Arrow: 6.02 Tribute
I don't have much to say about this week's episode of Arrow, which probably speaks for itself. While the season six opener was frustrating in its attempt to resolve the Lian Yu cliff-hanger, it was also action packed and full of drama. Tribute in comparison, wasn't a bad episode, it just wasn't particularly exciting either.
In fact, the best moment of the episode was the overt reference to Batman, as Oliver Queen fended off reporters by asking where Bruce Wayne was and whether he was still in Gotham City. Yes, Legends of Tomorrow made reference to the fall of the man of Steel and Dark Knight in the future, but this is the first indication that Bruce Wayne at least exists. The fact that Arrow has used Batman villains like Ra's Al Ghul, suggests that perhaps in this Earth Bruce Wayne hasn't taken up the mantle of the caped crusader yet.
Unfortunately there wasn't enough energy to maintain the media reveal that Oliver Queen was the Green Arrow. It's a storyline that has been done before (several characters even made reference to it!) and there was no fresh take here. The only interesting reveal (besides Bruce Wayne) was the discovery that the returning Bratva head Anatoly wasn't behind this mess, though the suggestion that Adrian Chase set this up before he died could still stand I guess.
Even the story with the Bratva felt like a bit of a rehash of season five, with old pals Oliver and Anatoly now at heads and the Russian mob causing havoc in Star City. But hey, the action sequences were still top notch and the new Black Canary continues to impress. Plus there was the wonderful line where Curtis asked Felicity the question of what Diggle did for a day job (he's...married to the head of ARGUS?) which was something we had all probably wandered at some point. I'm pretty certain he isn't Oliver's bodyguard / chauffeur anymore...
The resolution to the scandal (Felicity making it appear as a doctored image) was rather flat though the whole storyline was to be fair. I'm glad new antagonist, FBI special agent Samanda Watson, wasn't so easily swayed and I am intrigued to see how much of a thorn in Oliver's side she is moving forward. Plus Felicity and Curtis look set to start a new tech empire, which could be fun and is a much better use of their skills too. As for Oliver giving up the mantle of Green Arrow to Diggle...how long will that last?
At this stage in the show - and after a much improved fifth season - there was nothing bad about the performances this week. There is a confidence to the characters and the on-going narrative that kept the episode engaging. But where Tribute fell down was in failing to offer anything new. At this stage (and I appreciate this is only the second episode) there isn't any clear path yet for season six...