Arrow – “Pilot”

This was the series premiere of Arrow on the CW Network, and apparently, I wasn’t the only person looking forward to it.  This premiere was the most watched show on the network in 3 years.  But, I’m not here to talk about that.  I’m here to discuss whether or not the show was any good.  This week’s episode is titled “Pilot,” since it was just the pilot (first) episode of the series.  It has nothing to do with pilots or airplanes, but I digress.

Oliver Queen has been stranded on a deserted island for 5 years.*  One day, and ship happens by, and he’s rescued.  With his return home, he has a new mission to write the wrongs that his father confessed to him before dying.  The first task is dealing with a businessman named Adam Hunt.  Hunt just happens to be who Laurel Lance, Oliver’s ex-girlfriend, is trying to prosecute in the DA’s office.  Oliver also begins learning about what has changed in the past 5 years:  mother re-married, sister on drugs, city in decay.  With the help of his friend Tommy, Oliver tries to restart his “playboy” lifestyle, but this is just a cover for his Arrow persona.

Overall, I liked it.  The show had a serious, emotional tone, without being melodramatic.  It was a good first episode.  You get a sense of the person Oliver was before the shipwreck, and who he is upon returning.  There are quick introductions for the supporting cast, but enough to get a sense of who they, and what their relationship, past and present, to Oliver is.

I will admit, when this show was announced, I did want Justin Hartley to play Oliver Queen.  But, I understand why they went with Stephen Amell.  Using Hartley, who was Oliver Queen on Smallville, as good as he was, would have made this show simply a Smallville spinoff.  Plus, there is no development left with Hartley’s character.  He’s already established himself, has done what he’s needed to do, and is just continuing the good fight.  Whereas starting fresh allows them to tell a fuller story, with all of the character developments they want to thrown in there.

The only thing in the episode that really bugged me, was during a stunt sequence, they twice cut to a camera that looked to be on Oliver’s shoulder.  It didn’t last very long, but it was a very weird thing to do.  But, that’s the biggest complaint I have at the moment.  See you next week.

If you want a more complete description of the episode, complete with spoilers, continue after the break. 

Oliver Queen is running through the woods, over rocks, to reach an bow and arrow that he had set up.  He lights the arrow, and shoots it to set off a flare for a passing boat to see.  He had been shipwrecked on an island for 5 years, and had spent that time training for his return to his city, to right the wrongs.

In a hospital, Oliver’s mom greets him, and they hug.

Oliver returns home, and doesn’t recognize a man named Walter that worked with his father, but does greet the maid and his sister.

Laural Lance learns that Oliver is alive, and revealed that her sister was on the boat.

On the ship, The Queen’s Gambit, Oliver’s dad learns that the storm is now a Category 2, and tells Oliver that this with Sarah isn’t going to work out well.

Back in the present, Oliver learns that Walter and his mom are married.  He excuses himself from dinner.

On the boat, Oliver is with Sarah, apparently cheating on Laurel.  The boat capsizes, and they are separated.  Oliver is waken up from his nightmare by his mom, but his defensive mechanisms kick in, and he takes her down.  Though he quickly realizes what’s going, and lets up.  She tells him that it’s okay because he’s home now.

Oliver interrupts his sister, whom he calls Speedy, and gives her a rock with a Buddhist inscription about connection.

Oliver’s friend shows him around the city, and he sees how bad things are around what used to be Queen Industries.

Oliver meets up with Laurel to apologize.  Laurel apparently found out that he was cheating on her with Sarah when Sarah came up missing.  She tells him she hopes he rots in hell.

Tommy drives Oliver to the old factory, where they are ambushed by men in red masks.

Knocked out, Oliver remembers something his father tells him in a life raft, that he’s not the man he thinks he is.

A man in a mask wants to know if Oliver’s father is still alive, and what he told him.  Oliver says that he told him that he’s going to kill them.  He shows that he’s no longer zip-cuffed to the chair, and fights off all but on of the men.  He chases down the last of the men, and kills him, saying no one can know his secret.

Oliver tells security officer that a man in a green hood had saved them.  The detective tells them that they don’t know who the people are.

Oliver’s mom tells him that he is getting a bodyguard.  The guard, named Diggle, is driving Oliver around, when Oliver bails on him.

Oliver broke into the old Queen Industries factory to set up his base.

Oliver does his own investigation of Adam Hunt, who Laurel is also trying to indict within the DA’s office.

Arrow takes out two of Adam Hunt’s bodyguards, and tells him to transfer $40 million to a specific bank account.

Diggle escorts Oliver to a party, sitting in the backseat so Oliver doesn’t bail this time.  Oliver arrives at his party and joins in on the festivities.  The party just happens to be across the street from Adam Hunt’s office.  Oliver spots is sister at the party, getting something from a man.  He gets on her, and she gets defensive about she’s doing the best she can having thought her dad and brother were dead.  She walks away, but Oliver had snatched the drugs from her purse.

Oliver runs into Laurel, who was convinced by Tommy to come, since they have too much a history to forget.  They talk things through, and Oliver tells Laurel to stay away from him, otherwise he’ll just hurt her again.  It’s time for the transfer, and nothing has been transferred.  He tries to get away, but Diggle confronts him.  He knocks Diggle out so that he can leave.

Arrow breaks into Hunt’s office and and takes out his guards.

The cops arrive, but Arrow is able to escape, but the detectives see him zipline to Oliver’s party.

They crash the party, but find Oliver there, who fakes ignorance, and enjoying the party.  The detective is Sarah’s father.  Tommy puts some things together about Oliver wanting the party there, and Hunt gets robbed.  Oliver tells him to just be happy that he’s alive.

Oliver hacks Hunt’s account, and transfers the $40 million.

On the life raft, Oliver’s father tells him that he needs to right his wrongs, and has to survive to do it.  His father takes out a gun and shoots the other person in the raft, and then himself.

Laurel gets a call from one of her clients against Hunt, and is told that $50,000, just mysteriously came into their account.

Laurel talks to Tommy, but rejects his advances, even though they’ve been together in the past.

It’s revealed that Oliver’s mom had set up his abduction, in order to find out what his father told him.

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