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Arrow Season One Recap: One Arrow Left in This Season's Quiver

    In the “Pilot,” Oliver Queen, billionaire playboy, is rescued from an Island in the Pacific after having been presumed dead for five years. Each episode has contained flashbacks to Oliver’s time on the Island in addition to the present day storyline.
    The flashbacks actually go as far back as before Oliver and his father left for China on the Queen’s Gambit. Robert Queen, Oliver’s father, feeling guilty for having killed a man, had entered into a group of citizens who were trying to rid Starling City of crime. One of the other members of the group, Malcolm Merlyn, had joined the group because of his wife’s murder in The Glades. Merlyn had devised a plan, called the Undertaking, which would level The Glades, killing everyone in it, so that it could be rebuilt. Robert doesn’t agree with this plan and plots with Frank Chen to put a stop to it. Chen betrays Robert and plants the bomb on the Queen’s Gambit for Merlyn. Oliver had invited Sarah Lance on the voyage, and she is killed when the boat sinks. Sarah was Laurel Lance’s sister and Laurel was Oliver’s girlfriend. Robert sacrifices himself on the life raft so that Oliver can live. Before he kills himself, Robert gives Oliver a seemingly blank book and charges Oliver to save Starling City. Oliver eventually discovers the book contains a list of names. While on the Island, Oliver is taken in by Yao Fei, who tries to teach him to fend for himself. He is also captured by Edward Fyers who has him tortured. Ultimately, both Oliver and Yao Fei are captured, but Oliver is able to escape again with the help of Slade Wilson, who continues Oliver’s education in survival. Together they learn of Fyers’ plan to use a rocket launcher. They are able to free Shado, Yao’s daughter, and she too, takes a hand in Oliver’s training. In the last episode, “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” Oliver, Shado, and Wilson are captured and learn that Fyers is planning to shoot down a commercial airplane and blame Yao Fei for it. The goal is to collapse the Chinese economy. Once Yao has recorded his confession claiming responsibility, Fyers shoots him in the head, apparently killing him.
    In the present storyline, Oliver returns to Starling City a very different man than the one who left. He is determined to avenge and honor his father by hunting down all the names in the book his father had given him, but he plans to do it anonymously as the Hood. He is welcomed home by his mother Moira, his sister Thea, and Walter, his mother’s new husband. Walter was an employee and is now running Queen Industries. Moira and Walter want Oliver to take a position at Queen’s Industries, but Oliver ultimately opens a club, Verdant, in The Glades in his father’s old factory, instead. The club is located over his Hood headquarters. Moira has a connection with Merlyn and has Oliver kidnapped and tortured to find out what Robert might have told him on the Island. When Walter becomes suspicious of Moira and starts looking into the Queen’s Gambit’s sinking, Moria agrees to let Merlyn kidnap him rather than killing Walter. Eventually she plots with Chen to have Merlyn killed, only to have Chen killed instead. By “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” Oliver stages a kidnapping of Moira to find out exactly what her connection is. She claims that she was forced to do Merlyn’s bidding in order to protect her family and that she didn’t know anything about Robert’s murder or even the Undertaking until after Robert’s death. Walter, whom Oliver was able to rescue in “The Undertaking” serves Moira with divorce papers in “Darkness on the Edge of Town.”
    Oliver is also reunited with his best friend Tommy Merlyn, Malcolm Merlyn’s son, and Laurel Lance in the “Pilot.” Tommy is thrilled to see him, but Laurel, and her father Detective Quentin Lance, still blame Oliver for Sarah’s death.
    Oliver’s first targets are Adam Hunt and Martin Somers. Even though the Hood saves Laurel from Somers, Detective Lance swears to bring the vigilante, as he calls the Hood, to justice. In taking down his third target, Deadshot, Oliver’s bodyguard John Diggle is shot, and to save his life, Oliver must reveal his identity to Diggle. Oliver asks Diggle to join him, but Diggle initially calls him a murderer and turns him down. Diggle relatively quickly changes his mind and decides to help Oliver to keep Oliver from losing his humanity. We learn that Diggle’s brother was killed by Deadshot. Diggle is also drawn into a relationship with his brother’s wife Carly, but doesn’t feel he can really commit to her until Deadshot is dead. Oliver and Diggle end up at odds when Oliver chooses to go after Vertigo instead of helping Diggle kill Deadshot. Diggle returns to help Oliver after Oliver realizes his mistake and apologizes.
    Diggle persuades Oliver to expand his protection of Starling City from just the list, and Oliver tries to help the Reston family who have turned to crime after Queen Industries wrecked their lives by outsourcing their jobs. Oliver also has a brief affair with Helena Bertinella, who turns out to be the Huntress. She is also on a vendetta to avenge her dead fiancé by killing her own father. Oliver tries to help her see her own humanity as Diggle has helped him to see his. He ultimately fails and she turns to more radical methods. Oliver also has a brief relationship with Detective McKenna Hall which ends after she is shot by the Huntress and moves to Coast City for her rehab.
    In the last episode of the fall, “Year’s End,” Oliver comes up against the Dark Archer, who kills the people that Oliver has previously spared. The Dark Archer turns out to be Malcolm Merlyn. The Dark Archer wins the confrontation with the Hood and leaves Oliver beaten and broken.
    Oliver dons the Hood again to help Laurel with a case involving Garfield Lyons. Oliver has been keeping Laurel at arm’s length since returning from the Island. He learns that Tommy and Laurel were together while he was gone. Tommy is determined to win Laurel’s good graces. Tommy is cut off financially by his father and goes to work for Oliver managing Verdant. He and Laurel grow closer and move in together. In order to save Malcolm from Deadshot, Oliver has to reveal to Tommy that he is the Hood. Tommy is shocked and calls Oliver a murderer. He eventually quits Verdant and goes back to work for his father. Tommy realizes that Laurel and Oliver still have feelings for each other so he breaks up with Laurel. Oliver doesn’t think that he can be the Hood and still have a relationship with anyone, so he encourages Tommy and Laurel to get back together. In “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” however, after telling Tommy to go back to Laurel, Oliver decides that he could hang up the Hood if he stops the Undertaking, and he goes to Laurel, confesses that he still loves her and sleeps with her. Tommy sees them together through the window of Laurel’s apartment.
    Oliver slowly rebuilds his relationship with his sister who has been very troubled while he was presumed dead. In “Trust But Verify,” Thea thinks that Moira is cheating on Walter and takes a new drug called Vertigo. In the next episode, Oliver goes after the Count who is the major supplier of the drug. Thea crashes her car and is arrested while under the influence of the drug and is sentenced to do community service in the legal clinic where Laurel works. While working for Laurel, Thea meets Roy Harper, whose mother is a Vertigo addict and who lives in the Glades. The Hood saves Harper from the vigilante “The Savior,” and Harper becomes obsessed with finding the Hood and changing his own life for the better. When Oliver warns both Thea and Roy to stay away from the Hood in the “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” Thea is ready to listen to her brother and break up with Roy if he doesn’t listen as well. Roy vows he won’t give up.
    Oliver is also helped by Felicity Smoak. Oliver first goes to her for help because she works in the IT department at Queen Industries. Walter also makes use of Felicity’s talents in helping him to track down information on the Queen’s Gambit and entrusts her with the book of names that he finds in Moira’s possession. When Walter disappears, Felicity gives the book to Oliver. When Oliver is shot by Moira when he confronts her as the Hood, he goes to Felicity to get him out of Queen Industries and back to his hideout. Diggle and Felicity save Oliver’s life, and Felicity agrees to join them and help, at least until they can help her find Walter. Felicity becomes an invaluable part of their team, helping to catch the Dodger and the Savior and going undercover as a card sharp to help track down who paid to have Walter kidnapped. It is while hunting for the Savior that they realize that the sigil on the inside of the book of names is actually the map of the abandoned subway system that runs under the Glades.
    It is revealed in “The Undertaking” that Merlyn has had a seismic device created that will level the Glades and kill thousands of people. Merlyn plans to rebuild the area after it is levelled, thereby removing the crime. The device will make it look like the disaster was simply a natural disaster. In “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” Felicity hacks the mainframe at Merlyn Global to locate the device. While Diggle goes after the device, Oliver, as the Hood, confronts Merlyn. Malcolm has learned of the mainframe hack and had the device moved, so Diggle doesn’t find it. Malcolm also reveals to the Hood that he is the Dark Archer. Once again, the Dark Archer wins the fight with the Hood. Malcolm pulls the hood off his unconscious opponent, revealing to his distress, that the Hood is none other than Oliver Queen.
    Heading into the finale of the season there are many questions left to be answered. Will Oliver be able to stop the Undertaking? Will he be able to stop the Dark Archer? Will Malcolm reveal Oliver’s alter ego? Will Roy Harper find the Hood? Will Oliver and Laurel really be able to have a relationship? Is Moira involved more than we know? And how did things turn out on the Island? How did Oliver get away from Fyers? What of Shado and Wilson’s fates? It’s going to be an action-packed finale, and I can’t wait! What are you most looking forward to? Let me know in the comments below.

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