I learned about Green Arrow through Smallville. Since the first moment I loved the character; he was the only one that would tell Clark what a wimp he was for not killing a killer. Of course, I understand Superman has a rule to not kill, and I respect that. But I think Green Arrow is a better hero for not having said rule. Therefore, he immediately became my favorite superhero from Smallville. Also, Justin Hartley's performance was enticing.
So, as a Smallville fan, I was expecting a lot from this series. Well, I still am. After watching the trailer I noticed two big changes: Justin Hartley was not playing Green Arrow, and the hero's personality has radically changed.
I approached the Pilot with distrust. I have to tell you, my fears have been put to rest. The Pilot is everything I was expecting and more.
Here are some points on why I think Arrow's Pilot was excellent:
It presents the background story for Oliver. How he was in a yacht that sank and was the only survivor. After many days at sea he found an island and stayed there for five years until rescued. But it is not presented from beginning to end, rather in a series of flashbacks through the whole hour. Which prove to be an ace up the writers' sleeves. Some unexpected things happened at sea that you don't get to see until the end of the episode and it serves as a plot twist and a hook for next week's episode.
It explains why he decided to become at vigilante and is targeting the wealthy of Starling City.
The characters are well presented and constructed. Oliver was a drunken playboy, but after five years on an island he returned as a killing machine. Oliver's sister, Thea, after suffering his brother and father's death as a kid, turned out a party girl and now recurs to drugs. Oliver's best friend, Tommy, is the same after five years because he hasn't gone through much. And so on.
It plays like an action movie. I can definitely see The CW's effort to attract men. They played their cards well. The pilot has everything an action movie needs: deaths, explosions, hand-to-hand combat, parties, a mob dealer, everything! I was so excited while watching this episode. You could pick any given minute of it, and something interesting would be happening. Nevertheless, there is a bit of drama in between of action shots. They were perfectly balanced. I just hope the writers don't tip the balance to either side; I don't want just action or just drama for this show.
It ends with a gazillion plot twists! Actually it's three or four, but by the end of the episode I felt like I was going to have a heart attack from all the times my heart jumped and sank. They wrote them brilliantly at the end, to serve as hooks for the next episode. Thus, at the end of the episode I found myself wanting to tear my hairs off my head and screaming: "why?" This of course in a good way, I just really wanted to keep watching Arrow.