TV: Arrow s1e1: Pilot

Arrow Image AR_2012_KH_0614 Pictured: Stephen Amell as Arrow Photo: Kharen Hill/The CW © 2012 The CW Network. All Rights Reserved

Rating: 10/10

I decided to start over with the Arrowverse, mostly because the new seasons are out on Netflix and I figured I’d catch up and try to review these episodes one at a time like I thought about doing originally. Also, being that I stopped on the fifth season where the last of Oliver’s flashbacks lie, this kind of follows along from there with beginning with him being found and getting off the island.

Anyway, this is the beginning of possibly one of the best superhero shows ever made. Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, the Arrow, is perfectly cast as the playboy by day and vigilante by night. In this episode we’re introduced to him getting rescued from his island and how he’s using his father’s list of bad people to “right his wrongs” and having them pay for their crimes against the city, sometimes literally and other times with their lives. This isn’t your father’s superhero as Oliver has no qualms about killing people. He isn’t a hero but instead purely a vigilante taking justice into his own hands.

Pilot’s are made without any indication they’re going to be picked up by anyone. So they’re usually done on the cheap. So I was very surprised that the production value for this episode was almost as good as when I left off in season 5. No costs were cut in the making of this pilot.

I had forgotten that this show started out much differently from where it ends up. Oliver Queen begins as a man obsessed with getting a misguided revenge against his father’s death and doesn’t have the troubled hero qualities we see in him in later seasons. Also, I forgot that a large chunk of these shows had relationship-drama as one of the selling points, something they rightfully drop off in later seasons. I mean, there’s still some after this season, so it’s not gone completely, but it’s not how it is here with taking up a huge chunk of the screen time in each episode. I think they were trying to make it much more realistic, or maybe just target a certain demographic or another, but I’m glad they realized that wasn’t why people were watching the show and it became less of a superhero-drama and more of a straight action-adventure show with darker tones. Being this is a hero based on Robin Hood, I think it’s made all the better for it.

I still have some kind of dislike for the character Tommy Merlyn. He’s not terrible or anything in this episode and Colin Donnell does a good job playing the character. I think that he’s just so much of a reminder of all the things wrong with this first season that it becomes quite easy to blame all the problems on him. He’s kind of the Jar Jar Binks of this show. Moving forward I will try my best to not hold it against him, and in this episode I would say he fits in well with the other characters in the show. But it’s still somewhat hard for me to not grit my teeth whenever he walks into a scene.

SCORING:

+10: incredible start, especially for a pilot

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