As IGN pointed out in the introduction of their review of the third season of Arrow, the show has become a victim of its success. After a stellar first season and an even better second one, season 3 was a major disappointment. Despite plenty of highs (Ray Palmer, the character development of Thea and Laurel, the first battle between Oliver and Ra's Al Ghul, etc), Arrow also had even more lows.
In this article I will discuss in depth these drawbacks, whose fixing will play a major role in determining whether the future of the show is bright or not. So, without further ado, here are three things that desperately need to be fixed in the fourth season of Arrow:
1. Get rid of "Olicity"
During the course of the first two seasons, Felicity was definitely a fan-favorite. Her intelligence, quirkiness and ineptitude in social situations made her one of Arrow's most well-received and beloved characters.
However, in the third season things took a big turn and unfortunately, for the worse. Making Felicity Oliver's primary love interest completely destroyed her as a character. From an universally beloved techmaster, she became so annoying and over-protective of Mr.Queen, to the point that it was unbearable to watch. Moreover, making Felicity such a central character has revealed Emily Bett Rickards' inability to thrive in a more dramatic role.
As a result, I think that it would be best if the screenwriters decide to ditch "Olicity" forever. Although, it was really hard to understand why Oliver seems to have stopped to have romantic feelings for Laurel (the love of his life), having this romance is even worse. Maybe it's time to leave the Green Arrow single for a season...
2. Have higher quality of writing and better storytelling
As mentioned in the introduction of this article, the third season of Arrow had some amazing moments. Whether we are talking about the first episode, the addition of Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer, the wonderful character development of Thea and Laurel or the first battle between Oliver and Ra's Al Ghul, the season had plenty of memorable scenes.
However, they were outnumbered by plenty of lackluster episodes, which are the result of poor screenwriting. A possible explanation is that the focus of the executive producers Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim and Andrew Kreisberg (who are wonderful writers) is divided between Arrow and other projects such as The Flash, DC Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. In spite of this fact, having such sloppy storytelling as seen in season three is not acceptable, especially comparing it to the quality of writing in the first two seasons. The anticlimactic storyline with Ra's Al Ghul, the team's attitude towards Merlin and seeing Felicity in the ATOM suit are all examples of ridiculous writing, so I hope to see a major improvement in this regard in the fourth season.
3. Make better use of flashbacks
The flashbacks in the first two seasons of Arrow were some of my most favorite moments from the show. Seeing Oliver grow from a spoiled child to an honorable and brave man, who constantly overcomes many obstacles, was truly fascinating.
However, I cannot say the same about the flashbacks in the third season. The storyline with Oliver, the Yamashiro family and A.R.G.U.S. in Hong Kong felt very repetitive and uninspired at times and it really dragged on for too long. Again, I hope that the producers will attend to this problem and it will be fixed in the fourth season.