Recap of Arrow Season 6 Episode 2, “Tribute”
I have to say, I am really, really digging this new and improved Oliver Queen. Last night’s Arrow shed light on just how much our hero’s life has changed, and how he is most definitely struggling to keep everything together and working — and failing spectacularly on all fronts.
In an episode that, surprisingly, had very few Olicity scenes — given the amount of spoilers that have come out in this past week alone, including promotional photos of next week’s episode, where we know Olicity is going to be a thing — “Tribute” still had just the right amount of action, drama and character driven moments, convincing me even further that season 5 was just a bad dream and that we’re finally back on track.
Green Arrow identified
With last week’s cliffhanger, it felt like Oliver was pretty much screwed. His photo, dressed as the Green Arrow, was all over the media — we even caught a glimpse of a newspaper cover in The Flash this week — and it just seemed like there was no way out of this, now that there was photographic evidence that he was, in fact, the Green Arrow.
But he just took it all in stride and pretty much just told the crowd of reporters that he is not the man in green and that he barely has time to be the Mayor and a father, let alone being a vigilante superhero — which is definitely true, except that he somehow makes it work. Kind of.
The media obviously doesn’t buy it, and neither does Special Agent Watson, a tough lady who was tasked with an investigation about the Green Arrow’s identity. She basically starts a witch hunt in Star City, which has the entire team freaked out, and scrambling to find out where that photo even came from. Things only get worse when Anatoly suddenly shows up in town, kidnaps a Markovian business team, and demands a ransom of 20 million dollars from Star City.
Oliver refuses to pay, even when Anatoly sends evidence that he poisoned one of the men, and he only has hours to live. The team manages to identify the poison, find the antidote, and find the hostage. But Anatoly is just not that great guy anymore, so even after Oliver administers the antidote to the man,the Russian mobster just goes ahead and shoots him anyway.
Meanwhile, Oliver is trying to play in every position possible, trying to save face as Mayor, with the FBI lady breathing down on his neck; dealing with Anatoly and his antics; and dealing with William, trying to be at least a semi-decent father.
In the end, Felicity and Curtis manage to prove that the photo was doctored, so at least the media was appeased that Oliver is not the Green Arrow. But Special Agent Watson is like a dog with a bone, and she is not as easily fooled. Something tells me that she will be a thorn in Oliver’s side for a while yet.
I love this Oliver Queen, and I absolutely love how they are handling his struggle as a suddenly single father. Even though he has known about William for the past season and a half, being an actual parent is something completely different than just visiting him every once in a while. Now he needs to think about how everything in his life is going to affect his kid, and finding himself as a full time father to a grieving, traumatized 12-year-old boy is definitely not an easy feat.
Stephen Amell and Jack Moore have found this balance and this tender, strained chemistry that has me hanging onto every word they say and every interaction. This is uncharted territory for Oliver, and William is struggling with this new reality just as much as his father is. I love how Oliver doesn’t know how to actually be a father, and he doesn’t always know what the right thing is.
That scene where he picks up William from school, after the kid got in a fight, had me laughing out loud. Because the standard talk here would probably be “you shouldn’t fight, violence is never the answer”, but Oliver just says “next time, aim for the nose, and punch him as hard as you can”. And that was such an Oliver thing to do, that after I watched it, I didn’t even know why I had expected anything different.
But what was really great about this whole thing, was that William finally voiced his fears to Oliver, which was an immense amount of progress. He is afraid that one day, Oliver won’t come home and he will be an orphan and all alone in the world.
And that is just a completely reasonable and legitimate fear from a kid who has just lost his mom and is terrified that there is a very real possibility of losing the father he just got, because said father is a superhero and is out fighting crime every night, with a bunch of psychos coming after him all the time.
That propels Oliver to make a decision that probably came as a huge surprise for a lot of people. In an effort to not put himself in harm’s way as much as he always has — because, as he said, it’s not just him anymore — he asks Diggle to replace him as the Green Arrow, just as Dig was about to make a confession of his own.
We finally found out what happened to Dig, even if, surprisingly, there weren’t any flashbacks last night. In a weird turn of events, Dig and Dinah seem to be a lot closer these days — which I don’t like at all — and she finally managed to get him to confess what has him hesitating so much when they’re out on the field and he needs to shoot someone.
When the island exploded, he was hit by some shrapnel, which in turn caused some serious nerve damage. Apparently, he has some degenerative damage, which makes his hand shake, so he can’t steady it enough to take a shot. That’s why he couldn’t make the shot last week, and that’s why he is hesitating so much when he’s out on the field, which puts everyone in danger.
During a mission, he can’t take a shot at a guy, who nearly kills Dinah. After that, she makes him promise that he will tell Oliver everything. That is, until Oliver asks him to take over as the Green Arrow, and Dig accepts it.
And this is not going to end well.
– Felicity and Curtis were at their very best last night, and they reminded me why I love them together so much. I laughed out loud at their whole secret job conversation. Also, Smoak Tech is totally coming and I absolutely can’t wait.
I wonder if it’s going to be called Smoak Tech, though, if she’s going into business with Curtis. Either way, I am so, so excited about this storyline and I wonder if that’s what Stephen Amell was talking about in his Instagram live story yesterday.
– Have I mentioned how much I love Oliver as a dad? Because I do. Very, very much. I can’t wait to see how Felicity is going to get along with William, because they’re going to have to interact at some point, right? After all, starting next week, Olicity is a go, people. This is not a drill.
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.