ByDavid Opie, writer at Creators.co
Deputy Editor: Tweet me @DavidOpie. Still waiting for a Marvel Zombies Ghibli film directed by Xavier Dolan...
David Opie

In the past few episodes of Arrow, Oliver has been forced to deal with aliens, Barry's timeline meddling and a traitor in his midst — but nothing could have prepared him (or viewers) for that mid-season finale cliffhanger.

Well, cry no more, Canary fans, because Laurel Lance is back... or is she?

While it's unclear exactly how the former district attorney has returned (Black Siren, please say it's Earth 2's Black Siren!), Laurel's resurrection is yet another example of how the Arrow show runners are finally listening to the fans once again.

Remember The Dark Days Of Season 4?

There's a general consensus among long-standing viewers that Season 4 was a low point. Gone were the gritty, street-level fights, and in their place stood a bizarre cacophony of magic and supernatural adversaries that strayed too far from the roots of the show. Fans also took great delight in turning on the Olicity romance, despite shipping it hard for the previous three seasons.

However, by taking the time to explore the legacy of The CW's longest-running superhero show currently on the air, Arrow has gone above and beyond this year, returning to the glory days of Season 2. It turns out that all they had to do was listen to their fans.

Hated Olicity Together?

Well, Oliver just accidentally murdered Felicity's boyfriend, Detective Malone, so we doubt that those romantic flames will be reignited any time soon. Love has now taken a back seat, and in its place, genuinely important issues such as Detective Lance's alcoholism and Diggle's PTSD have come to the fore.

Felt Oliver Had Become Too Soft?

Arrow [Credit: The CW]
Arrow [Credit: The CW]

After he took Damien Darhks' life in the Season 4 finale, Queen revoked his no-kill policy for good, realizing that extreme measures were sometimes necessary in order to protect his city. Not only has the questionable morality of this caused fights amongst the members of Team Arrow, but the ramifications of Oliver's actions are the whole reason why Prometheus was created in the first place.

Did You Find Yourself Fast-Forwarding The Flashback Sequences?

Arrow [Credit: The CW]
Arrow [Credit: The CW]

For the first time since Season 1, the flashbacks are not only interesting again, but they're also integral to the present-day storyline too, linking in ways that are far more interesting and relevant than anyone dared hope. Casting someone as renowned as Dolph Lundgren for the Russian segments certainly didn't hurt either.

Hating On The Lazarus Pit And Oliver's Use Of 'Light Magic'?

Arrow [Credit: The CW]
Arrow [Credit: The CW]

Season 5 has almost entirely eschewed the supernatural elements from last year, although a few remain in order to soften the transition back into realistic crime-fighting. Despite the presence of characters like Ragman, human antagonists such as Prometheus and Vigilante still hearken back to the original spirit of Arrow in the best way possible.

Felt That The Fight Scenes Were Becoming Repetitive?

Arrow [Credit: The CW]
Arrow [Credit: The CW]

Director James Bamford has helped revitalize the action this season, using slo-mo and a variety of trick arrows to inject some much needed creativity into the fight scenes. Oh, and explosions. Lots of walking away from explosions.

Were You Outraged That 'Arrow' Killed Our Beloved Laurel Lance?

The producers promised from the get-go that Laurel's presence would still be felt throughout Season 5, but few could have predicted that Lance would make a complete return in the mid-season finale. While the circumstances surrounding her resurrection are still unclear, we hope that Laurel's return will be handled as beautifully as it was in the 100th episode, where Oliver was tricked into believing that the two were set to wed in an alternate world.

Arrow [Credit: The CW]
Arrow [Credit: The CW]

Stephen Amell himself felt similar concerns at first, revealing in a Facebook Live Chat that he was shocked after he finished reading the script for the mid-season finale. However, Amell is in the fortunate position of knowing what's to come ahead of the fans, so it was heartening to hear him reassure audiences that the story spun out from this cliffhanger ending will still work well;

"[There is] lots of consternation in the fan base about what's important -- the Black Canary in the Green Arrow-verse. I will say that forgetting about the show for a second if you look at the canon of Green Arrow, John Diggle wasn't a character and he's indispensible. Felicity Smoak wasn't really a character and she's indispensible. So we picked and plucked from various parts of the DC Universe, but if you're just getting into the canon of Green Arrow the comic book character, the Black Canary is easily the most important feature next to the Green Arrow, period, full-stop, forever. So it would be nice to have the Black Canary back."

Amen to that, Amell.

Arrow [Credit: The CW]
Arrow [Credit: The CW]

See also:

Sure, Season 5 still contains some elements that long-time fans may not enjoy. After all, magic continues to exist on the show, and aliens did rear their ugly heads in the crossover. However, the 100th episode proved even then that these extraordinary events could be dealt with in an intensely personal way that remains true to the spirit of Arrow. Objectively, it's easy to see why many diehard fans still tout Season 2 as the best run of episodes yet, but the show's return to form this year proves that Arrow is the true heart of the Arrowverse, regardless of what the ratings say.

Arrow, you have not failed your audience.

Poll

Are you happy to see Laurel Lance return to Arrow in this way?

[Source — Facebook Live]


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