‘Arrow’ – S01E01 – “Pilot”

The CW’s newest DC Comics superhero premieres tonight– it’s Arrow! Will it be Smallville or will it be Birds of Prey? DC Entertainment sent out screener copies of the pilot last week and you can read Paul’s complete and well-rounded observations here. My quick reaction after watching is that it lands somewhere firmly in the middle of Smallville and Birds of Prey. It lacks the grand scope and iconic nature of Smallville but it’s leagues better than Birds of Prey on just about every level. The action is fast paced and exciting, as Oliver Queen/Arrow Stephen Amell does a fine if stoic job (voiceovers aren’t always his friend), and there are even nods to Green Arrows writers Mike Grell and Andy Diggle. We’ll see how the season (and more importantly the viewership) plays out. In the meantime, just don’t call him Green Arrow…

Here’s how “Pilot” is described:

After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance. As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow — a vigilante — to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be — flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle — while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. However, Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city. Meanwhile, Oliver’s own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on — and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.

I look forward to your thoughts, opinions, gripes, live-blogging, etc.


  1. Just a few minutes to go! Can’t wait!

  2. Anyone notice the Deathstroke mask with the arrow through the eye?

  3. Avatar photo 36crazymet (@themikeylamb) says:

    That was a crazy twist at the end!

    • kinda intrigued. Was researching his friend since i don’t know much of Green Arrow history and apparently he’s from the Arrows Rogue gallery so excited…but was that supposed to be Canary in the preview for next week or just some female vigilante?

    • His ex-girlfriend, the sister of the girl who died on the ship, is Dinah Laurel Lance AKA Black Canary in the comics. Will she end up as Black Canary on the show? I guess we’ll find out.

    • so far liking the show

    • I was wondering if she’ll be Black Canary too, as I’m sure most Green Arrow fans were….I hope she is, they did hint at the hero bit in the conversation she had with Ollie’s friend in the alley at the end while Arrow spied from above. Another thing I wonder is, are they planning on making his sister his sidekick, cause he referred to her as Speedy? Or just a nod? Anyway, more cameos and characters are to come along with guest writers and hope they do the comic feel treat episodes once in awhile like Absolute Justice in Smallville.

  4. Not bad. Big potential.

    Also, I love that they’re carrying on the DC hero tradition of using your alter-ego to spy on the woman who thought you dead for 5 years. Clark would be proud.

  5. A little cheesy at times but it was still pretty good. It has lots of potential and its cool that they are taking stuff from the comics and putting it in the show with all the special appearances planned. Overall I’m excited to see where this series goes.

  6. It was okay. I think if I wasn’t a Green Arrow fan, I wouldn’t continue watching after the pilot. But, I’m a big Green Arrow fan so I’ll definitely give it some more time. Here’s my pros and cons so far:

    – Acting. Stephen Amell did a good job as Oliver (as long as they never ever do a voice over again) and I think he has the charisma to carry the show. I was honestly most impressed though with Katie Cassidy as Dinah and the guy who played Detective Lance.
    -Ending. Nice little cliff hanger at the end, and it made me want to keep watching. Actually the last 10 minutes felt a lot better than the beginning of the show.
    – Fight scenes. I like how they made Oliver move, and his use of the bow was really good.
    – Potential. Story-wise they are obviously setting a lot of things up, and that is the type of show I like. It looks to be more season driven story line than monster of the week episodes. I also am looking forward to the Oliver Queen stuff, more than the Green Arrow stuff.

    – Bad CG. Anything revolving the island looked incredibly bad in my opinion; especially the constant sky replacements. Even the fake beard on the island was atrocious and looked more like a Halloween costume.
    – Cheese. While I did complement the fight scenes, there were a couple of times where they had to throw in cheesy ‘slo-motion’ knife throw, or a one-liner while fighting that fell completely flat.
    – Starling City? Come on ! lol

  7. I will keep watching this. I’d compare the production quality to NBC’s Revolution, but i thought they pulled off the B-grade action genre better in Arrow. The real test will be in further episodes where the budget isn’t as high. You’ve gotta wonder if we’re going to see a lot of that same alley they used in Smallville. This doesn’t seem as emo storywise as Smallville, but I do look forward to Laurel & Oliver’s relationship evolving. If you watched next week’s episode’s teaser at the end, you saw Canary in the blonde wig (I’m assuming that’s who it was).

  8. My big question as far as the plot goes is what happened on that Island? A lot more than in our standard GA origin, to say the least.

    Oliver not only learned how to shot a bow, he also:

    Picked up a lot of scar tissue and broken bones (none of which are evidently from the shipwreck itself)
    Learned martial arts
    Learned Russian
    Became much more observant
    Became a good pickpocket
    Had something to do with Deathstroke / a Deathstroke mask / ?
    May have picked up some buddhist training (?)

    Don’t see how he could have done all of that on his own…

  9. I enjoyed it, moreso than I thought I would. It will definitely be given a home on my DVR for the next several episodes to see if it continues to be enjoyable.

  10. Nice name nods…Grell (a judge?)…Diggle…

  11. I liked this far, far more than I was expecting to. I am not a huge Green Arrow fan, but I do like the character. I thought the trailer a while back was intriguing enough to place the show on my radar, and I knew I would at least watch the pilot. I actually skipped my ore-work nap last night to watch this (I start work at 11pm), and did not regret that decision at all. I was expecting to find it just ok, and not really follow it after the pilot due to time constraints and my having to be picky with what I watch, but I need up really liking it. I thought it was mostly well done. There were a few nitpicky things I could complain out, but nothing that took away from my enjoyment of the show. *****SPOILER WARNING***** I was legitimately surprised when Ollie’s father shot the other guy on the raft and then himself towards the end. I also think the show seemed to get better as it went, with the last fifteen minutes or so being the strongest Parton the show, which I take as a good sign. Definitely going to keep watching this one! Also, loved that Deathstroke mask! There was definitely more going on on that island than just surviving!

  12. So were the exterior shots of the mansion the same as Lex’s mansion in Smallville? I swear it was the same.

    • It sure looked that way. But for the cinematic shorthand of the CW, the visual establishing shot of ‘Queen Manor’ is par for the course. I’m sure Wayne Manor would look much the same on a show produced by these guys.

  13. Liked it. Good start.