But! I have still been hacking at this meme thing (crossposted from isurrendered). I shall blog when I have the spoons, I promise.
THE PROMPT: (from ceitfianna) A retired crime fighting couple find themselves pulled back into their old world when their mentor goes missing.
TYPE: 13 one-hour (45 min) long episodes on the CW – it's going to have to be, really.
OPENING THEME: It's All Coming Back to Me Now – Pandora's Box
If you want me like this
And if you need me like that
It was dead long ago
But it's all coming back to me
It's so hard to resist
And it's all coming back to me
I can barely recall
But it's all coming back to me now
CLOSING THEME: Out of Control – She Wants Revenge (instrumental)
In Seattle, in a formerly middle class area where property prices are slumping due to rising local crime rates, a florist shop has recently opened. The Sherwood Florist is run by an unmarried couple new to the area, whose age differences would cause a few whispers if they weren't so clearly in love with each other.
Oliver Queen and Dinah Lance have left the Justice League and are trying for a new life in a new city. Seattle's not perfect, they know; prices are falling and crime is rising, but at least it's normal crime, and the police force is capable.
Until Dinah's mother breaks a months-long silence to tell Dinah that her uncle Ted goes missing in the course of his own job, and they drop everything to find him, realising that they can never really, give up that life.
FAN REACTION: Mixed, to say the least, and for the most part predicted by the network in their reluctance to fund the project - although the major fears proved unfounded - that any DCU-based project not featuring the Trinity could get off the ground, and that no one would want to see a show with so few characters in their twenties, problems arose both from people who claimed that the tone was too dark and 'gritty' for a comics-based show, and the die-hard fans of accusing the whole thing of being too tongue in cheek for the comic series it was clearly based on, and for some of the major changes made to the characters.
GOOD GUYS Oliver Queen (Denis Leary)
Just before the start of the show, he killed for the second time – and the first time deliberately. When it had been an accident, he had a minor breakdown and faked his own death. This time, he's not only not talking about it, he's also escaped any retribution for it. It's not obvious what effect this has had on him.
Previously a multi-millionaire until going bankrupt due to internal corruption he was too pre-occupied to prevent, Oliver doesn't have the benefit of much money sense. In the perfectly ordinary couple life he and Dinah has forged, he's the stay-at-home husband and occasionally driving the delivery van. Meanwhile, he's falling back on his pre-Green Arrow lazy days, treating archery more like a hobby than a calling.
Dinah Lance (Claudia Black)
Dinah grew up surrounded by heroes in the form of the Justice Society, of which her mother, the first Black Canary, was a member. She idolised each and every one and became a surrogate daughter for many. She has a particular fondness for Ted Grant, Wildcat, who taught her to box as her mother was teaching her Judo. Dinah was just a teenager when she co-founded the Justice Society of America with four other young heroes. In the new era of crimefighting, she had an advantage her mother never had: a sonic scream that could bring down buildings and stop freight trains, but it was her martial arts prowess on which she relied most often, out of respect for the disciplines she was raised in, and because it was the two unpowered members of the JSA taught Dinah the true value of being a hero.
Dinah had never intended to retire on reaching Seattle, but shortly before the start of the show, her investigation into Magnor Shipping as potential cocaine dealers went horribly wrong and she was captured and extensively tortured, which stripped her of her Canary Cry and her self confidence. We join her as she throws herself whole heartedly into running her floristry business, not feeling like she'll ever be able to wear the fishnets again, and wallowing in the shame of feeling that she let her mother and her uncles down.
Spoiler: In the past, Dinah had told Ollie that she didn't want to have children because of the risks inherent in their jobs. He spends some of the season wondering if their retirement means she'll reconsider, and she does, halfway through the season. After months of trying, however, she finds out in the finale that the torture that took her sonic scream also left her plumbing non-functional. In the comics, when in Seattle, Dinah and Ollie were in their twenties and forties respectively. I have aged them up by about ten years, making the 'retired' aspect a little more suitable – although Dinah retired due to trauma, not age.
Lt. Sara Cameron (Chandra Wilson)
A lieutenant in the Seattle police, Cameron became the contact for Green Arrow by virtue of coincidently being working the Robin Hood Killer when he came with information. She would liked to have welcomed masked vigilantes into her city, but the fiasco with Magnor shipping left her resenting the fact that Green Arrow apparently murdered three people and escaped justice – not to mention that neither Magnor nor his associates ever faced trial.
Halfway through the season she finally talks to Black Canary, and admits that she used to be a fan of Star City's hero, until he apparently started killing. She and the Canary form an uneasy trust and she provides back up when she seeks to rescue Oliver from Mandell's employees (this is your sweeps week episode) This character is based on the comic character Jim Cameron, but I decided that there were two many active men and passive women in the line up. Sara is married and has a seven year old daughter.
Rita Librado (Francia Raisa) Rita is successfully kicking her cocaine addiction after nearly dying of an overdose outside the Sherwood Florist. She idolises Dinah, who inspired her to come clean, and despite the shop not making huge amounts, Dinah hires her as a shop assistant.
Rita has no desire to join the heroic life, but she quickly sees how important it is to Dinah, and sees how broken the older woman is about what happened to her. She becomes a confidante, and a supporter from the sidelines, while staying well out of the work itself. She refuses, in all cases, to let any of her friends' enemies victimise her. Rita's friendship with Dinah is, in the first half of the season, the only thing that makes the show pass the Bechdel test. As Dinah kicks out as the Black Canary in the second half, Rita remains a strong supporter without any temptation to become a sidekick.
Annie Green (Portia De Rossi)
Ollie and Dinah's therapist-cum-marriage counsellor, Annie first appears as someone trying to help Dinah through her trauma, then Ollie's rising anger issues, and on more than one occasion, their marriage issues. They are completely open with their secret identities with her – she is their therapist and she needs to know this.
Spoiler: Annie is a child abuse survivor. In episode three, the man who kidnapped and abused her is released for a retrial. Ollie gets on it, while Dinah provides moral support. For the rest of the series, however, Dr Green is a supporting character.
Spoiler 2: Dr. Green at no point betrays their confidence. Hints to the contrary may happen, but she never compromises her professional integrity
Greg Osborne (Zachery Levi)
A corrupt CIA agent, Osborne's ambitions were ruined by the sudden dissolution of the Magnor Corporation and the death of a few of his most powerful allies at the hands of the Robin Hood Killer. As such, he feels Green Arrow owes him, and he'll use every tool in his varied toolbox to coerce, persuade and outright blackmail the archer into working for him.
Reggie Mandell (Tony Todd)
Leader of the 'Warhogs', a gang that stretches out to Seattle from California after the dissolution of Magnor Shipping. He works with Osborne to further his own career and to get his claws into the rest of organised crime in Seattle. He is ruthless, unforgiving, and rapidly develops a grudge against Green Arrow, though he realises a little too late that it's Black Canary he really should have been keeping an eye on.
Eddie Fyres (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)
Eddie is a hired gun whose path all too often crosses that of Oliver and Dinah, sometimes (and more often, initially) as an antagonist and rival, occasionally because who ever he's working for today, sometimes the US government, has similar goals to the couple. He's mercenary and has no problems with killing, but he's rather shoot to wound because he says 'it's less messy'. He has a great deal of respect for the skills of both Dinah and Ollie – and an unabashed crush on the former – which develops over time into friendship. Soon he's tipping them any information he has on Ted's whereabouts, and near the end of the season he drops his mercenary lifestyle all together to help his friends.
Spoiler: One of Fyres' occasional employers is Greg Osborne, and he knows more than he lets on about the Warhogs and their connections with the cocaine trade. At least, until he finally switches to the 'right' side.
Shado (Tamilyn Tomita)
Raised by the Yakuza to fulfil a debt owed by her long dead father, the given name of this archer is unknown. 'Shado' refers to the spiritual aspect of Kyudo – Japanese archery. Shado and Ollie share a history - in the course of pursuing her blood vendetta against the Americans who forced her father to betray the Yakuza, her path takes her to Seattle and overlaps with Dinah's investigation into Magnor Shipping. It is Shado, not Oliver, who shot and killed Magnor and one of his oldest colleagues.
Known as the 'Robin Hood Killer' by the press, her kills and those of Green Arrow proved impossible to separate and led to no arrests. Shado has, since that event, fled from the Yakuza and returns to Seattle only to the return of the Magnor Corporation – she hopes that by doing so she can clear the bad blood between herself and Oliver, with whom she holds a deep fascination.
Another character I've aged up – Shado is not a freshly come of age young woman, but an expert in the skill who trained and investigated long and hard to become the embodiment of her form of archery.
Spoiler: At no point does Shado rape Oliver or become pregnant with his child.
Roy Harper (Sheldon Silentwater)
Oliver's ex-partner and adopted son, Roy is a few years clean after recovering from a heroin addiction. Because it was Dinah who really helped him clean up, Roy views her as much of a mother as he does Ollie a father. More so, in fact, because he's never had a mother and Ollie is only the second person he's called father.
Formerly Speedy of Teen Titans fame, he now operates as the archer 'Arsenal', and works with a secret government agency known as checkmate, of which he never talks. Dinah is as worried about him and his new companions as she is about Ollie's rising dark side after killing her torturer.
OK, yes, I pulled a little bit of chromatic fandom on this one, but I think 'Navajo orphan adopted by rich white man' is just simpler than 'white orphan raised by Navajo then adopted by rich white man'. I'm willing to be wrong on this.
Lian Harper Roy's daughter by the villain Cheshire, this infant lives with her father and is doted on by her pseudo-grandparents. Dinah in particular loves her to pieces.
Hal Jordan (Nathan Fillion)
Ollie's best friend and one of the most powerful superheroes in the entire world, Hal is a Green Lantern – an intergalactic peace agent stationed on Earth. He is also a test pilot, a ladies' man and utterly without fear. Which means that when Dinah – who also considers him one of her best friends – phones him up to say the Ollie is going through a hard time and needs a friend, he flies in as soon as he can, even though it means crazy guy-bonding shenanigans and possibly getting punched in the face.
Rita's online friend, this mysterious person starts throwing hints and ideas through Rita to Dinah, that suggest they may know more than they really should, and points Green Arrow and Black Canary towards the Warhogs and the possibility of tracing Ted.
Spoiler: Not revealed in the first season, but the person behind RollingThunder is Bette Kane, former Flamebird and now in a wheelchair, unable to fight crime except digitally. Yes, I know. But Warner Brothers wouldn't let the show use the Bat symbol at all, even in allusion.
Dinah Drake-Lance (Lee Meriwether)
The mother of our heroine, Dinah Sr was the first Black Canary and a member of the Justice Society before it was disbanded before her daughter was born. It was against her mother's wishes that Dinah Jr took up the fishnets, but when she had been persuaded, Dinah Sr became the superhero equivalent of a Little League Mom – overbearing, controlling and annoying.
She currently lives on the East Coast and she and her daughter haven't spoken much for some years – until she phones her daughter up suddenly to say that Ted's gone missing and wasn't he going to visit her in Seattle?
Spoiler: while Dinah Jr kept her depowering a secret from her Mom, the first Black Canary nevertheless heard things and worked it out for herself – she was much more of a detective than her daughter, after all. On the other hand, Dinah Jr has no idea that her mother is once again suffering from a virulent cancer, that's been on-and-off for a few years, but has now left her with only a few months to live. She dies in episode 11, just before the two-part finale.
Ted Grant (Edward James Olmos)
An old colleague of Dinah Drake-Lance and a father figure to her daughter, Ted Grant is much much older than he looks, thanks to a cat-like nine lives. One of the old guard of superheroes, he was already a champion heavy weight boxer before joining the Justice Society as Wildcat. With no superpowers other than this longevity, he retired for a short while after the Society disbanded but became a mentor and trainer to many heroes other than his niece, but always with a preference for the girl he calls Junior and who calls him Uncle Ted.
Retirement didn't stick for him, and he's been known to pull on a costume even now, so when Dinah Sr told her daughter he'd gone missing, chances were good that he'd done so in the call of duty, so his niece and her partner went looking for him.
Spoiler: Ted went deep undercover in the Warhogs, trying to find out more about them. As he emerges when Ollie and Dinah are near to overthrowing the gang, it transpires that he, also, knew about the event that precipitated Ollie and Dinah's retirement. It is left completely ambiguous as to whether he 'disappeared' deliberately to draw them out, but no one would put it past him.