Friday, October 19, 2012


Arrow, the new CW take on Green Arrow, is unlikely to become one of
my favorite shows.  However, it does interest me, which is why I’m
devoting today’s blog to it once again.


“Honor Thy Father,” the second episode, aired this past Wednesday
night.  Not unlike many super-hero comic books, it opened with an
action scene unrelated to this week’s main story.  Scenes like this
are meant to get an issue of a comic book or an episode of a series
off to a fast start while giving the reader/viewer a look at what
the hero can do.  It was accompanied by a brief to the point recap
of what this hero and series is about.  High marks to both.

When I wrote about the Arrow pilot yesterday, I didn’t give credit
to the writers.  In alphabetical order, we have Greg Berlanti, Marc
Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg.  All have written for comic books
as well and, not surprisingly, the series has a similar feel to the
comics of today.  Which is a mixed blessing.

From the action opening, we go to family stuff.  A court hearing is
held to officially welcome Oliver Queen back from the dead and to
confirm his father’s death.  Friend Tommy comes along for the ride.
Sister Thea declines to join them, having sat through several other
legal proceedings during Ollie’s bad boy days. 

After the proceedings, Ollie runs into Laurel Lance in front of the
courthouse.  Laurel is representing Emily Nocenti, the daughter of
a dock worker who was murdered to keep him from testifying against
his boss.  I’m guessing Emily’s name is a nod to comics writer and
editor Ann Nocenti. 

Martin Somers is the boss, an evil and powerful man who allows the
Chinese Triads to move their drugs through the Starling City ports.
Somers is listed in Ollie’s book of bad guys, which Ollie was given
by his father shortly before his father’s death.

I’m resigned to the probability that Ollie’s targets will have some
connection to Laurel’s cases.  It’s an absurd coincidence, but one
I accept easier from television than I do from comics.  I’m kind of
a snob that way.

Ollie ditches his bodyguard Diggle for the third time in just two
episodes and heads to his secret HQ for a quick training montage.
It’s a short scene, but I still don’t believe we need to see it in
every episode.  The opening action already established what Ollie
can do.

In a virtual repeat of a scene in the pilot, Green Arrow takes out
Somers’ henchmen and then tries to scare Somers into confessing his
crimes.  For a second week in a row, it doesn’t work. But it does
get a couple of cops killed. More on that in a bit.

The repetition this soon into the series concerns me.  Who wants to
see the same basic story every week?  So we pause from the action
recap to talk about some of the things I did like.

The human drama elements are mostly good.  Ollie is struggling to
be the man he needs to be and the man his family wants him to be.
His interactions with his troubled kid sister are moving as is his
growing trust in Diggle. 

His relationship with Laurel is complicated and difficult.  Having
her groan-inducing police detective father in the mix makes it more
so.  The Lance family has suffered enough, so I think I’d like to
see Daddy Lance become an ally of Green Arrow.  I’d rather see him
struggle with his Oliver Queen trust issues than chew scenery every
time he’s in a scene with him.

Oliver’s mom is definitely a treacherous lady, though she seems to
want to protect her son.  I’m still not sure about husband Walter,
but I’m hoping he turns out to be a good guy.  That said, the very
public “drama queen” moment with Ollie rejecting an executive role
in the family business was ridiculously over the top.

No scenes with housekeeper Raisa this time around.  I hope she’ll
be back next week.

Let’s talk flashbacks to Ollie on the island.  I’ve changed my mind
about them with the revelation Ollie wasn’t alone there.  As long
as this back story isn’t drawn out for more than the first season,
I’m intrigued. 

Back to the action...

Ollie visits Laurel, who is under police protection.  Both of them
want to be friends and Ollie desperately needs someone he can talk
to.  I’m still voting for Diggle.

Assassins from the Triad break into Laurel’s apartment and try to
kill her. Ollie holds them off long enough for Diggle to join the
fray and shoot most of them.  Then Ollie saves Diggle from certain
death at the hands of head assassin China White with an impossible
kitchen knife throw.  This is where Diggle starts to realize Ollie
may be more than he appears.

China White is embarrassingly played by Kelly Hu.  Dumb name, dumb
wig, dumb dialogue, awful waste of a decent actress.  Watching her
made my eyes bleed, my ears throb and my brain hurt.  First Asian
in the series and this is what we get?

Somers figures the Triad will want to clean up all loose ends and
that includes him.  He’s preparing his escape when Arrow shows up
and takes down his men.  Our hero puts the fear of fatal arrow-wood
into Somers and Somers confesses.

China shows up for another pointless fight.  Then Daddy Lance shows
up to get all “stop or I’ll shoot” with Arrow.  Our hero uses some
sort of trick arrow to create a distraction and escape.  When Daddy
Lance looks at the arrow, he sees a tape recorder attached to it.
Somers’ confession is on the recorder.

Is the confession admissible in court? Bob Ingersoll could tell me
for sure, but I’m guessing it could be since Daddy Lance didn’t do
anything illegal to obtain it.  On the other hand, it was clearly
a coerced confession.  Since I like happy endings, let us assume it
was either admissible or, fearing the Triad, Somers gave it up when
questioned by the police.

By the way, more trick arrows. Please.  I’d like to see non-fatal
arrows.  Shock arrows.  Knockout arrows.  Net arrows.  Arrows that
threaten criminals with being forced to watch Honey Boo-Boo.  Stuff
like that there.

Boxing glove arrows? I wish.

Some good stuff in this episode, but, if Arrow is going to keep my
interest, the series will need a new plot.  Repeating this one for
a third time would not be charming.

I’ll be back on Monday with more stuff.

© 2012 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. Back when I was practicing law, the courts were divided on whether Mr. Somers's confession would be admissible in court. Some courts held that because the confession was not obtained by any state action but was given to them by an outside source, the so-called "Silver Platter" Doctrine applied. That made the confession admissible.

    Other courts have held that the 5th Amendment was written to counter the once wide-spread use of torture to extract confessions. These courts noted that confessions induced by torture were generally unreliable, because the interogees would say anything and confess to anything to end the torture. They would say what the Grand Inquisitor wanted to hear, irrespective of whether it was true. So these courts held that any forced confession -- whether it be forced by the state or by a private citizen -- was inadmissible.

    In the years since the Warren Court and the MIRANDA/EPSOSITO cases ruled that coerced confessions had to be suppressed, courts have become more reluctant to suppress evidence. So the trend has been toward allowing confessions that were not induced by any state action to be admissible.

    As we want happy endings, we'll assume Starling City is in a jurisdiction that would allow Somers's coerced confession, because there was no state action.

    I also assume that Ms. Nocenti's name was a nod to Ann Nocenti; especially as she is the current writer of GREEN ARROW in the New 52.