I just finished watching Season 1 of Arrow. I never started watching Arrow in Season 1. I think I started watching it in Season 4 on and off. I got interested again in Season 5 and Season 6 has me hooked. Watching Arrow or any of the DC super hero shows you have to understand that it is not taking place in the reality of the same universe as the comics. There will be many similarities but things will be changed and personally I think that makes it more interesting. So what did I think about Season 1 of Arrow?
Well to begin with I was never a big Green Arrow fan in the comics. Actually in my case after I started watching Arrow was when I became more interested in Green Arrow comics. Watching Season 1 after already watching episodes of the latest season means I obviously compared it to the current season. I loved Season 1, it felt like I started the story at the beginning. But it is also my favorite season of all the ones I’ve watched. DC has taken a super hero without super powers or in show terms “Meta Human” powers and made the show interesting and action packed. The characters are great, the dialogue between them is phenomenal, the action and story is killer. Comparing it to the current season the dialogue is the one thing that instantly jumped out at me. Especially between Digg and Oliver which I think in the current season is lacking. Sure the characters have conversations and great one liners but to me the show seems to lean heavier now on the action sequences and danger. Over building the characters beyond a few of the characters like Quentin and Thea.
It was great to see the cast from the beginning. They are all younger and it gave me a sense of how much they’ve grown and changed. You get to see the whole back story of Oliver, The Hood, Arrow, Green Arrow. The flashbacks are also way more amazing it’s like a second story within the main story. Flashbacks in later seasons feel like they are important to show you Oliver’s past and why he does what he’s doing. Watching it from the first season is different. I found myself waiting to see what happens next in both current time and the flashbacks. Many things are so different in the first season so it was fun to see those difference knowing how it changes later. Quentin Lance hates The Hood or The Vigilante as they call him. He stands for everything Quinton is against as a police officer. He hates Oliver Queen slightly more because he broke his one daughter’s heart and Quentin blames him for killing the other. Sara Lance was on the yacht with Oliver when it went down and she was swept away and presumed dead. Anyway during Season 1 you can see Quentin changing slowly. He starts to realize how the politics of everything holds him back from saving people. Which he feels is the purpose of the law and what he is supposed to be doing as a police officer. Felicity works in the IT dept at Queen Consolidated and when she learns of Oliver’s double life. She joins the team only to find his step dad Walter. At first she’s against the idea that the Arrow kills people on his dad’s list. The relationship between Oliver and John is new and I get to see it developing into the deep friendship they share in later episodes.
As I said the Green Arrow is a super hero without super powers. Showing Oliver training, his speed, accuracy and insane fighting skills shapes that hero that persona. In the flashbacks you get to see how Oliver changes but in the new seasons again I think it’s lacking. They are so heavily concentrating on his effort to live a dual life that they focus more on his “normal” life. We see Green Arrow battle the shows version of Deadshot, Slade Wilson aka Deathstroke and other heavy hitter villians. Contrasting that to the current episode it’s laughable that the splinter team of Mister Terrific, Mad Dog and Black Canary would even consider going up against Oliver. The splinter team is also outraged that Oliver doesn’t give them unwavering trust. Watching the first season makes it obvious why he wouldn’t. Mad Dog and Mister Terrific should know that too having dealt with the treachery from Evelyn Sharpe. But even more than that with Oliver learning the truth about his father, mother and Malcolm Merlyn. All people he thought he knew and trusted it’s obvious why trust is something he finds hard to give out. In season 1 he even bugs Digg and Digg follows his mother without his knowledge. This shows that Oliver and Digg’s relationship is not built on blind trust.
The references to other DC characters is great. There is a reference to billionaire vigilantes and Gotham city. Obviously referencing Batman and possibly hinting at DC’s show Gotham. There is mention of Ferris Air which is the company Green Lantern Hal Jordan flies for in the comics. Arrow was on the air long before The Flash and in one episode Laurel’s mom says she’ll get back to Central City in a “Flash”. In the show there is a villain named The Count who puts a drug called Vertigo on the streets. In the comics there is a villain called Count Vertigo. Deadshot and Deathstroke are obviously characters from the comics although altered for the show. There are lots of references by Malcolm Merlyn to Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Asassins.
I noticed that a few things seems to have changed in the later seasons. Multiple times there were herbs that Oliver learned about in his time on the island. They were used to heal an arrow wound, gunshot wound, a drug overdose but that seems to have been left behind. Next Oliver and Digg weren’t computer experts but they knew how to hack into city camera feeds and download evidence from the police system. In the current episodes they are painted as completely inept when it comes to computers. As for the characters one of my favorite is definitely Felicity Smoak. When I started watching season 1 I was waiting to see how they met and how she joined the team. However her interactions are so funny. I’ve always loved that she brings a bad ass tech aspect to the show. I don’t know maybe it’s because I work in the IT field. But in season 1 her lines were killer though. I’ve also always wondered about Roy Harper’s connection to Thea so that was all cleared up as well. I have to also say Microsoft must have paid some serious cash because Windows devices are all over the place.
After watching the first season while knowing what is happening in the current season. I feel like it would be a great time to bring back an old character. A character who has changed and maybe needs Oliver and the team’s help. Now that the team is split maybe the character offers to join temporarily. They offer to help with the Ricardo Diaz problem while the team helps with theirs. I feel a character like Helena Bertinelli aka Huntress for example would be great because of her romantic connection to Oliver and him now being married to Felicity. Another possibility could be Slade Wilson returning and offering to join up with the team because his son Joe is after Oliver’s son William. Ricardo Diaz could take William hostage ending up with both Joe and the Arrow teams on his tail. It would be fun seeing the splinter team interact with either Helena or Slade as a part of Oliver’s past.
Finally I watched the season finale with interest. I remember watching the Season 5 finale with the same interest. I hate the Damien Dahrk character almost as much as I hate The Flash’s Eobard Thawne character. Damien Darhk is like DC’s cockroach you just can’t kill him. I watched the entire Season 5 waiting for him to get what was coming to him. After all that build up the Season 5 finale and Damien Dahrk’s death was such a let down to me. It was over so quick and without any big standoff between him and the Green Arrow. Which is why I watched the Season 1 finale with such interest. It did not disappoint! It was one of the best season finales that I’ve watched in a long time. The fight between master archers Malcolm and Oliver, the call between Quentin and Laurel, the tension with Felicity in danger and finally Tommy Merlyn’s death saving Laurel and Oliver finding him right before death. It was an epic finale and not just the usual finale formula. Usually every finale is done to leave you wondering if this is the end of the show or will it return. It puts all the characters in danger so you are left wondering which characters won’t make it and which will return. The Arrow Season 1 finale to me wasn’t really about that it was more about building the characters and setting the show up to return bigger and better. It definitely hit the mark.