This article contains spoilers for the Arrow Season 6 episode Tribute.
The latest episode of Arrow picks up the morning after the season premiere, as Oliver Queen arrives at City Hall and addresses the media about the photo of him dressed as the Green Arrow. He denies it, name drops Bruce Wayne, and then denies that he’s Green Arrow again.
He then finds FBI Agent Samanda Watson in his office, there to tell him that she will be investigating him. They day is off to a good start. And then he goes to talk about opening a new facility with the Markovians that will create 8,000 new jobs, only to have the Markovians kindapped by Anatoly Knyazev and his men. And William got into a fight at school because kids were picking on him about his new dad being the Green Arrow. Oliver’s answer is to tell William how to fight.
They locate the missing Markovians and Team Arrow goes in to get them. They get all but one back, and John Diggle, AKA Spartan, has another moment where he can’t shoot. We learn that he took some shrapnel in the explosions and has degenerative nerve damage. Curtis Holt and Felicity Smoak do their high-tech voodoo to find Anatoly and the evidence to clear Oliver while he is missing his interview with the FBI.
They go back into the field with Wild Dog this time. Green Arrow finds Anatoly, who had asked for exactly the amount of money the city had for the police station rebuild, but was disappointed that Oliver did no pay and he shoots the hostage. Oliver tells Anatoly that he used to have honor, and we learn that Anatoly has been exiled from the Bratva because of Oliver and is trying to prove himself. He then says that he is still a good man because he didn’t go after William.
Oliver then goes to the FBI, where he says he is willing to open his life up, but his son is off limits. We then learn that the photo of Oliver was a digital fake, clearing his name — except Agent Watson has no intentions of dropping the investigation. Oliver figures out that William is afraid Oliver will be killed as the Green Arrow. And just as Diggle is about to tell Oliver that he can no longer be counted on in the field, Oliver asks him to take over as being the Green Arrow.
A joke the writers missed out on making: Curtis digitally enhancing the Oliver photo with the head of Ben Affleck and saying, “I put this actor’s head on the body just to show how easy it can be done.”
I’m surprised how much I am liking the Oliver and William stuff. I figured it would be sappy or rushed, but they are taking time with it and making it feel genuine. The dynamic between the two is really good, and it really feels like Oliver is trying to do the right thing and making mistakes without it becoming sitcom-like.
I also really enjoy anytime Rick Gonzalez is on the screen. He brings such a different voice to the series that it’s refreshing. I thought Anatoly’s angle on coming in and asking for the amount they had and pointing out that he didn’t go after William shows he’s a very different villain than Oliver is used to.
My only problem with the episode was the very end, when Oliver is talking about the city needing Green Arrow but his son needing him more. And then asking Diggle, who is also a father, to take over. Now, in retrospect, I get that Diggle isn’t a single parent and he’s out doing the vigilante thing already, so what Oliver is asking him to do is to just change outfits so the symbol the GA can live on. But at the time, it came across as very odd. Plus, it’s one of those things that the audience knows won’t last long.
Next week, Diggle dons the hood and leads the team. But the trailer below is already giving off the vibe that it’s not going well. A physically compromised Diggle changing his fighting style and trying to lead one at least one of the team members knows he shouldn’t be out there? That’s a recipe for disaster. I do like him using a crossbow, though.
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