The recent season 4 finale of Arrow left fans underwhelmed and disappointed and it’s not hard to see why.
If you haven’t seen the fifth season of Arrow and want to avoid spoilers, we suggest you stop reading now. If you have seen it and want to hear our views on the next season keep reading.
The battle between Damian Darhk (Neal McDonough) and Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) should have been quite the spectacle. Following a build-up that started at the end of season 3, fans expected the most epic season finale for the show yet and what we got instead was a damp squib. How did Oliver defeat his latest nemesis? With hope. Yes that’s right folks, Oliver enlisted the nameless people of Star City to help give him hope as apparently that’s the only thing that can defeat a man with magical powers.
After I’d finished shaking my head I reflected over the very messy fourth season of what was once one of the best shows on TV. The decision to kill off Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) aka Black Canary was a poor one that upset a large portion of the show’s fan base and further deviated from the comic books. The focus on Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) divided fans right down the middle, as did her brief stint in a wheelchair and her miraculous recovery thanks to a chip made by Curtis (Echo Kellum).
Add to all that the dull flashbacks that drew a parallel with the main storyline in the present but offered nothing particularly new or interesting. Also you have to ask if Oliver had dealt with magic previously, why did it appear to be such a new concept for him when the realisation hit that Darhk used magic to gain the upper hand? It all made very little sense.
By the season’s end Thea (Willa Holland) and Diggle (David Ramsey) had departed Team Arrow, Laurel was dead (RIP) and there seemed to be only Oliver and Felicity still on the team. Oliver of course was made Mayor too, further pulling him away from his Green Arrow duties. I highly doubt it’ll stay that way for long.
Many fans consider Arrow to have lost its steam following its second season. I actually liked the third season of the show but I will wholeheartedly agree that season 4 was a huge disappointment. For the next season the show runners need to go back to basics and right many of the wrongs they committed over the fourth season reason.
I’ve put together 10 things I want to see when the show returns later this year…
1. Oliver needs to go dark again. The show was at its most thrilling when Oliver was ruthless and did whatever was necessary to stop his city from being over-run with crime. His decision to stop killing and be a nicer vigilante took some of the show’s teeth away.
2. Take some of the focus off Olicity. I actually like Oliver and Felicity together but their relationship impacted the show a lot more than it should. Some fans have criticised the focus on Felicity and her family, and while I like them, it’s Oliver that the show is about not Felicity.
3. Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) to come back. He may have made an appearance during season 4 but I’d like the character back full time. They’d only really started to explore the character as a hero by the time he left the show. With Laurel dead and the team disbanded, it would be good to have a familiar face back in the fold.
4. Oliver’s inevitable conflict between being mayor and being Green Arrow. The two jobs go hand-in-hand in one way and are polar opposites in another. How much Oliver will actually embrace his role as Mayor remains to be seen. In the comic books he managed to balance the two but he did eventually resign from the role following a scandal.
5. A move away from the supernatural. The world established by Arrow during its first season is most definitely not the world we find the show in now. While it was necessary for Oliver and co to be made aware of time travel, metahumans and superpowers (for the sake of the crossovers if nothing else), the supernatural elements of season 4 sucked. Big time. Get back to real villains that pose actual threats instead of tedious supernatural baddies.
6. Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) to leave the show – at least for a bit. Malcolm has changed sides so often now I can’t keep up with who is aligning himself to this week. As he’s Thea’s father he will always be a part of the Arrow universe but does he need to be a series regular? Not really. Bring him in for small story arcs but don’t devote as much time to the character and give him a breather for a season.
7. Laurel to come back. The show writers and the cast have denied that Laurel will be heading back to Star City but with The Flash changing the timeline, there’s got to be a chance for Laurel to come back right? The decision to kill her off was a poor one and it won’t be the same show without her.
8. The flashbacks to be engaging. The next season is supposed to be focusing on Oliver’s time in Russia and if that’s the case I hope the flashbacks are more relevant than they were this past season. They’ve always been my least favourite part of the show and honestly I wouldn’t be sad if they ditched that narrative device altogether.
9. Thea and Diggle to return to the fold. It’s pretty much a given really but with the bad decisions from the show writers recently I don’t want to take anything for granted. Thea needs to get an actual storyline in season 5 that doesn’t revolve around Malcolm or her anger, and Diggle needs to emerge from the background once again with a strong story arc.
10. Curtis to be utilised properly. Now he’s a fully fledged regular in season 5, I really hope that the writers give Curtis a purpose. He’s kind of on Team Arrow but his very similar in ability to Felicity. The show doesn’t need two similar characters so I’m hoping that his Mister Terrific side comes out and he’s more than just a quippy, brainy computer nerd.
Arrow returns to The CW in the US and Sky 1 HD in the UK for a fifth season later this year.