So much has happened on Arrow so far this first season we’ve decided to use this two week hiatus to wrap our heads around all the action and drama that has taken place in the first 16 episodes. By the way last night’s episode was awesome!
Let’s start from the beginning, we all know that Oliver gets shipwrecked, leaving only Oliver, his father (Robert Queen) and a fellow crew member. There were not enough provisions to keep all of them alive, so in order to save his son’s life, Robert killed the other survivor then himself, but not before telling Oliver that their wealth had been built on the suffering of others, and it was up to Oliver to make things right. This forces him to man-up and try to stay alive. Oliver finds his way upon a deserted island and while burying his father, he finds a book filled with blank pages in Robert’s pocket. Immediately after, Oliver is shot with an arrow, proving the island is not so deserted after all…. more on that later.
Back in Starling City we get to know those closest to Oliver before the shipwreck, such as his ex-girlfriend Laurel Lance, best friend Tommy Merlyn who is now dating Laurel (which makes for some awkward moments) and his little sister Thea who he refers to as Speedy. We also meet Oliver’s mother Moira and her new husband, Walter, who goes missing a few episodes into the season.
Worried for Oliver’s safety, Moira hires a bodyguard for him, John Diggle. Surely, neither Diggle or Moira knew that Oliver didn’t need to be protected, or at least that’s what he thought. After Oliver gained the trust of Diggle and vice-versa, the two began working together on Oliver’s mission to right the wrongs of his family and protect Starling City. With Diggle’s background in the military and his seeking revenge for the murder of his brother (by Deadshot) he was more than prepared and willing to help Oliver’s cause. The relationship between Oliver and Diggle is one of my favorites on the show.
Felicity Smoak is one of the only other people who knows Oliver’s secret, and is a recent addition to the Green Arrow team. She was introduced to us as a geeky I.T. girl who worked for Queen Consolidated. The chemistry between Oliver and Felicity is something to watch and now that Diggle has been physically training Felicity, I don’t think she will stick with her plan to stop helping them as soon as Walter is found. At least we hope not, she’s one of our favorite characters.
Did I mention that Walter is still missing, it’s been like seven episodes and it doesn’t seem like anyone is worried about finding him. Even though we know that Tommy’s father, Malcolm Merlyn, is behind everything. What everything is, is still the question on all of our minds.
We have learned that Malcolm is the Dark Arrow that defeated Oliver in episode 9, and it looked as though Malcolm was going to tell Tommy his secret before he was shot in episode 16 by Deadshot, whom Oliver and Diggle thought had been killed. Unfortunately Deadshot laces his bullets with poison and even though Malcolm had a bullet-proof vest on he was still effected by the poison. Luckily the Green Arrow was there and performed a blood transfusion to save Malcolm’s life, but not before revealing his secret to Tommy in order to gain his trust. Three people now know Oliver’s secret: Diggle, Felicity and Tommy. We also know that Moira, Oliver’s mother, was the one trying to have Malcolm killed. She is in some pretty deep water and I’m interested in learning more about how she is involved.
We don’t have too much to say about Laurel, as of now her character is pretty one-dimensional. She’s a hard-working, kick-butt attorney who always wants to do the right thing, even if that’s not what her father, a police detective wants. When Oliver returned from the island after five years he was not greeted warmly by Laurel or her father, Detective Lance. They both were still angry with him because Sara, Laurel’s sister, was with Oliver on the boat when it wrecked. She was pronounced dead and Laurel and her father blame Oliver. Up until episode 16 we thought that Sara was killed when the ship wrecked, that is until Laurel’s mother returned saying that Sara was still alive. This definitely perked my attention, could Sara really still be alive?! That’s a plot twist for sure! One last thing on Laurel, she and her sister had a black canary when they were younger… Hmmmmm…
Last but certainly not least, we have to talk about Oliver’s flashbacks to the island, these are some of the best parts of the show, besides that awful hair cut that Oliver has. At first it seems as though Oliver is alone on the island. That is until he gets shot by Yao Fei’s arrow and taken back to his camp. Yao tends to Oliver’s wound with magical herbs and brings him a bird trapped in a cage. Reluctantly Oliver learns his only way to survive is to kill the bird and eat it. This is one of the many lessons that Oliver learns on the island. Days later, Yao was trying to teach Oliver to shoot an arrow when Oliver is captured by armed men and then interrogated by their leader, Edward Fyers, to give up the whereabouts of Yao. Deathstroke is brought in to torture more information out of Oliver, but he only succeeded in causing a great deal of pain and many scars, because Oliver refused to give up his new friend.
Eventually Oliver is freed and then caught again and killed… or at least that’s what Fyers’ thought when he saw Oliver’s body go over a cliff and into a body of water. Little did Fyers’ know that Yao had never killed Oliver, but had put him to sleep. (Sidenote: Fyers’ has Yao’s daughter and is holding her captive to get what he needs out of Yao, therefore when Fyers’ tells Yao to kill Oliver, Yao obeys — kinda.) Yao tucked a map in Oliver’s pocket, then woke Oliver up as he was tossing his body over a cliff. Oliver splashed into the water, woke up and realized what had happened. He found the map and made his way to the location given, an abandoned plane. There he was greeted by a man, Slade Wilson. Oliver tells him that Yao sent him, although Slade in unimpressed by Oliver’s physical abilities and tells him there is no way he will survive. After being knocked out by Slade and tied to a chair, Oliver breaks free and punches Slade in the face, showing Slade that Oliver does have some fight in him. Amused by this, Slade decides to start training Oliver.
We soon learn that Slade and Deathstroke were once partners. Yet, the two are now at odds, and in episode 14 we see the two fight-to-the-death, Slade overpowers his once partner and kills him. Although there’s no time to celebrate because immediately after the fight, Slade is shot. Oliver carries Slade back to their camp and remembers Yao’s herbs that once healed him. He returns to Yao’s cave to retrieve them and is able get back in time to save Slade’s life. Oliver once again shows he can be an asset. That was also clear on this week’s episode when Oliver was able to fix the plane’s broken CB radio. Although he succeeds, unfortunately they can not communicate – the radio works but they can’t call out. They were annoyed at first, until Slade realizes the radio could be useful.
There is so much more I could go into: Oliver’s new detective girlfriend, McKenna, China White working with Deadshot and Oliver’s mother, Diggle’s strange romantic relationship with his brother’s widowed wife, Thea and her substance abuse problem, Tommy and Malcolm’s strained father-son relationship. Like I said, there is so much that has happened already and it’s only been 16 episodes. I can’t wait to see what else is going to happen!
How are you liking the first season so far? Anything important I forgot to mention? Comment below and let us know what you think!
Arrow returns with all new episodes Wednesday, March 20th at 8pm on CW44!
Tara Wikoff/CW44 Tampa Bay