Arrow-thon: Season 1

One week down, five to go. Last time I counted weeks to a new episode was when Supernatural season 3 ended.  If that was the “hiatus from hell,” this is the “hiatus from purgatory.”  I could have watched one Arrow episode per day, which might have entertained me until the show returns in January, but where’s the fun in that?  Nope, it’s better to cram everything in to just a few days.

John Diggle trains with Oliver Queen.

No Arrow post would be complete without shirtless Stephen Amell.

Arrow hasn’t been quite what I expected.  And that’s a good thing.  “The Hood,” as he’s called in season 1, is a flawed hero.  He not always right, and he doesn’t always win.

Oliver has a weakness where women are concerned.  He repeatedly refuses to see his mother’s and Helena Bertinelli’s (the Huntress) duplicity, and he prioritizes Laurel above all else.  It’s a major source of disagreement between Oliver and John Diggle.  Hearing them argue, it feels like we’re listening to the left and right sides of Oliver’s brain.  Diggle is the voice of reason to Oliver’s emotions.  In nearly every case, Diggle is right.  (The one exception being Diggle’s former commanding officer in “Trust But Verify,” but that didn’t involve a woman.)

“The Hood” isn’t invincible.  The Dark Archer took him down twice.  Even when Oliver “wins” the fight, in the season finale, he still isn’t able to stop the destruction of the Glades.  That’s a pretty bold move by the directors.  Then again, according to “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” if Oliver had succeeded, he’d have hung up the hood and taken up with Laurel.  Nobody wants that, right?  And now,

Five of my favorite season 1 episodes:
(in chronological order, because I’d never be able to rank them)

Yao Fei teaches Oliver to shoot a bow and arrow.

The legacy begins…

101.  Pilot:  It sets everything in motion.

103.  Lone Gunman:  Walter is targeted by Deadshot, and Diggle learns The Truth.  (I chose this episode over “An Innocent Man” (104) because Diggle’s pretty pissed at Oliver’s secret identiy.)

106.  Legacies: I was surprised this “throw away” episode of bank robbers turned up on my list for two reasons.  1)  When Diggle lies to Oliver, Oliver graciously and immediately goes with the flow, and 2) the “sins of the father” theme is more heartfelt than most episodes.

114.  The Odyssey:  Felicity learns of Oliver’s identity.  Yay!

121.  The Undertaking:  Walter returns home!  If I could wish for anything, it’d be more Walter.

122.  Darkness on the Edge of Town:  The season finale is too dark to put here.  But this episode works, if solely for the Felicity /Diggle exchange:

Diggle:  Let’s go, Barbie.  Your new last name ain’t gonna be Merlyn.
Felicity:  But I love him!  He’s my man!  (softly) You’re my knight in shining armor!

Honorable mentionYears End and Vertigo.



3 responses to “Arrow-thon: Season 1

  1. I loved reading this, and getting a look back at season 1 Oliver from season 3 perspective. It’s interesting that he was so blind to women’s faults in the face of his experiences with Waller (and Sara, too, really). You would think it would make him suspicious of all women. But maybe a case can be made that he went the opposite way, wanting desperately to believe she was the exception to a very grand rule. Which makes a great case for why he’d fall in love with Felicity, who hides very little.

    Sorry. I’m all about the luuurrrveee! LOL

    Actually, though, the fact that Oliver had so many non-heroic traits is part, I think, of why the show has been successful. He’s got them, but he struggles with them in ways I suspect isn’t true of antiheroes on other shows (that I don’t watch because I don’t like antiheroes). Oliver cares so deeply that it’s easy for me to forgive him his flaws.

    • Someone disagreed with me (on a forum) that Oliver was blind to women. So it’s probably just my perception. And yes, a flawed hero is so much more interesting than one who’s not. It’s why I loved Peter Parker back in the old comic strips. He had doubts and struggled with being Spiderman.

      • Well, I agree with you, though perception is by nature two-sided: the intent of the “sender” and the experience/viewpoint of the “receiver.” So a lot of opinions can be valid. Like, one reviewer thinks Oliver’s a big dick (excuse my language) and I can see why she feels that way, but I don’t agree with it.

        Definitely, a flawed hero is more appealing. But I do like balance. Flaws are fine, but they have to be balanced by redeeming qualities, too (as they are in both Barry and Oliver).

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