Saturday, October 21, 2017

TV REVIEW | Arrow Season 5

Imagine that I am Oliver and season 5 of the Arrow  is Felicity and you will get how I feel about this season.  No, not sleepy, but comforted and reassured that the show I know and love is back.

I had problems with season 4. Let’s just get it out of the way, I am an Olicity shipper but more so, I’m a fan of Felicity the character.  In my opinion, Season 4 blithely threw her character under the bus in the service of giving Oliver something interesting to deal with.  I know, I know - the show’s called Arrow and is about Oliver/Green Arrow so it makes sense that he gets to be the hero and get the development BUT I don’t have to like it. So there.  Also, Damien Darhk and the story surrounding him just wasn’t super compelling for me.  

So I was all good riddance to season 4.  And it wasn’t immediately warm cookies and trampolines for season 5 either.  Here was my trajectory:

FIRST 1/3RD of SEASON:  Ho hum.  Really this show should have ended after season 4. Or maybe even 3.  I mean how many ways can they keep having Oliver question his monstrousness and humanity?  And where’s Thea?  Why is she doing a desk job instead of kicking ass?  Have they run out of interesting villains?  This gang fellow is like a bargain basement villain and Prometheus just seems like a shady Arrow.  And seriously show, are you really going to try and shove a new team down our throats? No thank you - these people are boring. Despite all of this, I am oddly compelled and can’t stop watching episodes.

FROM the PROMETHEUS STORYLINE REVVING UP TO EPISODE 19:  So this is getting  good now.  I love all these new characters and the new team and Diggle is back and being awesome.  Prometheus is a SUPER great bad guy  - I love how’s he’s jerking everyone’s strings.  Hacktivist Felicity is kinda awesome.  Oliver’s angst is back to being compelling and I’m actually kind of enjoying the flashbacks in this season. Kind of. All I want to do is watch Arrow.

LAST FOUR EPISODES: OMG. Wow. WOW. wow. CAN’T STOP WATCHING. SO MUCH GOODNESS.  Why can’t I watch all of season 6 right now immediately?  Best. Season. Ever.

Or visually my trajectory was this:
Originally posted by dziesiemdziesiat

So season 5 was great, ya’ll.  I watched the entire season in a week’s time even though it overlapped with some extensive travel for work.  I spent every night, anti-socially huddled over my laptop in my hotel room.  Free Wi-Fi is a beautiful thing.

Every season, the villain/conflict has gotten more and more operatic and I doubted they had anywhere new to go but they proved me wrong. Prometheus’ machinations ended up feeling fresh, surprising and seriously threatening.  His origins and motives actually do force out some interesting development and emotions from Oliver (eventually) AND the present day events and flashbacks intertwine in meaningful ways which hasn’t always been the case.  

The other cool thing about the flashbacks is that they bring us up to where Arrow began. They also answer a lot of questions about earlier sketchy developments, like Oliver’s status as a Bratva Captain and his friendship with Anatoly.  I’m curious if there will be flashbacks in season 6 and what they will focus on?

The new characters that are introduced could use some more development but I did eventually really enjoy their inclusion and thought they added an interesting dynamic.  I am still bummed that Willa Holland (Thea) has decided to cut back on her time on the show so she played  and will continue to play a pretty minor role. However, the new team managed to make assuage my sorrow about the loss of Roy, Laurel and now Thea.

And Felicity?  She claimed back some of her awesome and we finally get a reckoning of what went down in season 4 in a mostly (but not entirely) satisfying way.  Felicity and Oliver’s relationship throughout the season was nuanced and interesting and overall I was very happy!  And really Team Arrow is Oliver, Diggle and Felicity - as long as they are kicking ass and taking names at the core, it’s all good!

So, now I am faced with a dilemma.  Do I go back and do a complete re-watch from season 1 like I mostly want to, even though I will have to suffer through season 4?  Do I just re-watch season 5?  Do I try to move on and forget that season 6 is months away from Netflix?  Such hard, hard decisions.

Thoughts on season 5 of Arrow?

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