Arrow: The Complete First Season hit stores this past Tuesday, and with Season 2 premiering in just a few weeks (October 9!) we figured it was the perfect time to start leisurely re-watching the entire first season in preparation. Paced out, we'd be able to watch an episode a day, starting with the day of release and ending on the exact day of the premiere. It was the perfect plan.
Sixteen hours, twelve cans of energy drinks, five pound cakes, and two separate arrow-in-the-wall incidents later, we had burned through the entire season, which—let's be honest—isn't that difficult to understand since the series is freakin' awesome.
From the actors and the action to surprise character reveals and a quiver full of comic book references, Arrow's first season beyond exceeded expectations. Even hours after our re-watch, there were still moments that brought shivers of excitement to our insomniatic bodies—and we're here to share some of them with you here in this list of 5.2 Reasons Arrow Strikes the Bullseye of Awesome!
1. Everything on the Island…But Especially Deathstroke
The island flashbacks that pepper the series easily rank as one of our favorite aspects of the show. Watching Oliver as he becomes the insane badass that eventually returns to Starling City is simply fascinating and gripping, but things really hit a high when the series introduced Slade Wilson, and suddenly the badass quotient went up tenfold.
2. Diggle Discovers Oliver's Identity
While the first few episodes included some hilariously entertaining gags of Ollie escaping from his bodyguard Diggle to gallivant around as the Hood, we would be lying if we said we weren't concerned that it would grow old quick. However, in a fantastic twist, the show had Oliver reveal his identity to Diggle, providing the Hood with his first partner in anti-crime. It was a fantastic choice by the creators, giving viewers something other than the "lone hero" cliché.
3. The Hood Confronts Moira Queen
The Hood's mission basically entails taking down those responsible for destroying the city. So when Oliver learns that his own mother was partially responsible for his father's death and his time on the island, we expected some sort of confrontation—what we didn't expect was the Hood crashing through Moira's window and threatening to shoot her. It was a great ending to the episode (Episode 13, "Betrayal"), the fallout of which eventually led to another great addition to Oliver's crew... Felicity Smoak.
4. Nanda Parbat
There are enough references on this show to send comic book fans like us into fits of giggles and eye-popping shouts of excitement (Coast City, Ferris Air, A.R.G.U.S., Kord Industries, Speedy, to name a few). However, especially knowledgeable comic fans might have had a bit of a freakout when Malcolm Merlyn mentioned training in Nanda Parbat and the mysterious man he met there who gave him advice on how to save his city.
5. The Season Finale
Start to finish the Arrow season finale was downright INCREDIBLE. The Hood takes on the Dark Archer in a glorious rooftop battle, Thea displays her "wicked aim," Roy Harper starts his journey down the path of heroism, half of the Glades collapses, and, of course, our hearts were torn out of our chest with the death of Tommy Merlyn. However, one of our favorite moments came from Malcolm Merlyn playing the recording of his wife's last words. It's a gut-wrenching moment and John Barrowman killed it in that scene. You really feel for Malcolm and his desire to avenge his wife.
5.1 Felicity Smoak
5.2 Malcolm Merlyn—The Dark Archer
What were your favorite parts from Arrow's first season, and what are you looking forward to in Season Two? Let us know in the comments below! And if you want to catch up before the Oct. 9 premiere, there's still time to enter our Arrow Giveaway and win a Blu-ray Combo Pack and the original television soundtrack CD.