Wednesday, October 17, 2012

'Arrow' Review - 1.02 Honor Thy Father

        On the newest episode of The CW's Arrow, Laurel prosecutes Martin Somers (Ty Olsson), a criminal with ties to the Chinese Triad whose name is also in Oliver's father's book; the Triad sends their top mercenary, China White (Kelly Hu) to "take care of" Laurel and a battle ensues between Arrow and White; and Moira and Walter ask Oliver to take over the company.

        A pilot episode's job is to introduce the audience to the world and the characters in it that the series is attempting to build. Arrow was by far The CW's best new show - it doesn't even look and feel like a CW drama, which I love. Typically the 2-3 episodes after a pilot give a better sense of what the overall aesthetic the show will be telling as a week-to-week series. What Arrow was able to build in Episode 2 was very precise and strong and effectively went deeper in some fantastic dynamics. Now, I am even more excited to see more.
        Episode 2's big overall themes were the takedown-of-the-week with Martin Somers which introduced the Chinese Triad to the series and Oliver's internal conflict of being the person he wants to be with the person his family/the public want him to be. That internal battle is quite complex and because of its more self-contained nature it wasn't quite accurately portrayed on the screen. The voiceover definitely helps the series in this episode - it is the only new CW series that I think needs it - and the closing scene of him talking to his father's grace was equally powerful and gave visual context to the inner struggle.
        Pilots set up the show's dynamics and relationships and Arrow did a great job of that last week but wasn't able to show any emotional depth to any of them in that first hour. Episode 2 was great because we got to see how everyone works on a raw and emotional level. The dynamics between Laurel and her father, Oliver and his sister and Oliver and his bodyguard were the ones that took more of a backseat in the pilot. Here they do have the chance to become more prevalent and I did like what I saw. Laurel and her father was probably the strongest because Katie Cassidy and Paul Blackthorne play off each other very well and their past history can literally be felt on the screen. The other two relationships I mentioned were more expository but they were still refreshing to see how they will accept Oliver's return and who he has become. 

So what did everyone think of the episode? Was the ending island reveal much stronger than Oliver's mom's connection to the Triad? Share your thoughts in the comments.