Beware Spoilers For ARROW: S5 Below!

ARROW Season 5 ties up the show’s loose ends and brings everything in full circle. The flashbacks of Oliver on Lian Yu may have ended this season but they’re still relevant. Oliver, his Russian connections, and Prometheus are the plot points this season. What makes matters more interesting is the return of The List and its importance to the series.

Season 5 is definitely a bounce back from the drag that was Season 4. In Seasons 1 and 2, the best seasons by far, Oliver’s motivated to save the city because of The List. Now that The List is back into the fold, it helps the series return to its roots, which means ARROW can also return to its former glory.

Assembling Team Arrow 2.0

When Diggle and Thea take a leave of absence at the end of Season 4, Team Arrow is scarce. At the start of Season 5, Team Arrow recruits new teammates and this creates a vacuum for new characters. Even though Diggle rejoins after a few episodes, Team Arrow still needs new members. As a result, Curtis (Mister Terrific), Rene Ramirez (Wild Dog), Rory Regan (Ragman), and Evelyn Sharp (Artemis) join the team.

In Season 5 Oliver also works to find a replacement for Laurel Lance as the Black Canary. Losing Laurel was the biggest blow to Team Arrow last season and it was a blow for the series. Earth-2 Laurel aside, Oliver wants the Black Canary’s legacy to carry on and for this reason, he recruits Dinah Drake to become the Black Canary.

Assembling the new team doesn’t go as smoothly as it did the first time around. Oliver hesitates to trust his new teammates — comprised of vigilantes — and it hinders his ability to effectively lead them. His secretiveness also backfires on their ability to trust him. So much so that when Team Arrow discovers The List this causes Evelyn to betray them. Evelyn joins Prometheus to help him destroy Oliver Queen because she believes Oliver is responsible for the death of her parents.

While a surplus of new characters is a bold move, ARROW does a good job doing its due diligence. Adding new characters was a refresher since the series has been hemorrhaging cast members since Season 2. For ARROW, the new additions work well supporting Oliver as the lead on ARROW. It puts him in a leadership position where he is their mentor. All throughout Season 5 we see Oliver mentor the newer characters like Rene, Rory, and Curtis during their own arcs.

In ARROW Season 5, The Big Reveal Comes full Circle

In Season 5 Oliver had two teams, one as the Mayor and the other as The Green Arrow. As Mayor of Star City Oliver didn’t count on Adrian Chase being his District Attorney. Oliver also didn’t count on Adrian Chase turning out to be Prometheus either.

The show does a great job with Prometheus’ big reveal. If you paid attention to the first half of the season, the show teases us with Prometheus’ identity with clever editing. In almost every scene with Adrian Chase in it, the next scene would feature Prometheus. It was a clever way the show hinted at Prometheus’ identity.

Adrian Chase revealed as Prometheus ARROW Season 5
Adrian Chase revealed as Prometheus

What makes this reveal more interesting is that it has been planned since Season 1. For 5 years Simon Morrison, also known as Adrian Chase, who we know as Prometheus, trains to ruin Oliver Queen. His plan sets in motion when Oliver kills Justin Claybourne, Simon’s father, as The Hood. He becomes motivated by vengeance: he plans to destroy Oliver Queen’s life and make him admit he’s a murderer.

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The repercussions of Oliver killing people on the list in Season 1 comes back in full circle. After Oliver kills Claybourne, Simon falls off of the grid to search for the real identity of his killer, The Hood. He discovers that Oliver Queen is The Hood and that Oliver used “The List” as a motive to kill his father. Simon uses this information and researches Oliver’s connections to the League of Assassins and the Russians. Talia al Ghul trains him after he seeks her out because of their shared hatred for Oliver after he killed their fathers. After his training Simon returns to Star City as Adrian Chase the District Attorney, and as Prometheus.

Prometheus’s Grand Scheme Explained

Chase’s masterplan to destroy Oliver and The Green Arrow was planned with four stages and a few contingency plans. First, he destroys the Queen administration by getting them to cover up the death of Detective Billy Malone. Then, Chase discredits The Green Arrow and turns Star City against him when they discover that he killed Detective Malone. After The Green Arrow is discredited, Chase tortures Oliver until he believes that he is nothing more than a murderer who enjoys killing. Although that was only a mind game, Chase distracts Oliver long enough to try to revive his father’s tuberculosis plot.

Adrian Chase in custody ARROW Season 5
Adrian Chase in custody

This is where Prometheus’ genius comes into play. He fails to revive the plot to weaponize tuberculosis, but he allows himself to be captured and moves on to another plan. Prometheus uses his team, Talia al Ghul, Artemis, and Black Siren, to capture Team Arrow, Oliver’s son, and anyone else Oliver cares about. Using his captives as bargaining chips, Prometheus forces Oliver to break him out of prison. Prometheus then takes his captives to the island Lian Yu for his final plan to try to ruin Oliver.

In the finale Prometheus’ final plan is to get Oliver to choose between his son’s life or everyone else’s. If Oliver kills Prometheus to save William, Prometheus’ death will destroy the Island. However, if Oliver refuses to kill Prometheus he will kill his son. So Oliver finds a way to save Willam without killing Prometheus. This triggers Prometheus to kill himself in a last ditch attempt to destroy the Island with everyone else on it. Although the entire cast was left on the Island it’s unlikely that ARROW will kill all them off and more likely that Prometheus’ final plot failed.

The Theme in The Green Arrow versus Prometheus

Most, if not the entirety of Season 5, is dedicated to Oliver versus Chase. Their war was symbolical as it was exciting. ARROW cleverly attributes a theme to their conflict: Oliver sees a mirror of himself in Prometheus.

Prometheus represents the repercussions of Oliver Queen as The Hood in Season 1. In the first Season of ARROW, Oliver uses The List to kill people who are responsible for ruining Star City. He acted as the judge, jury, and executioner as The Hood and essentially became a serial killing vigilante. This is why Adrian Chase decides to go on a self-righteous crusade as a vigilante named Prometheus. In Greek mythology, Prometheus stood up against the Titans for being judge, jury, and executioner of man. In this analogy, Chase sees Oliver as the Titans.

Prometheus and The Green Arrow show down ARROW Season 5
Prometheus and The Green Arrow show down

The Oliver Queen in Season 5 is drastically different from the Oliver Queen in Season 1. For starters, he doesn’t hunt down and kill people whose names are on The List. Instead, Oliver’s taken a more practical approach. His practicality doesn’t come by being The Green Arrow, but by being Mayor of Star City and fixing it. This also extends to Oliver rounding up the other vigilantes in Star City and teaching them the right way to protect the city.

The Green Arrow versus Prometheus is more than a hero versus villain scenario. Prometheus is a lot like Oliver as The Hood. He’s also a representation of what Oliver use to be before he became The Green Arrow. Prometheus’ crusade against Oliver is as self-righteous as Oliver’s crusade was against everyone who was on The List. When Oliver refuses to kill Prometheus even at the expense of his son’s life, he not only defeats him, he redeems a part of himself.

Mayor Queen Doing What Green Arrow Can’t

In Season 5 Oliver takes a different approach to saving Star City. After becoming mayor last season, Oliver tries to change the city using the legal route. In the past, The Green Arrow used force to solve the city’s problems like gun violence or illegal drugs. Now, he has options to take a more diplomatic approach. Oliver succeeds at passing a common sense gun control bill that’s good for Star City without ever shooting an arrow. By having that episode in Season 5, ARROW gets to demonstrate Oliver’s growth.

Quentin, Oliver, and Thea's press conference. ARROW Season 5
Quentin, Oliver, and Thea’s press conference.

For ARROW, taking on a polarizing political issue such as gun violence and gun control is a different direction for the series. It shows a level of maturity and realism that’s scarce in the Arrowverse. “Spectre of the Gun” humanizes the violence in ARROW for a brief moment. Even though the episode could have been a lot better in discussing the nuances of the issue, it’s a step in the right direction. It’s likely that ARROW will do more episodes like this since Oliver is still Mayor of Star City.

Oliver’s honeymoon phase as the city’s mayor doesn’t last long. The List, and the killing spree that came with it, come back to haunt him in the form of Prometheus. Evelyn is horrified when she discovers The List, and she feels betrayed because Oliver hid his connection to it from Team Arrow. Prometheus uses this rift to turn Evelyn against Team Arrow, setting his plans into motion.

Oliver’s Redemption

The killing aspect of Oliver’s crusade in Season 1 is the biggest hurdle in his redemption arc. This is the theme in ARROW’s flashback series for Season 5. Oliver uses The Hood persona to justify killing his enemies as a member of Bratva. Even Anatoly Knyazev tells him that using The Hood’s persona to kill is going to catch up with him, and it did. Prometheus comes in and challenges Oliver on the notion that he is a murderer. Oliver is manipulated into killing Detective Malone as proof that he hasn’t changed his ways.

Oliver being tortured by Prometheus ARROW Season 5
Oliver being tortured by Prometheus

Being manipulated to kill Detective Malone was a low point for Oliver, but it didn’t make him realize his problem. It was only when Prometheus tortures Oliver into admitting he likes to kill that he acknowledges it. That’s when his redemption really begins. Oliver’s redemption depended on whether or not he was going to bring Prometheus to justice or kill him. So in the season finale, Oliver makes a conscious effort to spare Prometheus.

READ: Want more of the DECU on TV? Check out the recap of GOTHAM season 3!

Having Oliver struggle to adopt the no killing rule this season was a clever storytelling decision by ARROW. Knowing that Oliver kills a lot in Season 1, Oliver’s struggle made us care about his redemption. It was like watching Thea or Sara Lance battle with the blood thirst in prior seasons. Oliver’s overcoming his urge to kill was a nice touch to his redemption arc this season.

Season 6 Preview

ARROW Season 5 is much better than the last season. Team Arrow got new members, the big reveal worked well within the season, and Prometheus was a great villain. The season finale “Lian Yu” was really exciting, but the cliffhanger felt like a big red herring.

Cliffhanger included, there is a lot to look forward to in Season 6. It’s unlikely that everyone from the cast is going to be killed off, but don’t be surprised if someone is. According to Stephen Amell himself, one person that’s a guarantee for Season 6 is Manu Bennett who plays Slade Wilson.

Stephen Amell as Arrow and Manu Bennett Slade Wilson ARROW Season 5
Stephen Amell as Arrow and Manu Bennett Slade Wilson

There are also a couple of storylines to lookout for in Season 6. Like the obvious father-son dynamics between Oliver and William. Their father-son relationship might bring about a non-brooding version of Oliver that we have never seen before. Or a proper introduction to the Cayden James character that Felicity released for Helix. We can also expect Vigilante to be a villain next season considering we haven’t seen the last of him. Whatever happens next, we can definitely expect that the next season of ARROW will be closely following the comics.

ARROW Season 6 premieres on a new night, Thursday, October 12 at 9/8c on The CW. Tune in to find out who’s getting the axe in the season premiere.

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