Arrow Season 5 Review

arrow season 5 review

After one pretty meh season and another bad one Arrow had a lot riding on it coming into its fifth season, a lot of fans were considering jumping ship if the show didn’t start to pull itself together and I’m happy to say that now the season is over, Arrow is back on the pedestal that it used to be on. Spoilers for this season of Arrow from this point on.

This season of Arrow was all about Oliver Queen becoming a hero, at times the show was at the darkest it has ever been but it was all for Oliver to push himself through and become the man he is truly meant to be, the Green Arrow. This is shown in the finale when even after everything Chase has done, Oliver still refuses to kill him, on-top of all this Oliver has finally forgiven himself for his actions, for everything he’s done and he’s finally come to unburden himself from his father’s death and promise, with all of this gone it’ll be like a huge weight has been lifted from Oliver’s shoulders and I believe that next season we will see a happy, content Oliver Queen who can be a hero in the light.

There were a lot of standout actors this season but the two who stood out the most were obviously Stephen Amell as Oliver and Josh Segarra as the season’s villain, Adrian Chase. Stephen was at the best he’s ever been in this show, think of his best acting scene from seasons 1-4, multiply it by 10 and you’re still not even close to some of his acting in this season. The 100th episode, ‘Kapiushon’ and ‘Lian Yu’ really showcased how amazing he can be when he’s given good material, the scenes that stand out are him admitting to Adrian that he kills because he likes it in ‘Kapiushon’ and then the boat scene in ‘Lian Yu’ involving his son and his final confrontation with Prometheus. Speaking of Prometheus, Josh Segarra was an amazing breath of fresh air as the villain, let’s be honest here, while Ra’s started out well he didn’t live up to expectations at all and Damien got very boring very quickly (though he was redeemed in Legends season 2). Stephen and Josh had amazing scenes together and when they both knew each others identities towards the end it really showed off what the two were capable of.

Oliver recruited a new Team Arrow this year that included some new characters as well as some old ones, we got the return of Curtis and Evelyn and the introduction of Ragman, Wild Dog and a new Black Canary. So speaking of these characters, some worked and some didn’t, Rene Ramirez while kind of annoying at first, ended up being my favorite of the recruits and I can’t wait to see more of him next year, the same goes for Juliana Harkavy as Dinah Drake, there’s a lot of potential for her character going forward and she was a welcome addition. And on to things that didn’t exactly work, Curtis is getting very annoying and the show could benefit from having a lot less of him next year, he’s there as the comic relief but ninety percent of the time his jokes just aren’t funny and fall flat. Evelyn is a bit of a weird one, at the end of the season you realize that her entire story arc was to just betray Team Arrow to Adrian, that’s it and while she didn’t have much story to begin with, I wouldn’t be surprised if she died on the island. Rory is also kind of weird, he was a good character with a lot of potential and overall I liked him, but he was in very few episodes and got written off the show in a pretty stupid way, yes he was insanely overpowered compared to the rest of the team, I assume he’ll show up in the future but honestly the season wouldn’t be much different if he wasn’t in it.

The five-year flashbacks finally came to a close this season in a glorious way, I’ll be honest and say that I liked maybe half of all flashbacks this season, they ended brilliantly but when you look back at them overall there was a lot of filler. The flashbacks were great when they focused on Dolph Lundgren as Konstantin Kovar and Oliver becoming the hood and they failed in almost every other aspect, Talia was a cool introduction but she was very unnecessary and only there to appease comic book and Batman fans, it also feels weird that after five years Oliver never put the pieces together on who she really was. The season finale showed us the same shots of Oliver leaving the island as we saw in the pilot (and even a little more) and while we had seen it before, it was so great to experience it again with everything we know now.

Now that I’ve gotten the main points out-of-the-way, I’m going to talk about thoughts on other aspects of the season. The introduction of Vigilante was a masterful play by the writers, he was extremely badass and every episode with him was amazing but the only reason he was in this season was to throw off comic book fans on who Prometheus was, for those who don’t know, Adrian Chase is the identity of Vigilante in the comics so I as well as a lot of other fans assumed that Adrian was Vigilante and Prometheus was someone else, when I found out that Prometheus was actually Adrian all along I just had to hand it to the writers for throwing me off so well, I can’t wait to see more of him next season and find out his identity.

Something that was on my mind this season however is the current state of John Diggle and Felicity Smoak who seem to have run out of story to tell. In my opinion both these characters should be written out of the show, the episodes that focused on Felicity and Helix this season ended up being the worst of the bunch and John hasn’t had any meaningful plot in a long time and it feels like his character is running in circles, I’m not saying kill the characters but if you’re not going to actually given them interesting stories next year then maybe it’s time to cut them loose. I felt the same about Quentin and Thea last year but both characters were redeemed this year as we had much less Thea and I enjoyed Quentin’s role in the Rene storyline.

This season of Arrow was a serious return to form for the show that included constant call backs to what came before and numerous returning characters, I loved this season and it is seriously rivaling season 2 for my favorite.

THE VERDICT

9.2/10    Arrow came back this season incredibly strong and leaves a hopeful heroic future for the Green Arrow.

 

Connor Cunningham covers ENTERTAINMENT for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @Connoriscoolio

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