Arrow Review


Starring: Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland
Summary: Oliver Queen is used to having everything he wants. However, his life changes completely after his yacht is lost at sea, leaving him struggling to survive. When he returns home five years later, Oliver is a changed man. He becomes the hooded vigilante who wants to revenge his father’s death and keep Starling City safe – otherwise known as The Arrow.
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Crime
The show introduces us to a variety of masked heroes and villains, and we’re instantly transported into the world of Oliver Queen, the troubles of Starling City, and the menagerie of friends, family and foes that oppose the once billionaire playboy we can’t help but fall in love with.

You can watch Arrow on Foxtel and Ezyflix.

Show Summary

When he first attempts to tackle crime, Oliver wants to work alone. However, it soon becomes clear that he will be on a suicide mission if he doesn’t at least accept the help of John Diggle – his bodyguard, whom his mother Moira Queen hired. From that point on, Oliver’s journey becomes a much more compelling one. More of our hero’s personality layers are revealed and we’re allowed a glimpse into just what happened during those five years when Oliver was ‘lost at sea’.

Cast

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen

Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance

David Ramsey as John Diggle

Willa Holland as Thea Queen

Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance

Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak

Colton Haynes as Roy Harper

Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen

John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn

Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson

Season Recap

Missing and presumed dead following the shipwreck of his luxury yacht, billionaire playboy and spoiled brat Oliver Queen is discovered alive after five years on a remote Pacific island. When he’s welcomed home by the masses in Starling City, his loved ones (mother and sister Moira and Thea Queen, along with his friend Tommy Merlyn) sense a change in Oliver. He wasn’t alone on the yacht when it went under; the Queen family lost their patriarch in the wreck, as well as Sara Lance – Laurel Lance’s sister. Despite being in a relationship with Laurel before embarking on the yacht trip, Oliver was cheating on her with Sara.

Besides hoping to reconnect with those who were once so close to him, Oliver’s also on another mission. He’s secretly heading out as a hooded vigilante archer with a noble purpose inspired by his father: ‘to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory’. The first man who instantly becomes at odds with the Emerald Archer is police detective Quentin Lance – Laurel and Sara’s father, who makes it his mission to arrest the hooded do-gooder.

Oliver teams us with his bodyguard, Diggle, and fights the criminals that pose as a threat to the city, while also hunting down people from a list passed down from his father. Diggle isn’t without his demons – he finds out that a contract killer called Deadshot murdered his brother and makes it his life’s mission to find and destroy him. Oliver occasionally asks Felicity Smoak for help, a young employee of Queen Consolidated. When he’s badly wounded, he’s forced to tell her about his secret identity and she becomes part of the team as well. Felicity’s intelligence and computer expertise instantly prove she is a worthy asset to the group.

Parallel to the events in Starling City, viewers are also treated to flashbacks from the five years Oliver spent on the apparently not so deserted island. We learn that he was trained to fight by former Asian commander Yao Fei, his daughter Shado, and a former ASIS soldier, Slade Wilson. They were all fighting for survival against the soldiers of Edward Fyers, who was planning to use the island in order to destroy China’s aircraft and ruin its economy, while simultaneously blaming Yao Fei for the hit. Yao Fei is killed, but Oliver, Shado, and Slade stop Fyers from accomplishing his vicious goals. Oliver kills him.

Season one also deals with some of the characters’ internal struggles. Tommy is now dating Laurel, which is complicated since Laurel is Oliver’s ex. Thea develops a drug addiction that eventually lands her a few hours of community service. She falls in love with Roy, a troubled boy from the Glades, whom she tries to keep out of harm’s way. Oliver also has his fair share of love interests. Besides the obvious attraction between him and Felicity, he becomes involved with Helena, a pretty girl who turns out to be a dangerous criminal.

When Tommy’s father Malcolm is almost killed by Deadshot, Oliver is forced to reveal his identity to Tommy, in order to save his father’s life. This puts a strain on their relationship, especially after Tommy breaks up with Laurel.

During the course of the season, we also find out that Moira, Oliver’s mom, has a hidden agenda. She’s involved in a criminal conspiracy with Malcolm, the Dark Archer. Turns out, Malcolm is planning to use a device that can cause an earthquake to destroy the Glades and rebuild the city. Moira was unwillingly helping him in order to keep her family safe. Team Arrow learns about the devious plan and decides to put an end to it. They kill Malcolm and the device is stopped. Surprise though – Malcolm planted a second one, and The Glades is facing massive destruction. Tommy manages to save Laurel from the debris, but gets trapped under it. Despite Oliver’s best efforts to save him, he dies, not before reconciling with his best friend. The tragic events leave Oliver shaken to his core.

We also find out that Malcolm planted a bomb on the Queens’ yacht before it went down.

After the tragic events at the end of season one, Oliver abandons the hood and flees to the island. However, he’s forced to return after he discovers that the city has fallen further into ruin following the earthquake that destroyed the Glades.

Via flashbacks, we learn that Oliver’s time on the island was even more eventful than we originally thought. He is kidnapped by Dr. Ivo and taken on a ship, where he discovers that Sara is very much alive and also kept prisoner by the doctor. Ivo is looking for Mirakuru, a serum that can give people incredible strength, created by the Japanese in World War II. He makes Oliver choose between Sara’s life and Shado’s; and murders the latter is cold blood after Oliver tries to protect his former flame. Meanwhile, Slade is injected with Mirakuru and blames Oliver for Shado’s death, making it his life’s mission to get revenge. Oliver manages to escape and stabs Slade in the eye, presuming him dead. At the end of the season, we find out that Oliver somehow ended up in Hong Kong, where he met Amanda Waller.

Back in present day Starling City, the gang continues to hunt down dangerous criminals. However, Oliver is on a path to redeem himself and honor Tommy’s memory, so he doesn’t murder people anymore. Sara resurfaces in Starling City as well and works close with Oliver, as the vigilante known as Canary. The two become involved. Oliver befriends Sebastian Blood, a shady individual, and he’s also forced to fight for Queen Consolidates, who was taken over by a woman, Isabel Rochev.

Moira undergoes trial for her involvement in the earthquake, but eventually gets acquitted. Malcolm reveals that he’s not as dead as everyone hoped and tells Moira that he knows Thea is his biological daughter. Thea is still dating Roy, who is trying to find out who the hooded vigilante is.

Events unfold as we find out that Blood is injecting people with Mirakuru; under Slade’s command, who’s very much alive and back to bring chaos to Oliver’s life. Isabel, who’s also been working for Slade, takes complete control of Queen Consolidated and leaves Oliver broke. Meanwhile, Slade kidnaps Thea and tells her who her real father is, causing her to distance herself from the Queen family. Slade’s diabolical plan doesn’t stop there though. Later, he brutally kills Moira in front of her children.

Towards the end of the season, Slade unleashes an army of Mirakuru soldiers on Starling City. Roy was also injected with the serum and is struggling with the side-effects, so Oliver puts him in a coma until a cure is manufactured. Luckily, the S.T.A.R. Labs in Central City deliver the cure in time, so the gang has a weapon to fight Slade’s army.

Team Arrow partners with the police, the League of Assassins, and A.R.G.U.S. to stop the Mirakuru soldiers from destroying the city before a drone strike, ordered by Amanda Waller, kills them all. They are successful: the drone is called off, the soldiers are cured, and Slade ends up in a holding facility on the dreaded island he tried so hard to escape from.

At the end of the season, Malcolm convinces Thea to leave the city with him. Sara rejoins the League of Assassins, while Diggle finds out he’s going to be a father.

Our Critic Review

Not knowing exactly who the Green Arrow was before the first time I sat down to watch the series, I can truly say that he’s now one of my favorite superheroes. Stephen Amell does such a good job at portraying Oliver Queen and manages to connect with the audience on a deep level; you can almost picture yourself in the hero’s shoes, forced to make big decisions in order to save the city and the people you love.

Oliver Queen is a beast of a man. Throughout his vigorous training and exercise, he’s a man who has worked hard and suffered a lot to get to where he is now. You’ll root for him to succeed from the very beginning, but he’s not without his flaws. It’s his vulnerability and his wonderful imperfections that bring such a sense of realism to the show. Not to mention the incredible cast, whose chemistry makes the series that more compelling.

Comic book fans are rightfully over the moon with this adaptation, as it sticks close to some of the lore, but also manages to somehow add even more flavor to the story. The action scenes are flawless, and the suspense will surely keep you on the edge of your seat. Besides, the series was so successful that that it also inspired its spin-off, The Flash, to hit the ground running. If you’re a fan of super-heroes, crazy twists, and stunning fight scenes, tune in. You won’t regret it.

Critic Reviews

Arrow pulled it off again with an exciting and buzzworthy premiere. It truly was the calm before the storm. Read Full Review

Carissa Pavlica, TV Fanatic

Arrow knocked it out of the park in season two, but season three already feels like an organic and exciting new chapter in Oliver’s heroic journey. Read Full Review

James Garcia, We Got This Covered

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