Arrow Has Gotten Bad, But Season 5 Looks Promising.

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First of all, this article isn’t about hating on Arrow, it’s just about pointing out facts as to why the show has gotten bad since season two. The order of events will not be chronological as I’m not doing a review of an episode but of a series in general.

It’s no secret that the quality of Arrow has greatly declined for the past two seasons. The show delivered season two which was/is regarded as one of the best seasons in TV history. But what followed afterwards in the following season, was a mess. The show struggled to deal with the fact that Oliver‘s identity was known by people he associates with. Something that made the show so iconic in season one and two was the element of mystery- “Who is this Arrow guy?”

Season three suffered from a convoluted plot and struggled to treat the characters right, especially the female ones. Firstly, the show killed off Sara for no apparent reason, just to resurrect her later in the season. After Sara‘s death, what followed was cringe-worthy episodes of Laurel getting her ass beat trying to become the new Canary. There wasn’t really a place for her on the team. The show-runners and writers struggled to give Laurel a compelling character arc. Heck, even in season one where she was a misfit, was way better than the way her character was handled in season 3.

Now, let’s get to the real problems of season 3 &4. Felicity. Yup, there are numerous problems in season 3 & 4, but Felicity is the biggest one. Besides the fact that she got the same amount of screen time as Oliver in season 3, and sometimes more; she was just so annoying. She whined about everything Oliver did, questioning his actions all the time. Things were worse after Oliver got back from being “dead”, as Felicity couldn’t stay off his case. Oliver’s fight for Merlyn against Ras Al Ghul made no sense at all. Why fight for the same guy who used your sister ( Thea) to kill your partner in crime (Sara)? Oh and they totally copied a scene from Batman Begins, see below.

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Ras Al Ghul wasn’t a menacing villain like Slade was or even Malcolm Merlyn back in season 2 and 1. He was merciful, and his motivation for wanting to annihilate Starling City was stupid. On top of that he didn’t receive enough screen time as a season’s big bad should. And his death, Gosh, it was pathetic.

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The only redeeming part of season 3 was Ray Palmer. He brought lightheartedness to an otherwise grim show. I had no problem with his relationship with him and Felicity, in fact I think they were a better couple than Oliver and Felicity. But Ray’s time in Arrow was shortlived as he soon had to leave to go join the Legends in Legends of Tomorrow.

Before Season 4 aired we were promised a new take on the show. A take that would somehow fix the mistakes they made in season 3. It was said that the show would have more humor, not necessarily like that of the Flash, but a step in a new direction. Season 4 started promising until it became Felicity and Friends. Honestly it pains me to write this about a show that was my favorite. Marc Guggenheim and Co, are the reason why Arrow is so bad now. They intentionally listened to Tumblr and fan fiction and put it into the show. Who on their right mind does that? Taking an excellent show and making it trash! Tumblr fangirls write about Olicity (Oliver and Felicity) all the time, and fan fiction should be treated as such-fan fiction. Nothing more. It was stupid of the showrunners and the writers to entertain such. As a repercussion, Arrow for the first time in the show’s history fell below 2 million viewers in some episodes of season 4.

There is two much emphasis on both Donna and Felicity Smoak. By no means are they bad characters, but when two supporting characters have more screen time than the guy who the show is about, you start having problems. Captain Lance being with Donna was amusing, but they should have gotten over that and shifted the focus back to Green Arrow.

Laurel once again was mistreated, being nothing more than an insignificant character. I even question whether the writers and EP’s of the show actually read comics. If they did they’d know that there’s no Green Arrow without Black Canary. Geoff Johns even subtly threw shade at the show saying basically the same thing that you cannot have a show about Green Arrow without Black Canary having a major role.

Killing Laurel was probably the show’s biggest mistake to date. They couldn’t figure out how to use her and just opted to kill her. Silly move really. What’s worse is they killed her and her last words was her ‘shipping’ Olicity (the main reason for the show being so bad). Her death was used to push Oliver and Felicity together again. Laurel survived the stabbing by Damien Darkh, but later died of a lame complication, seriously?!

This brings me to my next point, Damien Darkh. The show should have never introduced mysticism nor magic. It should have stayed grounded in reality. Neal Mcdonough delivered a stellar perfomance as Damien Darkh, but his character would have been better suited for Legends of Tomorrow or the Flash. His death was also pathetic, Oliver defeating a man with mystical powers by sheer will.

Flashbacks are pointless and annoying. They rarely have anything to connect to the present world. They should have discontinued them after season 2. Season 2’s flashbacks were great because they explained in depth the reason for what was happening in the present.

I can’t deny the fact that Arrow is bad right now. At some point last season I stopped watching the show live, I caught episodes online later, always disappointing. Now, I think I’ve made my point, and I believe the show-runners have seen their faults and are moving towards rectifying them. Now here are my reasons why you should give Arrow another show. I won’t go into detail with each reason.

  1. The show won’t feature Olicity for some time. One of the EP’s recently revealed that Arrow will be shifting it’s focus away from Oliver and Felicity as a couple to Oliver trying to balance a double life again. Which brings me to my next point.
  2. It’ll be interesting to see Oliver trying to balance his life as the Star City mayor and the Green Arrow. One of the problems of season 3 was the fact that Oliver moved away from the spotlight into the shadows, where he was full time, the Arrow. Season 5 looks to rectify that, putting him back into the limelight and in the shadows at night.
  3. There are a whole lot of new vigilantes. If you’ve watched Young Justice, which is streaming on Netflix, you know about Artemis. Artemis was brought by Green Arrow to join the Young Justice League. She is a character with depth and a compelling backstory. By the looks of it, the girl who took the mantle of Black Canary after Laurel died will become Artemis at some point. Wild Dog and Prometheus are also two vigilantes who will be featured in the upcoming season. I’m looking forward to see how the show will handle multiple anti-heros. Here’s a look at Prometheus.

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  1. Laurel will return to the show, the how’s are unknown for now. Last month an Arrow EP revealed that Laurel was to return and would have a major role across 3 or the 4 shows in the Flarrowverse, namely, the Flash, Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow. It will be fascinating to see how she is brought back, whether it’ll be just Flashbacks or Flashpoint Laurel.
  2. Flashpoint will affect Arrow. One of the most iconic stories in the DC Universe coming to DC TV by means of the Flash, will spread over to Arrow. Not much is known about how it will affect the show. Whatever it is, I’m stoked. Let’s just hope they handle the material will caution.
  3. There’s a new addition to the Flash-Legends-Arrowverse; Supergirl. We already know of the four part crossover that will take place sometime in December. Something tells me, it won;t be the only time Supergirl has an encounter with Arrow. I can’t wait to see Diggle’s priceless reaction to seeing a new flying metahuman.
  4. It’ll hopefully have a good big bad of the season.

My hands are cramping from all the typing, but that sums out my reason to watch Arrow again when it airs in the next few weeks. In the meantime you can check out the trailer for season 5.

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