This has been one heck of a year for Arrow as they're finally back to such heights as Season 1 and 2 in terms of storytelling and action. The Flash and Supergirl are both doing amazing, as well furthering Barry and Kara's story to new heights.
Legends of Tomorrow gave us a home stretch on par with #Arrow, but due to a lackluster first half of their season, they fell just short. Y'see, they all fall short of Arrow's consistency throughout Season 5. Let's take a look at what #DCComics' Arrow changed in order for them to be the top dogs once again in the Arrowverse.
1. Mature Relationships
When fans are watching The Flash, it's hard not to pull your hair out with how the writers try to create drama by simply keeping secrets from one another. This still happens sometimes in Arrow, but it's quickly resolved to focus the drama where it's best suited: the dangers of being a human vigilante. This makes for far better television thanks to the realistic team dynamic rather than adults acting like they're in middle school.
Also, Team Arrow aren't quick to throw shade at each other when one messes up horribly. Just recently, Julian saved Killer Frost from dying by making Caitlin become her. He and Cisco argued in screams more reminiscent of daytime soaps than The Flash. When the characters on Arrow are mad at each other, well, there's usually a pretty great reason for it this season.
2. Quentin Lance and Thea Queen
At the end of Season 4 most people wondered how far the writers would take the Mayor Queen story in Season 5 and how a couple of key players would fit in. Quentin fell back into alcoholism, but Thea was there to rescue him by offering him the job of Oliver's deputy mayor.
Speaking of Thea, she took what most thought would be the most boring part of the show and gave it an enormous amount of heart because the writers let her blossom into the character she truly is — compassionate, determined and awesome! She's been missing from the show recently, and luckily, the show hasn't suffered too much from her departure.
Back to Quentin. He started the season as a raging alcoholic — completely understandable after Laurel's death. The writers created a fitting arc for Detective Lance as he struggled during the first half of the season, but the persistent Thea never stopped trying to help him. It was an arc filled with warmth and love as well as a nice counterbalance to a storm named Prometheus.
3. A Great Big Bad
The Ra's al Ghul's storyline fell apart after the midway point in Season 3, and Darhk was too powerful for a team of humans to battle. Then came Prometheus. He started off the season showing his dominance by putting all the local crime bosses in their places. He then staged an elaborate trap for Green Arrow to kill Felicity's boyfriend. And finally, he was right under their noses the whole year disguised as Adrian Chase, even going so far as befriending Oliver.
Prometheus was the product of preparation and will power (plus, the fact that Oliver killed his father). Villains usually catch the heroes off guard at first because they've been preparing for so long, but Adrian has always been steps ahead, just like Slade Wilson in Season 2. Too bad we all know that Oliver Queen will prevail at the end, but the question remains: What will the collateral damage look like?
4. Stephen Amell's Performance
Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen is one of the all-time great performances as a superhero — from movies or television. He throws harder emotional punches than literal punches, and that's saying something from the television version of Batman. He's on his final leg of becoming the superhero he was always meant to be by confronting all of his past demons. Stephen Amell embodies this character and it's been a joy watching him keep growing this season.
5. A Lot Of Green Arrow, A Little Bit Batman
Any comic book fan can tell you that Green Arrow was created to be a rip-off of Batman. That's OK. In the '70s and '80s he grew into his own character with his own beliefs. Y'see, Batman has so many wonderful stories in the comics that it makes sense to incorporate them through a different character on television.
However, this season, Green Arrow demonstrated that he's still very much like The Dark Knight in terms of how he trains his team (harshly). Though, he's becoming more Green Arrow with a positive outlook. A happy Batman is too big of a change to the status quo, but a happy Green Arrow is more aligned with the comics.
6. Team Arrow
John Diggle and Felicity Smoak are such strong presences next to Oliver that they can each carry whole episodes of their own storylines. This season, Team Arrow added Curtis, Renee and Dinah to its roster and it's so much better for it. We've watched Curtis go from a bumbling Felicity knockoff to someone who is very tech-savvy, but also very compassionate. He's slowly earned his place with T.A. and he's starting to act like it.
Most fans weren't sure how to react to the news of Wild Dog becoming a regular team member. It wasn't long until he submitted and now is not only an integral part of fighting bad guys, but also helping Quentin Lance in the Mayor's office. Arguably, he has one of the saddest backstories, with his wife being murdered and losing his daughter to C.P.S. Then we find out that he thinks his daughter is better off with her foster family before Lance reminds him how lucky he is to have a daughter. These moments of character growth are what fans love (and we love action too). We're still learning about Dinah since she came so late in the season.
7. The Flashbacks
I can't believe this is the first time I'm mentioning the Bravta, but it's been that strong of a season that Anatoli is just one of many highlights throughout the season. Oliver joining the Bravta was the last thing he did before he went back to Starling (Star City) to become the Hood. This season's flashbacks actually propelled the story quite nicely due to the fact that it made Oliver learn how to work with a team. It also further cemented him as a killer that can take on the freaking Russian mob.
These flashbacks might be a tool for the writers to show us certain themes, but honestly, these are the memories that haunt's Oliver's very existence. Reliving certain events and being able to move on and grow make him a better person and a better character for television.
The CW's #Arrowverse is one of the most beloved group of shows in the world. Arrow started it all and it's nice to see the writers still have a lot left in their tanks to tell even more fascinating stories for seasons to come. Season 5 got back to basics and it was everything the fans wanted from something they've invested so much time with year after year. It's nice to have loyalty rewarded with a quality product!
What's your favorite part of Arrow Season 5?
Who do you think will die in the final stretch of Season 5?