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Lisin

S01.E01: Pilot

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After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. Back in Starling City, Oliver slowly reconnects with those closest to him. Oliver has brought back many new skills from his time on the island and despite the watchful eye of his new bodyguard John Diggle, Oliver manages to secretly create the persona of Arrow -- a vigilante -- to right the wrongs of his family and fight the ills of society. As Arrow, Oliver will atone for the past sins of his family while he searches for the personal redemption he needs.

 

I have to admit, I wasn't too hyped to watch Arrow when it was announced. Smallville scarred me for life! BUT when this hit Netflix my husband watched the first season while I was away for a week and he demanded I watch it. He was right. I was all in from the pilot. It's a really well done pilot in my opinion. I really liked everything about it. 

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Having just watched this for the first time, I loved so much about it! The Twilight-bashing was awesome, I've mentioned my increased love for Diggle; the actor portraying Robert Queen (Jamey Sheridan) is one of my favorite character actors. Tommy was a lot more fun then I expected, and I really liked Laurel here, which surprised me. All around, a pretty great pilot episode!

 

Oliver: I just wanted a second to myself.
Diggle: I would believe you, Mr. Queen, if you weren't so full of crap.

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I forgot how awesome Diggle was from the very beginning!  Walter too.  Hi, Tommy!

 

Still not buying the trick arrow that can drain bank accounts.  That's just a little too convenient.

 

Bad Moira, bad, bad, bad!

 

Heh, Quentin really hates Oliver.

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This show had me at "My name is Oliver Queen". I was so invested from the get go. It struck me that it knew exactly what it wanted to be for the most part.  They didn't mess around and got right to the story.  And the abs didn't hurt. 

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I have to admit, I wasn't too hyped to watch Arrow when it was announced. Smallville scarred me for life! BUT when this hit Netflix my husband watched the first season while I was away for a week and he demanded I watch it. He was right. I was all in from the pilot. It's a really well done pilot in my opinion. I really liked everything about it.

Yeah, the pilot's pretty gripping. I've been scarred by Smallville too so I know the feeling.

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You know, rewatching the pilot, I believe now more than ever that all of the "wooden" acting from Amell was 100% intentional choices to make Oliver as awkward and PTSD ridden as one would expect. But by the end of this episode was like...eh....I think he's pretty good. He does so much with his eyes.I can remember when it first aired, most reviews were all "Amell sucks"!  

"This guy sucks!"

"He doesn't move his mouth or his arms"

"What a shitty actor". 

 

Look wrong we were. 

Edited by catrox14
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You know, rewatching the pilot, I believe now more than ever that all of the "wooden" acting from Amell was 100% intentional choices to make Oliver as awkward and PTSD ridden as one would expect. But by the end of this episode was like...eh....I think he's pretty good. He does so much with his eyes.I can remember when it first aired, most reviews were all "Amell sucks"! 

 

I agree, I think the wooden acting was intentional. I was taken aback by when he came out of that - for example, at the homecoming party, he totally switched into the 'party animal' mode, and I think that was to contrast with the withdrawn, quieter, truer Oliver.

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I agree, I think the wooden acting was intentional. I was taken aback by when he came out of that - for example, at the homecoming party, he totally switched into the 'party animal' mode, and I think that was to contrast with the withdrawn, quieter, truer Oliver.

 

And the great thing about that was that he "party animal" Ollie was even more awkward than the withdrawn Ollie.  Great work there.

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You can definitely tell it was intentional. Flashback Ollie is an out and out childlike dork, all that's missing is a pocket protector and taped glasses.

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Out of curiosity am I the only one here who liked Smallville?

Nope. I liked Smallville warts and all.  I stuck through it to the bitter end...I think I checked out a little bit around s8 meaning I didn't watch it every week. But I showed up again for the final seasons

You can definitely tell it was intentional. Flashback Ollie is an out and out childlike dork, all that's missing is a pocket protector and taped glasses.

 

Oh man, the criticism that was leveled at Amell for Island!Ollie was absurd.  Most of it maintained that the only difference between island!Ollie and present!Ollie was a shitty wig.  /smdh.   Pay attention people!

Edited by catrox14
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I love this show. I liked Oliver's Walter hate. Unfair but totally understandable. I think the pilot made me think his mom would be more eviler. I think having your traumatized son kidnapped was pretty horrible. I remember seeing Willa Holland caused me to have goodwill towards this show. I liked her on the O.C. Really liked Tommy with like everyone. I also remember being surprised that the lead could act. Still convinced Oliver lost his mind the moment his dad killed himself. Everything after is icing on the crazy cake.

 

Liked Laurel and Tommy, and I don't understand why we should root for Oliver and Laurel. Seemed like they would be better off apart. Still not sure why Laurel would have dated him in the first place. Seemed like Oliver would be more of a friend with benefits like Tommy was at first.

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"Still not sure why Laurel would have dated him in the first place." By icandigit

My thoughts exactly. There is absolutely no reason, in the present, for Laurel to see Oliver as any sort of romantic interest. She's smart, has a great job, HAS self confidence. You would think she understands a bad relationship!

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I haven't had access to do a rewatch but I do remember how long I went back and forth trying to decide if I was going to watch. Yes another sufferer of Post Traumatic Smallville disorder. Dear lord did that show mess with my head. It's a wonder I can watch anything without ripping it to shreds. I had decided to skip Arrow but ended up,watching because a friend who was a big comic book fan thought it sounded interesting. He'd been my one and only real life source to discuss Smallville with and he listened to a lot of rants and never called me crazy so I kinda felt like I owed him.

I went in with low expectations. I knew the show wanted to be more gritty and realistic than what Smallville did but a downside to it was all the dark shadows and grungy shots. It wasn't a very visually appealing show to me at the time. Plus the Luthor Manor showed up and that had me ranting since the Producers had done all these interviews about doing their own thing apart from Smallville. Like after ten years I wasn't supposed to recognize the same mansion? It really pulled me out of the show. Yeah, I was kind of hate watching Arrow there at the start.

The bright spot for me was Diggle. Everything else was death and dysfunction and betrayal. Robert Queens suicide was one of the most brutal and abrupt bits of violence I'd ever seen on TV. Except for Oliver's exceptionally bad wig, I saw the quality and effort put into the pilot, but I really wasn't sure if it was the show for me. But I wanted to see Diggle catch Oliver and Moira was unexpectedly dark and yes, I liked Willa Holland in the OC (taking a character far more bratty and spoiled than Thea ever was and managing to make me love her) and last but not least, Paul Blackstone. I'd been bummed when The Dresden Files weren't picked up again so I was happy to see him. So all that translated into me deciding to give it a few more episodes even though I was pretty sure it wasn't my thing.

I have this little hang up requiring that I can root for the main character of the show. Pretty much explains why I never liked Seinfeld or South Park. Still, I was making an effort. I remember thinking that setting up that Oliver was cheating on Laurel with her little sister really dived head first into the Green Arrow is a rotten cheater motif. I also remember trying to be excited when we got Laurel's full name because I like BC and was pleased she would be on the show and yet after what Oliver had done and their very hostile reunion, I could not imagine why she would have anything to do with Oliver romantically in the future. Oh, I also remember liking Tommy and thinking how glad I was that Olivr had a buddy.

Edited by BkWurm1
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Huh.  I liked Amell from moment one. I didn't read any reviews around that time so I had no idea he was getting critiqued as wooden.  How funny. 

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Huh. I liked Amell from moment one. I didn't read any reviews around that time so I had no idea he was getting critiqued as wooden. How funny.

Everybody's a critic nowadays I guess. Yeah Amell sold me from the minute he said "My Name is Oliver Queen" as well. I still kind of think of Justin Hartley first but it is what it is.

*Amell* damn you auto correct!

Edited by slayer2

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That moment with Tommy when Ollie told him just be glad you're alive. Still love that. I also forgot how much I loved Diggle and the Ollie and Diggle Looney Tunes cartoon they had going on. The early episodes for some reason reminded me of the early episodes of Angel.

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Everybody's a critic nowadays I guess. Yeah Smell sold me from the minute he said "My Name is Oliver Queen" as well. I still kind of think of Justin Hartley first but it is what it is.

 

I remember I was annoyed that TPTB didn't just hand the keys to Arrow to Hartley, because I really liked him on Smallville. I thought he had a lightness to the character, so personally I was biased against Amell to begin with because he wasn't Hartley. However, by the end of the 2nd episode, I was like okay I think I see why Hartley wasn't the go to guy for THIS Green Arrow and for what this show was wanting to do. Whilst I still enjoy the hell out of Hartley's Green Arrow,  Stephen Amell IS the definitive Green Arrow for me. And because of Amell's Oliver Queen/Green Arrow, The Green Arrow is about to bump Batman as my favorite comic book character which is quite a feat.

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I remember I was annoyed that TPTB didn't just hand the keys to Arrow to Hartley, because I really liked him on Smallville. I thought he had a lightness to the character, so personally I was biased against Amell to begin with because he wasn't Hartley.

Yes! I had forgotten about that but you're right @catrox14 when this show was announced I was so pissed that Hartley wasn't playing Arrow I think I bailed without giving it a second thought. I now LOVE Amell but at the time I was all about "Fuck this show. That guy's not Arrow!" lol, so so funny looking back!

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My husband wanted to watch this, and he's the reason we stuck with it in the early going, because after the first few episodes, the only thing that kept me around was the Diggle/Oliver connection. Their interactions came across as authentic and real, ironically, when everything else was still finding its footing. I never had a problem with Amell, but I am more and more impressed with him as time goes by.

 

I do find these early episodes fun to watch to see what worked and what didn't--again, Thank God for John Diggle because Oliver's voiceovers are clunky. Another thing that works even less for me this time around is Tommy. Sorry! I was never a fan, and am still not a fan. It's not really his fault, but he has no tact, and he seems to be really attached to keeping Oliver in pre-island mode, even while he knows Oliver's putting on a little show. We'll get into my other problems with him later.

 

Laurel's characterization really flip flops between episode 1 and 2, as does Oliver's approach to her, and that's pretty emblematic of the whole series when it comes to her. Another thing that is even more jarring is how mad everyone is at Oliver--I get that it makes good TV, but it doesn't feel right to me, except in the case of Detective Lance. He never had any relationship with Oliver, so all he sees is the guy responsible for his daughter's death, who also happened to cheat on his other daughter. I can see Laurel's complex feelings about him coming up after awhile, but her initial reaction to someone she once loved coming back to life after five years should have been joy and concern for him, not irritation. It just makes me not relate to her, right off the bat, and the show never gets me back on her side.

Edited by Carrie Ann
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What's interesting about s1 e1 is the tone of story. Compared to s1 ep23 it's like chalk and cheese. It's far more dark and intense in the pilot and you can see they were really trying for intense drama. And the Laurel scene just made me think "ouch". She had serious issues with Oliver so her ep2 was just stupid. I think they were trying to go for Oliver and Laurel are up and down but we ended up with Oliver and Laurel together suck.

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Yes! I had forgotten about that but you're right @catrox14 when this show was announced I was so pissed that Hartley wasn't playing Arrow I think I bailed without giving it a second thought. I now LOVE Amell but at the time I was all about "Fuck this show. That guy's not Arrow!" lol, so so funny looking back!

Agreed! I was pissed about JH not being cast as well, since they had talked to him about a spinoff.

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What's interesting about s1 e1 is the tone of story. Compared to s1 ep23 it's like chalk and cheese. It's far more dark and intense in the pilot and you can see they were really trying for intense drama. And the Laurel scene just made me think "ouch". She had serious issues with Oliver so her ep2 was just stupid. I think they were trying to go for Oliver and Laurel are up and down but we ended up with Oliver and Laurel together suck.

 

 

 

I liked that they made the pilot so dark and harsh. I thought it was necessary to let the audience know just how awful it was for Oliver. I thought it was one of the best pilots I'd ever seen.

 

Edited by catrox14
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I started watching because of Olicity gifs on tumblr this year. A person i follow for the show Haven kept posting them. She liked my ship on Haven so i wanted to check it out. I was sucked in the moment Oliver said mom and now I don't know how to quit the show.

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Agreed! I was pissed about JH not being cast as well, since they had talked to him about a spinoff.

 

I think that was supposed to be for Aquaman which was terrible out of the gate.  Poor Justin.  But isn't he on Revenge now? I don't watch it but I've heard he has a gig on that.  Although, maybe somehow CW could grab him for another shot at Aquaman if the Flash does well, and then in 3 seasons we'll have a full on Justice League! WOOT! 

 

And in 3 years theoretically, Supernatural should be over and Jensen Ackles can show up as Bruce Wayne.... Let me have me dreams okay???

Edited by catrox14
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The thing that struck me most about the pilot, and still does when I rewatch it, is just how much is packed into that 42 minutes of television. The amount of ground covered is pretty incredible, from Oliver's rescue, through his reuniting with his family, with Tommy and Laurel, meeting Diggle his decision to go out vigilante-ing, him killing his kidnappers, dealing with Adam Donner, having a confrontation with Lance. And then the twist at the end with his mother. 

 

Sure, it's occasionally clunky and exposition heavy, and the voice overs are still awkward as hell, but it's a fine pilot episode. I found Oliver himself interesting from the start, even if I wasn't sure about his acting. He's pretty wooden in the early episodes, but when you put that together with the trauma he's been through, and the shock of being back in Starling City with his family, that withdrawn, distant demeanour makes complete sense. It took a few episodes to figure out that he was playing Oliver that way deliberately (I think episode 4 was the clincher, when he was more animated with Thea, and then so inappropriately buzzed about his 'date' with Laurel, helping overturn that guy's conviction), but once I did, he plays much better in the pilot. Everything he does is deliberate. The stiff posture, the way he almost marches, rather than casually walks, the fixed little smile he wears. In hindsight, you can see how much thought he put into the character, because Stephen Amell really does not appear to be at all withdrawn or stiff in real life.

 

A moment I really liked (despite the overall direction it took the relationship in) in terms of his acting, was his second scene with Laurel. He seemed so defeated when he saw that Donner hadn't done as he asked, and he realised that vigilante-ing was going to have to be his driving motivation. And then you could see him almost physically don his playboy disguise and push Laurel away.

 

As for Laurel herself? Well, she started off okay. She was pissed at Oliver and didn't want to give him a break, despite what he'd been through. She took all the grief and anger she'd been storing and fired it right at him. Good. A strong woman who isn't going to stand for his shit and who isn't going to pussyfoot around about her feelings of betrayal. Except... oh... she forgives him and offers him a shoulder to cry on, only for him to turn the tables and tell her to piss off (because he's being all manly, 'I must protect her by keeping her away from me'). So now she's the weak, needy one all of a sudden. Ah, that's probably not going to last too long... right? Within the space of a single episode, she went from interesting potential leading lady (even if the chemistry was notably lacking already) to damsel who hangs on Oliver's words and actions.

 

Tommy was okay in this first episode, I thought. He seemed like a genuine friend (which he always was, really), and not like a whiny little bitch, blaming other people for his lack of courage and his lack of faith in himself. But he was a bit too douchetastic, and I think they were smart to level him out quite a lot, dropping stuff like the date rape insinuations and the perving after Thea. 

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I agree that the pilot was jam packed.  That is one thing about this show that blows my mind pretty much every episode but certainly for the premieres, midseason finales and season finales is the pacing in general. IMO it's like watching a movie every week.  Even some of the table setters and fillers are never that dull. 

 

Damn, this show is fucking awesome. 

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Tommy was okay in this first episode, I thought. He seemed like a genuine friend (which he always was, really), and not like a whiny little bitch, blaming other people for his lack of courage and his lack of faith in himself. But he was a bit too douchetastic, and I think they were smart to level him out quite a lot, dropping stuff like the date rape insinuations and the perving after Thea. 

 

Yes! Someone else noticed that roofies thing Detective Lance mentioned. That really was horrible and made me think did Oliver do that too? I'm so glad they veered away from that because it really would've made liking Tommy difficult. Tommy was the happy go lucky guy, not the date rape guy.

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Poor Justin.  But isn't he on Revenge now? I don't watch it but I've heard he has a gig on that.

 

He was.  Briefly.  I'm not sure if there are plans to bring him back, but his character left about 3/4 of the way through this last season.  He was good on the show, but nothing to write home about, IMO. 

 

I've never seen one minute of Smallville, but I've heard people talk about JH having played GA.  When he showed up on Revenge, I remember thinking "he's cute, but he's no Stephen Amell".  Although, admittedly, I'm quite possibly SA's #1 fan, so... ;) 

Edited by SilverLake0315

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JH's Oliver was considerably less dark than Amell's. He was on an island for a while but never had to deal with being locked up, tortured, or watching his girlfriend die twice. In fact, he actually met a woman, albeit one who would turn out to be the half sister of his biggest rival. He was having considerably more fun playing Green Arrow, though he didn't always have that much to do since most of the hard work went to Clark. He didn't have the facial hair but I think JH's was probably closer to the GA I'm familiar with in the comics. That said, I love what Amell is doing.

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I think that was supposed to be for Aquaman which was terrible out of the gate. Poor Justin. But isn't he on Revenge now? I don't watch it but I've heard he has a gig on that. Although, maybe somehow CW could grab him for another shot at Aquaman if the Flash does well, and then in 3 seasons we'll have a full on Justice League! WOOT!

And in 3 years theoretically, Supernatural should be over and Jensen Ackles can show up as Bruce Wayne.... Let me have me dreams okay???

Nah Green Arrow as well, the Roulette episode was a backdoor pilot, not sure what happened.

But I've been able to acclimatise to SA as GA after the second half of 2cd season and watching the pilot solidified my acceptance of a different GA.

ETA he was tortured once or twice when Checkmate and Suicide Squad kidnapped him.

Edited by slayer2

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Nah Green Arrow as well, the Roulette episode was a backdoor pilot, not sure what happened.

But I've been able to acclimatise to SA as GA after the second half of 2cd season and watching the pilot solidified my acceptance of a different GA.

ETA he was tortured once or twice when Checkmate and Suicide Squad kidnapped him.

 

I'm saying that Hartley shot a stand alone pilot for Aquaman that failed. I'm not remembering the Roulette was supposedly a backdoor pilot but I'm glad that didn't materialize now after seeing SA.

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A quote from Smallville Oliver that still cracks me up.

 

I survived for two years on an island by myself, Clark! When it wasn't pouring rain, it was blistering sun! There were mosquitoes that ate me alive!

 

Yeah at the end of his crucible facing the killer mosquitoes a few kidnappers showed up but hey, it got him a boat and a girlfriend until he cheated on her.  :D

 

I grew fond of SV's GA but Arrow put Oliver through more of a ringer in just the Pilot episode than what was implied for Hartley's whole stint.  Mosquitoes!!!!

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I liked Hartley's Oliver, specifically that he didn't take himself that seriously (Amell's Oliver takes himself VERY seriously, most of the time).  Hell during 'Fortune' when he and Lois broke into the dance troupe's changing room, I said "If Oliver winds up this episode in drag, it will officially be my favourite episode of all time", and lo and behold.  I just can't imagine Amell's Oliver in drag. It would just be awkward and uncomfortable (not because of Amell, but because of his Oliver's character). Hartley's Oliver owned that dance costume.

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You know, rewatching the pilot, I believe now more than ever that all of the "wooden" acting from Amell was 100% intentional choices to make Oliver as awkward and PTSD ridden as one would expect. But by the end of this episode was like...eh....I think he's pretty good. He does so much with his eyes.I can remember when it first aired, most reviews were all "Amell sucks"!  

"This guy sucks!"

"He doesn't move his mouth or his arms"

"What a shitty actor". 

 

Look wrong we were. 

He's always a lot more animated in the flashback scenes, so at least some of the acting is definitely on purpose, to show how he's  changed. He still sometimes shades into monotone growling, but that's what some superheroes are like, I guess.

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That was my interpretation as well. I never quite understood why some people were accusing Amell of being so stilted and wooden when the scenes on the island showed he was very emotional and animated. It seemed quite clear to me that the Oliver back from the island was closed off and suffering from some degree of PTSD, how could he not be?

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So I finally got around to rewatching the pilot so I could chat with you all. Some very little things I noticed:

 

1. I really like the misdirect on Walter - I remember groaning when I initially watched the pilot and thinking, sigh, evil stepfather, only to have the show shift and give us evil mother instead. Yay.

 

2. Wow, Oliver seems to have broken through the foundry floor and set up the Arrow Cave really quickly - how long did it take to set up that party and how many times did he ditch Diggle in the meantime?

 

3. Really glad they toned down Tommy's sleaziness - but having that in this episode does, I think, make his later reaction to Oliver's reveal all that more powerful. Even the slightly slimy guy thinks Oliver has ethical issues. Good.

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Inadvertant funniest line of the pilot:

Tommy at the welcome home party, pointing out three women:  Oliver, it's been 1,839 days since you've been laid.

Oh, if only he knew!

 

Also, I was struck by Robert Queen's response to Oliver for Sara being on board "This isn't going to end well for either of then".  Seriously? How about "You're dating her sister. This is beyond acceptable, get her off this boat right now."  Did neither Moira nor Robert know how to parent?.

I think the pilot made me think his mom would be more eviler. I think having your traumatized son kidnapped was pretty horrible.

 Yes, I thought she would be very Evil Queen so it's a pleasant surprise that she was layered more grey. and shown to be terrified of what Malcolm Merlyn would do to what remained of her family.  Her scene when The Dark Archer shot the Asian man in front and she's was trying to wipe the blood off her hands was chilling.

 

Robert Queens suicide was one of the most brutal and abrupt bits of violence I'd ever seen on TV.

I agree, but I think it got worse later on the island. But starting from that, Oliver was traumatized and we could clearly see why pre-shipwreck Oliver was such a contrast to present day Oliver.

 

Laurel had her good moments in the pilot but the characterization was a problem from the beginning.  She told Oliver that he could talk to her if he ever needed anyone to talk to, and then never listened to him. She was always quick to take offence in the early episodes.

 

Danny Franks, it was Adam Hunt who was on the list, played by Brian Markinson who like Roger Cross (Quentin's buddy) seems to have a contract to be in every show filmed in Vancouver. Adam Donner was the ADA who Laurel worked for in season 2 before the actor went back to Orphan Black.

Edited by statsgirl

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Also, I was struck by Robert Queen's response to Oliver for Sara being on board "This isn't going to end well for either of then".  Seriously? How about "You're dating her sister. This is beyond acceptable, get her off this boat right now."  Did neither Moira nor Robert know how to parent?.

 

 

   Not really. Their idea of parenting seemed to be throw money at them until they stop crying. And let's face it, Robert Queen wouldn't have a problem with Oliver's screwing around on Laurel with her sister, mother or next door neighbor. I got the impression he was a serial adulterer himself (no way was Isabel the only one), the only thing he'd see wrong with it was the annoyance it might cause him if Oliver was caught.

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I forgot to mention that initially this threw me right back into Post Traumatic Smallville  Disorder because Queen Manor and Lex's Mansion are literally the same house. (I've always loved that house btw. So beautiful). 

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I didn't know it was on Vancouver Island.  That must have entailed quite the logistics, to get cast, crew and set on the ferry across to the island every time they needed to shoot a scene there.

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I forgot to mention that initially this threw me right back into Post Traumatic Smallville Disorder because Queen Manor and Lex's Mansion are literally the same house. (I've always loved that house btw. So beautiful).

I asked about that when I saw a clip of this show a year ago. Thanks for the confirmation.

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Just rewatched the pilot today.  I was amazed at how different Laurel looked.  I thought she looked different in S2 but didn't realize how much.  I really liked almost everything about the pilot.  Oliver's bond with Thea. Oliver and Diggle.  Moira's scenes. Walter.  I didn't remember Tommy being so douchetastic so, like others have said, glad they went in a different direction with the character. 

 

Good times.

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Is anyone else fast forwarding the island scenes in their rewatch or is it just me?

Lol. Yeah, the flashbacks don't get my full attention the second time through. We mostly knew what happened before we saw the flashbacks and then i SAW the flashbacks so watching them again just feels redundant, like I've already done their rewatch. Plus that story is done. What I find fascinating is all the stuff that happened in the past and how it is still influencing the future of the show and I don't feel like the island stuff does that as much. I probably should make myself watch them but my mind starts drifting.

Edited by BkWurm1

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The island flashbacks were a huge problem in Season 1 for me. I just didn't care about them, and therefore couldn't get myself to pay attention or remember what was happening in them week to week. I found it easier this season, especially once Sara turned up in them, because I was invested in her story as well as Oliver's. But in rewatching S2, I'll probably skip most of them, because the Island is just not the reason I watch the show.

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Liked Laurel and Tommy, and I don't understand why we should root for Oliver and Laurel. Seemed like they would be better off apart. Still not sure why Laurel would have dated him in the first place. Seemed like Oliver would be more of a friend with benefits like Tommy was at first.

 

I've made some attempt to understand it and even if that makes sense to me trying to figure out the clusterfuck of the Oliver/Laurel "romance" story, I know that's little more than fanwank on my part.  I don't understand the relationship either or why someone we're to understand Laurel to have been and currently be would ever give Oliver Queen a second glance aside from shallow reasons.

 

Coulda, shoulda, woulda at this point in the writing, but I've wondered if they gave Laurel rougher edges from the start, basically made her as bad as Oliver (with the partying and infidelity), would that have made their relationship make more sense?   Like the two having this almost mutual self-destruction in the past, so why they were always drawn together, but even back then it was constantly making up and breaking up?  Basically Laurel with Sara's arc instead of the Saint Laurel crap?  I feel like that would have made the relationship make more sense.  Then after the Queen's Gambit sank with Oliver flounced off with Laurel's little sister (and had SARA be the goody-goody sister, a sister Laurel had always thought she protected from her own damage and the life she was leading), THAT'S when Laurel hit rock bottom with booze and pills and her dad helped her get her life back together.  Also if she didn't become St. Laurel the super-lawyer, but followed her dad's footsteps into law enforcement or private detective work (and so would already know how to defend herself and probably kept training at it).  Also had Laurel married to someone she met in AA by the name of Kurt or Larry.  Had Laurel completely moved on from Oliver in a romantic way, so when Oliver turned out miraculously alive, had them rebuild a relationship from total scratch - at least after any prolonged antagonism between them - to reflect the totally different people they'd become and so make an all new, more mature relationship.... but that's not what happened.  Suffice to say, I don't care for the way they went about it and sort of mired Laurel's character for me from the off.

Edited by Lisin · Reason: Please tag plot points beyond the episode as spoilers.
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And in 3 years theoretically, Supernatural should be over and Jensen Ackles can show up as Bruce Wayne....

 

Why?!! Why would you put that image in my head??? *cries over Supernatural's interminable renewals*

 

 

Oh, uh, topic: I really liked the pilot, although, as others have mentioned, not so much extreme-douche!Tommy or suddenly-forgiving!Laurel. Or the voiceovers. (Gah, the voiceovers -- I had blocked those out of my memory.) I liked that it was much darker tonally from Smallville (it did help kill the comparisons between the two GA characters -- I loved JH too). I do remember thinking, when I watched Robert Queen murder a guy right in front of his up-til-then completely lackadaisical son, saddle that son with all this guilt and responsibility for his father's sins, and then blow his own brains out (again, right in front of him), "Oh, this poor boy's psyche just got screwed all to pieces. No wonder he acts like he does in the present."

And that was before the torture!

He really needed the sanity that Diggle, and later Felicity, brought into his life, because he had none left to speak of.

Edited by RandomMe
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Finally getting around to a rewatch. I watched the pilot a couple of times back during S1, so this is the third or fourth viewing for me. The only actor I was familiar with was Paul Blackthorne. I'd never heard of the others before Arrow. I noticed right away that it was going to be much darker in tone than Smallville, but I liked that. I liked Smallville, but occasionally it descended into comic booky territory that didn't translate so well to the small screen.

They really did pack a lot of story into the pilot, and I thought they did a good job of beginning Oliver's story. I never had a problem with Amell's acting either. I always assumed he was playing Oliver as a bit wooden and mechanical because he was shut down emotionally. The voice overs were terrible - really glad they got rid of those. That chase scene with the parkour stunts was awesome though.

Diggle was easily my favorite character as soon as he appeared. I liked Tommy okay for most of the episode, but that 'roofied anyone lately' line that Quentin threw out was a big turnoff. I can remember being worried that we were going to find out he and Oliver were date rapists back in the day. I was already struggling to like Oliver. Pre-island Oliver had obviously been a spoiled, entitled douche, and present day Oliver was straight up murdering people. Frankly I was a little taken aback by just how dark the show was going, from Robert shooting himself in the head right in front of Oliver to the present day killing. Moira was the character I was most interested in because of that shady ending. I really think she and Diggle were the ones that pulled me into episode 2.

Then there was the romantic backstory. I knew the comic book history but even if I hadn't, I could see that Laurel was supposed to be the love interest. Unfortunately, I was over it before it ever started because of the 'Oliver ran off with her little sister and then she died' backstory. It was just so awful, and I can't imagine any way that the writers can dig themselves out of this hole they dug before we ever met Laurel. I also remember I wasn't pleased with the casting for Laurel - she didn't really fit my image of comic Dinah, and she was so angry. I mean, yes, she had a right to be angry, but it was off putting. Then she inexplicably got over it by the end of the episode - that's when she started to irritate me, actually. I didn't love her before that, but I didn't dislike her exactly. Oliver just does nothing to improve her character - rather, he drags her down even in the beginning.

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