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For other episodes of the same name, see Pilot (disambiguation).
"The name of the island they found me on is Lian Yu. It's Mandarin for 'purgatory'. I've been stranded here for five years. I've dreamt of my rescue every cold black night since then. For five years, I have had only one thought, one goal: survive. Survive and one day return home. The island held many dangers. To live, I had to make myself more than what I was, to forge myself into a weapon. I am returning not the boy who was shipwrecked but the man who will bring justice to those who have poisoned my city. My name is Oliver Queen."
Oliver Queen

"Pilot" is the first episode of the first season of Arrow, and the first episode overall. It aired on October 10, 2012.



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Oliver Queen.

After spending five years on the desert island of Lian Yu in the Pacific Ocean, Oliver Queen notices a fishing boat in the area. He runs to the camp, picks up the bow and shoots a flaming arrow at a previously prepared pile on the coast, which ignites. Fishermen see a fire and guess that someone is on the island. On the beach, they see an overgrown man in green clothes kneeling in front of them. The men take the stranger to the ship and leave the island.

Television channels announce the return to Starling City of the famous billionaire - Oliver Queen, son of Robert Queen. The two went on a journey five years ago on the Queen's Gambit yacht, which sank in a storm. The media describes him as a "bad boy" who has been arrested more than once and also accused of assaulting the paparazzi. Oliver is rushed to the Starling General Hospital and examined by Dr. Lamb, who noticed his body was completely burned and scarred. After a while, Moira Queen arrives and learns from the doctor that her son may not be the same as before - five years ago. As soon as the boy notices his mother, he walks over to her and hugs her. The next day, she takes him home to the Queen Mansion. He does not allow the porter to take the wooden crate from the car as it is too valuable for him. Upon entering, Oliver is greeted by Robert's former business partner, Walter Steele. Oliver barely remembers him, but notices the family housewife, Raisa, whom she orders to greet the family. Suddenly, the boy's younger sister, Thea, runs down the stairs and hugs her brother and says she always knew he was alive.

Meanwhile, Laurel and Joanna de la Vega are investigating the case of businessman Adam Hunt at the City Necessary Resources Initiative. While Laurel ponders the work, other office workers focus on the television, where journalists report on the return of Oliver, who is the only survivor. They consider the ship's crew, Robert Queen, and Sara Lance dead. When Laurel notices the crowd, nervous, she turns off the TV and leaves. At the Queen mansion, Oliver stands in his room in front of the mirror, contemplating the past as he peers at his scars. In a flashback, The Queen's Gambit is sailing in the Pacific Ocean during a powerful storm. One of the crew members informs Robert that the captain intends to divert the ship, to which he agrees. Oliver checks in with his father, then Sara leaves their cabin, looking for a bottle opener. Robert warns his son that it will not end well for him and the Lance family.

Back at the mansion, over dinner, Tommy Merlyn promises to show Oliver about everything that has changed in his absence. Oliver wants to see his father's company, Queen Consolidated, but Walter suggests that there is no rush; there's plenty of time. When Raisa hardly capsized while carrying the food, Oliver responds to her apology in Russian, much to the surprise of the others. Queen mentions that he also did not know that his father's ex-friend was sleeping with his mother. Moira decides to say that she married Walter to keep the company as they believed Oliver had died. At night, during a thunderstorm, Oliver was sleeping with the window open.

In one of the cabins, a frightened Sara Lance counts down the seconds between the flash and the thunder, but Oliver calms her down. They kiss, and she cuts them off and claims Laurel will kill them once she finds out they are together. Queen tries to assure her that she will never know about them. Unexpectedly, the ship begins to tilt to one side, creating a large hole in the hull. They all fall into the water, and Oliver struggles to find Sarah. Suddenly, a crew member and his father take him on a life raft. Moira enters Oliver's room to see what is happening. Oliver instinctively lunges at his mother and grabs her by the neck. He lets go of her and apologizes the moment he notices Walter. The scared Moira says nothing has happened and is glad to be home. The next day, Oliver opens a wooden chest from which he takes a small journal. Then he goes to his sister's room where she hides drugs with her friend Margo. Oliver gives Thea a Buddhist symbol of hope, explaining that he was hoping to return to her. The siblings' conversation is interrupted by Tommy, who takes his friend to town. Along the way, he explains that the funeral sucked and plans to throw a big party in honor of his return. The car stops for a moment at an old factory that Robert sold a few years ago. When Tommy asks Oliver what he missed the most on the island, the millionaire replies - Laurel.

Oliver as the vigilante

Oliver as the vigilante.

Laurel tells Joanna that Adam Hunt asked to replace the judge he bribed. The conversation is interrupted by Oliver, who apologizes for Sara's death and takes all the blame on himself. She doesn't want to blame Laurel, who brought about a relationship with her sister. Laurel informs him that it would be better if he died, not Sara. After a frustrating conversation, Oliver and Tommy return to the car when they are attacked by several men who are attacked. Criminals put both of them to sleep, but Oliver tries to defend himself with the last of his strength. Eventually it falls to the ground and they are both taken to an unknown location. On a lifeboat, Robert gives Oliver something to drink to keep him strong. The crew member is upset because that should be enough for all of them. Robert informs the employee that his son is the only one who will survive the catastrophe. Oliver is not entirely sure if he can survive. One of the masked hijackers wakes him and asks if his father died in the crash. Oliver does not respond and is electrocuted by a stun gun. Criminals ask if his father told him anything before he died. Oliver, seeing an unconscious Tommy next to him, says that Robert told him that he would kill them. The criminals laugh and emphasize the millionaire's plight, but Oliver breaks free and attacks his enemies. Two of them are killed in the warehouse, and the third, seeing this, starts to run away. After checking if Tommy is alive, Oliver starts chasing the man. The chase ends outside the building when the millionaire's son has to kill him, as he has learned its secret.

Sometime later at the Queen's mansion, police question kidnapped millionaires. Detective Lance and Detective Hilton hear from Queen that they were saved by the man in the green hoodie. Tommy cannot confirm this as he was unconscious. Quentin asks Oliver a difficult question, which upsets Moira. Walter calms the situation down and orders the police to leave the apartment. He adds that Oliver will report in when he remembers something more. Oliver searches for information on Adam Hunt and notices him on a list in the journal. Raisa brings something to eat and explains that he has always been a good person, and despite his mistakes, he has always had a good heart. After leaving the house, Moira stops her son and informs him that she hired him a bodyguard - John Diggle. While traveling by car to a pre-designated destination, Queen talks to a security guard who mentions his military achievements. A moment later, he turns back and notices that there is no billionaire. It turns out that Oliver jumped out while driving. Oliver enters Queen Industrial Inc. Inside the building, Queen makes a hole in the floor for the foundations. It turns an underground room into a secret shelter full of computers and exercise equipment. Then he takes from the box he brought from the island, arrows and a bow. Ready, Oliver goes looking for Hunt. Meanwhile, the businessman goes to his car and orders one of the employees to take care of Laurel. When they are close to the vehicle, an arrow pierces the window. The Hood kills two of Adam's bodyguards and then threatens Hunt. If he doesn't transfer $ 40 million to his designated bank account for the next night, he will die. At the moment of the businessman's inattention, the Hood disappears.

After returning to the Hunt Multinational, Hunt calls the police to ensure security. He tells detectives that they were attacked by a man in a green hood with a bow and arrows. He asks the policemen to coordinate further work with Drakon, the new head of security. Hilton notes that Queen was telling the truth about the self-proclaimed green hooded hero. At the same time, Oliver goes to his car, where Diggle is waiting for him - this time not as a driver, but as a passenger. They go to a comeback party arranged by Tommy. On the spot, the young billionaire shouts that the island lacks tequila and makes a toast to the crowd. At a party while talking to Tommy, Oliver notices his sister smuggling drugs. Thea explains that she was alone during his absence, then goes to her friends, where she notices the lack of drugs. It turns out that during Thea's inattention, Oliver took the purse and threw it away. Oliver meets Laurel and apologizes for what he said earlier. He decides he could switch places with Sara. Laurel tries to convey to him that she is open and can talk to him about what happened. Oliver, seeing that Hunt didn't transfer the money, tells Laurel that he hasn't changed in those five years and doesn't want to hurt her again. Laurel reckons that at least once he was honest when he said something like that. Oliver tries to leave the grounds, but Diggle stops him and shows him where the party is. The Hood walks to the door and suddenly overpowers Drakon. At the same time, the latter places armed men in the corridor and asks Hunt to monitor the elevator. Without being noticed by the police patrolling the streets and the entrance to the building, the Hood fires an arrow with a rope. He turns off the lights throughout the building and starts a fight with the bodyguards. When Hunt hears his people screaming, he calls the police. Drakon picks up a gun and shoots the Hood, but vigilante at the same time throws a knife in the opponent's chest. As the police enter the building, the Hood jumps out the window. The detectives at the last moment notice him sliding down the rope towards Queen's party.

The first Arrowcave


The police enter the building where the party is taking place. Detectives order the rooms to be searched, but Oliver shows up, who informs about closed and private play. Lance is talking about a mysterious avenger who is here. Oliver laughs and offers everyone two million dollars as soon as they provide information about the self-proclaimed hero. This act provokes detectives and police to miss the banquet. Suddenly, Tommy approaches his friend and after inquiring about the coincidence that the party is near Hunt's building, he learns that "many things" were happening on the island. The next day, while cleaning the office, Hunt is notified of the disappearance of $40 million from his account. They don't realize that the Hood left an arrow with a wireless transmitter that allowed him to hack into the businessman's systems. Robert informs his son that he does not have enough food for all three to survive. He asks Oliver to come home and fix his mistakes. Exhausted Oliver does not realize the seriousness of the situation and decides that there is enough food. Suddenly, Robert pulls out a gun and shoots a crew member, then again asks his terrified son to correct his mistakes and commits suicide.

Laurel and Joanna discover that their clients receive anonymous donations totaling $40 million. Both women agree that the city has gained a new guardian angel. Tommy comes for Laurel and asks outside about Oliver. she assures that there is nothing to fear, as nothing has changed between her and Oliver since the disappearance. When both say goodbye, they walk away in opposite directions. It turns out that the Hood heard the whole conversation. After Robert's death, Oliver drifted for a long time alone in the ocean. Suddenly, in front of him, he notices an island to which he is carried by the sea current. Moira meets a man who says the police will not be able to discover that Oliver's kidnappers are related to them. The man asks if he should try to get the information out of him again, but the she refuses. According to her, there are other ways she can find out what Robert said to his son.


Main cast[]

Guest starring[]



  • The opening scene where Oliver Queen is rescued from Lian Yu features a Deathstroke mask hung on a post, which is meant to foreshadow Slade Wilson's eventual role in the series.
  • Thea's childhood nickname, "Speedy", is a reference to Mia Dearden, her counterpart from the comics who takes on the mantle of Speedy after Roy Harper. Similarly, Thea joined Team Arrow as Speedy in season 3 after Roy Harper left.
    • Also, several archery trophies can be seen in Thea's room, further foreshadowing her vigilante identity.
  • At dinner, Tommy mentions the United States now has a black president, referencing the current real-life president at the time, Barack Obama.
  • Tommy also mentions the TV show Lost, which is about a group of people who crash-land on a deserted island in the South Pacific Ocean, mirroring Oliver's situation on Lian Yu. Tommy believes all the characters were dead the entire time, a common misconception about the series finale.
  • The song playing at Oliver's homecoming party when he arrives is "We Are the Champions" by the rock band Queen.
  • Tommy states that one of the party's dancers resembles "the chick from Twilight" and claims that Oliver is better off not knowing what that is. This is a reference to Bella Swan, the protagonist of the often-criticized Twilight Saga.
  • James Bamford made a cameo appearance as the gunman who gets his neck snapped by Oliver.[1]
  • This is the first episode to reference Green Arrow's official debut. In the episode, Oliver threatens Adam Hunt into transfer money to the Starling City Bank account number 1141 references November 1941, the month and year More Fun Comics published its 73rd issue which featured Green Arrow's first appearance.
  • The pilot aired on Beth Schwartz's birthday.


  • When Oliver and Tommy pull up outside Queen Industrial Inc., the logo's reflection in the car window reads left to right instead of being reversed.
  • After Oliver climbs up a table at his party, he lifts a shot of tequila to his lips with his right hand. When the angle shifts though, he brings the glass down in his left hand. Once the angle shifts again, the glass is back in his right hand.
  • In the flashbacks when Robert Queen commits suicide, he fires a shot through his head at a downward angle. This would've resulted in the bullet penetrating and exiting Robert's skull with sufficient remaining velocity to pierce the hull of the life raft, which would've sunk it.


Shooting ran from March 12 until April 2, 2012.[2]