The CW really needs to program a line-up filled with superhero shows because it has another winner on its hands with Arrow after it first struck gold with Smallville.
Arrow of course is based on the DC Comics character Oliver Queen/Green Arrow who also appeared as a series regular in Smallville. This time Oliver is played by Stephen Amell and he could be no more different than the Oliver Queen/Green Arrow that Justin Hartley played in Smallville. Arrow’s Oliver is more of a quiet hero while Smallville’s Oliver is more of a sarcastic hero.
Amell was perfect in the pilot. Sure he is hot and has the physique of a hero but he played the quiet brooding hero pretty well and the jerk hard-partying playboy perfectly.
Being stuck on the island has changed him from that playboy to the quiet hero but he maintains the jerk playboy for public appearances (which he did during his back from the dead party) because I believe he is now more introspective and more caring than he ever was in the past.
One thing that hadn’t changed for him while he was away his is close relationship that he has with his sister Thea Queen (Willa Holland), a character invented for the series, but he nicknames her Speedy, which we can infer that she later becomes his sidekick (Speedy is his sidekick in the comics and appeared in Smallville season 9’s Crossfire and Disciple).
In the comics, like Bruce Wayne, Oliver is an orphan but here his mother is alive and has secrets of her own. In a twist at the end, it was revealed that his mother, Moira (Susanna Thompson), was behind the kidnapping of Oliver earlier in the episode so she can find out what happened to Oliver on the island.
Of course, we do have a couple of characters in Arrow that are a big part of its universe: Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) and Dinah “Laurel” Lance (Katie Cassidy).
Some characters like Laurel’s cop father (Paul Blackthorne) and sister, who died on the yacht that had Oliver (who he cheated on Laurel with) and his father where invented for the show. As well, Laurel’s occupation has changed to a lawyer instead of a talk show host.
Laurel seems unforgiving to Oliver for letting her sister die but it was Laurel that Oliver missed the most in the 5 years that he was on that island. Even when they have a heart-to-heart, Laurel looks ready to forgive Oliver but he turns on his jerk playboy persona to protect her from himself.
What Oliver has come back to do is fix his city of Starling City from those that have corrupted it and has a book of names that he is seeking revenge against based on what his father (Jamey Sheridan) has told him to do in a very roundabout way if he managed to survive the shipwreck ordeal.
So Oliver becomes Green Arrow or simply Arrow and wields a bow and arrow to take down his first target Adam Hunt (Brian Markinson) who Laurel is also after.
Arrow, like Smallville before it, is filmed in Vancouver and uses many locations familiar with fans of Smallville. For example, the Queen Mansion was also the Luthor mansion while the interior of the Queen Mansion was used as the interior of that sorority house in season 5’s awful episode Thirst.
So that was the pilot. I think it set up the show for the rest of the season as one of revenge. I see each episode having Oliver target someone just like there was a freak of the week.
I do look forward to seeing Oliver and Laurel reunite because I see a spark between Amell and Cassidy. I hope that she does become the Black Canary even though she has a supernatural power and the producers of Arrow have said that they want to steep this show in reality hence you have a gritty look to the show and Oliver does kill people. And we will probably see Tommy become a villain as he is one in the comics.
I really look forward to seeing where this show goes as I am loving it.