Recently I watched a program that I had saved on my PVR, and I was pleasantly surprised by what could be one of the best season finales for a show I have seen in a very long time! Upon further reflection, I realized how impressed I am with Arrow in general. It is a great little show tucked away on the CW network and airing in Canada on CTV.
Those who already know me, are aware of how much of a nerd I am for comic books. Those of you who aren’t too familiar…well, cats out of the bag. Furthermore, I’m a DC comics geek; always preferred them over Marvel Comics. With that said, Green Arrow is one of my favorite comic book superheroes. Sure, he’s like a Batman with a bow and quiver of arrows instead of a utility belt, but it’s always been his down-to-earth social conscience that has always been the appeal for me. He was the moral compass of the Justice League and often kept Hawkman, Batman and Green Lantern in line.
Imagine my surprise last summer to discover that one of my faves was getting his own Television show! When the show started last fall, I was disappointed to discover that the production had changed quite a bit of the character’s backstory that it left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I found the changed too distracting from my die hard tastes and it was hard to get into the show and slowly I stopped watching over the course of six episodes. Thank my lucky stars and garters that I didn’t reprogram my PVR and the show continued to be recorded week after week. Months later, I started watching my stored catalogue of episodes. OMG! I was hooked! Sure they changed some things, but it still worked! The show has drama, romance, action, flashbacks, conspiracy, villains, associates, partners, secrets, and vendettas. Perfect for prime time TV.
Arrow is based on the superhero Green Arrow, and his alter ego of billionaire playboy Oliver Queen. In the show, Queen (played exceptionally well by young up and coming star Stephen Amell) and his father are set adrift in a life raft after their yacht is destroyed out in the ocean. Facing starvation from lack of food and water, Queen Sr. reveals all of his dark secrets to his son — hands him a ledger book of names of nefarious people — and then shoots himself in the head so that Jr. can survive. Oliver washes ashore on an island where he spends the next five years trying to return home. The adventure on the island takes place in flashbacks throughout the series, revealing how Oliver gained the skills to become a formidable fighter and a supreme archer. The main story of the season takes place in the present; five years after his being shipwrecked on the island. Oliver dons a mask and hood and begins incapacitating those indicated on his father’s ledger. Along the course of his journey to right the wrongs perpetrated against his home town, Starling City, Queen is joined by former military man John Diggle (played by David Ramsey)and computer hacker Felictiy Smoak (played by Emily Bett Rickards) who believe in his mission and assist him as a team. In his personal life he is caught in a love triangle between his former girlfriend, lawyer Laurel Lance (played by Katie Cassidy), and his best friend Tommy Merlyn (played by Colin Donnell) the son of a mogul Malcolm Merlyn.
The series has its beginnings with Oliver crossing names of the list on the ledger, but eventually leads to a larger arching story involving Malcolm Merlyn (played brilliantly by Dr. Who’s John Barrowman) as a rival and equally skilled archer and fighter who has orchestrated all of the dastardly crimes that have plagued Starling City for over 5 years.
The finale is explosive, action packed with great fight sequences. It has some touching romantic moments, and some monumental scenes involving some of the recurring cast members — most notably Roy Harper (played by Colton Haynes) fighting off thugs during a riot and rescuing people trapped in a bus during the big disaster of the episode; and Detecive Lance (played by Paul Blackthorne) taking a leap of faith and assisting Arrow in dismantling an earthquake inducing bomb under Starling City.
If you haven’t seen the show yet, I highly recommend it. It gets considerably better as the season progresses and the season finale is great. If it pops up on Netflix this summer, check it out — or pick it up when it comes out on DVD. I am looking quite forward to the second season of the show this fall.