Arrow: Season 1 - Rotten Tomatoes

Arrow: Season 1 (2012-2013)




Critic Consensus: CW nails the target with Arrow, a comic book-inspired series that benefits from cinematic action sequences, strong plotting, and intriguing characters.


Air date: Oct 10, 2012
Air date: Oct 17, 2012
Air date: Oct 24, 2012
Air date: Oct 31, 2012
Air date: Nov 7, 2012
Air date: Nov 14, 2012
Air date: Nov 28, 2012
Air date: Dec 12, 2012
Air date: Dec 5, 2012
Air date: Jan 16, 2013

Arrow: Season 1 Trailers & Photos

Tv Season Info

After being marooned for five years on a remote island, billionaire Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) returns home with a mysterious agenda and a lethal set of new skills that he uses in a war on crime in this hard-hitting action series. Reinventing the DC Comics character for a modern-day audience, the Arrow is not a superhero... but a hero -- every bit as dangerous as the criminals he's hunting.


Michael Rowe
as Deadshot
Stephen Amell
as Oliver Queen
Katie Cassidy
as Dinah "Laurel" Lance
Colin Donnell
as Tommy Merlyn
Colin Salmon
as Walter Steele
David Ramsey
as John Diggle
Jamey Sheridan
as Robert Queen
Paul Blackthorne
as Quentin Lance
Susanna Thompson
as Moira Queen
Willa Holland
as Thea Queen
Lane Edwards
as Peter Declan
Ben Browder
as Ted Gaynor
Kelly Hu
as China White
Michael Rowe
as Deadshot
Seth Gabel
as The Count
David Anders
as Cyrus Vanch
Jessica De Gouw
as Helena Bertinelli/Th...
Manu Bennett
as Slade Wilson
Jeffrey Nordling
as Frank Bertinelli
Janina Gavankar
as McKenna Hall
Ty Olsson
as Martin Somers
John Barrowman
as Malcolm Merlyn
Chin Han
as Frank Chen
Chin Han Ng
as Frank Chen
Roger R. Cross
as Detective Hilton
Eric Floyd
as Dr. Brion Markov
Colton Haynes
as Roy Harper
Alex Kingston
as Dinah Lance
Steve Aoki
as Himself
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Arrow: Season 1

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (19)

Arrow is a smart, action-packed drama that appeals to viewers of all ages, and can rope in the fanboys.

Full Review… | October 11, 2013
E! Online

Arrow has done more than enough with its first season to make me excited to find out if it really will come into its own during the second

Full Review… | September 21, 2013
We Got This Covered

Arrow is improving, but I still found it to be more oppressive than escapist; it lurks in the shadows of its source material instead of seeking out unfamiliar daylight.

Full Review… | September 18, 2013
Top Critic

It's a sharper little tale than expected.

Full Review… | October 10, 2012
Uncle Barky
Top Critic

By almost all measures, Arrow is one of the season's more promising pilots.

Full Review… | October 10, 2012
USA Today
Top Critic

If the show can keep up its cinema-quality action sequences and maintain an air of mystery to Ollie's agenda, this could be a really fun series.

Full Review… | October 10, 2012
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Arrow: Season 1


This is a very dark television show, based on a pretty light character from the DC comicbooks. But I actually think that it works for this character, because I always saw Oliver Queen as a character who would turn out to be incredibly dark, and in this show he is pretty dark. This show really brings on the suspense and, for several episodes, we are in awe of what's happening on the screen. The creators of this show really have guts to do a lot of different things with the many characters that they introduced on the show. It has a very compelling villain in John Barrowman's Malcolm Merlyn and he is a pretty well-written character and you understand his motives. Sometimes, however, the show falls into that usual hole which is The CW's melodramatic moments, which can be extremely hard to get through. However, the show still manages to get the audience back right in with it's well-choreographed action scenes and brilliant performances from very talented actors and actresses.

Lasse Galsgaard
Lasse Galsgaard

Super Reviewer

DC brings another property to television in Arrow, a modernization of the Green Arrow comic. Though not tied to the Smallville series, Arrow adopts a similar style and tone. Season 1 follows Oliver Queen, who returns to Starling City after being presumed dead and proceeds to adopt a secret identity as the Arrow; a vigilante who seeks to bring justice to corrupt figures that have poisoned the city. The cast is fairly solid, and a number of impressive guest stars appear throughout the season. However, the series doesn't do that good a job at bringing in and using the rose gallery characters of the comic; such as the Huntress, China White, Dead Shot, Red Arrow, etc. And, being a CW series, there's some romantic angst and love triangle subplots that are rather superfluous. While flawed and unfocused at times, Arrow delivers a strong first season.

Dann Michalski
Dann Michalski

Super Reviewer


As is the case with most genre shows, Arrow takes a bit of time to come into its own. That said it finds its footing much quicker than Agents of S.H.I.E.D. and even that?s performing quite well now. Once it does hit the ground, Arrow starts running and though its highs are not so high as others, it has essentially no lows. There are episodes that are ?filler? in the sense that they don?t have a strong impact in the major-season-spanning arc, but not a single episode came across my screen that I found myself thoroughly bored with, the sort that you?d skip on a second time through.

Arrow took some of DC?s more outrageous villains, and grounded them in a pretty positive way. Count Vertigo of the comics gave way to a drug dealer known as ?The Count?, so identified due to his penchant for injecting his human test subjects with twin needles in the neck. The drug he peddles? It goes by the street name, ?Vertigo?. More of a charming reference than a simple tweaking of the character, but one that certainly did work in the shows favour.

The flashbacks seen in each episode dealing with protagonist Oliver Queen?s years spent marooned on a hellish island off the coast of China are actually the most powerful moments of the piece at large. While I can absolutely understand why it wasn?t the case, I still cannot help but feel that a first season taking place entirely on that island would have been even greater. A show featuring flashbacks to Mr. Queens past, and snippets of life on the mainland with the island events taking centre stage would (in my opinion) have been a truly original and entertaining. Unfortunately, the reverse is true, so we have no way of knowing whether or not that would have been the case.

The more realistic approach taken in this outing feels entirely Batman Begins-esque, which is certainly not an all together bad thing. I did like the real-world plausibility of many of the series? goings on. That said,it?s early days yet and this may not continue to be the case. In the first Iron Man film, Tony Stark fought another man in a suit, a short two movies later and he had to contend with an arm of bioluminescent dragon-men. I know that the series now has a spinoff: The Flash. So I can only assume things get more ridiculous from here.

The Nolanverse inspiration does bring me to my major gripe with the Arrow series thus far. The hero of Arrow, Oliver Queen. Now while it?s true that Oliver never calls himself Green Arrow, in fact the only time anyone ever does it seem more akin to a throwaway joke than a plan for the future, but Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow, and a television series about him is what Arrow is meant to be. Stephen Amell is perfectly capable of portraying the character presented, but that character simply is not Green Arrow. The lighthearted, jokey, directionless, selfish thrill-seeker is nowhere to be seen in the series at all. The show is good, but a show about Green Arrow it is not.

That said, my biggest problem with the program is a departure from source material, so looking at the show as an entity in and of itself? A surprisingly enjoyable time!



Gimly Monocle
Gimly Monocle

Super Reviewer


Darik Houseknecht

Super Reviewer

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