Season 1 is the first season of Starling City. It premiered on September 22, 2011 and concluded on May 4, 2012.
- Joshua Jackson as Quentin 'Larry' Lance
- Richard Brooks as Gregory Wolfe
- Brette Taylor as Moira Queen
- Ty Simpkins as Oliver Queen
- Josh Holloway as Robert Queen
- Amy Gumenick as Carrie Cutter
- Sydelle Noel as Samandra Watson
- Bex Taylor-Klaus as Sin
- Juliana Harkavy as Dinah Drake
- Donnelly Rhodes as William Tockman/The Clock King
- Jon Doman as Remy Cartier
- Seth Gabel as Wener Zytle/The Count
- Andrew Stewart Jones as James Diggle
- Tina Huang as Kimberly Hill
- Michael C. Hall as Mayor Jakob Whorrsman
- Carol Kane as Gertrude Zytle
- Kirk Avecedo as Ricardo Diaz
- Anthony Carrigan as Hannibal Bates
- Amy Gumenick as Carrie Cutter
Quentin 'Larry' Lance, a transfer from the GCPD in Gotham City comes to join the Starling City Police Department and is paired with veteran detective Frank Pike to solve the murders of Robert, Moira, and Thea Queen, who were blown up in their boat leaving Oliver alive as the last Queen. During the investigation to who planted the bomb, Lance encounters gang member Werner Zytle, forensics scientist William Tockman, street orphans Emiko Adachi and Veronica 'V' Dale, district attorney Adrian Chase, and medical doctor Dinah Drake. Lance becomes involved with Starling City's crime families including mobster Samanda Watson and crime lords Remy Cartier and Ricardo Diaz.
- "Pilot"-Emiko Adachi is prowling through Starling City. After robbing milk and pick-pocketing, she flees to the docks and hides in an alleyway. She watches Robert and Moira Queen with their son Oliver walk into the Queens Gambit to celebrate Moira's pregnancy. When the Queens enter their ship, the Queen's Gambit, it gets blown as Emiko watches. Rookie detective Quentin "Larry" Lance and his partner Gregory Wolfe are sent by their lieutenant to investigate the crime scene. Lance talks to Walter Steele and promises to catch the person responsible after the bodies of Robert and Moira Queen are found. When they have no clues, they go to see Lisa Warner, an underling of Mafia Don Remy Cartier but they receive no information. The next day, Wolfe calls Quentin as he got a lead in the case. The suspect, Mario Dale (Daniel Stewart Sherman) flees from the apartment and nearly kills Lance when Wolfe shoots him, killing him. During an inspection, they find the equipment used to blow up the Queens Gambit. However, Warner Zytle informs ACU investigators Samandra Watson and James Diggle that Warner framed Dale for the explosion by having the evidence planted. Watson believes Quentin Lance and the SCPD are corrupt and plans on bringing them down. Realizing Dale is innocent, Quentin confronts Warner, only to be kidnapped. Wolfe goes for him, only to be knocked out and both tied by Lisa's bodyguard, Cyrus Gold.. Meanwhile, Warner visits Zytle and beats him with a baseball bat for being a rat. Quentin and Wolfe are saved by Cartier, who says Warner has to ask him first to kill a cop. He reveals to Quentin the relationship with Quentin's father and framing Dale. To show his adherence to the corruption going on within Starling City, Quentin is asked by Cartier to kill Zytle in the docks. Quentin fakes Zytle's death by throwing him in the ocean, telling him to never come back to Starling. Quentin explains everything to Walter, revealing that Dale was framed and promising to find the real killer. As he exits Queen Consolidated, Emiko is seen on an outside wall.
- "City of Lost Children"-In the streets, two people Patti (Lili Taylor) and Doug (Frank Whaley), pretending to be volunteers from the Mayor's Homeless Outreach Project, kidnap two kids and kill a homeless war veteran while a third kid, Mackey (Kyle Massey), escapes. Doug follows him until he accidentally throws Mackey in a restaurant window, forcing him to flee. Quentin and Wolfe investigate the war veteran and interrogate Mackey, although Bullock is skeptical of his testimony. Meanwhile, Zytle makes his way back to Starling City hitchhiking. Two boys pick him up and give him a beer, but when the passenger tells him he walks like a "freak", he kills him, and keeps the driver, bound and gagged with duct tape, as a hostage. In the GCPD, forensic scientist Temple Fugate reveals a high level of ATP on Mackey, which prompts Captain Kimberly Hill to order Quentin and Wolfe to investigate but not to reveal any information to the media. Watson and Diggle investigate Zytle's disappearance and upon interrogating his mother, Gertrude Zytle, they deduce he was killed by Warner and the corrupt cops. Cartier talks with Warner telling her that Zytle told him she was going to turn against him. While talking with Gold, Warner plans on killing Cartier. When Quentin shows his frustration to his fiancee, Carrie Cutter, she gives the information to the press as an anonymous tip. Quentin and Pike ambush Patti and Doug in a facility and although they escape, they rescue the children. Mayor Jakob Whorrsman decides to send the kids to the juvenile service. However, the bus where the children (including Emiko) are held is taken by Patti and Doug. They take them to a storage container, planning on send them to "Dollmaker". After trying to get Emiko, they're captured by Quentin and Wolfe after receiving a tip from their worker, Morry Quillan (Wayne Duvall). In the station, Emiko reveals to Lance she saw who planted the bomb on the Queen's Gambit.