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– by Mark Cook

After the release of the Arrow: Season 6 trailer at SDCC, viewers got a brief glimpse as to what could be in store for Oliver in the upcoming season.  Below are four possible positive adjustments the writers could be making in order for Season 6 to be successful:

1. The Villain(s)

From what little information we have concerning the villain of the season, it seems as if the writers will be incorporating Richard Dragon.  In the New 52 series, Dragon is the son of a drug kingpin, joins the League of Assassins, later becoming the leader of a group of Green Arrow’s enemies known as the Longbow Hunters.  During his time with the League, he learned how to use his body as a weapon as well as learning patience and compassion, which he deems as weaknesses.  Why is he a good choice for a villain?  Dragon has connections to numerous characters, which can help connect an intricate story, if done correctly.  In the New 52 series, Dragon’s father was killed by Diggle. I’ve already mentioned his connection to the League, which could be good, but doesn’t it seem like everyone joins the League and is trained by them?  Other characters he has been connected with in the comics include Bronze Tiger, Huntress, and most interesting to me, Lady Shiva. Could they be included as well? (Oh, and Vigilante is still out there somewhere, right?)  These relationships give the writers great possibilities for story arcs, some which connect to past seasons.  Dragon is also a good choice because he is realistic in regards to the tone of the show.  It seems like they learned their lesson from Damien Darhk, and realize that the more realistic they can stay, the better their ratings will be.

2. No New Team Members

An issue from last season was that there were too many cooks in the kitchen. We have yet to see who survived Lian Yu.  I’ll be honest, it’ll be a waste if they all, or even a majority of the team survives.  It’d feel like a waste.  Recent news states that there won’t really be any new members this season.  That isn’t to say that Oliver won’t work with others, but it does suggest that there may not be as much of of focus on Team Arrow.  The show needs to keep the teams simple.  Anyone who has read my articles know that I have an issue with a primary focus on everyone except Oliver. Keep the characters who are already established and if they want to elaborate on their characterization use…

3. Flashbacks

Now before I get a ton of hate for this, pump the breaks.  In no way do I think flashbacks should be used in every episode, but now that the “five years on the island” flashbacks are done this frees up some space.  My issue with last season was that there were some great episodes, such as Wild Dog’s backstory, but it was very much a one-off and seemed somewhat out of place.  Flashbacks could be used to develop these characters (which is said to be in the works) without taking away from the main story.  This way the writers don’t have to balance flashbacks, the primary episode story, and individual characterization.  Once again, flashbacks, if used, should be used sparingly.

4. Slade Wilson / Deathstroke

How can you go wrong with good ol’ Slade Wilson?  Looking at the hype from the final episodes of last season that Slade was in, they knew they needed to find a way to lock in Manu Bennett.  Will he be an ally, a villain, or an anti-hero?  There are so many ways to go with this character, and flashbacks for Slade are something I think many of us would look forward to. Bennett’s incorporation into Season 6 may be one of the best moves for keeping the series alive.  The character of Deathstroke has the pulling power to bring viewers back who may have left the series after Seasons 2 or 3.  Many had hoped for a Deathstroke standalone show, but for now, this is the closest we will get to it, and it’s a positive move for The CW.

What are your thoughts on Arrow: Season 6?  Are you over the series?  Will you continue to watch with Manu Bennett being back?  Is there anything I missed, or that you’d change?  Leave your comments in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!