After being marooned for five years on a remote island, billionaire Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) returns home with a mysterious agenda and a lethal set of new skills that he uses in a war on crime in this hard-hitting action series.
In the series premiere, billionaire Oliver Queen returns to Starling City after being stranded on a remote island for five years and adopts the persona of Arrow to fight crime.
Oliver (Stephen Amell) heads to the courthouse to get his death certificate repealed and is pleasantly surprised to run into Laurel (Katie Cassidy), who is there prosecuting Martin Somers (guest star Ty Olsson), a criminal with ties to the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 Triad to “take care of” Laurel so they send their top mercenary – China White (Hu) – after her, an act that culminates in a battle between Arrow and China White. Meanwhile, Moira (Susanna Thompson) and Walter (guest star Colin Salmon) ask Oliver to take over the company.
Oliver (Stephen Amell) 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 (guest star Michael Rowe), is taking out businessmen who are scheduled to bid at an auction on an energy company and Walter (Colin Salmon) is one of the bidders. Realizing he can’t protect his family and stop Deadshot at the same time, Oliver enlists Detective Lance’s (Paul Blackthorne) help, but his plan has dire consequences. Meanwhile, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Tommy (Colin Donnell) get caught in an awkward situation with Oliver.
Oliver (Stephen Amell) still hasn't figured out how to get back in Laurel's (Katie Cassidy) good graces, but a late night bonding session with Thea (Willa Holland) gives him the inspiration he needs. Looking into a suspicious murder case, Oliver realizes an innocent man, Peter Declan (guest star Lane Edwards), was framed by one of the targets on his list. As Arrow, he asks Laurel to help prove Declan's innocence. Meanwhile, Walter (guest star Colin Salmon) asks one of his employees, Felicity Smoak (guest star Emily Rickards), to look into a $2.6 million withdrawal that Moira (Susanna Thompson) made without his knowledge.
After Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) arrests Oliver (Stephen Amell) for murder, Oliver tells Moira (Susanna Thompson) the only lawyer he'll allow to represent him is Laurel (Katie Cassidy). Laurel takes the case which puts her at odds with her father. Oliver offers to take a polygraph in front Detective Lance 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 first scar, courtesy of Deathstroke (guest star Jeffrey Robinson).
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. Diggle (David Ramsey) tells Oliver (Stephen Amell) he needs to deviate from his father's list and start helping the citizens of Starling City. Meanwhile, Tommy (Colin Donnell) asks Thea (Willa Holland) for relationship advice, but things get awkward when she realizes he was asking about Laurel (Katie Cassidy). Moira (Susanna Thompson) confronts Oliver about all of his recent disappearances in the middle of family functions.
The Huntress rides into Starling City and heats things up with Oliver. When Oliver encounters a mysterious woman, Helena Bertinelli, daughter of mob boss Frank Bertinelli , he feels he can finally be himself - but 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.
As Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Helena (guest star Jessica DeGouw) grow closer, Oliver trains her to be his ally, complete with showing her how to use a crossbow. Diggle (David Ramsey) 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.
Oliver (Stephen Amell) discovers that after he and his father went missing, Moira (Susanna Thompson) and Thea (Willa Holland) 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 (Colin Donnell) asks Laurel (Katie Cassidy) to spend Christmas with him but she points out that Christmas was also her sister’s 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.
Oliver's confidence is shaken after being beaten by the Dark Archer and he takes a break from being Arrow. However, when Laurel calls Arrow 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 her mother out of her depressive state.
The next person on Arrow’s (Stephen Amell) list is Diggle’s (David Ramsey) commanding officer and mentor from Afghanistan, Ted Gaynor (guest star Ben Browder). Oliver suspects Ted is responsible for recent armoured truck robberies, but Diggle 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 Diggle. Meanwhile, Thea (Willa Holland) suspects that Moira (Susanna Thompson) is having an affair with Malcom (guest star John Barrowman). Tommy (Colin Donnell) and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) have an awkward dinner with Malcom.
Thea (Willa Holland) is in trouble with the police after she gets caught using a drug called “Vertigo.” Oliver (Stephen Amell) 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” (guest star Seth Gabel). Oliver turns to McKenna Hall (guest star Janina Gavankar), an old flame and current Vice cop, for help. Meanwhile, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) steps in to defend Thea, and Felicity (guest star Emily Bett Rickards) gives Oliver some disturbing news about Moira (Susanna Thompson).
Cyrus Vanch (Anders), 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 – Arrow (Stephen Amell). Meanwhile, Oliver shows Moira (Susanna Thompson) his father’s notebook and questions her about the names on the list. Thea (Willa Holland) is miserable as she starts her internship with Laurel (Katie Cassidy) at the legal aid office and Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) makes a deadly mistake that puts Laurel in the crosshairs of Vanch.
After Oliver (Stephen Amell) is shot, he turns to a surprising person for help – Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). Diggle (David Ramsey) 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 (Stephen Amell) 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 (guest star Manu Bennett).
Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) tells Oliver (Stephen Amell) he’s all work and no play, so he asks Detective McKenna (guest star Janina Gavankar) on a date. A jewel thief named Dodger (guest star James Callis) hits Starling City and targets someone very close to Oliver. Meanwhile, while working with Laurel (Katie Cassidy), Thea (Willa Holland) gets her purse stolen by a very fast pickpocket named Roy Harper (guest star Haynes). Moira (Susanna Thompson) makes a move against Malcom (John Barrowman).
Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Diggle (David Ramsey) learn that Deadshot (guest star Michael Rowe) is still alive and his next target is Malcom (John Barrowman). Malcom invites Tommy (Colin Donnell) to attend a benefit honoring Malcom 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 (Janina Gavankar) and his duties as Arrow.
With his nightclub set to open and a new romance brewing with McKenna (guest star Janina Gavankar), Oliver (Stephen Amell) is as happy as he's been since returning to Starling City. But when Oliver's ex, The Huntress (guest star Jessica De Gouw), suddenly returns to town, she threatens to destroy everything and everyone he cares about. Meanwhile, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and her father (Paul Blackthorne) struggle with the return of Dinah Lance (guest star Alex Kingston) who claims she has proof Sara is still alive. Thea (Willa Holland) gets Roy Harper (guest star Colton Haynes) a job at Oliver's club, but he's not too inclined to stop his life of crime. Oliver and Tommy (Colin Donnell) are thrilled they were able to get Steve Aoki to play at the opening of their new nightclub, Verdant.
An angry resident of The Glades who calls himself "The Savior" (guest star Christopher Redman) 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 (Stephen Amell) vigilantism. Oliver is horrified by this statement and vows to stop "The Savior," but his manhunt in intensified after Thea (Willa Holland) comes to him in tears and tells him Roy (guest star Colton Haynes) has been kidnapped. Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is surprised when her father (Paul Blackthorne) starts to believe her mother's (guest star Alex Kingston) claim that Sara is still alive. Meanwhile, Malcom (John Barrowman) tells Moira (Susanna Thompson) to find the person responsible for his attempted murder.
When a young woman meets a violent death after partying at Verdant, Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and his new partner, Detective Hilton (guest star Roger Cross) inform Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Tommy (Colin Donnell) that she was on the drug Vertigo. Oliver immediately pays a visit to the mental institution where The Count (guest star Gabel) 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 Diggle (David Ramsey) make it their mission to track him down. After Detective Lance 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 (guest star Manu Bennett) and Shado (guest star Celina Jade).
Deadshot (guest star Michael Rowe) 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 (Stephen Amell), Diggle (David Ramsey), and Felicity (guest star Emily Bett Rickards) learn that a sting operation is underway to capture Deadshot – alive. Diggle is determined to see his brother’s killer dead, with or without Ollie’s help. Meanwhile, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) takes drastic steps to protect a young witness, exacerbating friction between Tommy (Colin Donnell) and Oliver. Later, Roy Harper (guest star Colton Haynes) unconventionally pursues all leads to find his new hero, but runs afoul of Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne). Back on the island, Oliver recalls how Shado (guest star Celina Jade) helped him incrementally gain confidence with a bow and hit the target for the first time.
Finding it difficult to mend fences with Tommy (Colin Donnell) and Diggle (David Ramsey), Oliver (Stephen Amell) instead focuses on crossing another name off the list. While digging through a crooked accountant’s laptop, Felicity (guest star Emily Bett Rickards) 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 (guest star John Barrowman) reveals to Robert Queen (guest star Jamey Sheridan) and Frank Chen (guest star Chin Han) painful details surrounding his wife’s murder, and how that shaped his plans for the Glades. Meanwhile, Tommy (Colin Donnell) stuns Laurel (Katie Cassidy) with the truth.
With the Undertaking days away, Malcolm (guest star John Barrowman) dons his black hood to conclude business with seismologist Dr. Brion Markov (guest star Eric Floyd) and his team. Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Moira (Susanna Thompson) entertain a number of surprise – and mostly unwelcome – visitors. Hooded confrontations at home and the Meryln Global Group reveal dark secrets. Meanwhile, Roy (guest star Colton Haynes) and Thea (Willa Holland) are still looking out for a hero. Laurel (Katie Cassidy) makes a decision after Tommy’s (Colin Donnell) revelation. In a flashback to the island, Oliver, Slade (guest star Manu Bennett) and Shado (guest star Celina Jade) struggle to prevent Fyers (guest star Sebastian Dunn) from shooting a Ferris Air jet out of the sky.
Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Diggle (David Ramsey) race to stop the Dark Archer (John Barrowman) from unleashing his vengeance on The Glades. However, they run into a roadblock after Detective Lance (Paul Blackthorne) picks up Felicity for questioning. Tommy (Colin Donnell) and Oliver’s already tumultuous relationship takes a turn for the worse after Oliver makes a confession about Laurel (Katie Cassidy). After hearing of the danger in The Glades, Thea (Willa Holland) races to find Roy (Colton Haynes), inadvertently putting herself directly in the line of fire for Malcolm’s (John Barrowman) devious plan. On the island, Oliver, Slade (Manu Bennett) and Shado (guest star Celina Jade) are locked in a life-or-death struggle against Fyers (guest star Sebastian Dunn) as his missiles lock on a full Ferris Air jetliner.