Series overview
Season 12345678
"Do you remember when the people in this city helped each other? They can't do that anymore, because a group of people, people like my father, they see nothing wrong with raising themselves up by stepping on other people's throats. It does need to stop, and if it's not gonna be the courts and it's not gonna be the cops... then it's gonna be me. And, I hope, you."
Oliver Queen to John Diggle[src]

The first season of Arrow premiered on October 10, 2012 on The CW and concluded on May 15, 2013. The season consisted of 23 episodes.



Main cast

Recurring cast


# Episode name Directed by Story by Teleplay by Original airdate
1 "Pilot" David Nutter Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim October 10, 2012
After a violent shipwreck, billionaire playboy Oliver Queen was missing and presumed dead for 5 years before being discovered alive on a remote island in the Pacific. Back in Starling City, Oliver slowly reconnects with those closest to him, his devoted mother Moira, beloved sister Thea, and best friend Tommy Merlyn, but struggles with his ex-girlfriend Dinah "Laurel" Lance, who blames him for her sister's death. Oliver has brought back many new skills from his time on the island and despite the watchful eye of his new bodyguard John Diggle, Oliver manages to secretly create the persona of The Hood a green hooded vigilante archer to right the wrongs of his family and fight the ills of society. As The Hood, Oliver will atone for the past sins of his family while he searches for the personal redemption he needs.
2 "Honor Thy Father" David Barrett Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim October 17, 2012
Oliver heads to the courthouse to get his death certificate repealed and is pleasantly surprised to run into Laurel, who is there prosecuting Martin Somers, a criminal with ties to the Chinese Triad. Oliver recognizes Martin's name from his father's book and sets his sights on taking him down. Martin orders the Chinese Triad to "take care of" Laurel so they send their top mercenary China White after her, an act that culminates in a battle between The Hood and China White. Meanwhile, Moira and Walter ask Oliver to take over the company.
3 "Lone Gunmen" Guy Bee Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim October 24, 2012
Oliver is surprised when someone shoots and kills one of his targets. As his plan is to bring people to justice vs. outright killing them, Oliver doesn't appreciate the help and searches for the gunman. He soon learns that the man, Deadshot, is taking out businessmen who are scheduled to bid at an auction on an energy company and Walter is one of the bidders. Realizing he can't protect his family and stop Deadshot at the same time, Oliver enlists Sergeant Quentin's help, but his plan has dire consequences. Meanwhile, Laurel and Tommy get caught in an awkward situation with Oliver.
4 "An Innocent Man" Vince Misiano Moira Kirland & Lana Cho October 31, 2012
Oliver still hasn't figured out how to get back in Laurel's good graces, but a late night bonding session with Thea gives him the inspiration he needs. Looking into a suspicious murder case, Oliver realizes an innocent man, Peter Declan, was framed by one of the targets on his list. As The Hood, he asks Laurel to help prove Peter's innocence. Meanwhile, Walter asks one of his employees, Felicity Smoak, to look into a $2.6 million withdrawal that Moira made without his knowledge.
5 "Damaged" Michael Schultz Wendy Mericle & Ben Sokolowski November 7, 2012
After Sergeant Quentin arrests Oliver for murder, Oliver tells Moira the only lawyer he'll allow to represent him is Laurel. Laurel takes the case which puts her at odds with her father. Oliver offers to take a polygraph in front Sergeant Quentin but things get tense when Lance asks him if anyone else was on the island with him. Oliver flashes back to when he got his second scar, courtesy of Billy Wintergreen.
6 "Legacies" John Behring Moira Kirland & Marc Guggenheim November 14, 2012
A gang of bank robbers, dubbed The Royal Flush Gang, hits a local bank and seriously wounds an off-duty police officer during a heist. John tells Oliver he needs to deviate from his father's list and start helping the citizens of Starling City. Meanwhile, Tommy asks Thea for relationship advice, but things get awkward when she realizes he was asking about Laurel. Moira confronts Oliver about all of his recent disappearances in the middle of family functions.
7 "Muse of Fire" David Grossman Andrew Kreisberg Geoff Johns & Marc Guggenheim November 28, 2012
Oliver encounters a mysterious woman, Helena Bertinelli, the daughter of mob boss Frank Bertinelli, who he can finally be himself with, but he soon comes to realize she's hiding dangerous secrets of her own. Helena is on her own personal mission of vengeance and Oliver is caught in the middle. Meanwhile, Tommy is blindsided by an unfortunate turn of events and turns to Laurel for support.
8 "Vendetta" Ken Fink Beth Schwartz & Andrew Kreisberg December 5, 2012
As Oliver and Helena grow closer, Oliver trains her to be his ally, complete with showing her how to use a crossbow. John disapproves of Oliver sharing his secret with Helena as he's not sure she can be trusted, but Oliver refuses to listen to his concerns. Helena's quest for revenge proves to be too strong for Oliver to handle after she kills the head of the Triad and all hell breaks loose.
9 "Year's End" John Dahl Greg Berlanti & Marc Guggenheim Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim December 12, 2012
Oliver discovers that after he and his father went missing, Moira and Thea stopped celebrating Christmas. Determined to make up for lost time and restore a sense of normalcy to the Queen household, Oliver decides to throw the family a Christmas party. Meanwhile, Tommy asks Laurel to spend Christmas with him but she points out that Christmas was also her sister Sara's birthday and she needs to be with her father. Tommy suggests changing things up might be the best way for everyone to heal but Laurel isn't sure her father is ready for that. Meanwhile, John tells Oliver someone is murdering the people on his father's list with arrows, which sends Oliver off to face his toughest adversary yet.
10 "Burned" Eagle Egilsson Moira Kirland & Ben Sokolowski January 16, 2013
Oliver's confidence is shaken after almost being beaten by The Dark Archer and he takes a break from being The Hood. However, when Laurel calls The Hood for help investigating a firefighter's suspicious death, he reluctantly agrees but his hesitance while fighting almost costs him his life. Meanwhile, Tommy throws a benefit for the firefighters and Thea tries to lift Moira out of her depressive state.
11 "Trust but Verify" Nick Copus Gabrielle Stanton January 23, 2013
The next person on The Hood's list is John's commanding officer and mentor from Afghanistan, Ted Gaynor. Oliver suspects Ted is responsible for recent armoured truck robberies, but John defends Ted and takes a job at Ted's security company to keep an eye on him. Oliver decides to make a move on Ted, which puts him at odds with John. Meanwhile, Thea suspects that Moira is having an affair with Malcolm. Tommy and Laurel have an awkward dinner with Malcolm.
12 "Vertigo" Wendey Stanzler Wendy Mericle & Ben Sokolowski January 30, 2013
Thea is in trouble with the police after she gets caught using a drug called "Vertigo". Oliver thinks the only way to keep her out of jail is to find the dealer, a man who goes by the name of The Count. Oliver turns to McKenna Hall, a old friend and current Vice cop, for help. Meanwhile, Laurel steps in to defend Thea, and Felicity gives Oliver some disturbing news about Moira.
13 "Betrayal" Guy Bee Lana Cho & Beth Schwartz February 6, 2013
Cyrus Vanch, a nefarious criminal, is recently released from prison and intends to re-secure his position as leader of the underworld. His first step is to take down his biggest opponent in the city The Hood. Meanwhile, Oliver shows Moira his father's notebook and questions her about the names on the list. Thea is miserable as she starts her internship with Laurel at the legal aid office and Detective Quentin makes a deadly mistake that puts Laurel in the crosshairs of Cyrus.
14 "The Odyssey" John Behring Greg Berlanti & Andrew Kreisberg Andrew Kreisberg & Marc Guggenheim February 13, 2013
After Oliver is shot, he turns to a surprising person for help Felicity. John is stunned when he sees Felicity walk through the front door of the lair dragging a dying Oliver behind her, and the two team up to save Oliver's life. As Oliver hovers between life and death, he flashes back to a seminal event on the island a daring escape attempt with his new friend Slade Wilson.
15 "Dodger" Eagle Egilsson Beth Schwartz February 20, 2013
Felicity tells Oliver he's all work and no play, so he asks Detective McKenna on a date. A jewel thief named The Dodger hits Starling City and targets someone very close to Oliver. Meanwhile, while working with Laurel, Thea gets her purse stolen by a very fast pickpocket named Roy Harper. Moira makes a move against Malcolm.
16 "Dead to Rights" Glen Winter Geoff Johns February 27, 2013
Oliver and John learn that Deadshot is still alive and his next target is Malcolm. Malcolm invites Tommy to attend a benefit honoring Malcolm for his work with Starling City but Tommy refuses to attend. Oliver encourages his friend to mend his relationship with his father while he can. Meanwhile, Oliver struggles to balance his new relationship with McKenna and his duties as The Hood.
17 "The Huntress Returns" Guy Bee Jake Coburn & Lana Cho March 20, 2013
With his night club set to open and a new romance brewing with McKenna, Oliver is as happy as he's been since returning to Starling City. But when Oliver's ex, The Huntress, suddenly returns to town, she threatens to destroy everything and everyone he cares about. Meanwhile, Laurel and her father struggle with the return of Dinah Lance who claims she has proof Sara is still alive. Thea gets Roy Harper a job at Oliver's club, but he's not too inclined to stop his life of crime. Oliver and Tommy are thrilled they were able to get Steve Aoki to play at the opening of their new nightclub, Verdant.
18 "Salvation" Nick Copus Drew Z. Greenberg & Wendy Mericle March 27, 2013
A angry resident of The Glades who calls himself The Savior embarks on a kidnapping and killing spree to punish those he believes have wronged the residents of his neighborhood. To make things worse, he broadcasts these murders online and claims he was inspired by Arrow's vigilantism. Oliver is horrified by this statement and vows to stop The Savior, but his manhunt in intensified after Thea comes to him in tears and tells him Roy has been kidnapped. Laurel is surprised when her father starts to believe her mother's claim that Sara is still alive. Meanwhile, Malcolm tells Moira to find the person responsible for his attempted murder.
19 "Unfinished Business" Michael Offer Bryan Q. Miller & Lindsey Allen April 3, 2013
When a young woman meets a violent death after partying at Verdant, Detective Quentin and his partner, Detective Lucas inform Oliver and Tommy that she was on the drug Vertigo. Oliver immediately pays a visit to the mental institution where The Count is locked up, but finds he is in no condition to deal drugs. However, when The Count escapes and Starling City is flooded with even more Vertigo-related violence, Oliver and John make it their mission to track him down. After Detective Quentin uncovers incriminating evidence against him, Tommy goes to great lengths to clear his name, and the fallout from his actions leads Tommy down a new, unexpected path. In a flashback to the island, Oliver recalls the lessons he learned from Slade and Shado.
20 "Home Invasion" Ken Fink Ben Sokolowski & Beth Schwartz April 24, 2013
Deadshot returns to Starling City after taking down a U.S. Ambassador and six others overseas. By keeping tabs on A.R.G.U.S.'s manhunt for the assassin, Oliver, John, and Felicity, learn that a sting operation is underway to capture Deadshot alive. John is determined to see his brother's killer dead, with or without Oliver's help. Meanwhile, Laurel takes drastic steps to protect a young witness, exacerbating friction between Tommy and Oliver. Later, Roy Harper unconventionally pursues all leads to find his new hero, but runs afoul of Detective Quentin. Back on the island, Oliver recalls how Shado helped him incrementally gain confidence with a bow and hit the target for the first time.
21 "The Undertaking" Michael Schultz Jake Coburn & Lana Cho May 1, 2013
Finding it difficult to mend fences with Tommy and John, Oliver instead focuses on crossing another name off the list. While digging through a crooked accountant's laptop, Felicity discovers a transaction that could help Oliver find Walter. To reconfirm the lead, Oliver gambles that Felicity can be counted on in the field for the first time. In a flashback, Malcolm reveals to Robert Queen and Frank Chen painful details surrounding his wife's murder, and how that shaped his plans for the Glades. Meanwhile, Tommy stuns Laurel with the truth.
22 "Darkness on the Edge of Town" John Behring Drew Z. Greenberg & Wendy Mericle May 8, 2013
With the Undertaking days away, Malcolm dons his Dark Archer costume and black hood to conclude business with seismologist Dr. Brion Markov and his team. Oliver and Moira entertain a number of surprise and mostly unwelcome visitors. Hooded confrontations at home and the Merlyn Global Group reveal dark secrets. Meanwhile, Roy and Thea are still looking out for The Hood. Laurel makes a decision after Tommy's revelation. In a flashback to the island, Oliver, Slade, and Shado, struggle to prevent Edward from shooting a Ferris Air jet out of the sky.
23 "Sacrifice" David Barrett Greg Berlanti Marc Guggenheim & Andrew Kreisberg May 15, 2013
Oliver and John race to stop Malcolm Merlyn from unleashing his vengeance on The Glades. However, they run into a roadblock after Detective Quentin picks up Felicity for questioning. Tommy and Oliver's already tumultuous relationship takes a turn for the worse after Oliver makes a confession about Laurel. After hearing of the danger in The Glades, Thea races to find Roy, inadvertently putting herself directly in the line of fire for Malcolm's devious plan. On the island, Oliver, Slade, and Shado, are locked in a life-or-death struggle against Edward as his missiles lock on a full Ferris Air jetliner.


Home media release

Main article: Arrow: The Complete First Season

A boxset of the first season, titled Arrow: The Complete First Season, was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 9, 2013.[1] It contains additional features, including making-of featurettes, deleted scenes, gag reel, and highlights from the Paley Fest 2012.


Title cards

Character portraits

Promotional images


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.