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‘Arrow’ Recap: 5×21 “Honor Thy Fathers”

Arrow recap: Season 5, Episode 21, “Honor Thy Fathers”, Aired May 10, 2017.

You know it’s going to be an intense Arrow episode when there’s a dead body before we even see the title screen. Let’s get into it!

The Present

A crate is delivered to Oliver’s mayoral office and inside is a body. Dinah reveals that the body belongs to Henry Goodwin, who died fifteen years previous. He has no known connection to Adrian Chase. Down in the bunker, it’s Team Arrow business as usual – the team is searching for Derek Sampson, who recently got out of prison. Oliver asks Felicity how her search for William is going. She has not been able to locate him, which makes Oliver feel more confident that Chase has not been able to, either.

Dinah discovers that someone’s DNA is present under the fingernails of the dead body, and she shows Lance. The audience is left to speculate on who it could be while we cut to Oliver in a board meeting.

Thea is back!! She tells Oliver that she is a “hot mess,” but there isn’t enough time for Oliver to inquire further. Dinah and Lance come in to reveal who’s DNA was found on the body – it was Robert Queen’s, Oliver and Thea’s father.

Oliver determines that his father is being framed, and asks Dinah and Lance to look into it while he holds a press conference. Thea isn’t so sure, she suspects Robert may have been guilty and warns Oliver to consider that option before acting. Oliver is confident that their father is innocent.

As Lance searches for an alibi for Robert Queen, Rene reveals to him that he has gotten a court date to try to get Zoe back. He is hoping that Lance will attend for moral support, and he says it’d be an honor.

“Good for you, hoss.” -Quentin Lance

Down in the bunker, Felicity tells Diggle that she found copper in the concrete surrounding the body. Felicity uses this information to determine where Goodwin was killed. Diggle leaves to meet Oliver at the location. The address leads to an abandoned building previously owned by Queen Consolidated, and named after Oliver. When they enter the building, they encounter a trap. Oliver and Diggle fall into an underground room and immediately begin to be buried in cement. The room is quickly filling as Felicity tries to figure out a solution. She radios Curtis and Dinah, who are staking out Sampson, and they are able to get to Oliver and Diggle in time. While Team Arrow is preoccupied, Sampson and his team steal two of the three ingredients needed to weaponize tuberculosis.

Lance and Rene arrive with the news that Darren Kaufman was the last person to see Goodwin alive. He was a lawyer who worked for both Goodwin and Adrain Chase’s father, which is the connection Oliver was looking for. Kaufman gives Oliver a flash drive from Adrian Chase, saying that it will prove what type of man Robert Queen truly was. Thea pushes for more information, but Kaufman cites lawyer/client confidentiality and refuses.

Felicity calls with information on a chemical company that sells the missing ingredient that Sampson needs. As Oliver leaves to check it out, Thea takes a seat in his office and appears to be contemplating watching the flash drive, despite Oliver’s determination not to.

When Team Arrow arrives at the chemical plant, Sampson’s team is already there, and they get away after a gun fight. Thea demands Oliver return to his office to see the footage on the flash drive. It is a security tape showing Robert Queen in a physical altercation, which leads to him inadvertently pushing a man (presumably Goodwin) into a vat of concrete. This footage shocks Oliver, and he is visibly upset. Thea is less upset – she pretty much expects all of her parents to be murderers at this point.

“Once you find out Malcolm Merlyn’s your biological father, you can pretty much handle anything.” – Thea Queen

Oliver tells Thea he has to go – Felicity has just texted that they have figured out Chase’s plan. It turns out that Chase’s plan is worse than they thought. He is collecting chemicals that are far stronger than the ones his father was using to attempt to weaponize tuberculosis.

Meanwhile, Rene finds out he is expected to testify during a trial in order to get his daughter back. Because of this, he rethinks his plan to get her back – he worries his testimony will hurt his daughter. Lance convinces him that it will be worth it to give his daughter a good life with her father.

Back in the bunker, Oliver rewatches the video his father left for him telling him to save the city. He is slowly coming to terms with the fact that his father was a murderer, and he feels as though he didn’t know him at all. By making Oliver question his father, Chase is undermining what Oliver considers the basis for his entire crusade. Felicity tells him that his mission is so much more than that.

“Maybe it’s time to stop living for your father and start living for yourself.” -Felicity Smoak

This inspirational moment ends when Felicity’s computer alerts her that it has determined a location. Her speech seems to have worked, though, because when Oliver shows up to the address he is finally back in his Green Arrow hood.

Dinah and Wild Dog have located Sampson and his crew on the roof and Oliver, Curtis, and Diggle head that way but encounter Prometheus, who stops them. Oliver fights him while Curtis and Digg continue on to the roof. Both fights escalate as Sampson nearly kills Rene and Prometheus pulls out a sword. Dinah saves Rene with a powerful scream. Prometheus holds a sword to Oliver’s neck, and Oliver tells him that his father was planning to disown him because he is insane. Chase lowers to his knees and surrenders to Oliver, telling him to go ahead and kill him. Oliver refuses, but knocks him out with a punch.

Everyone (including Thea!!) gathers back at the bunker in celebration. As the team heads for a drink, Oliver gives Thea the video their father left for her. He encourages her to leave the past in the past, just as Felicity had suggested to him. Thea decides to watch the video, and tears up at her father’s request that she take care of her brother.

“The Oliver we know can get through anything, if he has the love and support of his sister.” – Robert Queen

Thea and Oliver both decide that rather than attempt to reconcile the memories of their father with his acts, they will leave the past in the past and move on – living their own lives. Oliver holds a press conference announcing that the allegations made against Robert are true and that he will not defend them. He also tells the press of Robert’s sacrifice which allowed Oliver to continue on to become the leader he is now.

Rene is late to his court meeting and the court denies his request to restore parental rights. The camera highlights the reactions from both Lance and Zoe, showing both of their disappointment.

The final shot of the episode shows Adrian Chase incarcerated, and smiling. It appears that he is exactly where he wants to be.

The Past

The flashbacks this week were fairly short and uneventful. The first features Anatoly and Oliver on a plane, headed back to the island. Anatoly watches the video from Oliver’s father while Oliver pilots the plane.

In the second flashback, Oliver and Anatoly have arrived on the island and discuss Oliver’s plan to maintain his cover of just being a simple cast-away. After finding Slade’s helmet, Oliver briefly mourns his friend that was lost to madness. He places the helmet on a stick in the sand, where we know it remains.

In our third flashback, Oliver and Anatoly stand at the graves of those Oliver has lost on the island. They discuss Oliver’s desire to become The Hood when he returns to Starling City, something Anatoly is not entirely supportive of.

The fourth flashback involves Anatoly and Oliver planning for Oliver’s rescue. Anatoly will enable Oliver Queen to be found alive, a castaway on a deserted island.

All does not go according to plan, however, because in our fifth and final flashback, Oliver is hit with a tranquilizer dart.


  • Thea is back!!
  • It seems that Oliver and Felicity’s emotional intimacy has returned in the wake of last week’s episode.
  • Prometheus is a fantastic villian.
  • The relationship between Lance and Rene is becoming one of the best parts of the show!
  • In the teaser for next week, we see that Prometheus has kidnapped some of Team Arrow. It seems likely that Rene did not voluntarily miss his custody trial.

For more on Arrow, including my weekly recaps, check out our Arrow Cave.

Featured image via


Reagan Pierce

Reagan studies English and Film Studies at Texas Tech University. She aspires to be a film and television critic or entertainment writer. She loves all things TV and film. She spends her free time obsessing and blogging about Arrow, Teen Wolf, and Supergirl. Her favorite superhero is Lois Lane.

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