Arrow: “Honor Thy Fathers” Season 5 Episode 21 Review

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It all comes down to legacy on this week’s Arrow. “Honor Thy Fathers” is mostly here to continue bringing five seasons of this show together in some meaningful manner. Arrow started with Oliver trying to complete his father’s list of people who failed Star(ling) City. Now, as the flashbacks draw closer to the very moment Oliver is rescued, a decade of Oliver Queen’s life since his father’s death is coming to an end.

After a long awaited return, Thea is back this week, and with her she brings unfortunate news by way of old security camera footage that shows Robert Queen accidentally killing Adrian Chase’s father. Oliver, Thea, and Star City as a whole are wondering what to make of the allegations against the deceased Queen patriarch. That and an arc for the Queen siblings to figure out where their souls reside.

Felicity can help with Oliver’s, repeating some key words she said in last week’s episode that apparently work now. Oliver putting the Green Arrow suit back on afterward should be a bigger moment than it is. But after this season’s spectacular “Kapiushon,” the show has failed to make Oliver’s truly fascinating arc resonate emotionally, this episode being no exception.

Instead, we get a rather bland affair, with Oliver catching Chase, though obviously not for long, and most of the other characters getting these temporary happy endings before the final two episodes (aside from Rene, who’s custody subplot couldn’t drum up fewer emotions). “Honor Thy Fathers” is mostly a cop out of an episode, but there is one moment pivotal to Oliver’s knowledge of himself. In comparing himself to Chase, he brings up how his adversary’s father likely didn’t support him, while Robert Queen, though by no means a saint, would have always supported his son. This difference is enough to quietly subdue Prometheus until his inevitable breakout. But with two episodes left, this season just hasn’t gained enough momentum for their to be anything to be excited about. We know some big ideas are on the way, but Arrow has taken virtually zero steps to move toward them so far.

Instead, we got an episode that quiets the tension this late in the season rather than building it. That only leaves extra work for next week’s episode. With what we know is coming from recent headlines, we’re in for a wild ride the next two weeks. Grade: C+

By Matt Dougherty

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