*WARNING! Big spoilers for Arrow Season 5! Big big spoilers!*
‘Arrow‘ is a complicated show. It started out as a crime show, but slowly over each season it has become more and more of a superhero show. Whilst that worked for ‘The Flash‘, it didn’t work as well here. Season 1 was great. Season 2 was awesome. Season 3 wasn’t too good and season 4 was pretty bad. Season 5 is definitely an attempt to get back to the quality of the earlier seasons, particularly season 1. And to its credit, it mostly succeeds.
This year went back to the formula of having an evil archer with a hidden identity being the big bad. That big bad was Prometheus, a man out for revenge against Oliver Queen. He’s evil, he’s kind of scary and his plan is always about a million steps ahead of the heroes. He turns out to be Oliver’s District Attorney, Adrian Chase, who was hiding in plain sight all along. He’s a pretty good villain actually. His plan to cause Oliver immense pain and emotional trauma by getting him to reveal that he really was a killer all along is actually quite good and links back to the earlier seasons quite well. Whilst the plan does seem a little far fetched at times and the season is drawn out a little longer than it should, overall the main story is decent.
However, there are some story elements that don’t work. A big one being ‘Olicity’, the ‘relationship’ between Oliver and Felicity. Before they were ever together, it was good. The whole ‘will they won’t they’ thing worked. But then they got together and it became a terrible soap opera of a relationship. Then they broke up and it was good, but now they both kind of want to be together but don’t and it’s very frustrating. Felicity has become the most annoying, whiny, terrible character. I really don’t like her. At all. But enough of that, let’s talk more about the other new cast members.
Oliver needs a new team, so he finds some new recruits to train in a section I didn’t particularly enjoy. There’s Wild Dog, a guy with an attitude problem and trouble with his daughter. There’s Ragman, a decent character who has an interesting connection to Felicity and some really cool magical rag powers. Computer geek Curtis has now become Mister Terrific, who is sometimes funny but often times a little annoying. And then there’s Dinah, who has actual Black Canary powers and isn’t as annoying as Laurel often was. Overall the new characters are decent additions and with their own stories they do get fleshed out and feel more like a part of the team.
Old cast members are back too. Quentin is struggling with alcoholism after the death of Laurel and being Oliver’s deputy mayor gives him a second chance. He’s still one of my favourite characters and I do really like his story arc. Thea is largely inconsequential this season, acting as Oliver’s aide and making some terrible decisions before disappearing for a number of episodes. The flashbacks are also, back. Sadly. They don’t really link to the main story much except for Oliver’s connections to the Bratva. They focus on Oliver joining the Bratva and fighting Dolph Lundgren as he promised that girl last season. The flashbacks do however provide a nice wrap up to how Oliver got off of the island and hopefully provide an end to the constant swooshes that take up back to some unimportant storyline.
Stephen Amell is still great as the Green Arrow and the fight scenes are still pretty great. Laurel’s doppelganger Black Siren is a better version for Katie Cassidy to play and the return of Manu Bennett’s Slade Wilson in the finale is a very welcome surprise. Despite the filler, there is a lot of good stuff in season 5 and it is definitely an improvement over seasons 3 and 4. Here’s hoping they continue this upward spike in quality continues into season 6. After that cliffhanger, here’s hoping that it doesn’t the ball on this one.
JACK’S SCORE: 3/5