Title: Arrow: “Tribute” Review
Release Date: October 19th, 2017
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
The season premiere to the sixth season of Arrow got off to a rocky start, undoing a lot of the work done in the Adrian Chase arc without much reasoning. “Tribute” doesn’t do a much better job, regressing into past storylines, tedious fight scenes, and uninteresting character issues.
The ending of last episode saw Oliver accused of being the cities superhero for what feels like the thousands time, leaving fans to “wonder” what he will do to resolve the situation. The answer? Not much we haven’t seen before. Oliver denies the claim and unsurprisingly a new character is introduced that doesn’t trust him, no matter what proof he has. It’s the same song and dance we’ve seen before and will resolve similarly to how it has before, with a few minor tweaks and names.
On top of that, there is more time devoted to a character being mad at Oliver for being secretive and lying, William. I genuinely can’t stand to see William on the screen. It not simply because he is a child actor thats shown very little charisma and depth so far. Instead, it’s because every time he gets a scene it revolves around drama, there is little to no positive association I can attribute to his character. Yes, his mother was killed and it’s obviously traumatic at that age, but he keeps getting written into a corner.
There is no way in hell kids would bully him because his dad was revealed as the Green Arrow, kids love superheroes and vigilantes. I have been trained to groan whenever he comes on screen, it’s Pavlovian. Show some more happy scenes like them going to a baseball game or something to build his character. Otherwise he’s a means to an end, a plot device, he is meaningless. The only small doses of positivity from there interactions is when Oliver tells him to Ender Wiggin his bullies and another scene, held to the end like last week, were Oliver seemingly reconciles things…until there is more odd drama next episode.
Anatoly’s return was probably the highlight of the entire episode, but it’s a shame that his character is painted as a typical Russian mobster currently, instead of the charismatic friend of Oliver Queen in the last few seasons. But at least his characters actions and attitude make sense, which is more than can be said for the majority of side plots occurring currently.
Diggle’s nerve damage plot is a slap in the face not only to his character, but demonstrates just how they have written themselves into a corner with the technological nonsense they pull in this show. Felicity was literally wheelchair bound, paralyzed, and unable to walk in season four. Yet it only takes a couple of episodes for them to find a deus ex machina chip that will let her walk again, no questions asked. But Diggle can’t speak up and have them fix his hand? Sure pride is a big thing with him, but they have emphasized that he is going to get his friends killed if he doesn’t do something about it. It’s ok though, lets reserve all the tech resources to the supercomputer they have of an iPad that can analyze an obscure disease in literally a second just based on facial recognition.
I’d be able to forgive some of these if I cared about the main plot, but aside from a few vague hints, I don’t have much to look forward to. What I do, just like I stated to start the episode, has been done before, as Oliver gives up his mantle for (I think) the sixth season in a row as a means of trying to live a normal life. It’s not a surprise that he’s going to return. It’s not a surprise that Diggle is going to mess up. On top of that, isn’t it a bit obvious that the Green Arrow becomes a jacked black man (unless he changes back to full sleeves) right when Oliver is being investigated by the FBI agent.
There are very few characters I actually like in Arrow currently and a lot of it has to do with things just feeling stale and predictable. Of our heroes, only Renee has a likable character, a complete 180 from his introduction. Dinah is a great fit for Canary as well, but her plotline just revolves around almost getting killed, and subsequently getting angry at, as a result of Diggle nerves damage storyline.
Arrow has a lot of work to do if it wants to turn this sinking ship of a season around, hopefully introducing the mysterious villain sooner rather than later. So far season six isn’t fairing much better than three and four regarding its stories and characters. If Oliver really is out, it’ll be interesting. But as much as I love Stephen Amell, I don’t know if I trust him when he says Oliver is done.
Verdict: “Tribute” fails to add anything new to Arrow, rehashing storylines and drama that likely have predictable outcomes. While Anatoly and Wilddog save it from being a complete snoozefest, I have very little invested in anything currently happening in the show. Its a slow start for season six, but I hope that things will change soon.
What did you think of the most recent episode of Arrow? What scene or scenes did you like the most? What are your predictions for the rest season three as things begin to unravel? Be sure to let us know in the comments below. Also be sure to check back next week for the third episode of the season,”Next of Kin,” immediately after it airs on The CW next Thursday 9 PM ET.
- Wilddog and Anatoly
- Prospect of Oliver being done
- Regressive stories we've already seen before
- William is only given whiney scenes
- Technology contradictions
- I don't believe for one minute Oliver is done