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Willa Holland

Back from its winter hiatus, Arrow returns us to Starling City where Oliver (Stephen Amell) has not been the vigilante since his encounter with the “Dark Archer,” revealed to be Tommy’s (Colin Donnell) father, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). Ollie is in full-on, self pity, mopey mode, ignoring Diggle’s (David Ramsey) assertion he needs to suit up and get out there because the city needs him. In fact, we’re blatantly told via some talking head news show the vigilante has had a direct effect on lowering the number of muggings, robberies, and murders in Starling City. Which is pretty astounding considering we were shown none of this during the season’s first half.

But Ollie is off his game, he can’t even shoot and pierce a tennis ball! Now what trick does he have to impress the ladies!?!

In the Queen mansion, Moira (Susanna Thompson) is doing her best Howard Hughes impression as she’s become a shut-in since Walter’s (Colin Salmon) disappearance. Made all the weirder because she knows who kidnapped Walter and probably feels responsible. Thea (Willa Holland) and Ollie try to cheer her up, but the Queen family is extremely, emotionally stunted. Just listen as Ollie awkwardly suggests getting takeout and watching a DVD. It gets worse when he struggles to pronounce “Galifianakis” in another reminder he was trapped on an island for five years. We get it, how many more painful pop culture references must we sit through?

The episode needs a villain because there must be a crime in order for Ollie to get back in The Hood. Well, actually, no. A call from Laurel (Katie Cassidy) on the secret vigilante iPhone is enough for him to put on the suit and creep into her apartment. She presents him with a case about a fireman who died on the job under suspicious circumstances that she believe is a murder being covered up as an accident. The perpetrator and this week’s bad guy is Arrow‘s attempt at an updated, “more realistic” version of the lame DC villain, Firefly. And I know what you’re thinking, how could it be worse than a pyromaniac dressed as a bug with a flamethrower strapped to his back? Oh, they found a way.

During a horrific fire years earlier, a fireman, Garfield Lynns (Andrew Dunbar), was killed when he refused to leave the building after it was deemed unsafe and the rest of his squad was called out. He demanded reinforcements, which his chief denied, and he was left in the building to die. Of course he didn’t die, but being so terribly burned he was unrecognizable and was labeled a John Doe while in a coma at the hospital. It’s an all right, seek revenge on your surviving company back story until you see him and he is by no means burned beyond recognition. Hell, Oliver is able to narrow down the suspects because when he confronts Lynns he notices the firefly tattoo on the back of his hand signifying him as a member of the Firefly Company. Good thing that didn’t burn off with the rest of his skin. I mean, look at him!

How was this man not identified as Lynns at the hospital is beyond me, and I’m usually pretty forgiving when it comes to suspending my disbelief. Rather than appearing as a horrible burn victim he looks like man who’s had some scar putty smeared on his face. To make it even worse, that scarred side of his face is kept mostly in shadow. I’ve been quite happy with Arrow‘s spin on many classic DC characters, like the Royal Flush Gang and Huntress, but this was dumb. If they were looking for a challenge in updating one of DC’s crappier villains, they only succeeded in making him even dumber.

Pretty terrible villain and criminal plot aside, “Burned” had its stronger moments, too. Laurel, for one, wasn’t completely useless. We see some that of determination and stubbornness we associate with Dinah, Black Canary, as Laurel investigates the case and disobeys her father seeking out the assistance of The Hood. Though, she does come off a little like the scolded child when her father, Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) finds out she’s stolen the secret vigilante iPhone. And she manages to somehow not realize Ollie answers his phone when she calls The Hood, even though they’re about 20 feet away from one another. So she’s not perfect, but there was some growth this episode. Unlike Tommy, whose role has become to throw the party that all necessary characters attend come the end of the episode to better serve the climax. Guess it’s not a bad job.

For Oliver, this episode was all about coming to terms with facing death and having people you care about in your life. Something he didn’t have to worry about as he struggled to survive on the island. It’s the fear of what his death would mean to those closest to him that’s had him resisting The Hood. But after several heart to hearts with Diggle, including a friendly bro-fight, Diggle convinces him having people he loves doesn’t make him weaker, but rather stronger. It gives him something to fight for. And here, we have the episodes message, Ollie learns to be a hero not just a vigilante. Something the show makes sure you don’t miss by having that same newscaster from earlier blatantly state it on television.

Ollie’s got his confidence back, Moira leaves the house after a pep talk from Thea to become the new CEO of Queen Industries – a dicey decision if you ask me, considering what happened to the two previous CEOs – and Detective Lance allows Laurel to keep the secret vigilante iPhone, essentially turning her into Arrow‘s version of Jimmy Olson. Oh! And he’s bugged the phone in order to finally catch The Hood, because even though he sort of saved the day, he still can’t be trusted.

Next week THE LIST is back and Ben Browder guest stars! Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8pm on the CW.

The CW has a bonafide hit on their hands with Arrow. Comic book fans and non-fans alike seem to be loving it. I think they’ve done a great job at blending the history of the DC character Green Arrow with their younger, more modern, and dare I say grittier Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). And with this casting announcement from TV Guide, there about to do it again.

Colton Haynes, best known for MTV’s Teen Wolf, has been cast as Roy Harper, a character long associated with Green Arrow and one who should be instantly recognizable to fanboys and girls. Harper is GA’s first sidekick, Speedy, who famously struggled with a heroin addiction before evolving – yup, like a Pokemon – into the teen hero Arsenal, eventually joining the Justice League as Red Arrow. And losing his arm, losing his daughter, and going completely bonkers and revisiting his heroin addition.

Of course, that was before the New 52, so I’ve got no clue what Roy Harper’s up to these days. But in the Arrow-verse this Harper is described as, “a handsome, street-savvy, teenager from ‘the Glades,’ the harsh, poverty-stricken portion of Starling City.” It’s also mentioned he’ll be a recurring love interest for Willa Holland‘s Thea, Ollie’s sister, who is oh-so-coincidentally nicknamed “Speedy.” Apparently they’ll meet, “in an unexpected way,” and Roy is “destined to become a significant part of her life and an important player in the larger world of Arrow.” Hmm, okay.

All of this sounds awesome, unless it means we see Roy in a costume before Thea. They’ve been dropping major hints all season Thea could one day assist her brother in his crusade, I’ll be pissed if it’s her boyfriend instead.

What do you think about this new addition to the Arrow family?

Narrowly escaping jail, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is back to ticking the names of the rich and corrupt off his father’s list. Though there’s hope this plot device is well and truly dead. “Legacies” opens with a bank robbery by guys in hockey masks decorated to look like playing cards. The Royal Flush Gang, anyone? It’s another well done infusion of classic DC characters into Arrow‘s more grounded, realistic vision. I’ve mentioned it before but this show is littered with easter eggs for the comic book faithful. Coast City gets a shout out this week, and since its pertinent to this episode I’ll finally call attention to the name of Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) legal aide office – CNRI. Canary, get it?

The bank robbery is one of many recently committed by The Royal Flush Gang (note, never actually called that in the episode, but whatever) and it’s grabbed the attention of John Diggle (David Ramsey), Ollie’s bodyguard turned confidant turned crime fighting partner. He sees the bank robberies as an opportunity to open Ollie’s eyes to all the crime sweeping Starling City, not just those names in his father’s book. Unfortunately, rich boy doesn’t see it that way, calling those street crimes a symptom of the bigger problem.

(more…)

Picking right up where we left things last week Arrow, The Hood, Ollie (Stephen Amell), whatever you want to call him, has revealed his secret identity to bodyguard, John Diggle (David Ramsey), and expecting him to join up as a brother in arms is a little shocked when Dig takes a swing at him. Of course, he’s still recovering from Deadshot’s poison bullet so his aim’s a little rusty. Diggle calls Ollie a criminal and a murderer, name-calling that is completely warranted as his actions as The Hood – seriously, this name is dumb – have indeed made him commit crimes and murder people. So this moment of opening up doesn’t really go as planned and Diggle resigns.

Don’t worry, he’s soon replaced by the most incompetent bodyguard known to man. He’s a riot he’s so terrible. Please say he becomes a series regular.

Coming back home Ollie is met with more grief, this time from Laurel (Katie Cassidy) who’s come to the Queen mansion to check in on the assassination survivors and ream him for how worried he made everyone by just disappearing. She accuses him of caring for no one but himself which is well, ouch, considering he just saved everyone from Deadshot. Such is the life of a masked avenger trying to hide his true intentions by acting the dick all the time. With Laurel out the door Ollie’s sister, Thea (Will Holland) comes in for support as it seems she’s starting to grow up and leave trashy, nightlife loving, “Lohan” Thea behind. She tells Ollie to stop being a jerk – thanks, sis – and to start being real with Laurel if he cares at all.

Cue the case/criminal of the week. The news story buzzin’ all over Starling City is of Peter Declan, a man convicted of murdering his wife who is scheduled to be executed in 24 hrs. Turns out his wife worked for a man on Ollie’s list and that leads him to be suspicious of the murder charge, thinking it more likely her employer, Jason Brodeaur, was behind it rather than the husband. Evidence? He’s on the list, Dad said he was bad, just go with it.

(more…)

As if this episode’s title wasn’t enough of a clue, one of the many DC characters promised to make an appearance this season indeed has his appearance. Deadshot, Floyd Lawton (Michael Rowe) is in Starling City and is doing what he does best, assassinating from afar with startling accuracy. He’s been hired by the Russian mafia to assassinate businessmen interested in making a bid to buy Unidec Industries, which includes Ollie’s (Stephen Amell) stepfather, Walter (Colin Salmon). Deadshot’s arrival forces Arrow and Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) to team up, or rather, Arrow to let Lance in on what’s happening and hope the cop will trust him enough to follow through.

Back at home Ollie’s sister, Thea (Willa Holland) is continuing to spiral out of control. Moving on from recreational drug use and binge drinking, the girl is now into larceny. She’s basically the Lindsey Lohan of Starling City. We’re given a glimpse into “Parenting 101 by The Queens” with Moira (Susanna Thompson) and it clearly lacking in the discipline and structure a young debutante needs. While out clubbin’, a very intoxicated Thea lets it slip to Ollie that Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Tommy (Colin Donnell) had been hookin’ up while he was “dead.” And strangely, Ollie doesn’t seem too shaken up by this which means it’s likely he already had his suspicions.

In the few island flashbacks we’re given this episode we learn that the mysterious archer who last week shot Ollie through the chest was doing so to save his life, though he could have fooled me. He takes Ollie back to his cave and patches him up, but Ollie still misunderstands and tries to escape only to be caught in the trap of another group on the island. No real hint as to who these men are, but once again rescued by the archer the two are on the run.

(more…)

After its promising premiere I’m happy to say Arrow continues to deliver action and drama with a hint of superhero camp. Stephen Amell‘s exposition-heavy voice over kicks off the episode and makes it clear this is a storytelling tool they’re sticking with, whether we like it or not. And honestly, it stops grating on you after a little while, especially because I’m not sure what other way they would get across the inner workings of Ollie’s mind. The struggle within himself over whether he can fulfill his promise to his father and be the son everyone expects him to be is at the heart of this episode.

Continuing to hunt down the men in his father’s book, Arrow’s target this episode is a billionaire, Martin Summers, who’s operating a drug trade with the suspicious Chinese Triad. He’s also the target of Laurel (Katie Cassidy) who’s trying to bring Summers in on charges for murdering a young women’s father. We get one courtroom scene for Laurel to strut her stuff and it’s just not doing anything for me. Maybe I’m jaded by the millions other courtroom dramas on television but I really don’t give a shit about any lawyer-thing Laurel does. Hopefully over the season they’ll develop her thirst for justice because right now it feels like she’s a lawyer only because it allows her to come up against both her father, Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and Arrow on a regular basis.

With Laurel pressuring Summers she becomes the target of the Triad’s assassin, China White (Kelly Hu). Her appearance in this episode is brief, but what she brings is badass. White’s an accomplished martial artist and can easily handle anything either Ollie’s bodyguard, David Ramsey putting in a surprisingly sympathetic performance as Diggle, or Ollie himself can throw her way. Even wearing a ridiculously platinum wig, she’s fierce. White’s not defeated come the end of the episode, and I expect and am looking forward to more of her in the future.

What “Honor Thy Father” is looking to hammer home is the personal sacrifice Ollie will need to endure in order to see his mission through. Amell continues to deliver a strong performance and does quite well at bringing the many facets of Ollie to screen. In the few flashbacks this episode we see his heartbreaking struggle to bury his father on the island and it’s a really touching moment reminding us his struggle on the island was as much emotional as physical.

Amell’s physicality continues to shine and he can be quite imposing as Arrow. We’re gifted a few more gratuitous training shots that I don’t believe anyone will complain about. And Arrow has some fun interrogation techniques creatively involving his skills and easily getting the desired results. I’m seeing more and more of the archer we’re familiar with in this episode.

At home Ollie is drifting away from his family, pushing them away, and this doesn’t go unnoticed. Cue another heartfelt scene between him and his sister, Thea (Willa Holland). Have I mentioned I want her so badly to actually become a vigilante herself? She’s proving she could be a real asset to Ollie, even is she isn’t slinging arrows alongside him, and I look forward to seeing their relationship grow. In public Ollie continues playing up the partying billionaire and, seemingly, continues to be a disgrace to his father’s memory. In fact he’s doing such a good job his mother, Moira (Susanna Thompson), who’s clearly far more involved in her husband’s death than we thought, believes he knows nothing of what’s really going on.

Arrow is shaping into a show with exciting action and an intriguing mystery around Ollie’s time on the island plus his mother’s shady dealings. I wouldn’t expect any of the cast or writers to be hit up with Emmy nods next year, but things are plugging along nicely. It’s filled a gap in superhero media and has become a welcome addition to my weekly TV schedule. Have you been enjoying Arrow? What are you hoping to see the show explore as the season progresses?

Arrow airs on the CW, Wednesday nights at 8pm.

DC has had a mixture of success and failure when bringing their comic book properties to television. Arguably, Smallville has been their most successful foray into a weekly superhero series, but last night’s premiere of Arrow from Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg shows promise. In a updating of their emerald archer that pulls more from Christopher Nolan than any of their previous TV shows, this Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) is more gritty and grounded than we’ve seen him before. In fact, Arrow is a mixture of keeping the hero grounded in reality as much as possible with the extravagant, unbelievable feats only a superhero show’s premise could get away with, and, surprisingly, it works.

The origin of billionaire playboy, Oliver Queen’s, arrow-slinging alter ego is at its core, the same. Stranded on an island for five years after his father’s yacht sinks Oliver has had to learn the hard how how to survive. The skills learned during this life-altering period is the training he’ll later utilize when fighting crime and corruption in Starling City. What’s interesting is how they’re choosing to present this origin story. We’re only given a glimpse of Ollie’s time on the island in an opening scene where he’s rescued, but in that short scene we’re teased about a major moment that must have gone down during his time there. Let’s just say it’s the first of many DC easter eggs littered throughout Arrow. But what it promises is as the show progresses we’ll be learning just as much about Ollie’s time on the island in the China Sea as we will about his first year as a masked crime fighter, and that interesting narrative choice could prove to be one of Arrow‘s strongest assets.

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The Green Arrow adaptation, Arrow, starts up next month.  Fans are all praying that CW does something to make it shine and it doesn’t end up being just another in a line of often-failed attempts at bringing a super hero to television.  And though they’re updating the show for the modern day, it looks like many old favorites will be showing up during the series – 11 DC characters have been confirmed so far, in fact.

Which ones, you ask?  Well, just in case you’ve missed the piece-meal news announcing each character and who will be playing them, we’ve organized a list here.  Some of these you may know, while others played more obscure roles in Green Arrow’s comic and may be lost on you.  So without further ado, the line up is…

 

Black Canary (AKA Pretty Bird, Scream Queen, Canary)

Played by: Katie Cassidy

Super martial arts lady who ends up on the romantic side of Arrow’s life.  Looks like this one may have been seriously nerfed by the Arrow team, however (lame).

 

China White (AKA Queen of thePacific Rim, The Woman without a Heart)

Played by: Kelly Hu

Leader of a drug cartel in the Pacific Rim who butts heads with Green Arrow.

 

Constantine Drakon

Played by: Darren Shahlavi

Kick-ass martial arts master and assassin who almost takes Green Arrow down.

 

Deadshot (AKA The World’s Finest Assassin, The Man Who Never Misses, The Greatest Sniper on Earth)

Played by: Michael Rowe

Expert marksman who, despite being an assassin, has a softer side.

 

Deathstroke (AKA Deathstroke the Terminator)

Played by: ???

Super-soldier mercenary with mega-genes who once managed to kick the entire JLA’s ass.  Little info is available about what they want to do with the character in the series, including who will be playing him.

 

Felicity Smoak

Played by: Emily Bett Rickards

Computer software businesswoman who fights the good fight.

 

The Huntress (AKA Batgirl II)

Played by: Jessica De Gouw

Mafia daughter who sees the evil of crime and dedicates herself to taking down the bad guys in rather violent ways.  Looks like this one will be a regular on the series.

 

Merlyn (AKA The Dark Archer, Vordigan)

Played by: Colin Donnell

Bow and arrow wielding member of the League of Assassins.  Looks like this one may not be quite the character he was in the books, as the team at  Arrow has seen fit to rewrite his story just a bit.

 

Speedy (AKA Arsenal, Red Arrow OR Mama Mia)

Played by: Willa Holland?

There are two versions of this character, one male and one female.  Both ended up serving in a side-kick capacity for Green Arrow.  All the rumors so far point to using the girly Speedy and having Holland play the role as a mash up of side-kick and sister to the titular hero.

 

Walter Steele

Played by: Colin Salmon

Stepfather of Oliver Queen and CEO of Queen Industries who stays out of the action.

 

“The Well-Dressed Man”

Played by: John Barrowman

Who is Barrowman playing?  We do not know yet, but that shouldn’t matter too much.  I mean, it’s John Barrowman!  Speculative folks have kept the list short on who they think he might be, the possibilities including Count Vertigo, the Star City Slayer, Dr. Light or Deathstroke (which would put the real total to 10, I suppose?).

 

Well, this is certainly looking to be more interesting than I had first though.  Luckily, the show starts up on October 10th, so we’ll all soon get to see what DC has planned for us.

 

Btw, screenrant has an excellent breakdown of each character, including where you might have seen them first, some of their background and what CW is looking to change about them.  Check it out.

In fact, she may have already been cast. Yeah, that’s right, SHE. Though she isn’t a character found in the comics, but one created for the CW‘s gritty reboot of the emerald archer. In the pilot of Arrow, Oliver at one point refers to his sister, Thea Queen (Willa Holland) as “Speedy.” And it’s not just a name drop to please fans, though it’s already pleased this fan immensely.

Producers Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg recently revealed to TV Guide of another scene cut from the pilot that would have further hinted at Ollie’s sister assuming the Speedy mantle. Guggenheim said,

My favorite moment in the original script, which Andrew wrote, that didn’t make it into the pilot is when she’s in the room with [her friend] and they’re crushing up the pills. The original stage direction was she reaches over to the shelf and grabs a junior archery championship trophy to crush the pills. I’m like ‘Why didn’t we do that? We never should have taken that out!’

AGREED. Any and all hints a character with even the slightest connection to Green Arrow’s second Speedy, Mia Dearden, could appear on Arrow would make me so, so happy. As of DC‘s New 52 reboot poor Mia has been – haha-  M.I.A.

Bringing in characters from the DC Universe is something Guggenheim and Kreisberg expect to do, so why not Speedy? A sidekick doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility, especially with Merlyn, Deadshot, China White, and Huntress already set to appear. What do you think? Would you like to see Speedy appear on Arrow?

Arrow premieres on the CW October 10 at 8pm ET.

Source: MTV’s Splash Page

Everything’s been Marvel this, and Marvel that lately, but DC doesn’t want you to forget that they too have superhero pojects in the works. Besides Batman, of course. The Smallville replacement, Arrow, about the adventures of a young Green Arrow, has been picked up for a season by the CW and today we learn the official synopsis. Finally, we can set our speculations aside and find out just what this show will be all about.

After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for five years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. When he returns home to Starling City, his devoted mother Moira, much-beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy welcome him home, but they sense Oliver has been changed by his ordeal on the island. While Oliver hides the truth about the man he’s become, he desperately wants to make amends for the actions he took as the boy he was. Most particularly, he seeks reconciliation with his former girlfriend, Laurel Lance. As Oliver reconnects with those closest to him, he secretly creates the persona of Arrow – a vigilante – to right the wrongs of his family, fight the ills of society, and restore Starling City to its former glory. By day, Oliver plays the role of a wealthy, carefree and careless philanderer he used to be – flanked by his devoted chauffeur/bodyguard, John Diggle – while carefully concealing the secret identity he turns to under cover of darkness. However, Laurel’s father, Detective Quentin Lance, is determined to arrest the vigilante operating in his city. Meanwhile, Oliver’s own mother, Moira, knows much more about the deadly shipwreck than she has let on – and is more ruthless than he could ever imagine.

The series stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, Colin Donnell as Tommy, Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Willa Holland as Thea Queen, with Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen and Paul Blackthorne as Detective Quentin Lance.

It’s obvious they’re playing up the similarities between Green Arrow and Batman, billionaire playboy by day, vigilant by night, but I’m surprised by the girlfriend’s father who’s a cop hunting said vigilante. Especially since that’s a dynamic we’re about to see play out in the new Spider-Man move. Then again, this might be a smart move taking a hero like Green Arrow and imbuing him with traits most non-comic book reading fans are already familiar with.

I have high hopes for this series, especially if they get Stephen Amell in a costume fighting crime real quick. My biggest gripe about Smallville was it really wasn’t about Superman at all. Also, I’m excited of the idea that just maybe, at some point, we’ll see Katie Cassidy pull on some fishnets.

Though this series does seem to have some odd anochronisms. Starling City? Like that sounds like a more probable town name than Star City. And he’ll be going by the name Arrow, not Green Arrow? Then why dress in green and not black? It’s odd, but hopefully these little things won’t detract from it overall. If this show’s executed well they could have a hit show on their hands. And, give thousands of people reason to tune in to the CW.

Arrow will have hour long episodes with a pilot scripted by Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim and directed by David Nutter (Game of Thrones). Will you give Arrow a shot when it premieres this fall?

Source: MTV’s Splash Page