Season 4 was a dark time for ARROW. For a show literally titled ‘ARROW,’ there was a depressing lack of, you know, arrows (Some redditors counted). Action and heroism was replaced with soap opera drama and teenage angst. However, fans will be happy to know that Season 5 brought the arrows back, and dropped more than a few bodies with them. No more relationship drama; WAY more ass-kicking.

Warning: Mild Spoilers Ahead.

Season 4 in a nutshell

The first season of Arrow drew in viewers with its brutality and grittiness. Arrow introduced us to a hero who was willing to do anything to accomplish his goals. A hero who didn’t bat an eye at killing and maiming small time criminals, or beating the hell out of anyone else who got in his way. Best of all, the show writers didn’t vilify him for his methods. That all changed in seasons 3-4.

The recent mid-season finale is a shining example of the show’s return to its roots. It was a ride of nonstop action, character development, and the villain revealed a psychopathic sickness in seeking his revenge on The Green Arrow. Our hero has returned to his old violent ways, though his growth as a character is evident in his restraint.

Season 5 introduces us to a host of new characters as well, starting with the brawny, brawling, brass-knuckled criminal: Tobias Church. This appetizer baddie sets the stage for the season’s star villain, Prometheus, and opens the door for some new additions to Team Arrow.

READ: Go watch Daredevil. Now.

The New Recruits

As Oliver attempts to live his dual life as vigilante and mayor, he quickly discovers that there’s not enough time in the day- or night- to do both. With his entire former team retired, Oliver makes a hard choice to entrust his city to a new crew of heroes. The Green Arrow recruits a team of four new vigilantes from the streets of Central City to help him fight crime when he doesn’t have time.

From the left: Wild Dog, Mr. Terrific, The ‘Green’ Arrow, Spartan, Artemis, and Ragman

Wild Dog

Thus far the most developed of the new recruits, Rene Ramirez, alter-ego Wild Dog, is a punk from the streets who wants to make a difference. His trademarks are a hockey mask, a pair of pistols, and a real bad attitude.

Initially, Ramirez was flagrantly disrespectful of everyone on the team. He was the source of pretty much all the internal strife. But after a series of screw-ups that jeopardized the team and innocent lives, he gained a grudging deference to Oliver. Ramirez started working together with the rest of the team, realizing that teamwork and trusting his allies worked a lot better than taking everything on alone. His character has begun to develop beyond the rough, one dimensional demeanor he first displayed. He even hints at having a family recently…a dangerous weakness for a vigilante.

Easily Mistaken for Jason

Artemis

Artemis is introduced to the world on the night when her parents join the cult of an evil magician. Evelyn Sharp witnesses the Black Canary’s valiant attempt to save the magician’s followers, and grows to idolize the vigilante. This starts her on the path to being a hero, a path that is set in stone when her parents are killed by the same evil magician that they worshiped.

In spite of her past, Artemis comes off as a boring character… until her big reveal before Season 5’s mid-season break. The unassuming girl has a darker side that’s going to drive Team Arrow into chaos.

Mr. Terrific

Mr. T, an occasional cameo character throughout ARROW, finally has a full-time role in the show. He’s an awkward tech guy who assists Felicity and moonlights as a really bad vigilante. Seriously, his fight scenes just hurt to watch, in spite of his character being an Olympic Gold Medalist. Echo Kellum doesn’t quite come off as a world class athlete in his action scenes.

However, Mr. T does pull off some phenomenal chemistry with Felicity in front of the computer. The two work well together, and feed off each other to make the typically awkward ‘tech’ scenes a lot more fun to watch. Mr. T has become the show’s main source of comedy with his cheesy jokes and sarcastic commentary whenever a team member makes a stupid mistake.

Hopefully the writers of the show will play to the Kellum’s strengths, and take Mr. T off the streets. It really beaks immersion to watch him fight bad guys terribly.

Comics Vs. Reality

Ragman

Hands down the most powerful of the group, Ragman is the sole survivor of the nuclear explosion from last season’s grand finale. Clad in a set of ancient, mystical garments, Ragman is invulnerable, bulletproof, and capable of rapidly incapacitating enemies. Outside of his rags though, he’s a slim, dainty kid without a whole lot of personality. He’ll occasionally drop sarcastic comments, but is otherwise polite and always seems to be immaculately well groomed. It creates an odd contrast to his grimy look when he dons his garments as Ragman.

Artemis and Ragman

The Future of the Recruits

At this point, it’s a toss-up as to how many of the recruits will make it through this season. Guaranteed, at least half of them will get killed off, especially since, traditionally, new characters rarely stick around for more than one season. Best bets are on Wild Dog and Ragman dying. Ragman is too powerful to be a regular character, and he’s going to cause a lot of problems for the sake of the show’s believability if he sticks around. And Artemis… it’s on the fence regarding her. Artemis is going to get a lot more exposition in the second half of Season 5 after her big reveal. Ultimately, I think she has the best shot at being the sole survivor of the new recruits.

LISTEN: Morality in Comic Books

Summary: Ragman is OP, and going to get killed off because the writers don’t know how to keep him around realistically. Wild Dog’s character is developing too fast and too early, he’s raising death flags. Mr. T recently revealed relationship conflicts with his life as a vigilante, and he will eventually leave the night life.

Leaving… Artemis. The recruit with a nasty secret (well, not a secret anymore). She has the most room to develop as a character at this point, and maybe even earn redemption.

The Final Flashback (In Theory)

Season 5 of Arrow supposedly marks the end of the flashback arcs. This final storyline takes place in Russia and sheds light on Oliver’s mysterious connections to the Russian Mob. In addition, the mid-season finale hints that Oliver’s past in Russia may be connected to this season’s big villain: Prometheus.  There’s still a lot left to be revealed, and this flashback arc is going to keep the audience guessing.

Prometheus

Speaking of Prometheus: After the exit of Season 5’s appetizer villain, Prometheus was a rather shady villain, at least for a few episodes. He was known only as ‘the throwing star killer’; a mysterious murderer who was responsible for a series of unsolved deaths in the city. It wasn’t until the most recent episodes that he/she began to show their true colors. And sadistic colors they are turning out to be. Episode 9 ended with a disturbing death set up by Prometheus, one that will inevitably divide Team Arrow.

READ: Our original pitch for Season 5

Prometheus is shaping up to be a brutally psychopathic villain reminiscent of Season 2’s Slade Wilson. Prometheus hints at a deeply personal grudge against Oliver, and has set out to destroy everything and everyone that Oliver loves in a violent crusade for apparent vengeance. But beyond his/her mission, Prometheus holds Central City dear to his/her heart, believing Oliver to be the true villain destroying the city.

The first decent villain this show has seen in a long time.

Sub-Plots

Aside from the main storyline, Season 5 brings us some development in a few long-standing side-characters. Thea Queen finds herself growing into a life outside of Oliver’s midnight crusade alongside Detective Lance of all people (PLEASE don’t start shipping that). It’s pretty cool to see Thea choosing to move away from vigilante life, and subsequently stick to her choice. She is growing into a full fledged, influential character outside of the streets, choosing to make the city a better place from the inside.

Lance on the other hand, isn’t doing so great. He has slowly devolved from the passionate detective of season 1 into a man broken by the haunting tragedies that have struck Star City. He is an embodiment of the dark side of Arrow, and a reminder that everything is not okay. In spite of this, Lance is still trying to work for the sake of the city as its new Deputy Mayor. Lance’s problems aren’t just limited to the city, however, as he finds himself battling with grief over the ‘death’ of his daughters.

Of course, anyone following Legends of Tomorrow knows that at least one of his daughters is alive and well. The White Canary makes a cameo appearance this season in the four-show Invasion crossover. Mix in time travel (Goddamn it, Flash, stop screwing the timeline) and DC’s comical disregard for permanent character death… and Laurel Lance very well might make a reappearance.

Pictured: An accurate representation of Barry Allen’s relationship with the timeline.

Last but certainly not least, Season 5 has introduced us to the first Arrowverse crossover. Spanning four shows, the Invasion crossover features The Green Arrow, Supergirl, The Flash, and The Legends of Tomorrow all working together to save the planet from an alien threat. Oh, and the writers casually killed off the President of the United States of America too. Totally no symbolism going on there…

The crossover was a massive success by all accounts. In spite of some awkward chemistry here and there, there’s definitely going to be more superpowered heroes finding their way into Arrow in the future. And for the first time, the events of the other shows in the Arrowverse are effecting the plot of Arrow itself. Namely, Flashpoint changing John’s family permanently, and Sarah’s dogged pursuit of a chance to save her sister.

More heroes than we’ve ever seen in one place.

Felicity and Friends is Over

When Felicity Smoak was first introduced, she filled a much needed role as the technical wizard that Team Arrow desperately needed. Emily Rickards played the intrepid hacker fantastically, delivering genuinely funny awkward humor- the kind that so often falls flat in other shows. Felicity Smoak rounded off Team Arrow in a very constructive way, providing new dimensions to Oliver’s capabilities, and the functionality of the team as a whole. She was a very popular character.

Too popular, it turns out. Arrow’s writers promoted Felicity Smoak to the star of a brutally cringeworthy soap opera. They took the subtle romantic tension between her and Oliver, and made that the focus of two whole seasons. Furthermore, Season 3 and 4 saw Felicity Smoak taking on a confusingly vital role to the plot . She magically solved all sorts of problems with her H@x0rz skillz, and practically became unofficial leader of Team ARROW. Some viewers began jokingly referring to the show as Felicity and Friends because of the absurdly skewed focus on Felicity’s feelings and her relationship troubles with Oliver. As opposed to, you know, THE GREEN ARROW.

Season 5 very pointedly shifts Felicity back into her original role as the tech wizard, and even pokes fun at the writing of the earlier seasons. The writers seem to have realized their mistake, and are slowly redeeming Felicity by bringing her back to her roots. And best of all, Arrow is all about arrows again. Specifically, who’s getting shot full of them, and who’s doing the shooting.

READ: Legends of Tomorrow was off to a shaky start

Anyways, Arrow is looking pretty fantastic this season. If seasons 3 and 4 put you off, now is a great time to jump back in. There’s a lot of action, some sinister villains, and a whole lot less relationship drama. And Felicity is a side character again. What more could you want?

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13 Comments

  1. aolani08

    March 2, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I agree with you 100%. What if she’s the vigilante?

    Reply

  2. Kathleen Kervin (@statsgrl)

    January 6, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    I hope you’re right that Wild Dog is going to be dead by the end of the season because he’s the worst character Arrow has brought on. He’s so full of himself that he’s too stupid to realize how stupid and disrespectful he is. (Also a bully to everyone who doesn’t meet his thug criteria.) I keep thinking “Shut up. Shut up.” every time he’s one.

    We can agree that the worst plot this show ever did was the Baby Mama one which made Oliver look like a complete idiot. “Oh noes, this woman who I had a one night stand with when I was cheating on Laurel is forcing me to lie to my fiance, who I promised never to lie to again, who has always supported me for the past four years, and who is currently financially supporting me and my Arrow mission because I don’t have a job. If only it would occur to me that I could take Samantha to court because no judge would refuse me access to my son who she lied to me for eight years about….” Men are so helpless when confronted with a woman of average intelligence.

    Other than that, I think this is the worst season of the show so far. The new team is boring, Oliver has the emotional complexity of a robot and is back to trusting all the wrong people, and the female characters have been reset to the 1950s, Thea went from a superhero and manager of her own club to literally doing nothing but supporting Oliver and Quentin, to do their job and Quentin to get sober. Her entire function is to be handmaiden to the men, which is what you call growth. Susan is a stereotype of the evil seductive woman who the poor hero trusts, Evelyn is used only to promote Prometheus’ plot, and Felicity has lost 80 IQ points and now needs Curtis’ help to write an algorithm. She’s not only become comic relief Lucy from the old I Love Lucy show, she’s telling Billy she owes him sex because she cancelled the previous night to do Arrow activities. No woman should EVER feels she owes a man sex for any reason, much less because she was busy saving the city.

    As for Oliver, he’s become such a baby that he has to get hugs from every single person in the bunker including Felicity because he feels so bad about killing Billy and then goes to get his sexual healing from the reporter everyone how told him not to trust, while Felicity sucks it up and mourns alone. Easy to see who’s the adult here.

    I wasn’t happy about seasons 3 and 4 but no season has come close to being as bad as this one.

    Reply

  3. Dave

    January 6, 2017 at 5:19 pm

    LMAO y’all so threatened by Felicity. Bet you’ve never seen a pussy in real life. This season sucks ass 😜

    Reply

    • Christi

      January 14, 2017 at 11:43 pm

      how about you show yours? bet that’s the only one you ever saw…don’t need to bet, everyone already knows

      Reply

  4. uldihaa

    January 6, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Season 5 almost made me quit watching. I found it painfully predictable and the new masks completely boring. Why have them form a team in the first place? Just have them get mentioned once in a while, pop up occasionally for certain major threats, and then let them go back to doing their own thing. If they’re going to do the ‘micro Justice League’ thing, then just pull the damn trigger and form it officially. Otherwise, save the team-ups for crossovers and Legends of Tomorrow.

    If you haven’t noticed, Felicity is essential to keep a certain amount of humor in the show. Oliver can’t do it anymore, since a big part of the humor from the character was what he said or did to hide his identity.

    The action you so long for? Has now become boring and blasé. It’s not new or exciting anymore. It’s become routine. So much so that I suspect the show won’t last more than a few more seasons. I’ve lost most of my interest with this last season.

    Reply

  5. Noah

    January 6, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Season 5 is better but not because of Felicity, because of the move away from all the ancient magic hot tub and idol bull. While Damien Darhk was an interesting character alone, but the plot behind him was a no go. Season 5 has finally brought back the glory that was the first 2 seasons. Honestly, Prometheus is the greatest Arrow villain so far. I find him way better and way scarier than Zoom on the Flash last year. Wild Dog and Curtis however could use some improvements.

    Reply

  6. George

    January 6, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    reddit bot, exactly how mad are you that Felicity Smoak is more popular than everyone else on the show including the lead male character? Arrow S5 isn’t better and all the things you pointed out to why in your opinion S5 is the “best ever” are actually the reasons why so many people stopped watching, check the ratings.
    S5 is dull, unimaginative, only thing that improved from S3/4 were the fights/stunts, everything else went to shit. Same old plots, sidelining of core characters for newbies and masks no one cares about, zero character development etc
    If Arrow was in fact Felicity & Friends, which is not and never was, maybe it would be more entertaining. As it is, i’m bored to tears by it.
    “Anyways”, it’s highly amusing how threatened you feel by a woman, nonetheless a fictional one. Your misogyny is showing.

    Reply

  7. Lacey Knowles (@knowleslacey1)

    January 6, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    Maybe you haven’t noticed, the ratings have dropped significantly since Felicity’s role has been minimized. You clearly cannot see that far more people enjoy Arrow for more than just fighting. The show would not be on the air anymore without her and her role. Diminishing it is show suicide. The ratings are showing that!

    Reply

  8. Georgie

    January 6, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    It’s actually funny because Felicity still has the second most amount of screentime 😂
    It’s also amusing you have a problem with Felicity’s IQ, who got two degrees from MIT, and yet you have no problem with instant vigilantes that seem to be just as skilled as Oliver even though they’ve only been trained for a few months?
    You really think a few redditors legitimises this BS you’re spewing? Tell that to everyone who praises Felicity’s character, like the THR list she just made #15 of top female characters of all time.
    The show got better in season 3/4 because Oliver stopped flip flopping between 5000 women. You all just didn’t like it because it wasn’t Laurel. I also don’t know where you’re getting the fact that Olicity was the focus, when if anything, it was less of a focus than Oliver x 5000 women was in seasons 1/2.
    Season five is horrible, full stop. And ratings prove that. But keep on with your misogyny, really.

    Reply

  9. Maria

    January 6, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    This is sad. Felicity is a great character. I don’t see you claiming season 1 and season 2 was a soap opera. Which saw Oliver sleeping with many women and them trying to make a love triangle off of Laurel and Tommy. Let’s not forget how Oliver slept with his father’s mistress in season 2. You people are always labelling everything Felicity does is a soap opera when the entire show is a soap opera with the biggest tropes anyone has seen. Such as people coming back from the “dead” and finding out your father isn’t really your father.

    You people are just mad that Felicity Smoak is a great character and that she has a huge fanbase. Not to mention if she’s so hated, her funko pop and action figure wouldn’t be so loved. At conventions, sellers are always saying how she’s the first funko POP to sell out at their stations.

    Wild dog is a horrible unlikable character. Evelyn is a traitor, Curtis has become really not that great and the only new character who is good is Rory (ragman) but even though he’s a good character the show has said they were moving away from magic becuase they spent so long on it in season 4 but not they have magic Ragman there.

    If I were to keep one new character it would be ragman. Also they are sidelining the heck out of Diggle, Felicity, Thea and Lance. They gave the same storyline to Lance and now they have Thea acting as his daughter.

    Curtis gets lines that should go to Felicity and Diggle is in jail again to sideline him for other characters.

    Don’t get me started on susan because she’s another soap opera element that shouldn’t even be on the show. She really serves no purpose.

    Reply

  10. Gale Peacock

    January 6, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Oh you sad poor human, threatened by a badass fictional female character. Laying everything that is wrong about the show at the feet of the character that probably saved the show and is still saving the show. Season 5 is probably the worst season of Arrow with a motley crew of annoying (Wild Dog), uninteresting (the traitorous teenage chick), useless (Curtis) and out-of-place (Ragman) new masks, a lame love interest in the reporter, sidelined Felicity, Diggle and Thea, even Lance. The action is still repetitive and boring as hell and made even worse when James Bamford directs it with his dizzying camera tricks. Marc Guggenheim still can’t pace his show to save his life. The show is in trouble and Warner Bros. and the CW know it. It’s not gonna get canceled but the ratings have dropped 31 percent. So yeah, Arrow is back on track, LMAO.

    Reply

  11. Michael

    January 6, 2017 at 11:29 am

    The side character that you and the subreddit fucking hate still has the second most screen time behind Stephen just like in seasons 3-4 despite the lack of shippy olicity scenes 🙁 We get it, just like Stephen, it bothers you that a female character became more popular than your manly man show and will continue to be so 🙂

    Reply

  12. Cara Murphy (@ol4fr)

    January 6, 2017 at 12:00 am

    How about actually interesting new characters? How about not sidelining your existing ones? How about a show that’s not just a string of action scenes strung together? Or how about a lead character you can actually root for?

    So far this season Oliver has ignored the advice of his sister and Quentin when it comes to getting involved with the new reporter, flip-flopped on when it’s ok to kill (by the way it’s ok for him to kill people but not for Vigilante), killed someone in first episode because they knew who he was but didn’t kill Church when he found out, going alone to face Prometheus instead of bringing his team and then, after killing Billy, immediately explaining how it’s not actually his fault!

    Actually hope Oliver gets betrayed by reporter chick and gets no sympathy from anyone for a change

    Reply

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