Which was one of the few genuine surprises in the premiere, that Oliver snaps necks as well as he cashes cheques. He claims it’s meant to conceal his burgeoning secret identity, and goons are meant to be disposable, but actually killing people definitely sets him apart from the golden boy on Smallville. And it looks like he’ll be killing a whole lot more people, as indicated by a ledger chock full of people who have wronged the Queen clan in some way. It’s a predictable, but efficient structure to pin Arrow‘s future stories on, and what fills in the rest of those episodes, besides the kill list, will be the measure of the show’s longterm potential.
Granted, the side stories introduced thus far don’t show much promise. Katie Cassidy plays Oliver’s ex, Larua, their inevitable rekindling getting a bit of a twist out of Laura’s sister dying during the boat crash that stranded Oliver, although when he tells Laura that her sister’s drowning was a painless death, it’s hard to tell if he’s lying, or just daft. But she’s also involved with Oliver’s best friend, who might be the well-meaning comic relief, or the jealous smart-ass (the dialogue switches between both personas every other sentence, so it’s hard to tell). He also seems to be the only one who can see through Oliver’s barebones attempts to conceal his identity, which includes green eyeliner when in costume, and ironic smirking at law enforcement when out.
Oliver’s sister Speedy, meanwhile, seems to exist just to cram in a few references to the comics, both by name, and in mimicing one of the most memorable Green Arrow stories, courtesy a coke habit. A billionaire heiress growing up without a father and brother might be sympathetic, but a billionaire heiress who uses those hardships as an excuse to get high and go to parties is the exact opposite. Of all the side characters, bodyguard Digg gets the most enjoyable scenes, in what will hopefully become a running gag of Oliver having to escape being monitored by a surprisingly incompetent former-special ops soldier.
There is, of course, the prerequisite conspiracy lurking behind Queen Industries, as well as hints that Oliver’s learned more on the island than just how to shoot a bow. Well, it’ll have to be one hell of an island to explain why he’s such a techno-wiz and a master martial artist, but clearly, Oliver’s father gave him the heads up on some information that would warrant Mrs. Queen arranging the interrogation of her own son. The face-heel turn of mama makes for a shocking enough last minute twist, but like everything else, it’s unfounded, and expects us to care based on the scenario, not the characters in it.
Arrow is an enjoyable enough episode of television, even if that enjoyment is 99% ironic or brain dead, but sometimes that’s more than enough. I could talk at length about the endless inconsistencies and ramshackle plotting, but I’d have a fun time doing it. If Arrow can find the time to plunk down some interesting characters in between the looney action and overcooked personal drama, it might be irresistible.
- Stray Thoughts
-Okay, I can’t ignore all the wonderfully stupid moments, so I’ll stick to the stand-outs. Oliver disappearing from Digg’s car mid-speech was pretty great, as was his half-assed takedown of Digg later on, but neither holds a candle to the climatic slo-mo-dive-over-a-desk-while-throwing-an-arrow-into-a-guy’s-chest, which demands gif-ification immediately.
-Green Arrow of the comics was progressive because he wanted to fight the real causes of crime in a city. TV Green Arrow is a progressive because he’s nice to his maid. I wonder if she’d still think he’s such a nice boy if she saw what he did at night.
-Lara’s first name is Dinah, a nod to Green Arrow love interest, Black Canary. Hopefully she actually does have a super-sonic voice, because she’s a pretty terrible legal aid, as evidenced by her believing Oliver’s half-assed “i’m being a dick to you to keep you safe” routine.
-Despite how definitive seeing Mr. Queen shoot himself in the head might seem, dude is totally alive, calling it right now. So is the other guy on the lifeboat, who he shot, for some reason. Great way to cap off the “live and bring justice to the world, son” speech, shoot a random innocent.
-Dear future directors of Arrow: seeing a thug shot repeatedly doesn’t make the scene more intense, it just looks silly without any blood.
-The bed flip during the boat crash was well executed. Not much else in that scene was, however.
-Year-of-the-bow is becoming the only way to refer to 2012. Hell, even Batman had one for 2 minutes in The Dark Knight Rises.
-Oh god, and I just remembered the “Bank Hacking Arrow” that baddie-of-the-week just decided to ignore while cleaning up his office. That was the moment I realized I had to watch the next episode.Previous