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Why Arrow season 4… FAILED THIS CITY


So it’s been a week since all of the CW’s superhero shows concluded their latest series and we got the mouth opener in regards to the season finale of Flash, the curiosity in relation to the final moments of Legends of Tomorrow and it hates me to say it but the on-going sourness that consisted throughout season four of Arrow. So where did it all go wrong for this latest instalment? Was it the writing? The characters? Or even the Villain? Let explore the flaws that really let us down.

The start of the latest season had plenty of promise, we had an engaging cliff-hanger with the now tragic grave scene, characters seemed to be going in some interesting directions and we had quite the interesting villain, but like they say in the show, all of it ended up failing this series.

The main problem that consisted within this season was the ‘soap’ that began to surface in relation to Olicity; Oliver Queen (Steve Amell) and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). It can be perfectly frustrating for those committed comic fans out there not to see a development between Black Canary (Katie Cassidy) and the Green Arrow which has been a continuous norm throughout the Green Arrow comics but like any adaptations there will always be alterations and if the writers think that Felicity and Oliver works better than so be it, but make it worthwhile.  However, as this current season began to develop, we noticed that this pairing became more and more frustrating to watch, Felicity started to dominate the show and instead of focusing on the super-heroics, it was all Felicity; at times I felt as if the show should have opened with ‘My name… is Felicity Smoak and I am on a mission of making this show my own’.

Don’t get me wrong, it is essential to develop your side characters to make an engrossing roster but not at the cost for your main protagonist, like we want to see Arrow & Co fighting crime, rather than waiting to see if Felicity will take Olly’s hand in marriage. Fans became very frustrated with Felicity’s ability to do everything whilst leading the charge, which truth be told, we’d rather see Green Arrow fighting crime and Felicity being the eyes and ears which worked so well in the early seasons rather than a ongoing relationship soap opera.



This being said, leads onto the problem that with all the emphasis being on Oliver and Felicity, we lose the potential development of a fan favourite character that is the Black Canary. Laurel Lance should have been out on the front line with the Green Arrow and have as big a role as Felicity does now, yet Felicity’s resurgence in this series has taken away anything that ‘could of have been’ in regards to the Black Canary. And though we do get the Black Canary doing that vigilante thing, it’s simply becomes nothing more than an afterthought. The writers could have made something really special with Arrow’s two poster characters, however in the end, Black Canary become nothing more than a timid side character. It’s always embarrassing when the Black Canary seen in the Flash is more engaging and awesome than the show she’s originally on.

With all this being said, after fans cried out for the ‘real’ Black Canary in relation to Laurel Lance being the vigilante rather than her sister Sarah Lance (Caity Lotz), they just end up killing her off! And the only reasoning for this was to push, and it’s that name again Felicity and Oliver back into the lime light. Regardless of trying to push for Olicity, Laurel should not have been the person who died, instead, we should have had someone like Diggle (David Ramsey) who again has become nothing more than an afterthought and its clear that Oliver doesn’t need him anymore, where as we still have plenty of use regarding the Black Canary

Moving away from the Felicity power surge and more onto the writing side of things, one of my favourite elements of the Arrow show, were the flash backs. Season one always had you guessing wanting to know more and season two contained Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) and c’mon this guy was one of the best things that consisted in the show; but in spite of this, the flash backs began to lose it relevance in relation to the present time, making everything seem a bit lost and the only relevant part of the flashbacks was when we discovered the idol, yet by then it just felt a too late. The flash backs are there to build Oliver’s origin, to make us understand what he is today but it just all felt a bit flat. Whilst keeping with this term ‘flat’, I felt that Oliver’s character became really bland throughout this series, it’s all nice have a light hearted approach to the character, however at the end of the day, there still needs to be the element of that dark and corrupted Oliver that we’ve grown to love over the past seasons, yet it seemed that the flashbacks in season 4 gave us more of the Oliver we’re more use to from the time when arrive in star city in the very first episode rather than what we are seeing now in the present day.

The villain aspect of this season I thought was good, Neal Mcdonough is a very established actor and plays the villain very well, yet the only problem I had and this not Neal’s fault rather more the writing side, he just seemed all too powerful, I’d put him on the level of Vandal Savage and it took a team of superhero’s in THREE different time zones to defeat him! But again this is easily plausible, what isn’t plausible is that you have this all powerful villain who has these special powers and he has to rely on nukes to eradicate the world, I mean come on you guys, can you not think of something more creative for this interesting villain in ending the world than using nukes? Which to add we had to endure through a number of episodes.



All in all, it sounds that I want this show to fail, which is not the case, far from it! I’ve really enjoyed watching this show and its really disappointed me that this season hasn’t lived up to its previous instalments. What I think it needs to be done for improvement, is maybe look at the flaws from this season and learn from them, listen to the fan and ingest some of the comic material into the show and listen to some of the constructive criticism the fans are giving for this series. Hopefully will see something more uplifting in season 5 and bring back the show we all loved. Where do think Arrow went wrong in season 4? If you have something then leave a comment in the passage below.

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