So what did everyone think of last night’s pilot episode of Arrow?
With Smallville off the air for over a year now, The CW decided to pick up the DC mantle once again to give us the tales of Green Arrow (known thus far in this incarnation as just “Arrow”). For those of you who missed the premiere and are reading the reviews and recaps anyway, let me give you a brief rundown.
As in most of the comic book origin stories, Oliver Queen has spent years marooned on an island, honing the skills he needed to survive in an extremely harsh environment. He returns to his life as a billionaire playboy in Starling City. Ollie has a bit of PTSD to work through, as well as a serious case of vigilantism, courtesy of his father. It seems that Daddy was deeply involved in some high-level corruption in Starling City, and his dying wish was for Oliver to “right his wrongs.” Given that Dad kills himself so that Oliver will have the supplies necessary to reach land, I can’t really fault the guy for honoring his father’s request.
Back in Starling City, Oliver finds that much has changed: Mom has remarried, little sister (cheekily nicknamed “Speedy” after the comic book hero’s sidekick) has grown up into a Troubled Teen, and his girlfriend Laurel is now a lawyer with Legal Aid and hates him with a fiery passion. Seeing as how Laurel’s sister died in the same shipwreck, shortly after doing very unsisterly things with Oliver, the anger seems well justified.
Oliver pretty much immediately goes to work setting up his
Batcave Arrowcave, making fancy USB arrows and working out on his Ninja Warrior-style salmon ladder. Once he has a decent arsenal, he goes to work on the most currently-newsworthy of the bad guys on Dad’s list, Adam Hunt. It’s really a relatively quick and simple takedown, the end result of which is that the police now know there’s a Robin Hood-esque vigilante in their town, and Oliver’s mom and bestie are revealed (to the audience, at least) to be up to their neck in the city’s dirty deeds, as well.
I had the opportunity to watch the pilot several months ago. I enjoyed it then, but I was surprised to discover that it improved on a second viewing. Stephen Amell seems more than up to the challenge of pulling off the different sides of the character, both determined hero and slightly shell-shocked playboy. The action scenes were fast-paced and a lot of fun to watch. I’m a sucker for good stunt work, especially hand-to-hand combat. I also got a kick out of all the nods to DC fans (Tommy Merlyn and “Speedy” being among the many).
There’s still a lot we don’t know about Oliver’s time on the island. For now, I’m going to assume that his new-found skills in martial arts, metal work, computer hacking, and the Russian language will have something to do with his rumored run-in with Kelly Hu’s China White, as I can’t see many of those coming up in a typical deserted island survival montage (I’ll give the parkour a pass, as I feel like that would be pretty handy for the terrain we saw.) Regardless, I’ll certainly be tuning in next week! What about you guys?
Tommy: “Have you noticed how hot your sister’s got … ’cause I haven’t.”
Things to ponder
- Laurel’s going to become Black Canary at some point, right? Right? They at least have to give her a badass motorcycle.
- Don’t most police jurisdictions try to avoid assigning detectives to cases in which they have a personal stake? Y’know, like the kidnapping of the guy who didn’t save your daughter’s life?
- My top three characters thus far: Diggle, Oliver’s abs, and John Barrowman’s eventual “Well-Dressed Man.” Yours?
Written by Jennifer Steele