The CW’s Arrow is a show that changed both the relatively diminutive network, and the superhero genre on primetime television, forever. By focusing on a relatively obscure DC hero and rewriting his origin story to fit the format of the small screen and achieve a sense of character realism that should not have been possible for a show about an urban archer in green leather, Arrow became a show worth watching for comic fans and newbies alike. This is no campy series not even bothering to try to sell a real universe among the fantastical elements inherent in a comic-based narrative; Arrow is something else entirely.
Still, comparative realism aside, one of the most fun aspects of this small screen adaptation is the way that the stunt sequences manage to rival and even surpass those of the big screen blockbusters. The fight choreography as well as the clear athleticism the key performers has allowed for some pretty great action.
Star Stephen Amell as Oliver has done many of his own stunts from the very beginning, and several of the other actors bring the necessary skills to show their faces even as they seemingly defy the laws of physics. So, here are 13 action sequences (in chronological order) that totally blew our minds from the first three seasons of Arrow.
13. Surprising The Kidnappers
Episode: 1x01 – Pilot
Combatants: Oliver Queen vs. kidnappers
What Happened: After striking out in attempt #1 to mend fences with Laurel, Oliver along with Tommy is knocked unconscious by three masked men. Oliver wakes to find himself zip-tied to a chair. When Oliver refuses to cooperate with the interrogation about the sinking of the Gambit, a kidnapper stabs at him with a taser, ruining his tasteful sweater.
Oh, and making him super mad.
Oliver escapes his restraints and proceeds to kill his way through the kidnappers. He takes the first two out easily enough with some revenge-tasing, furniture-destroying, face-smashing action, but it takes an impressive display of parkour and bullet-dodging for Oliver to chase down and snap the neck of the third. “Nobody can know my secret,” says Oliver, breathing heavily over the corpse of Kidnapper #3, thus giving the first evidence that nothing good happens when Oliver tries to win over Laurel.
Why It Was Great: Stephen Amell brings a chilling combination of glower and brutality, and there’s always a certain thrill in watching Oliver fighting in civilian dress. His rather one-sided battle against the kidnappers was the first demonstration of the superb stuntwork that would become characteristic of the show.
Plus, he totally killed those guys.
Winners: Oliver and viewers everywhere