Unfortunately, life has continually got in the way making it incredibly difficult to allow me to sit down and write this review as I wanted. I finally have some time, but not as long as I want, but I don’t want to put this off any longer.
Arrow season 3 came back leaving me very excited to see what was going to come next. Starling City was in complete danger and reeling in the aftermath of Slade’s attack with his mirakuru prisoner army. It was kind of a big deal. The show ended with Quentin in serious condition. With Laurel getting her sister’s jacket and her sister leaving the city. Oliver made this big proclamation to Felicity only to rescind it like a coward afraid of where his emotions may lead him. More importantly, the city had some semblance of hope. The show had just came off a high. It could have continued on that trajectory, but unfortunately it backpedaled. We were promised League of Assassins, but that threat never came at us in a real meaningful way. Also the side story in China was incredibly lackluster and never tied in as well, while having a complete story, like last season. Over all It felt like Arrow took a half step back rather than a good solid step forward.
Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this season. There was a lot to like, but there was also a lot of meh mixed in behind it that soured what could have been an over all great feeling. The season was split into two distinct halves as many shows tend to do now. The first half of the show focused on the death of Sara Lance. She was suddenly killed and that played a major role in how the characters moved forward throughout the season. Suddenly the one person on the team that seemed the most untouchable was dead. Not only that, but she had also left her mark on almost all of the characters which weighed heavy on those she left behind.
Most notably affected was Laurel, her dear sister. She was only recently brought into the fold of what was going on. Oliver took it upon himself to try to keep her out of it as much as possible. However, this only propelled Laurel to endanger herself more. In a fit of rage Laurel began taking to the streets as Black Canary. It was a way to honor her sister as well as hunt down who killed her. While some people may disagree, I felt that her progression this season was extremely well handled. She went from someone who couldn’t hold her own foolishly picking fights she couldn’t win to someone who was actually dangerous. As we saw her go from just fighting haphazardly to training with Wildcat, then helping team Arrow, and finally training with Nyssa. She has evolved into a strong fighter and it’s rather impressive. Along with her skill she’s also become a less irritating character. She was the one character who really grated on me, but she proved that it was possible for her to not be completely annoying.
The entire issue with Sara eventually drew Oliver into a nasty tango with Ra’s al Ghul. This was one of the most promising aspects of the show. When we ended the first half of the season with it seeming like Oliver was dead, it was a big deal. It really set Ra’s as a person who didn’t play games. While there were a few moments we saw of this like his attack on Thea, it didn’t really work. Rather than feeling like Ra’s was the big threat leading this ominous deadly group of assassins, we got a not totally nice guy who wanted Oliver to do something with assassins we never saw. It was just never threatening and felt more like Oliver like a giant little kid who didn’t want to do something. Sure, it was an awful thing he shouldn’t have had to do, but I never really felt the major threat.
I briefly mentioned my dislike for the flashbacks this season. Let’s be clear. Season 1, the flashbacks were tolerable. Season 2, the flashbacks were great and completely engrossing as you learned more of the story. Season 3. aside from a couple flashbacks I don’t remember them and I hardly watched them. You heard me. I often found myself tuning out whenever there was a flashback this season. Yes, Katana was cool, but I just wasn’t invested to the story. It was only tangentially related to the main storyline. Unlike last season which wonderfully wove a full cohesive story from the island and made it relate to most episodes directly, this seasons the flashbacks were usually just that flashbacks that didn’t impact the story. Here and there they connected, but they were mostly alone. Unfortunately, the past story also wasn’t that interesting. It like punch and connection because we had little investment to the other characters current state until well int he season. It just didn’t work for me and I was sad because I had high hopes. I did enjoy seeing the episode when he went back to Starling City mainly because seeing where those characters were before the show started was rare and enjoyable.
I’m not going to say much more, like I said I didn’t have much time so I will list out some of my other thoughts. I’m very glad that we are done with the Olicity dance. They are finally together and I’m looking forward to seeing them being able to move forward from the angst. I liked them together, not the angst. I’m really intrigued by where Diggle is going to go from here. In Oliver’s absence he really stepped up. Despite his desire to be with his daughter, there is a fire in him and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him step into a bigger role. Diggle’s always been a protector and now may be his time to shine. Seeing Thea as Speedy is great. She really needed this season to progress and grow stronger and she has. I’m looking forward to her fighting crime alongside her brother. I mentioned previously that Laurel has really changed and I meant it. She’s a strong character and her morality in what she fights for might be the most intriguing. Out of all of the characters she seems the most likely to partake in some shady practices during her vigilante time. I’m interested to see where Quentin Lance lays his allegiance now. He sways so much it’s unbelievable. I can’t wait to see the threat or alliance, or both that comes from Malcolm now ascending to be the new Ra’s al Ghul. It’ll be interesting at the very least.
What did you think of this season of Arrow?