“Arrow” is officially a hit. Monday, the CW picked up the show for a full season. Everyone from comic book fanboys to people who only tuned in to the premiere because they thought Stephen Amell looked hot in the posters likes the show. XfinityTV.com got a sneak peek at episode three (Wednesday, Oct. 24 at 8/7c), which is every bit as much fun as the first two. Here are five reasons why it is a must-see.
Even More Shirtlessness: Oliver Queen’s five years of near solitude on an island have left him with a pathological hatred of shirts. This episode manages to find a way to show even more bare chests. Not only does it open with a topless Oliver working out with a pulley weight machine, but the villain of the week, Deadshot (Michael Rowe), has found a way to make shirtlessness an actual plot point. He really is a criminal mastermind.
A Discussion of Gentrification: Comic book cities are sort of jazz riffs on actual cities. Gotham City is sort of Chicago, but not really. Metropolis often seems like a cleaner, more naive New York City. “Arrow’s” Starling City (a change from the Star City of the Green Arrow comic books) has so far seemed vaguely Canadian, since the show tapes in Canada. In this week’s episode, we visit the rougher side of town, which features graffiti that looks like it was artfully created by a set decorator. Oliver tells his bodyguard John Diggle (David Ramsey) that he is thinking of opening a nightclub in the neighborhood. Diggle responds with a fairly insightful critique of the negative impact on longtime minority residents when rich outsiders decide to open up businesses in poor neighborhoods. That’s certainly not what anyone expects from a superhero show on the CW. Come to think of it, why hasn’t this conversation happened on “Girls“?
Watch the pilot episode of “Arrow”:
[iframe http://xfinitytv.comcast.net/watch/Arrow/8100897132939873112/2293098920/Pilot/embed 580 476]
A Possible Trip to Urinetown: This is an actual line from the episode, presented without context. “Guess from now on, I’ll be watching you pee.” Tune in to find out who says it, why, and whether the CW decided to show the one type of nudity that nobody wants to see.
Laurel Kicks Ass: Just as Clark Kent transformed into Superman by simply taking off his glasses, Katie Cassidy went from starring in CW flops (“Melrose Place,” the worst storyline in “Gossip Girl” history) to the network’s biggest hit since “The Vampire Diaries” by going brunette. This week, her character Laurel shows that she can kick butt in more than just the courtroom. In fact, she manages to rescue Oliver and Tommy. But lest you are concerned that the show is going to devolve into another love triangle, Oliver also meets another potential love interest, Felicity Smoak (Emily Rickards).
Is Oliver’s Identity Exposed?: By the end of the episode, it appears that someone has figured out that Oliver is the Arrow. It’s about time. Yes, this is only the third episode. And yes, it’s a conceit of the superhero genre that nobody ever figures out that the person they see every day who is always disappearing under mysterious circumstances is also the town’s resident hero. But still, with Oliver’s heavily publicized rescue from the island coinciding with the Arrow’s first appearance, you would think that everyone would immediately figure out that they were one and the same. It could turnout to be a red herring, but if it’s not a mislead, Oliver will have a much-needed confidant for the rest of the series.
“Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW Network.