I finally got around to seeing the first episode of the new Arrow series on the CW. This is the Green Arrow’s first solo television series, starting with a late 20s/early 30s Oliver Queen returning to his home of Starling City after being shipwrecked for the last five years.
Oliver was on the family yacht which sunk in a typhoon, possibly with some foul play hinted at.
The Oliver that everyone remembers has now been replaced by a darker brooding one, who has returned home to save a city that has become increasingly more corrupt. He has sworn to his father–who killed himself to allow his son to survive–that he will do everything in his power to fix the city. The older Queen told his son about all of the corrupt business men and government officials that he had the displeasure of dealing with.
But just as Ollie is found to be different, he finds his circle of family and friends to have changed as well. His mother Moira (played by Susanna Thompson, an actress who looks and sounds eerily like Jan from the Office) has remarried one of his father’s business partners, as well as plotting to abduct her son to find out what his father told him. His younger sister is a coke head party girl.
The pilot has Oliver going out on his first mission as a vigilante, targeting a Bernie Madoff-type white-collar criminal who has bilked millions of dollars out of the common folk of Starling City. To complicate things, Oliver is being chased by a police detective who happens to not only be the father of his ex-girlfriend Laurel (who seems to be a stand-in for Dinah Lance, better known as Black Canary) but of his other daughter who died during the yacht accident. To make that clear, Oliver was cheating on his longtime girlfriend with her sister (who died on his yacht) and is now being chased by their father when he goes out as a bow-and-arrow toting vigilante.
The resulting show is a lot of fun, with all the characters intertwined on multiple levels. The only problem is that they haven’t made Oliver all that likable yet and why he has undertaken such a public crusade still isn’t clear. It’s also not really explained how he has become such a bad ass archer and street fighter as well.
On the whole, it’s a pretty interesting concept and I can only assume my questions will be answered as the series progresses. Stephen Amell is believable in this role, which is more inline with the New 52 version of the character or even Connor Hawke than the traditional Green Arrow. The show works on the whole and is worth checking out future episodes. I’m already much more interested in it than I was with Smallville.