This review provides thoughts and some plot points pertaining to the CW’s Arrow Pilot episode. Warning: some SPOILERS may be include in the review below. If you have not seen the episode and do not want to read any details, please stop now!
Ecstatic – that was my initial reaction during and after watching the Pilot episode of Arrow on the CW. The show is set up in such a way that builds anticipation and creates plenty of mystery. There were also about a billion questions that popped in my head when watching, but I’ll get to that later.
The tone is set from the start and is clearly at least somewhat modeled after the Christopher Nolan Batman Trilogy. Starling City even has some early similarities to Gotham City from the movies. It clearly worked for Nolan and I’m pleased with how it looks in Arrow so far. It is a much more adult tone than Smallville, which I think will help appeal to a broader audience.
The lack of super powers should also allow for more realistic stories, which is particularly important on a TV budget. Still, there were some fantastic action scenes and its nice to see the hero crush the villains with his bare hands, and a few arrows, of course. Oliver’s motivations for his actions is still at least partially in question (though most comic fans can figure it out).
I was impressed with the acting and writing of the Arrow. It is fast moving, and the actors can keep up. Relationships seemed intertwined and will provide plenty of drama (it is on the CW after all). It will be interesting to see how the potential Oliver, Laurel, Tommy love triangle plays out. Oliver’s sister Thea(Speedy) appears to have her own drama to deal with after thinking she had lost both her father and brother.
If that isn’t enough drama for you, Oliver’s mom is also now married to her late husband’s former coworker. What exactly was Oliver’s father trying to tell him after the ship wrecked? What was Moira’s motivation for having her son kidnapped? Those will all be answered, but maybe not for awhile.
I really like the way Arrow uses flashbacks (well, love-hate anyway). Rather than introduce the entire origin story from the beginning, small pieces of Oliver’s past is sprinkled in the episode. After a full episode, Oliver still hasn’t quite gotten to the island that he will be stranded on for 5 years. This is great because it builds anticipation and can have consistent plot points from the start.
However, I’m worried it will turn off new viewers who join later on. It is difficult enough to follow one story line without watching the full series, so how will a new viewer be able to catch up on two? Still, I think there will be a great payoff in the end for fans who watch from start to finish.
The Arrow Pilot is now available through Amazon in standard definition for $1.99 per episode or high definition for $2.99 per episode. What are your thoughts on the Arrow Pilot? Please share them in the comments or our forum.