CW’s Arrow kickstarted the Arrowverse franchise. It’s been a while, so here are ten pieces of trivia about the first episode of the show you missed.
Arrow, after Smallville, was the longest-running superhero show on tv. It is also responsible for kickstarting the various tv shows that make up the arrow-verse. Each episode of the series is full of interesting pieces of trivia, bits of foreshadowing, and classic easter eggs meant to reward fans of the comics.
Considering the show’s first episode premiered 8 years ago, there’s likely a lot that you missed while watching the premiere, so here are 10 things you never noticed about the first episode of Arrow.
During the opening which sees a bearded Oliver running across the terrain of Lian Yu before firing an arrow and lighting a flame to get the attention of nearby sailors, one thing we see is an orange and black mask on a stake with an arrow through one of the eye sockets.
While some realized that the mask belonged to the character of Deathstroke, it is easy to miss if you weren’t that familiar with the character. Although Wilson himself wouldn’t receive a proper introduction until the 13th episode of the season titled “Betrayal”, this was our first indication of his role in the series.
After Oliver gets cleared by the Doctor, he is eager to return home and start his new life, with home being the Queen’s luxurious castle estate. To many watching the episode, the Queen mansion would definitely look familiar.
Especially considering the exterior shots of the building had been used in other comic book related projects such as for Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in the X-Men franchise and for Lex Luthor’s mansion in the Smallville TV series.
In the comics, the city that Oliver Queen looks over and protects is called Star City. However, in the show, it is referred to as Starling City. It’s a small but noticeable change with those familiar with the source material.
While the City would later get renamed to Star City following the supposed death of Ray Palmer, this should have been the first indication to fans of the creative liberties the show would take going forward.
One of the main reasons Arrow is so good, especially in terms of action, is because the show has an amazing stunt team. James “Bam-Bam” Bamford has been a stunt coordinator on Arrow since day 1 of the series. with him being behind the show’s best action scenes and fight choreography.
Since Bamford’s work can often go unappreciated behind-the-scenes, it is interesting to note that he doubled as an actor for the shows pilot episode. It’s a very “blink and you’ll miss it” role, but for those paying close attention he played one of the gunmen who ultimately gets killed by Oliver early in the episode after a failed attempt to kidnap him and get information.
When Oliver and his sister talk in this episode, he refers to her as “Speedy”, a nickname that she admits to hating and one that Oliver says he gave her since he was always chasing after her when she was a kid. While many viewers wrote it off as a simple bit of relationship building by the writers, it also serves another purpose as an easter egg for comic book fans.
In the comics, Speedy is the codename of Oliver’s sidekick, Roy Harper, who later goes by the name “Arsenal”. When Roy does eventually show up he does go by the name “Arsenal” while Thea uses her childhood nickname when going out in the field with Oliver.
In addition to the numerous other supporting characters, this episode gave us our first introduction to Sara Lance, daughter of Detective Quentin Lance, and Laurel’s sister whom Oliver was cheating on her with. We get only a few short scenes with her before she ends up going overboard with the ship and presumably dropping. Long time viewers of the show, however, know that isn’t the case and that Sara survived and later became a major player in the Arrowverse, even going on to be the lead on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
Something many may have forgotten due to how long it’s been since the episode came out is that Sara who was on the boat with Oliver when it went down was played by a completely different actress than she was in later episodes. The actress that played Sara in the premiere was Jacqueline MacInnes Wood while Sara after that point was portrayed by actress, Caity Lotz. The original actress would have returned for the role but was unable to due to scheduling conflicts but it’s fair to say that the change worked out in the end.
Famous Last Words
One of the most iconic lines from Arrow is Oliver’s “You have failed this city.” which he shouts at the various criminals he takes down in the series. While he doesn’t say it in this episode, we do get an explanation of where he gets it from.
Before Robert Queen kills himself and his bodyguard, Dave Hackett, in order to allow Oliver to survive off their already dwindling supplies, he instructs Oliver to right his wrongs when he eventually returns to Starling City, specifically telling his son that he failed Star City. Little did he know that would later inspire the phrase Oliver would use before bringing criminals to justice
When Oliver returns from the island, he gifts Thea a hozen, an arrowhead stone he brought back from the island, telling her that in Buddhism it represents reconnection and that was what allowed him to keep hope alive that they would be reunited.
On the hozen are several inscriptions that many viewers don’t actually know the meanings of. The large character on the front “箭” literally means “arrow” in both Japanese and Chinese. While the inscription on the back translates “毒箭不需要殺” as “poisoned arrows do not need to kill”.
When looking for a place to set up his headquarters for his missions as “The Hood”, Oliver ends up choosing his dad’s old factory to operate out of. While Oliver clearly chooses it because it is abandoned and the fact that it’s highly unlikely that anyone would discover him there, his using the location also holds a deeper meaning.
In a way, it is symbolic of the whole show’s idea of Oliver repurposing the negative contributions that his father made on their home and using it to do good for the community.
When Oliver returns home, one of the first things he does is set his sights on businessman Adam Hunt. Hunt was one of the many names on the list his father gave him before he died. The list is a detailed index of every corrupt official and businessperson in Starling City. We only see the list in brief instances but a few names, in particular, stand out among the others.
The names include Danny Brickwell who was one of the main villains of season 3, Hannibal Bates aka Everyman who was a villain for a Flash episode, and Isabel Rochev who went by Ravager and was an associate of Slade Wilson.