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Arrow 6x02 “ Tribute” Review: Case of Been There, Done That

We are two episodes in and we’ve reached our first filler episode. This one was a tad bleh. I wasn’t very whelmed, so to speak. There were some positive parts but they all seemed to be connected to things that I’m not crazy about. Such is Arrow anymore; have to take the bad with the good. For me, this episode was meh because I feel like we have been here before.  

Oliver

He was being a wiseass to the press at the start of the episode. I must say that all the screeners who flipped out over the Bruce Wayne mention really need to get lives. That is not singularly the most shocking, show-changing and whatever hyperbolic bull they espoused over the name drop. I think the most show-changing event in the history of Arrow was bringing on Felicity Smoak. She changed absolutely everything. But that’s just me.

Originally posted by yourreactiongifs

He’s in a game of cat and mouse with the new character, Agent Watson. (I think the first name was Samanda? But I might be wrong.)  She’s not buying his deflections one bit and is determined to prove he is a vigilante. He’s also in a cat and mouse game with Anatoly—who knows Oliver’s weaknesses and exploits them.

But mostly Oliver’s storyline this episode was wrapped up in William. 

I will be honest that the kid had a couple of improved—not great—scenes in this episode. They also were a bit better in how they wrote him; he wasn’t a sniveling 5 yr old. He was acting like a middle schooler. I still think he’s supposed to be about 10; not 12. But that’s my obsession with timeline accuracy. I’m a stickler for it in my own work so it bugs me when others don’t do the same. :D 

Anyway. 

Oliver + William 

This is still not my favorite storyline. And what’s the point in having a show about Oliver Queen being the Green Arrow if he isn’t the Green Arrow? I’ll forever dislike William simply because I don’t like the storyline that introduced him. It was sloppy and unnecessary and I’m resentful. It spun a lot of things out of control and was one contributing factor into why season 5 was so damn awful. 

But this is where part of my frustration comes in with this episode and storyline choice: This is just the same story we’ve already been through but now it’s under the guise of Oliver being a dad. Oliver can’t be Green Arrow because of X.

In William’s scene where he says, “That’s not up to you,” he was right. And as much as I wish he’d go away, the kid was understandably afraid of being orphaned. Though, I doubt he’d really be alone. I’m not even talking about Oliver’s found family taking in William. Everyone seems to have magically forgotten Samantha’s parents from last week. In all likelihood he’s probably much closer to his grandparents than he is to Oliver right now. He and Oliver have begun tentative steps to building a relationship between them—something I suspect William is hesitant about because he’s afraid to let Oliver in just to lose him. William did just tragically lose his mother. 

The only redeeming part of this repetitive storyline is that it’s hard to blame it on Oliver’s own stubborn stupidity. He’s not choosing the mask over being in a relationship; he’s not questioning his ability to lead in the light and the dark. Oliver clearly was trying to balance life as a mayor, father and vigilante. He’s not the one who couldn’t handle it, but William. 

I can’t even be mad at Oliver for choosing his kid over being a vigilante. That’s not even close to the worse decision he’s ever made. And it’s selfless; an act of true parenthood from him because being the Green Arrow means something to Oliver. It’s an act of redemption for his sins. It’s a point of purpose. But he’s sacrificing that for the benefit of his son. Again, not an ignoble idea.

Except that we all know that he is going to be the Green Arrow again and that’s why it feels tired. The difference is that he’ll likely hood up again with William’s encouragement. But the summary of this story is that once again Oliver believes he has to choose between being the Green Arrow and being Oliver Queen. 

Why does this sound so familiar…? 

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There are persecuted people all around the world who would love the opportunity to come here, but they can’t. Because the rules are different for different people. So some of them break the law and they do what they have to do to fight for better lives for themselves and their families.
And you know what? I get it.