Ever since Smallville went off the air, I haven’t turned on the CW at all. I’ve watched Supernatural, but that’s all been off of Netflix and up until this summer I was pretty certain I wouldn’t watch CW again. For the most part I’m just not a fan of their shows. Well, with the new show Arrow, that has all changed.
It was actually because of Smallville that I tuned into Arrow in the first place. Way back in season 8 they introduced Justin Hartley as the Green Arrow with this (you’ll have to click on it because there was no embedding, sorry). Now, I’m a DC girl and have been a Green Arrow fan for quite some time and I remember thinking when I saw that episode, “hmmmm, I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone play the Green Arrow before.” For good reason, you see, Justin Hartley was actually the first ever live action Green Arrow and Stephen Amell is now the second. Not a bad little brotherhood to be in.
Actually brotherhood might be stretching it a little, they are more like cousins. Very close cousins, sure, but cousins all the same.
The pilot (I’m going to say pilot here but it’s more likely that because I’m going to quickly discuss both episodes, they are just going to go back and forth) starts off with a hooded man, who could either be homeless or a castaway. We learn quickly that he is of the castaway variety and he’s been lost on this island for five years. That lines up all right with Green Arrow canon but then Oliver Queen heads home to Star City, I’m sorry, to Starling City and meets up with his mom (what?), Moira Queen (played by the incredible Susanna Thompson, (Queen Rose it is so nice to have you back on my TV) and his sister (double what??), Thea (Willa Holland). Oh, and his best friend is Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell). Yes, I said his best friend. Surely they will have Tommy become Merlyn before too long, right?
As if all that wasn’t enough, Oliver has an ex-fiance named Laurel (CW go-to-girl Katie Cassidy) who Oliver was cheating on with her sister (Dinah, I mean Laurel, has a sister?) who accompanied Oliver and his father Robert (Jamey Sheridan) on the yacht trip that ended up being the last trip she and Robert ever took and the one that landed Oliver on the island.
Oh and biggest “did you just see that?” moment for me was right here:
Was Deathstroke on the island? What happened to him? Surely Arrow didn’t kill him? Right? Especially since pictures have been released of him from a future episode, but were they flashbacks? So many questions that I would like answers to!
So yes, there is a lot involved right off the bat that doesn’t stick to the traditional Green Arrow story but luckily Arrow still works. After we’ve met everyone, including Oliver’s new bodyguard John Diggle (David Ramsey) and the lawman, Detective Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne, a man I would watch do anything) the pilot goes into setting up Oliver as Arrow. While catching up with his old friend Tommy, they are both attacked and drugged by masked men. They then interrogate Oliver over what his father told him. Thing is, Daddy dearest sort of offed himself in the life raft before he could tell his boy anything beyond “I failed our city and I was not the only one.”
And there, friends and neighbors, is Arrow’s motivation. He is going to return to Starling City with a book his father had in his pants (that Oliver fished out after his father had been dead for an amount of time that seems to be between rigor mortis ending and decomp fully setting in, which is nasty) and now has a list of those people who Oliver’s father feels was part of the ruining of his hometown.
He sets himself up a pretty nice “Arrow Cave” in an abandoned factory his father used to own. I’m not going to lie, there are some definite upsides to this show and they don’t have a lot to do with the plot.
Laurel is a lawyer who works at the nicest legal aid office in the entire universe. With the prettiest people. In the pilot she is suing Adam Hunt, coincidentally, a man listed on Oliver’s list. Arrow goes into what I like to call “Christopher Nolan’s image of Batman” mode and voila, all of Laurel’s clients have a shit ton of money thanks to one of Arrow’s “trick” arrows, this one apparently can do something with computers. In the second episode we got to see China White, the first of what appears to be many planned DC villains scheduled (last I saw so far they have Deathstroke, Deadshot, The Huntress [more of a hero], and the Royal Flush Gang) to appear on the show.
We did find out why they chose to have Oliver’s mom be alive, as she apparently is either a baddie herself or is closely related to the mystery baddie. Oooohhhhh, intrigue!
The first two episodes were great, but left a lot of questions unanswered. Biggest one; where’s Roy Harper? In the pilot, Oliver calls his sister Speedy very quickly in passing. Surely they aren’t ditching Roy Harper and having Thea be Speedy, right? On one hand I’m sort of okay with it, I like watching sibling relationships but at the same time, I like Roy Harper and would like to see him on the show.
And how does John Diggle factor into all of this? He already suspects that Oliver isn’t the asshole party boy that he’s pretending to be. So how long until Oliver lets him in on the act? Speaking of, why is Laurel pretending to be this damsel in distress? Hello woman, you are supposed to be the Black Canary, so get your shit together and find some black spandex pronto.
Another question. How on earth did Oliver become this martial arts master who can shoot a bow and arrow with the best of them all whilst being stranded alone on a supposedly deserted island? Oh, and where did he learn to speak Russian and Mandarin? Was there a copy of the Rosetta Stone left there by a previous castaway?
That question might have been answered at the end of the second episode with the appearance of a man in a green hood, who has incredible aim with a bow and arrow. Is this who taught Oliver the skills he would later use to clean up Starling City? Time (and perhaps the next few episodes) will only tell.
One last one, then I’ll move on. Ummm… what exactly is this substance Oliver is smearing on his face in lieu of a mask? It obviously isn’t something that permanent as he was able to remove it rather quickly to get back to the party. Inquiring minds want to know.
If I was forced to pick one thing that annoyed me about the show so far, it would be it’s at times blatant rip off of Batman Begins. I get that they are trying to go for that darker feel to the show but swinging the bad guy from the rafters? Having Laurel be an almost carbon copy of Rachel Dawes? I really hope they put an end to that and find their own voice. Otherwise all you’ll hear about is people comparing it to the movie, which would be disappointing.
So there’s the first two episodes in a nutshell. Join me in tuning into the CW on Wednesday nights at 8 eastern and then we’ll meet up back here and discuss.
Let’s just say, we better be discussing this guy turning bad here pretty soon or I’m going to be miffed.