I thought the pilot was great. One of the best of the new season. I wasn't expecting much from this (I was thinking Smallville
2.0 basically), but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise and actually quite well-made and exciting.
I loved all the little call-outs to Green Arrow lore (Speedy, Dinah Lance, Drakon, Merlyn, Walter Steele, the Deathstroke mask with an arrow through the eye, and more coming soon) and to the people who have made Green Arrow in the past (Diggle and D. DiDio (on the lawsuit plaintiff list)).
They certainly didn't try and lighten the mood at all for primetime. Ollie is basically one step away from being Dexter
rather than being closer to a Smallville
-type CW character. He coldly executes men he's already subdued just so he can't identify him, and kills entire teams of bodyguards while inexplicably leaving the actual big bad alive. The menace with which he confronted Steele over dinner for sleeping with his mom conveyed that this is a guy full of barely restrained rage. The scene with Ollie's father, hapless passenger, and Ollie in the life raft was intense.
I also like that they've left some mystery about the goings-on on the island to be meted out over time. Clearly he had the opportunity to fashion complex weapons, confront enemies, learn Russian (unless he learned it from the maid Rayza/female Alfred in secret) and plot his revenge Monte Christo-style.
I'm definitely looking forward to what else they have in store on the show.