I like Arrow. I really do. Having said that:
Oh, hi, Christopher Nolan! Here's how we're homaging you this week. Well, let's start by calling the division of Queen Industrials Oliver's mother and stepfather want him to inherit leadership of the Robert Queen Applied Sciences Center. Oliver plays the drunkard and rejects the idea he can be a corporate officer (he is right to point out he has no MBA) by doing the best impersonation of Christian Bale playing drunk at Bruce Wayne's birthday party in Batman Begins. He didn't let his mansion burn down but he did figuratively burn a bridge.
Oh, hi, Bryan Singer. We like your X-Men movies too. So much that Arrow brought in Kelly Hu, who was Deathstrike in X2, to play China White, wearing Storm's white wig from X-Men 1. We got our first superhero vs. super villain slugfest in Arrow, but it was brief and inconclusive.
I liked the scenes with Oliver and Thea, where she discovered all the scars on his body and then took him to see his own grave. I can't wait until Speedy becomes Oliver's sidekick.
Even better is Oliver's relationship with his bodyguard, the only guy who can see through the bullshit act Oliver puts on for his mother and the public and sees there's more to Oliver Queen than meets the eye. He's a hell of a marksman, for one. They also dealt with the embarrassment of all the times he's lost Oliver. However, they really laid it on thick with his "three tours in Afghanistan" story. We get it, you were in Afghanistan.
Laurel and Oliver eat ice cream. Laurel and Oliver reconcile. Laurel nearly gets assassinated in her apartment. I like the greasy burnout cop her dad is.
Overall though, a lot of elements feel disjointed. There are tons of balls in the air with all the characters and Arrow bats them around and keeps them aloft. Other than Oliver's best friend and secretly Laurel's boyfriend, we don't yet have a clue how Tommy Merlyn fits into all of this Hamlet drama at the Queen Mansion.
Still, this show has potential and the means to realize it. Plus, you know, ten seasons to do so.