Believe it or not, there's actually more to Arrow than Stephen Amell's abs (though they are glorious!).
Based on DC Comics' Green Arrow (don't worry, you don't need to read up to enjoy the episode or this recap), the premiere episode of the buzzy new series has all the makings of a CW hit: action, mythology, love triangles, and of course, a young, hot and sometimes shirtless cast to move everything along. Not a bad combination, right? Now, let's dig into the pilot:
I know I just said the series has a "young, hot cast" but when we first meet Arrow he's anything but attractive. Dressed in tattered clothes and sporting long, haggard hair, our dirtied up hero — who has apparently been stranded on an island near North China named Purgatory for the past five years (fun!) — expertly leaps through mountainous terrain to try and catch the attention of some passing fisherman. It's all very Tom Hanks in Cast Away, but with a bow & arrow instead of a volleyball. Luckily, the seclusion doesn't last long. Shortly after setting off a makeshift flare, Arrow is on a ship headed home. He has reason to be relieved. Apparently, Purgatory isn't the kind of place you'd want to be in for five minutes, let alone five years. In order to make it out alive, Arrow reveals he had to transform himself into a weapon. It's something that will likely work to his benefit because Arrow, whose real and very not-intimidating name is Oliver Queen, has resolved to return home, "Not the boy who was shipwrecked but the man who will bring justice to those who have poisoned my city." Ambitious!
Speaking of home, aka Starling City, the media is abuzz with news of Oliver's rescue. As it turns out, Oliver wasn't just any boy lost at sea. He was the son of a billionaire businessman (who died during the shipwreck), and a well-known playboy and club scene staple.
It's certainly not long before he's back to looking the part. At the hospital, a cleanly-shaven Oliver stoically stares out into the city, while his doctor gives his mom the medical rundown. Apparently, Oliver has 12 fractures that never fully healed and second degree burns on his back and arms. The doc also reveals that 20 percent of Oliver's body is covered in scar tissue. Seriously, what happened on that island? The answer will have to wait, as Oliver's mom decides to take him back home to their mansion, where he reunites with his maid, younger sister, and best-friend/fellow party-goer Tommy Merlyn. Later during dinner, Oliver surprises everyone by speaking Russian (wait, you can get Rosetta Stone in Purgatory?), and his mom surprises him by revealing she's married to his father's old work friend, Walter Steele. Needless to say, things get awkward very quickly.
NEXT: More awkwardness as Oliver meets up with his ex....