Synopsis: His name is Queen – Oliver Queen – double o Arrow [OQ to his buddies, when you locate any] – and he’s the newest superheroish human champion of justice and all that’s right in the world, But first he has to get past his past as a disjointed billionaire playboy with several skeletons [but thankfully, no vampires or zombies] in his full, walk-in closet in his mansion room which was kept just as he left it after he was presumed dead in a yachting shipwreck that also killed his father [sorta]. Now he’s back – with a vengeance and a grocery list of all his Dad’s enemies in Starling City who he never would have friended on Facebook and they are gonna pay – at least one of them is in this episode.
Details: Having received no superhero powers from aliens, gods, mystical forces or chunks of cosmic rock, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen [think slightly darker version of the Green Hornet] has “forged himself into a weapon” after being stranded on an island for five years following a yachting shipwreck that claimed the lives of at least three other people. Evidently, billionaire playboys are significantly more resourceful than billionaire playboys of yore and when stranded these days, they teach themselves to master archery skills, several foreign languages, maintain near-perfect fitness levels and develop Olympic-level gymnastic maneuvers, so Oliver is fairly well-prepared to re-enter society except that he lacks knowledge of “Twilight” – which we read as a good sign that vampires will not appear in any episodes this season. Flashbacks of the incident are peppered throughout the episode to fill in the plot lines along the way and handhold the audience through the emotions which drive Oliver’s actions.
Once Oliver returns to his mainland home, we are first introduced to his former posse – his Mom, sis, the maid, former girlfriend, best friend – along with a former business colleague of his dad’s who has decided to shack up with his mom. Once pleasantries are exchanged, we are all asked to politely ignore the predictability of the various characters: Mom [scheming], Sis [bitter], maid [mentor], former girlfriend [snippy], best friend [Eddie Haskell] – then we move on to the initial action sequences where Oliver is ambush-attacked by baddies who show up for torture practice only to be offed by the formerly dapper Mr. Queen, who gets to show off his island skills of hopping around on city building rooftops, bullet-dodging and secret neck-breaking wrestling moves.
The ex-girlfriend shows up to rightly chastise him for sexing up her sister, taking her on the yacht that fateful night and then not saving her in the yachting accident – of all the nerve! – and hopes he rots in hell [or perhaps a reasonable facsimile of hell – North Dakota?]. Mom plants a bodyguard on him with the porn-sounding name of John Diggle [Ron Rigid already taken was it?] whom he promptly ditches at the coming home party thrown for him by best bud Eddie Haskell [Tommy Merlyn], allowing him to go after the nefarious Adam Hunt – one of the Starling City bad guys on his Dad’s grocery list provided to him before his demise. Oliver uses one of his special bank account-draining arrows [where can we get one of those – Walmart?] to right a financial wrong apparently created by the nasty Mr. Hunt and everything seems to have wound up nicely for this episode until….we find out that the Mom is up to no good shenanigans in a shocking – absolutely shocking – ending!
The Poop and Skinny: Hands up for everybody who did not see about 83.7% of the plot twists in this episode coming from, oh, approximately 37 miles away? Okay, all three of you must now leave the room as we talk about the fact that Oliver’s wealthy father is a steel magnate and we just cannot count on our hands the amount of times we hear about the sons of steel magnates being billionaire playboys and causing trouble. Media company magnate’s sons, yes, famous race car driver’s sons, yes, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup inventor’s sons – maybe – but not steel magnate’s sons. Moving on, Oliver gets to use his Dad’s now-defunct factory to make his own arrows, perform his special workout routine for the ladies and practice his lines for the self-narration he will provide throughout the episode and which you wish he wouldn’t. But at least one positive for this pilot episode – there’s no Jay-Z soundtrack.