“If I was running around the city during the day and managing it as mayor, while running around at night frightening criminals as a vigilante, that really would make me a superhero.”

Considering the end of last week’s episode saw the reveal of Oliver (Stephen Amell) as the Green Arrow, Tribute could quite easily just have had the subtitle: Daddy Issues, as alongside the work on putting the Green Arrow cat back in the proverbial bag, we see Oliver struggle with the third of his identities – William’s father.

Naturally, you would think that after the news broadcasted a photograph that clearly showed Oliver as the Green Arrow, that would be the end of it – his secret identity would be out the window, there would be no coming back from here. However, this is Arrow, and they’ve dodged the reveal once, of course they were going to do it again. Though this time, Oliver won’t just have to convince Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) – he’ll have to convince the FBI. Who definitely aren’t as blind as every other law enforcement agency on this show, and won’t take ‘fake picture’ as an answer.


Of course, Oliver quickly puts Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Curtis (Echo Kellum) to work on finding the source of the photo leak, using their inexplicable tech wizardry. And between all the rapid-fire jargon, is a slightly boring discussion on the duo’s unemployment, which can be summed up by saying – Felicity and Curtis didn’t have jobs, so they are going into business together to do freelance programming, or code writing, or something that has little to no importance to the plot. Let’s not discuss this part any more.

Returning to the daddy issues, the reveal of Oliver’s identity – however much they try to convince the press that it isn’t true – is taking its toll on William. After being beaten up at school (Would that happen if kids found out his dad was a superhero?) Oliver makes a move that isn’t great parenting, as he explains to his son how to beat up the bullies. But, this isn’t the biggest of William’s concerns. Having recently lost his mother, the knowledge of his father putting himself in danger every day is weighing heavy on the young boy’s mind, and there’s little Oliver can do to assuage his son’s worries, short of giving up the mask. Battling with this choice for the whole episode, the final scenes see our hero make a difficult (if not slightly confusing) decision about his future as a vigilante.

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Tribute also sees John (David Ramsey) still struggling after the explosion. When teammate Dinah (Juliana Harkavy) questions why he cannot shoot, John reveals what really happened to him during the events on Lian Yu, and both the mental and physical scarring it has left him with. Taking shrapnel in the blast, has left John with a tremor caused by degenerative nerve damage – and while Dinah pressures him tell the others on the team about his condition, John assures her that he’s dealing with it. Yet he is completely unable to fire a shot, and with Oliver looking to put more responsibility on his shoulders, it seems John must tell his friend exactly what is going on before someone gets hurt.

This week brings back arguably the best Arrow character – Anatoly (David Nykl). However, the Bratva leader is not the man he was when we saw him last. Kidnapping Markovian businessmen meeting with Oliver, Anatoly pressures the mayor for $20 million – coincidentally, the same amount of money that Star City has been granted to refurbish the fallen SCPD building after Black Siren’s attack last week. And, when the Green Arrow confronts his former Russian mentor, Anatoly reveals that he has been exiled due to his friendship with Oliver, and over fears from the Bratva that their leader is “weak”. Kudos goes again to the team behind the fight choreography, as this episode continues the trend of amazing sequences, that this week sees Team Arrow coming up against Anatoly’s Bratva members.

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Tribute returns to a familiar dynamic, as Rene (Rick Gonzalez) and Quentin are put together again, dishing out the quips, and calling Oliver on his stupidity. The highlight of this episode being the duo sitting in front of the FBI agent as they buy Oliver time by bantering back and forth. Of course, this won’t be the highlight for many, as early in the episode sees Oliver do Arrow’s biggest namedrop to date, as he casually drops Bruce Wayne into conversation. And while this is an exciting development, we mustn’t get too excited, as this doesn’t mean we’ll be seeing Batman anytime soon – if at all – it’s simply confirming that these heroes exist in the same universe. It’s unlikely that anything will come of it.


Tribute didn’t exactly live up to the non-stop action of last week’s premiere, but it did do amazing things for Oliver’s character, as for the first time in a while we see him decide which of his identities is the most important – and whether wearing the hood means more to him than being there for his son.

Rating: 7 out of 10.

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