Recap: Arrow S 1 E 2 Honor Thy Father

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When Oliver goes to court to repeal the death in absentia declaration filed on his behalf, he runs into Laurel, who is trying a case against a crooked shipping magnate with ties to the Chinese Triad criminal society. Laurel argues that, while attempting to hide his involvement in drug trade, Martin Somers ordered the father of her client killed.

Somers’ name also appears in Robert Queen’s book and Oliver goes after him in his vigilante persona. Spooked, Somers calls on the triad for help in the form of drug trafficker China White. After Thea tells her brother he needs to open up to someone, Oliver visits with Laurel. They are attacked by White and crew, but Diggle and Oliver manage to fend them off. Quentin Lance, not wanting to lose another daughter, warns Oliver to stay away from Laurel.

As the Arrow, Oliver confronts Somers to get his confession about the murdered man. He fights with China White again before Lance and the police arrive. Cornered by Lance, Oliver escapes by giving up a recording of Somers admitting his crime.

Meanwhile, as Walter and Moira attempt to bring Oliver back into the business fold, Oliver makes the decision that he can’t do what he wants to accomplish by giving in to what everyone else wants him to be. Flashbacks to the island reveal Oliver burying his father’s body and discovering a book with the drawing of a strange symbol in it. As Oliver says goodbye to his father, he’s shot in the shoulder by an arrow. In pain, Oliver turns to see a man in the distance in a green hood…

Tropes applying to this Episode:

  • Artifact Title: The titular father refers to the long-departed Robert Queen.
  • Back from the Dead: The episode opens with Oliver being legally resurrected.
  • Bait and Switch: Ollie shows up at Laurel's apartment with a bag, and when she asks him what's in it, he tells her, "Every day I was on the island, there was something I thought about doing, and I told myself that if I ever got to do it again, I would do it with you." It seems like he's talking about sex, and the bag contains condoms. However, he then says, "Eat ice cream," and it's revealed that the bag has mint ice cream in it.
  • Black Widow: It's revealed that Moira had a hand on the yacht being sabotaged.
  • Celebrity Paradox: The Walking Dead will later be acknowledged to exist in this universe. Laurel's client in this episode is played by Emma Bell, who was a cast member of that show's inaugural season (aired two years before this show's series premiere) and was the very first major casualty of that show.
  • Character Development: Thea begins showing hints of not being an It's All About Me Spoiled Brat, telling Oliver that things were shitty for five years with him dead, and his return doesn't magically fix that, and he has to meet them halfway.
  • Event Title: The title refers to Oliver's road on being The Atoner for his father's dying wish.
  • Exact Words: Oliver mentions during his legal hearing that he was the Sole Survivor in the yacht incident and that his father didn't make it. He didn't say how he died.
  • Incest Subtext: Thea looking at Oliver's scars can be wrongly misinterpreted by the audience...
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Oliver's presentation may have left something to be desired, but he doesn't have experience running a Fortune 500 company.
  • Parental Abandonment: Laurel's client's Missing Mom died when she was a baby, implying Death by Childbirth. Her Disappeared Dad was killed via Slashed Throat because He Knows Too Much about the organization he's working for and about to turn over.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Oliver finally makes it clear that he's not OK with his mom remarrying his late dad's CFO.
  • Rich Idiot with No Day Job: Oliver, unlike the pilot, begins playing this role to the hilt so people won't expect him to shoulder responsibility.
  • Second Episode Introduction: The episode introduced major recurring villain China White, as well as Oliver's first mentor Yao Fei.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: Oliver saves Diggle from China White by throwing a kitchen knife at her.
  • Tuckerization: Following the trend of naming characters after creators associated with the comics, Victor and Emily Nocenti are named after comic writer Ann Nocenti.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: Flashback!Oliver after getting near the decomposing body of is dead father.
  • Wham Line: "He has no idea the yacht was sabotaged".
  • Wham Shot: Oliver literally being shot by an arrow in the flashback.
  • You Killed My Father: Laurel's client's cry for justice.