The Green Arrow is unmasked. After last week’s bombshell, Oliver has his hands full trying to convince the city that he is merely the mayor, and not the man in green tights. In this week’s episode of Arrow, #6.02 “Tribute”, we meet old frenemies, explore new collaborations, and end with a decision that could very well change the structure of the whole show.
The episode starts with Oliver addressing last night’s news report that revealed him to be the Green Arrow. He claims that the photo was doctored with, and continues to deny any connection between himself and the vigilante.
One person Oliver did not anticipate was FBI special agent Samanda Watson, who pays him a visit at the mayor’s office. She informs him of an ongoing investigation into his involvement with the Green Arrow, and she refuses to believe his excuses.
Oliver continues his work as the mayor and he is busy with introducing the Markovian initiative, a collaboration with a Markovian company, to the press. The event is cut short when the whole group is attacked by gunmen, and while Oliver and Quentin try to get the businessmen out unharmed, they are stopped by Anatoli Knyazev.
Anatoli, who reveals that he has cut ties with the Bratva has returned to Star City for financial reasons. He kidnaps the Markovian businessmen and tells Oliver he wants $20 Million for ransom, or the men die.
In the middle of this week’s crisis, Oliver receives a call from William’s school. The boy has been the victim of violence and bullying, as a result of the current rumors about his father. While Oliver tries to reason with his son, William once again shuts down. Oliver then leaves the boy with some solid parenting advice: next time, go for the nose.
When Felicity calls with a lead on Anatoli, Oliver and his team head out. In battle, John once again experiences tremors in his arm and is unable to fire his gun. Dinah almost pays the price for his injury, but can save herself in the last second. Three of the four hostages taken by Anatoly can be freed, but the CEO is still missing.
Oliver rushes home to his son, who is still upset about the day’s events. William tells Oliver that he is being careless. He is afraid he will be all alone if something happens to his father while out as the vigilante. Oliver promises that he will always come back to his son, although it’s an impossible promise to keep.
Anatoli contacts Oliver and asks for the money. He has injected the final hostage with a neurological poison that will kill the man within three hours. Curtis is able to determine which toxin Anatoly used, and the team receives the antidote from Starling General Hospital.
At the hospital, Dinah confronts John about his injury. He tells her the truth about what happened at Lian Yu: he was hit by shrapnel during the explosions, and it caused degenerative nerve damage. He wants to push through and refuses to tell Oliver about it.
Once the team finds Anatoli, they inject the hostage with the antidote, but Anatoli goes one step further and shoots the man. He claims to be an honourable man, because he could easily have gone after Oliver’s son. Eventually, Oliver lets him go.
After learning that Agent Watson plans on interrogating William, Oliver heads to the precinct and tells her he will not let his son get involved. At the same time, Felicity and Curtis have found proof that the picture meant to expose Oliver has really been edited. Oliver is once again exonerated. Nonetheless, Agent Watson will keep her eyes on him.
While Felicity and Curtis celebrate their victory, they also talk about their current job prospects. Curtis may have done some freelance programming work, but Felicity convinces him to partner with her on a new business venture. Is this the beginning of Smoak Technologies?
Their collaboration is not the only new beginning for the team. Oliver approaches John about taking over as the Green Arrow, permanently. He says that his son is his priority. William was right, he can’t be the vigilante and risk his life every night. John agrees, but the secret he is keeping is sure to get him into trouble.
It would have been the year’s biggest surprise if Arrow would have actually followed through with the big reveal of Oliver being the Green Arrow. It would have changed the show in ways that the creative powers that be do not seem to be ready for quite yet. It is the secret part of secret identity that makes being a superhero so fun. It’s only fair that Oliver gets to keep his a little bit longer.
He seems to be passing along the mantle to John. Whether he is serious about John taking over for him completely, or merely on a temporary base, it is a big change that the team is bound to face. The Green Arrow was the driving force behind Team Arrow, and it was always Oliver. In how far will that change now that John is under that hood? Will he take control over the team? And how long can John keep up the charade and hide his injury from Oliver? We bet it won’t even last one episode.
“Tribute” has introduced a new thorn in the side for Oliver. Agent Watson is determined to learn everything there is to learn about him. We have no doubt that she is willing to go above and beyond to do so. The woman is not playing around. It will be exciting to see what she comes up with to throw Oliver off.
The episode also focused a bit more on Oliver and his relationship with William. It focused on the one aspect that makes it difficult for William to truly trust his father – what if he loses him, too? Bringing Oliver’s son into the mix was a risky venture for Arrow, especially considering how the new family situation will affect Oliver, and possibly the action of the show, but so far it has been nothing but profitable.
The dynamic between Oliver and his son is tentative, but has oh so much potential to grow beautifully. Instead of taking away from Oliver’s character it truly adds to it. Oliver himself has had to learn to live without both his father, and eventually his mother, and it is satisfying to see him pass the wisdom he has gained to his son. We truly hope they will continue to connect, and learn from each other.
Bonus: How badass is that new title card?
Oliver: Every time that I’m out there as the Green Arrow I’m a target, of the FBI, the Bratva, of the threats that are out there and the threats that are undoubtedly coming. And on my own, I can take it. I’m not on my own anymore. I cannot be responsible for my son losing the only parent he has left. Star City needs the Green Arrow. It just can’t be me.
Catch Arrow Thursdays at 9/8ct on The CW.
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