I started out loving Arrow, like pretty much everyone did. The first season and to a certain degree the second season, were just amazing. Then it all started to go wrong and the third season, well… sucked. We all hoped that the fourth season would return to form and get back to the basics that had made the show so great.
Did it? Well, that’s what you’re here to find out, right? So let’s take a look at season four of Arrow, now that Oliver Queen has become the Green Arrow, and see if they managed to pull out of their tailspin.
This is really the epitome of the problem I have with shared universes, when something so incredibly massive happens, something that threatens the entire planet and nobody else shows up. Oh, I know why not, they can’t afford to have other characters crossing over every episode, but from a storytelling perspective, it makes no sense. Every single hero from everywhere should be in Star City trying to stop Damien Darhk. There’s no logical excuse for not having it happen. That’s why, if you’re not going to have the cavalry show up constantly, you have to avoid these huge stories that call for it. That was the biggest downfall of the season.
The other was the death of Laurel. Now I don’t particularly care about Laurel, I never bought her as the Black Canary, even though Katie Cassidy got better in the role, she was never all that great. But as I pointed out early in the season, if any member of Team Arrow died, Flash would have been there are the funeral and because it was established in the first episode that he didn’t make it, it couldn’t have been any of the major characters. Logic, people. Give it a shot.
Can we stop with the stupid island flashbacks please? It was cool at the beginning, but honestly the whole thing has become so laughable that I just don’t want to see it. When it was five years on an island, okay. Now that it’s become Oliver Queen, international man of mystery, forget it.
And the end was just a mess. Thea walking away from the team? Diggle abandoning both the team and his family to join the military? It honestly felt like they knew that Flash was doing Flashpoint so they just threw up their hands and figured they could retcon it all anyhow. Maybe they’ll just retcon the last two and a half seasons and return to what made people like Arrow in the first place.
See, Arrow started out dark. Not horribly, gritty, dismally dark, but Oliver was a brooding character that killed people. He was unforgiving and of a single mind and purpose. Then Flash came along and got super popular and they tried to change Arrow to match Flash instead of recognizing that they are, at their core, two entirely different shows. Arrow shouldn’t be about metahumans. It shouldn’t be about romance. It shouldn’t be about laughs. It should be about justice and how one man can and does make a difference. Instead, they turned it into a much more light-hearted ensemble show that spends as much time spinning off new characters and series as it does actually telling a story of its own. Flash should rarely appear. Supergirl should never appear. Supernatural and super-powered characters should be a rarity. It should be Oliver Queen against the criminal underground of Star City. He should be a Batman-esque character, not a moody, whiny, obnoxious git. That’s what he’s become. That ruins what everyone liked about him to begin with.