreen chemistry between Oliver and Diggle. I get the sister's anger and how she's trying to express to Oliver that it wasn't a picnic for the people left behind either. Important to know. I love Detective Lance. I think Paul Blackthorne is excellent. His sense of right and wrong is so very black and white in this world of grey. But Laurel's attitude seems slightly out of place. Like she's angry at the wrong people or something. Don't know. Can't quite put my finger on it. Personally I can't wait for the next episode. I want to learn more.
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I like the flashbacks and character driven scenes Oliver had with Thea, Lauren, and Diggle. The action scenes were fairly good. The main drug smuggling/murder plot I thought seemed overly cliched. I liked the Quentin/Lauren scene at the end that brings up the question of is The Arrow a hero or a vigilante taking the law into his own hands, but for that question to really hold any weight, the villians shouldn't be so over the top bad.
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agreed THis show is balancing the line between 90s bad guys in tights/spandex and an dark edgy look I worried that if they fall too much on one over the top bad guys well this show might not last long.
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I liked this episode pretty well. It had great action scenes (I especially liked the final confrontation between China White and Arrow in the wharf). And I realy liked the developing relationships that we're already seeing progress with (Oliver with Laurel and Oliver with Thea). Overall, I think this is a strong show. The only problem I see with the future is Stephen Arnell's acting. He plays the vigilante well, but he can come off monotone a lot. I'm not sure if this is on purpose (to be that disconnected castaway type) or not...
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I was a bit shocked by the revelation that the mom was at least aware of, and possibly had a hand in, the sabotage of the Queen's Gambit. Unless Oliver joined the trip at the last minute, then she was apparently okay with having her son killed off, no matter how relieved she seems to be by his miraculous return. It seems a bit too obvious, so I'm expecting some sort of twist later that will eliminate her as a major villain.



I also suspect that Laurel and Thea will get clued in on Oliver's secret in the near future. Right now, Oliver's pulling a movie Bruce Wayne in order to throw suspicion off himself, but Bruce Wayne had an Alfred and a Lucius (and briefly, a Rachel), so I imagine those two will get brought into the fold. Not really sure how they'll handle Merlyn though... I mean, can he even be GA's archenemy if he hasn't practiced with a bow and arrow by now? Or will they maybe reveal that he has been into archery all of his life or something?
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This episode was also good! I also think the voice-overs and Oliver trying to speak in a deep voice, like the 'you failed this city' scene are kinda irritating, but its alright. The show is doing so many things right. Especially love the action sequences and the scenes where Oliver interacts with Thea and Diggle. They need to make his reasons to meet with Laurel a little bit more believable though.
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I shall thank Acrobit for the reminder that I watch Arrow.

I thought it was pretty solid. I like the show so far. It has a few kinks to work out but it's pretty solid for a new show, and for a show on the CW so it's working for me. I agree with the general consensus that the voiceovers are positively dreadful. Some shows can pull off voiceovers, In Plain Sight was one of the, Grey's Anatomy seems to make it work, Veronica Mars pulled it off. In this case the voiceovers just aren't working for me. Also, if ANYONE is engaging in a drinking game with this show I pity you. If you're taking a shot every time you hear the word "Island" things are going to suck for you in the morning. Or every single time someone mentions "five years"...you'll be in the hospital, and If you're taking a shot everytime "this city", "my city", "our city", "the city", or just plain ole "city" is used then I personally will draw little green arrows on your grave because your arse will more than likely be dead. They must either find a Thesaurus or chill on the unnecessary intensity and reminders. We've figured out that he was on an island for five years and that the city has gone to hell...don't underestimate the intelligence of the audience.

-I like Ollie and Diggle. It's a fun little relationship and most of it is unspoken. Diggle knows that Ollie is full of it, hiding crazy stuff, and dealing with his own interpretation of PTSD. Ollie knows that Diggle is probably the only one right now who sees right through him. Neither of them say anything directly but rather make subtle implications and cryptic, sardonic remarks. It works for me.

- Ollie and everyone else. Things can get complicated. I like that he's trying to keep his sis from being like him. I think it's difficult when he's trying to pretend to be who he used to be. He's making progress with Laurel but he kind of should be keeping his distance because she's going to get whiplash dealing with his back and forth behavior. He and his friend are...hmm. I can't figure it quite out yet. The friction between him and the Detective is necessary but doesn't keep me from rolling my eyes. I sometimes have issues with indidivuals who can't separte personal feelings from the job, emotions from logic, or giving due when due is deserved.But most of all...maybe it's the Social Science geek in me, but it's annoying me that his friends and family are all expecting him to be just all fine and dandy after he spent five years presumably barely managing to survive on a remote island. As far as they know he isn't nearly the badass that he is now...so this whole suck it up, get over it, and jump back into everything under the Sun and let's pretend this never happened mentality that ALL of them have is so frustrating to watch. Dude sleeps in front of an open window instead of in his bed and almost choked his mother out on the first night he was back. Instead of trying to throw him into the business ring...how about suggesting he get therapy. They at least managed to eventually squeeze in that he's not really talking to anyone or opening up, but the way in which they're acknowledging that is so unrealistic and ridiculous to me. There's a transition period that everyone around him seems to be ignoring. Sure for the show's purposes he's pretty much okay and he's a vigilante and all badass now...but if he was just some average joe who had gone through such an ordeal he'd seriously lack the support network. They kinda suck. At least Diggle seems in tune with him on some level,and Laurel (now...because she certainly wasn't before) seems to acknowledge that he might require some adjusting. Overall I'm liking the series though. I like action and this has action. I'm pleased. the voiceovers have to go...some of the vengeance talk when he's taking out a person is a little bit ridonkulous. I totally want to take up archery lessons though.
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In, right between 'pretty late' and 'way too late'..

(First, welcome aboard. I was beginning to think I wouldn't see you until TW Season 3.)

What I like about Ollie and Diggle (besides the perfect sitcom name) is that they're only CW'd in that Supernatural way. Whatever they understand about each other, they get that they don't need to talk it out every damn time. Diggle's not some male Afghanistan-vet version of Ollie's sister, where he asks Ollie to lean on his manly shoulder and manly...ly cry all his troubles out. It's pretty much...

Diggle: "Sup. Your peeps. Bug, amirite?"

Ollie: "Yes."

Diggle: "Yes."

Call me a 23-year-old relic, but that's damn-near a speech in the language of Man. There's room for them to disappoint me on this, but they've been good so far.

You pretty much covered the rest. It was a cheeseball PLL moment to have him walk up to that press conference...thing, fake-drunk, to show everyone he's not going to run his family's multimillion (billion?) dollar company two weeks after coming back from...The Island. Whole lotta 'duh' with all that, but you gotta weigh the good with the bad, or there'll never be anything to watch. And they don't review Boss, so..
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do you need to be familiar with the comics to watch this show?
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Nope! I'll mention comics during the reviews, but unless it's really pressing, it'll likely be limited to quick contextualization or a compare/contrast (like above with China White).

(If the show gets you interested in reading comics, check out Andy Diggle's Green Arrow: Year One and Mike Grell's The Longbow Hunter. The series is drawing on those two series, and both are available in trade paperback or as digital comics.)
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No. Watch the Pilot and you're good to go.
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A note on apparently blank notebooks:

In present time the writing in the notebook is oddly pale and translucent - as if invisible ink has been restored.



I keep being bothered by the Laurel Lance think, but it is DC and it's an LL name...
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What lawyer would act like a spurned girlfriend in front of a client? Haha.



But overall, I still like the show.
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The voiceovers are truly horrific, but they got me thinking: what would it be like to overhear a conversation between Oliver and Person of Interest's Reese? Could you even tell the difference between the two?
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Only Gene Hackman's character from The Conversation would be able to tell them apart.
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The flashbacks and the island-story make me tune in next week but the present day main arc has to improve.

Still not sure about the lead: when he's pissed, "revengy" and the smiling, arrogant, rich dick I have no complaints but with everything else he is Keanu Reeves with a brain trauma to me.

Thankfully he is most of the time pissed and "revengy".
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I like Thea. I think she's acting a bit egoistical, a bit childish ... I think she's reacting in a very human way about her brother's return.

And I like that. I like she's not so happy about his return ; I find normal she has questions and that she doesn't know how to react around him.

For now, from a non reader of Green Arrow comics, I like the show. The characters are well described, each one of them has an interesting storyline. Hope it goes on !
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Wasn't bad. The voiceovers still make me unhappy, but w/e. The sister kinda gets on my nerves, and having everyone in his face about his feelings after a week is annoying, but again...

At least he's normal, considering. The usual hero these days is a complete moron who's done nothing, but acts like he's commanded legions for 20 years, and is far too stupid to even attain whatever job / rank he currently has. Then, after he's gotten enough people killed around him, he decides to take five in-show minutes to master everything he needs to know and win the movie's challenge.

At least this guy had five actual years to become hardcore, and getting shot in the chest on the first day on that island is damn sensible motivation. The bodyguard's cool, too. Just a man trying to keep a tail on Batman--er, Arrow.

The CW doesn't hit the mark that often, but it seems like they're at least trying. Be afraid, NBC. And then screw yourselves.
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Word. to all of that. Overall I like it. I like Ollie and I like his bodyguard. Everyone else could jump off the Brooklyn bridge and I wouldn't blink. His family annoys me. It's like their all up on his case but not in the the ways that they should be. They're punishing him for his lack of emoting but yet they're treating him like he should be completely normal. As far as they know he's a few squirrels short of being nuts and in dire need of some therapy for PTSD or something but as long as he can run the business on his third day back who gives a crap. Yeah, his story makes sense. Adaptation. If you don't adapt...you die. I dig it.
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Pret-ty much. If this show doesn't screw up a bit more, we may have nothing to argue about.

Better than nothing, I guess. Again, welcome aboard.
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It's definitely a The CW show. But I like it! :)

I ignore most of the faults here like how the hell nobody shoots him, but he hits with AN ARROW all the time. I know he's super tough fast and precise but still :D Anyway...

My main concerns are two, which Noel and some commenters mentioned:

1. Those character contradictions aren't going to work for a long time. Eventually (sooner rather than later) the Laurel and the sister will need to find out/understand that he's a good person now (relatively) and does these publicity stunts only to keep an image.

2. He kills an awful lot of henchmen. But saves the truly bad guys... Double standards, Arrow, double standards... :)
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Clearly I'll have to address the henchmen thing next week. And we'll see about the nobody hitting him thing goes next week with Deadshot, the man who never misses, on the scene. Perhaps two men with lethal accuracy will cancel each other out and arrows and bullets will just hang in the air?
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It wasn't bad.
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I've definitely enjoyed the show so far. Really enjoying the sort of parallel plotlines running at the same time. I'm definitely curious to see more about all that happened on the island, as there have been several hints that far more happened than him sitting alone on an island practicing his sweet bow skills (well more than hints, since he got fucking shot!). Eagerly looking forward to next week.
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Seems like I'm watching a male version of Emily Thorne in Revenge, both by which one has to just watch, don't ask too much and suspend disbelief at some of the possibilities attempted in the show. Let's see how far my stamina goes in this Drag Race sans RuPaul. :)
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I know nothing about the comics and didn't watch Smallville, so I'm definitely in the "draw-in the clueless" crowd. Which is probably why all the expositioin didn't bother me at all. Because I have no idea who these characters are or what their backgrounds are. And I really enjoyed the first two episodes... so while I totally understand how people familiar with the source material might take some issue with it, for now it's hitting the right notes for me.

I don't even remember the voiceovers, so "forgettable" in this case is fine by me. If I did notice it, it would drive me bonkers. So my synpathies.

Long story short: I'm happy to give this show a try. If I'm not totally sucked in by about the 6th episode, I'll likely bail. But so far, it seems promising to me. I like the low-tech meets high-tech aspect of the bow & arrow with mad computer skills.

I also like the avenging his father's sins thing. That said, it does strike me as a bit odd that he doesn't really give anyone a decent chance to "repent" before the arrows start to fly. I'm down with the vigilante justice thing, but if it keeps going this way, I may lose patience with how quickly he turns to the "executioner" role.
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Oh, it wasn't an issue of comics vs no comics here (and you will never find me (seriously, but maybe jokingly) complaining about the show changing something from the comics; the most I'll ever do is a compare/contrast sort of thing), but just that they had standard second episode issues of packing in a lot of information from the pilot episode. Lots of shows do this, and it just makes for very uneven second episodes.
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He has so far given both villains-of-the-week the chance to fix their wrongs before he went to step two. Last ep the guy had to transfer back the pension cash (or whatever) and even this time the guy was warned and ask to confess to the murder but he didn't.
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Fair point.



Maybe it was just a compressed time thing, but it seemed to go from "repent or else" to arrows flying really fast. I fully acknowledge that it may just be my perception.



I'm sure there are plenty of corrupt and unredeemable villains to come. And hey, it's cool. It's a superhero show. I guess when I think about it, I think I already feel like I'd like to see what happens when someone says "You're right. I should put things right."



And like I said, I'm definitely enjoying it so far!
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Up to two episodes, I still haven't decided whether to like this show. Somehow most of the motivation behind Arrow is not unique but feels borrowed from other heroes such as 'I am a billionaire trying Vigilante gig' - Batman.

"You have failed this city". Fight corrupt politicians/Mafia/Mob/Triads been tried and failed by 'The Cape'.

List of people to kill/hunt/maim kill list on a book - Revenge.



So the only stand out is and seem real is the character Oliver as he trying to adjust to previous his life, feels guilty and responsible for other deaths on the boat, his indecision whether to become a 'Paris Hilton' or 'Donald Trump'. Maybe there will be more motivation or originality to be revealed in next episodes and I will be watching and waiting.



If not I will say "you have failed this superhero series!"



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Green Arrow was originally conceived in the comics as a Batman expy, so the billionaire-turned-vigilante is sort of built in to the story. Either they stay with that or change it and piss off all the fans who then justifiably ask "if you aren't keeping the backstory/origin, why bother calling it Arrow?"



The main difference between Green Arrow and Batman (and one the show seems to be hitting hard thankfully) is the Green Arrow in the comics became a social justice crusader as opposed to just fighting the costumed bad guy of the week. There is always going to be an element of Batman - it's hard to avoid when your hero isn't "superpowered" and you need to justify him being a superhero (money, training, gadgets and/or beyond genius-level intelligence are pretty much your options). Arrow, so far, has already demonstrated a willingness to kill that Batman never has. As for copying from the Cape? I doubt it, since someone would have had to actually watch it to attempt copying from it. Besides, it's not like going after corrupt politicians is unique to that series.
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episode was awesome, loved it hope there is going to be a lot more.
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I don't really like laurl/Black Canary
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Whos the guy that shot Oliver? Is he the guy that was in smallville that was like black arrow or something that trained him?
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No, it's supposed to be symbolic... the Green Arrow version of Ollie destroying the "what Ollie could have been" version of Ollie.
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Death toll is rising...We might get 80 deaths or something by the season finale.
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You're making assumptions. Perhaps the puncture clinic at Starling City Central Hospital is doing a land-office business. The good guy can always shoot to incapacitate but not kill.
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I will prefer to believe in what you say. *nods*
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Not sure yet, but I sorta like this show... I agree that the transition between personas should be a little more seamless, or at least they should make sense closer together - right now seems like Amell is playing 2 completely different characters.

I have absolutely no knowledge of the comic books or anything previous besides drooling over Justin Hartley on a couple of Smallville episodes, but back there we had no commitment to his story or background.

I am looking forward to the development of this series... There is definetely some potential.
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Why does Oliver need to be the public asshole to "protect" his secret & the ones he loves. I would love to see a hero that doesn't follow that mould ie clark kent etc (yes clark was nice but still a bumbling idiot). He could prove he has changed since he got back without becoming too suspicious couldn't he. I'd like to see the writers do that for a change. I don't wnat him to be annoying.
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Assuming his position in the company board would "steal" a lot of time. His mission is to clean the city and he knows no one can be trusted. So being an asshole is the perfect role. But i agree he cannot be that person all the time.
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I like how they are revealing the flashbacks to the island/his training it means he can get on kicking ass and taking out bad guys. Maybe Emily Thorne should just do the same method in Revenge.
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The angsty teenage sister needs to go, other than that this show seems to be doing great. I am really digging it, Wednesday's are looking good for CW with Supernatural and Arrow. Both awesome shows that veer away from the usual teenage crap the CW tends to show.



Seriously though, Thea is super irritating, fkin entitled, spoiled teenage brat.
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Yeah, the sister is a PAIN! And she talks in a very strange, lisping way *ugh*
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Except she was part of the Triad
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What was China White's native tongue? because Oliver/Arrow spoke it too...
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Amell said on twitter they spoke in Mandarin
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I kind of enjoyed the episode, but I do agree that it was basically just a secondary pilot. They didn't really develop much of anything...

I liked the action scenes though, and the one thing they did kind of develop was the character of Diggle, which I also enjoyed. The flashbacks didn't do anything for me in this one.
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We'll see how flashbacks go. I admit that I'm intrigued to see more of Spoiled Rich Boy Oliver from Amell. Despite the protests in the comments, I think he's doing very well, performance-wise, and it's the writing that's not developed enough yet.

I suspect that the flashbacks may come into the narrative more now that we've flushed second episode-itis out of the system. I hope.
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I liked this episode more then pilot. think it is getting better.slowly,but it is getting there. was worried with pilot,but I might enjoy this show....just hoping that I don't start enjoying it too much and then when season will be over,that CW pulls a plug on Arrow:D





one negative I have for this episode:

those men for hire or guards or whatever you wanna call them....do they use those guns first time in their life? they wouldn't be able to hit target that ain't moving,much less the target that is moving(like we've seen in episode)....they just shoot all over the place
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He's a comics superhero!!! He can accurately throw an unbalanced kitchen knife or shoot arrows whilst running, he can build a secret lair overnight, he can remove face paint in 5 seconds flat, he can find and sneak into highly protected hiding places, he can knock out baddies in the dark, he can disappear in the blink of an eye, he can make lights go off and on again, so he can dodge bullets, too. Stands to reason, doesn't it?
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I can make lights go off and on again. It's called a "circuit breaker"



Most people can't use an automatic weapon correctly; it's harder than it looks. In particular, people who don't fire an automatic weapon very often will waste a lot of bullets due to muzzle lift.
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yeah this is what I am talking about
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OK, now you've convinced me. He's just a regular guy, after all.
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I actually loved the episode, rewatched it and enjoyed it again. And I want to watch more.
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so who was that that shot him with a arrow on the island? was it slade since we saw the mask in the first episode? who is the mother talking too about killing her own son? so many questions
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I would guess that Deathstroke will turn out to be limo guy.
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The show really needs to find a way around the VOs. They are terrible. Though they weren't as over used in this episode as the pilot. I also don't really like the mother. There is just something about the interaction between the actors that bothers me. It feels kind of forced.

Besides that, I liked the episode. I mean who doesn't like a guy running around shooting arrows at people and beating people up. I also don't mind the "Nolan" feel, because if you think about it other super hero shows like The Cape, Black Scorpion, Huntress and even PoI all had the main character knocking out some lights and beating people up in half light, Nolan just made it more gritty, but it's still a superhero running around beating people up.
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I liked this episode better than the first, mainly because it had a smaller number of ridiculous details, but also because I felt like it confirmed the two positive impressions I got from the pilot:

1. The show isn't going to focus too much on the case of the week. It will spend enough time on plot and character development.

2. The bodyguard is a good character. Unfortunately he may be the only one.

I still not convinced that the show is good enough.

Now if only I could figure out which one of the characters we saw is called "China White".
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It's true; sarcasm does not translate over the internet. Either that, or there's just so many people, you're always bound to pick up that one guy that didn't get it.
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The Chinese girl with the white hair should probably be your first guess.
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LOL now that's a great hint :)
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I liked the part when Oliver Queen fought the seagulls.
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Wait until Oliver meets the smoke monster or the polar bears!
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ME TOO. And those seagulls were not going to take "Get away!" for an answer! I bet they even alerted the guy who shot Oliver with an arrow.
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Don't be silly. This mysterious, uncharted island has "others" living on it... who don't want to share the island.
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I hate his sister, I'm sure growing up as a spoiled little rich girl is just as hard as living on an island for five years, stupid little bitch needs to gets things into perspective and get out of the show as soon as possible. Other than that I'm okay with everything, it's still having trouble finding it's footing but that's to be expected so I won't complain about it.
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To assume that rich people don't have problems is wrong. It's true that money solves some problems, but it creates some others, too.
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She was a 12 year old whose brother and father died and whose mother was essentially absent. That kind of thing tends to mess people up for life, plus she had too much access to money and too little guidance. I'm not surprised at all at how she turned out.

Yes, Oliver had a much harder time, but it's also true that Thea wouldn't have had an easy 5 years either. As a 17(?) year old girl, Thea's ability to be truly compassionate with her brother and his ordeal (that she has no hope of understanding) when her own life is already a train-wreck is pretty limited.
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Pseudo-intellectualism is such a bore. TV shows are for ENTERTAINMENT, not thesis writing. This one is branded as a 'superhero' show so it's assumed you'll suspend reality before watching it. This is like arguing that Supernatural has a) supernatural beings who b)never manage to kill the leads (OMG how unrealistic and idiotic!!!)
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TV shows can be for both entertainment and thesis writing. Trust me on this.
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YAY! I'm an idiot mass. Or a mass idiot. I'm not sure which is correct there, but then I'm an idiot, so why would I know? I can't even afford actual plates for my mediocre schlock, I have to use paper plates! I'm not only an idiot, but I'm obviously poor, too! Poor and an idiot. I'm doomed.

And I always appreciate it when someone decides to critique a show by also critiquing its audience! It demonstrates a real understanding of how tastes operate, and it ALWAYS leads to a nuanced and respectable discussion!
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honestly i really like this show not much to complain about it feels like it has some of the darkness that Smallville used in it's later seasons so I'm enjoying that plus it's just nice to have a DC character back on the CW. Although I know not everyone will agree I think this show has promise and I can't wait to see what else it has in store for us... :D
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Hey, it's a comic turned TV! So I don't care too much about logic faults (of which there have been many, including Our Hero turning bullet proof). It's cheesy and over the top, but the show's visual style is nice, the combat scene Diggle - China White was well done, China White has got a nice outfit, so there. And guys, please, for those of us who have NOT read the comics, don't spoil anything in these comments? Pretty please?
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*** spoiler alert ***

In the comics, Oliver Queen runs around in a green outfit shooting bad guys with arrows.
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Thank you for the spoiler alert. I didn't read it, and that was because of your spoiler alert, so again, thank you.

Do me a favor and teach the Game of Thrones guys this technique.
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I'm starting to worry about Green Arrow's moral compass-- so far he has no problem with murdering a ton of bodyguards, who while they aren't innocent they're certainly less guilty than the evil boss-men, but then he only threatens the head honcho into doing what he wants or gets them arrested? Henchmen are people too!

Although I'm feeling the beginnings of an Arrow TV addiction, there were a lot of problems with this episode. It got a lot cheesier and more bad-comic like? Closer to the Michael Keaton Batmans than the Christopher Nolan ones. Awful comic book lighting everywhere and ridiculous bad guys. No mas, por favor.

Also the Green Arrow's 'I'm very angry right now' voice is pretty terrible. But all that aside, I'm still eagerly awaiting next week's episode!
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I think we can agree that so long as it stays in a Michael Keaton Batman and not George Clooney Batman vein, we'll be okay.
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Derp, maybe that's the one I meant... What about the Val Kilmer Batman? Jury still out on that one?
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I like Val Kilmer so much. I don't know if I like his Batman but I didn't hate it..
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I was OK with most of the narrative, but I did have a hard time to understand why he killed all the henchmen's just to scare the boss into confessing to his crimes in court.
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But that's just it, did he kill them? Is he just going out there and straight up murdering people? It's not totally clear. There is no depth to his performance to tell anything of the sort. A hero should generally live by some sort of code, even as a vigilante. Is he really that tormented? He just seems extremely unlikable so far and he plays the rich boy Olliver very awkwardly.. That weird, during the day drunken speech made no sense and was just odd to hear out loud. Also there is absolutely no subtlety with the action. People are just shooting things up with oozies and he's constantly just walking into gunfire. Bullets and guns have to be used pretty sparingly in shows so that when a character were to ultimately get hit by one, it will resonate and mean that much more. This show lacks any kind of compelling depth to it. It can't decide whether it should be real or comic bookish which in turn delivers jarring visuals. And that narration is THE WORST. Green Arrows story is not that complicated, no need to constantly recap. And now it looks like he was trained on the island? Wouldn't it have been more interesting for him to learn and survive by himself with the use of a make shift bow? You know, like the comics.
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In the pilot, Hunt said something about his men being in the hospital. I think Oliver/Arrow only kills when is absolutely necessary, like those who kidnapped him. I mean a guy who can shot more than 10 tennis balls in a few seconds with a bow, i think he can hit anyone where he wants. And the police is looking for a vigilante not a murderer.
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It isn't clear if there's any death happening (though I think the guy that got shot in the chest and then fell of that crane or boat or whatever, is probably dead). The show doesn't seem overly concerned with that, but like I said last week to a commenter, I think they're possibly overcompensating for the inherent cheesiness of a guy in a green hood shooting arrows by making it as grim as possible.

As for depth, I think they're aiming for more depth in character interactions, not with the action sequences. But since you said below you find the show to be..."not written well at all" I'm willing to bet you're applying that lack of depth to both. But two episodes in, and given the genre, I'm not expecting deep depths, either.
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OK, so he shoots to wound because he's the Good Guy. What happens when the Bad Guys figure out all they have to do is wear body armor?



Note to Arrow writers... have Ollie shoot a bad guy wearing body armor in the seam between plates, so that the bad guys don't get the idea that body armor would be highly effective against him.
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I think this have what it takes to run for a long time. Definitely they have some things to improve, but i really think Arrow will be a very successful tv show. Besides Lost I'm not really a good fan of this kinds of flashbacks. Why don't spend 2 or 3 episodes to resume the 5 years Oliver spend on the island.



About this episode, i actually liked this episode better to.
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This show is not written well at all.
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I thought it was decent episode 2. Yes it was a little wordy and the situations between Oliver and his sister did seem a bit forced. But overall I thought it was pretty good. The stuff between him and Laurel was all right. I know it had to happen due to the plot of the episode but I don't want this to go back and forth in a will they won't they. The end of the pilot where he is chilling like Batman while his buddy and her are talking is fine. But can we please avoid the incoming love triangle of stupidity. He has things he has to do, like not taking the job he needs to stay away personally from her. If only for the viewers that aren't women. I know they are trying to strike a balance so that they can get all viewers. But you can't be all things to all people.
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Don't be silly. The 'love story' isn't just for women, it's to make Oliver a balanced human being and show another side of his personality. Not every show has to be a soap opera with love triangles to interest women, even young teeny girls, case in point Supernatural if we want to stay on girlie-CW. Otherwise, Superman, Batman, Spiderman, all had girlfriends / wives, so Oliver is hardly the first superhero with a love interest.
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Nah, the love story is really just for you guys, as we could not care less. Whatever person he would be without that scrawny love interest is a person we could happily watch, while you guys, not as much. We just tolerate it because it's pretty much like sand at the beach; whatever reason we're there, it isn't the sand. Still, there it is.
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I actually liked this episode better. Maybe it started shaking off these Revenge comparisons I didn't like (since I didn't like Revenge and I'm trying to like this show). Instead of focusing of these random Emily Thorne moments it brought several super hero elements, great fights, issues of secret identity vs. public persona. I especially liked when Oliver had to question himself how he was going to relate with the people around him, and he did more than just act like a reckless playboy as he truly connected with Laurel and Thea. But then in the end the playboy surfaced and it was a little disappointing. So now I want to see how his relationship with the aforementioned two women will develop; hopefully it'll be more than just them despising him for being irresponsible, and him channeling his frustrations through his crime fighting/vigilantism.

I love the conspiracy angle by the way. nothing new there, but always something to look forward to.

It was great to see lovely/lovable Emma Bell, a.k.a. The Walking Dead's Amy, Andrea's little sexy sister/zombie.

"You failed this city." - Sometimes I wonder why Oliver doesn't run for mayor already.
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If he ran for mayor, he certainly couldn't go out shooting arrows into people. (Except for, you know, that time in the comics when Oliver was the mayor and still worked as Green Arrow.)
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can some1 explain to me who taught him to fight like this?? Wasn't he on a deserted island, if so then why didn't Tom Hanks in "Cast away" turn into an ass-kicking ninja. You can't learn all that stuff by yourself and u need some basics, from what I seen in the flashbacks, he was a spoiled brat that couldn't tie his own shoes.
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The island wasn't as deserted as you think. In the most recent episode's final flashback, he got shot by an arrow by some person in a hood on the island.
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I'm just going to copy and paste from my review since, well, I mentioned this:



"Flashback-wise, which is perhaps the most pressing issue for many folks based on the comments on last week's review, Arrow is still piecemealing out that narrative, so settle in. Oliver acquired the notebook from his father's corpse, but it was blank except for some sort of symbol. And then someone shot him through the chest with an arrow. Maybe that person put the names in the notebook. And taught Oliver Russian. And those mad computer skills."



So take a breath and then repeat after me: "It's episodic television, not a movie. They're unspooling a narrative. Not everything gets explained immediately. I will be okay with this."
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Obviously, the Dharma Project taught him all that combat.

I believe they've been careful to refer to it as an "uncharted" island, not an "unpopulated" one. It's pretty big and clearly not desert.
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ok im taking it all back not deserted island, they will teach him like Rutger Hauer in "Blind Fury"
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Yeah, now we just have to wait for the scene were Arrow cuts someone's eyebrows off, with a single horizontal swing of a sword.
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EXACTLY.
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"It's episodic television, not a movie. They're unspooling a narrative. Not everything gets explained immediately. I will be okay with this."

LOL This should be a mantra many people should be reminded of. Perhaps you could enlighten some people at the Revolution board.

On an unrelated note, I keep mistaking you for Cory. Are you sure you two aren't the same person? Maybe one is the other's secret identity?
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I read through the comments on Revolution after a few people applauded me for not being like Tim last week during Arrow. I...I do not want to get involved that mess. (I'm also 2 episodes behind on Revolution as of this week.)

HA. Cory and I not the same person, I promise. He and I do know each other, and we've been seen together in public. Plus, Cory's really fond of tank tops, and I am really not.
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I think we'd both agree that you dodged a bullet there.

Shh, it's okay. You don't have to say it.
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Replying to Acrobit's comment below: I did pitch myself for Revolution when I started, but I'm glad I made a strong enough case for Arrow (in addition to my animated stuff) instead.
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Pretty much what I'd said a few weeks ago. "How do we know anyone else even *wants* to review Revolution?"

If anything, I applaud Tim for being the bad guy to a child that no one else wants to be caught punishing.
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I didn't care too much for this episode. I understand most of the characters are hurting but its just coming off as annoying and whiny. I can't stand Thea and Laurel is getting on my nerves too (as well as her father). Maybe its just me but I really can't stand most of the female characters on the CW (then again I can only bare to watch Supernatural and so far Arrow on that channel). They try to portray their female characters as strong, independent women but once they start talking I just want them to shut their mouths. The character China White was pretty cool but then again she hardly had any lines.



Its terrible, I am aware. The worst part is I'm a woman too. -.-;



Why is Thea even on this show? What does she bring to it? The teen angst for young viewers? I'm so sick of the poor rich girl who abuses drugs storyline. Green Arrow never had a sister. Why do shows sometimes insist to add characters that have nothing to do with anything? The only book turned TV show on the top of my head that I can think of who pulled off a TV-made character was True Blood with Jessica.



Laurel I could grow to like if she was a little less preachy. I did enjoy the ice cream scene. I just don't think they picked the right actress who will eventually become--SPOILERS--Black Canary--SPOILERS-- What's wrong with her name Dinah anyway? And she should be a blonde!!



Okay... I'm nitpicking... I don't care...



Other than that, I basically agree with everyone else that the voiceovers need to stop or get better.
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In my viewing experience, the CW fails a lot of the time when they try to create strong and independent female characters-- and it pisses me off!

Like Laurel, one minute she's all 'I'm so tough assassins don't scare ME!' and then literally one scene later she throws herself into Oliver's arms once they're SAFE, and he's the guy she supposedly hates a lil bit? Puh-lease. I will say that Supernatural usually does an excellent job with awesome female characters, even if half of them are only BAMFs b/c they're possessed by demons.
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Katherine & Caroline on TVD, Cassie, Faye & Diana on TSC (still upset about that), I'm guessing Nikita (don't watch Nikita but I assume she's a BAMF?) But Katie Cassidy isn't bringing it on Arrow at all, I agree. She's not acting well, has no chemistry with Amell, and her role is cribby, bratty and toooo overly "I'm so independent" with no judgement of situations. But Oliver's mother might turn out awesome.
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Nikita is, Alex (the younger girl) is not, so yeah.
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Just judging from the episodes, I think Thea brings out Oliver's humanity. His relationship with her is the closet thing he has as a family relationship, since he doesn't connect with his mother. And she's smart and is likely to get close to his real self before anybody else does it.
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oh and speedy (roy harper) was addicted to heroin in the comics. having their version of speedy with drug problems is a funny sort of "tip of the hat" to the comics.
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I know it's only two episodes in but from what we've seen so far Laurel pulling on the fishnets and taking to the streets seems very unlikely, also the blonde hair isn't really an issue the orginal canary Dinah Drake had black hair but wore a blonde wig as part of the costume.



Also about Thea, the Green Arrow comics have always had a bigger social commentary than most, and Speedy's drug habit goes back over 40 years. So leaving substance abuse out of Arrow would be like trying to make a BLT with no bacon. And this version of Ollie has a mother who he going to have to go up against at some point, makes sense to balance it out with a family member who doesn't want him dead. Combining the two facets means there's one less character fighting for air time.
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I am aware Speedy has a drug problem. I've mentioned before I am not completely familiar with the Green Arrow storyline but I know all the major things like his romance with Dinah, and his sidekick's drug abuse. I knew drug abuse was going to be touched upon but Thea being the rich girl with the drug problem is not original at all.



I guess I would be more accepting of everything if they weren't trying to pass off Thea as Roy. That's my main problem. Maybe its too early to judge and maybe Roy will eventually appear later. I understand Thea is meant to bring out Ollie's humanity... but she doesn't have to be annoying going about it.
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Doubt that Roy will make more than a one or two episode guest appearence over the entire show run, it just doesn't feel like the show set up for partners or side kicks. Yes Laurel, Thea & Diggle will all help, but there's only going to be one person leaping off roof tops hunting down the villian of the week.



Not sure why you find Thea annoying other than not being Roy. Roy picked up his habit when he was abandoned by Oliver who had better things to do at the time. From what little we've seen of Thea it's obvious that she doesn't feel that she lost her father and brother but was abandoned by them. So when Oliver comes back from the dead, on one hand she's happy to have her brother back but she also resents him for leaving her alone for five years, which has the potential at least for a more complex character than just another poor little rich girl.
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this may be a *SPOILER*, but thea, aka "speedy" to oliver, may be the show's take on...wait for it...Speedy. Speedy, or Green Arrow's side-kick, is popularly known to be Roy Harper in the comics, and is still seen on the show Young Justice (awesome btw), but has also had a fe-male successor, Mia Deardon. For whatever reason (maybe just being on the CW), assuming that they wanted to a female to reprise the role of Speedy, Mia Deardon, who's had a shaky past that involved parental abuse & prostitution, must not have fit the bill for the writers. Thea (rhymes with mia!...probably is nothing) is probably just their fresh take on the character. Based on your comment, maybe she's just what they need to balance the male to female ratio of potentially important characters (good or evil) or maybe not.
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It also might be a red herring, like naming characters after GA's various comics writers.
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this may be a *SPOILER*, but thea, aka "speedy" to oliver, may be the show's take on...wait for it...Speedy. Speedy, or Green Arrow's side-kick, is popularly known to be Roy Harper in the comics, and is still seen on the show Young Justice (awesome btw), but has also had a fe-male successor, Mia Deardon. For whatever reason (maybe just being on the CW), assuming that they wanted to a female to reprise the role of Speedy, Mia Deardon, who's had a shaky past that involved parental abuse & prostitution, must not have fit the bill for the writers. Thea (rhymes with mia!...probably is nothing) is probably just their fresh take on the character. Based on your comment, maybe she's just what they need to balance the male to female ratio of potentially important characters (good or evil), or maybe not.
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I agree with you on all of your points. As far as the name Laurel instead of Dinah. I don't know. I know that her name in the book is Dinah Laurel Lance but in the book she never goes by her middle name.

"The only book turned TV show on the top of my head that I can think of who pulled off a TV-made character was True Blood with Jessica."

-- I would also say that Chloe off of Smallville would also be a good example. Also Daryl from The Walking Dead.
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Remember David "Bruce" Banner? The TV show actually changed the main character's name.
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I meant I didn't understand why they are calling her Laurel instead of Dinah. I also know its her middle name but I would prefer if they called her by her first name instead. What's the point in doing this?



Oh yeah, Daryl. I forgot about him. I stopped watching TWD a while ago but I remember liking him. :)
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At least in the Pilot we got confirmation that her first name is Dinah, when near the end of the episode, Tommy called her by her full name, at least they didn't completely change the name. But i agree, there seems little point to her going by Laurel, maybe they'll explain it at some point in the future.
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Rough episode but hopefully it gets better from here.



Note 1: How long till killing henchmen but keeping the villain of the week alive is going to get old? Why doesn't he just kill the weekly bad guy and not kill the dozens of body guards? Arrow has been putting an arrow into anything moving, except the villain. Might actually make for a better show having a guy have stalk his prey and would give the character something to struggle with ala Batman only in reverse.



Note 2: The sister is annoyingly whiny. It apparently was hell living in that castle with all that money and an ability to do whatever she wanted especially compared to a character that actually did live through hell.
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In this particular case, I think he just didn't want to deprive Dinah/Laurel of the satisfaction of putting the bad guy away.

A similar thing that bothers me more is that he keeps giving ultimatums to bad guys and then walks away. I very much doubt that any villain (in the comic book world or in the real world) would ever comply. They would just beef up their security.
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Oliver is not a stalker. He's not Dexter.
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Note 1: True, but they're also not the ones shooting at him. I think it's more to send a message to others, an example. Sure, a dead body does that as well, but if everyone's dead, who spreads the word about the hood guy?

Note 2: It does come off as entitled, but I do think it gets back to what I was talking about, which is the inability to understand another's grief. Yes, all that privilege should've made it easier, but Thea was looking for something else, something less materialistic, and not getting it from Moira.
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It almost comes off a little elitist though-- he kills all the bodyguards who're probably just out to make a buck to feed their starving family or whatever, and saves true justice for the rich guy. I thought he was trying to right the wrongs in his city- does that include killing the disenfranchised working class?

They need a proletarian revolution up in there.
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That is something of a mixed message. He's targeting rich people but only seems to kill or maim the hired help. Admittedly it's the hired help armed with automatic weapons, but it's still the help nonetheless. I doubt those guys have insurance.
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Plus if the main villain just dies, it can be written off, if they're prosecuted, the victims can get the truth about thier crimes, compensation, etc.
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As the review outlined this episode had some troubles that 2nd episodes usually have, but for that very reason im willing to look past it. The good was very good, Amell is really impressing me with his acting, (but for whatever reason he hasn't quite figured out how to do the voiceovers, they are still pretty terrible. So if they don't figure out how to make them better, they should just scrap them).

I don't know if that symbol on Olivers book appears in the comics, but version of it did appear in Smallville. It represented the secret society of vigilanties Oliver joined after he left the island, so take that for what it's worth.

I really enjoyed Thea's speech to Oliver in front of the tombstone. Some good acting and writing.

I give it the season before Diggle is in on the secret. He already suspects something, and I think Oliver is noticing that he could be useful. When Diggle kicked some ass, I loved it. For those of you who have watched the Green Hornet show from the 60's or even the recent movie, I think Diggle is gunna end up like Kato, which is all kinds of awesome.

Finally, Queen consolidated, what's up with that? What happened to Queen industries? In confused.
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