This is our first shot at reviewing Arrow, so some consideration will be given to the series’ first three episodes overall. We aim to keep reviewing, if we have interest and discussion. Hopefully, you’ll hear from more than one Bureau-crat over the course of the season.

Title: “Lone Gunmen”

Cast and Crew
Director: Guy Norman Bee
Writers: Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green arrow
Katie Cassidy as Dinah “Laurel” Lance
David Ramsay as John “Dig” Diggle
Willa Holland as Thea “Speedy” Queen
Paul Blackthorne as Quentin Lance
Colin Donnell as Tommy Merlyn
Emily Bett Rickards as Felicty Smoak
Marcus Rosner as Max Fuller
Michael Rowe as Deadshot
Colin Salmon as Walter Steele
Roger Cross as Hilton
Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen
Annie Ilonzeh as Joanna
Christie Laing as Carly Diggle

Full cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

Another master marksman arrives in Starling City, but this one is a professional killer. His potential targets include people close to Oliver Queen.

We learn more about Ollie’s past on the island, while Ollie ensures that a couple more people will learn his identity.

High Points

1. The Arrow dispatches his adversary a little too easily; indeed Deadshot proves something of a missed opportunity. Nevertheless, he was an interesting opponent, and the show briefly raised questions about Oliver Queen’s ethics.

2. A superhero goes to the police for help: I liked this development, made more interesting by the fact that the officer in question is hunting the Arrow.

3. I’m intrigued by the developing story regarding Oliver’s life on the island, and I hope its mysteries will be resolved in a satisfying way. It was simpler in the old days, in the funny books. A rich guy could get shipwrecked, survive with a bow and arrow, and come back a superhero. The modern era and television’s somewhat more realistic sensibilities require a little more than that (especially given the range of the Arrow’s abilities in this show), and the need for explanation wasn’t Lost on the writers.

Low Points

1. One of the most famous men in Starling City, the heir to a vast fortune who just spent five years on a desert island and whose return was the media event of the decade, pretends to be a member of the Russian Mob. No one recognizes him. Even after they check him out, the mobsters accept that he’s one of them.

So, will we see a flashback to the island, where Ollie Queen has a piece of Doctor Who’s psychic paper grafted to his face?

2. Green Arrow’s disguise, in all of his incarnations, has been brutally ridiculous. This show doesn’t improve much on the comic-book version.

3. What the heck’s with that “ling” at the end of Star City?

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 Green Arrow has always been something of a Batman imitator, and this version draws heavily from both the Chris Nolan films and the Frank Miller comics. As Ollie, he poses and preens, playing his best billionaire playboy; as the Arrow, he monologues. Smallville, too, exerts an obvious influence, with the youthful soap opera feel. Fortunately, the angst does not black out the sun over Starling City they way it did the skies in Smallville.

The show has added elements of its own to the mythos. Most intriguing is Dig, security guard and confidante.

Effects: 5/6.

Story: 4/6 The story kept me interested though, as already discussed, the plot contained missed opportunities and at least one obvious flaw.

Acting: 4/6 Arrow features decent television acting. Performances vary, but the leads hit the mark often enough. The Queen family dynamics, central to the show, still seem a little forced and clichéd.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 5/6.

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Lone Gunmen” receives 29/42

Under the Hood

Okay, so Dig has finally learned what he has suspected since the first episode. Fine. But what about the techie who helped Oliver with the computer? Won’t she figure a few things out when Deadshot’s employer goes to trial? And how often can friends witness Ollie in a fight before they figure out he’s not the person he pretends to be? And will online reviewers of the show ever tire of making every bad archery pun possible? I suspect it makes some of you quiver with disgust.