Oliver Queen is son of an extremely wealthy family. They live in an actual castle! Well, it's a fake castle, which I can tell by the inaccurate crenellations, but still. How many crenellations do you have? Anyway, Oliver was in a shipwreck that stranded him on an island where he learned archery and parkour. So now that he's back in Starling City, he's going to fight the bad guys. And kill a lot of people.
Along the way, we meet his old girlfriend, Laurel Lance. She's working in a Legal Aid office and she's mad at him because he was cheating on her with her sister, who died in the shipwreck. He pushes her away to maintain the Billionaire Playboy thing, but it's probably not going to stick. Also, her real first name is "Dinah," so you can go head and look up "Black Canary" yourself to find out what sort of superpowers she might eventually end up with.
Oliver also has a shallow buddy named Tommy Merlyn who's always hitting on chicks (including Laurel) and arranging parties. So it's weird that Tommy is the only one who seems to think it's obvious that Oliver is the mysterious green-hooded guy who showed up out of nowhere shooting people with a bow and arrow.
Oliver also has a sister (who's getting into drugs because she's angry at Oliver for almost dying on an island) and a mother (who's hiring anonymous kidnappers to interrogate him). He used to have a father, but dad shot himself on the life raft so that Oliver would become a mighty avenger of evil. I'm not sure how that was supposed to work.
In tonight's exciting episode, Laurel is trying to run a class-action suit against Adam Hunt, who is an evil billionaire. Oliver makes everything right because he has a special high-tech money-transferring arrow that works when he shoots the wall of Hunt's office. Shut up, it totally works.
Welcome to Arrow, the show with the most phallic title on television!
We begin with someone in a green hood running through a forest and clambering up a large rock. It's worth noting that he he does have a moustache and beard, although they don't quite match up with the classic Green Arrow goatee. I'm kind of sad that they're not going with the ridiculous facial hair from the comic book, because I happen to think it looks pretty sharp. The gentleman in the hood looks out across a beach and sees a boat. He does a big, showy jump from rock to rock, sticks a knife in a crack in the rock, and shoots a flaming arrow. The arrow hits a prepared bundle of sticks, which goes up in a fireball. Kaboom!
Voiceover by the guy in the hood. The name of the island was Mandarin for "Purgatory." We see a cloth on a stick, and if you're hep to the comics, you'll recognize it as Deathstroke's mask. The voiceover continues, explaining that he was on the island for five years. And for five years, he's had only one thought: Survive. Survive and someday return home. That's two thoughts, actually. I guess counting wasn't one of his priorities. Anyway, he claims that he made himself more than what he was: he forged himself into a weapon. And now he'll bring justice to those who poisoned his city. At the end on the voiceover, he tells us what we already knew: "My name is Oliver Queen." Hi, Oliver!
On a television, a news crawl (with all green graphics, because this is a very green show) reports that Oliver Queen, Starling City resident, is alive. We see footage of him being paparazzi'ed. And his father Robert is officially dead.
His mother Moira is warned to prepare herself before she sees him. Supposedly, 20% of his body is scar tissue and he's had a lot of second-degree burns. But none of that touches his face or neck, so you can ignore it most of the time. Moira enters the room, and Oliver turns to see her. She calls him her "beautiful boy," and there's no denying that he has a very symmetrical face.
They pull up to a castle. An actual castle! You can tell, because it has crenellations everywhere, even places that castles don't traditionally have crenellations. I was going to make fun of the idea that the parking area has its own stone roof with crenellations, but then I remembered that this is a show about an actual archer. So if we're lucky, he'll be shooting arrows from behind those things at some point. Oliver has a large wooden box that he insists on carrying in himself. As they enter the enormous hall, Moira tells Oliver that his room hasn't been changed at all. A gentleman with a British accent introduces himself as Walter Steele ("Your father's friend from the company") and Oliver greets the maid as "Raisa," which turns out to be her name. This is significant, because it shows that Oliver is nice to the help. Then his sister Thea comes down the stairs. She missed him, but he assures her, "You were with me the whole time."