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– by Joseph Jammer Medina

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Since the Mid-Season Finale of Arrow, we haven’t seen much of Prometheus.  The first half of the season brought hope back to viewers as the story line was reflective of Seasons 1 and 2.  With the CW confirming Arrow for a 6th Season the writers must fix some things in order to avoid it being their last.  


3. FOCUS AND PACING


Photos Courtesy of the CW/DC. 

This has always been my main issue with Arrow.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the show and want it to succeed, but beginning with Season 3, secondary characters have received too much of the focus.  I completely understand that in order to take a character from flat to round, they must have the screen time to be developed, which I agree with.  

What I have the issue with is how the writers have balanced this development.  In Season 1, Oliver was THE character.  Yes, Diggle, Tommy, Laurel, Felicity, etc. were helpful, but they were also developed over the coarse of the season.  The same can be said for Season 2.  Once Sara (Black Canary) and Roy (Arsenal) became members of Team Arrow their progression was gradual.  This gradual method not only helped develop them as characters, but still kept the focus on Oliver and his journey.    

Seasons 3, 4, and unfortunately 5, have put too much of a focus on the secondary characters which at times makes Oliver seem secondary.  We all remember Laurel’s “training” which made her ready to fight crime in the span of a couple episodes.  Thea’s progression was more believable, although rushed.  Now take into consideration this season.  At the beginning of Season 5 there really wasn’t a Team Arrow.  

Fast forward a couple episodes and a team was formed, which seemed almost at random.  Once the team was formed I was alright with the concept because they were being used in the proper secondary roles…until after the Mid-Season Finale.  The first half of the season had been great keeping fans on their toes constantly curious as to what would happen next.  Artemis jumped ship, Prometheus took down the entire Team Arrow.  Finally!  Redemption for Season 4!  Then Season 5 returned from its hiatus.  

We have seen Prometheus once since the return which was in an episode spoiled before it even aired due to the promo commercial revealing “Laurel” was Black Siren.  During this time we have also seen a story somewhat focusing on Curtis and his reservations about his impact on the team, Felicity turning “dark” again, Wild Dog’s backstory (which was actually very well done), and the new Black Canary who coincidentally already has training with a bo staff from her time with the police force…

During this time Oliver has been handling his mayoral responsibilities and “leading” the team, but the show doesn’t seem to be about Oliver as much as before the break. Even the flashbacks have slowed down aside from the reveal of Talia.  In past seasons the secondary characters were developed gradually over time rather than having an episode directly catered to them, which leads to fluidity issues in the overall story arc. The writers now need to shift their focus back to what made everyone love the first half of the season; Oliver and the individual plaguing his life, Prometheus.


2. VILLAINS


Photo Courtesy of the CW/DC.

Photo Courtesy of the CW/DC.

To casual viewers, Green Arrow’s gallery of rouges isn’t quite as extensive as Batman, or other well-known heroes.   Throughout the first couple of seasons they have gone through some of his major enemies, while borrowing some who are more well-known as Batman’s enemies.   They have made some of their own interpretations of enemies such as Damien Darhk (failed) and a unique version of Prometheus (successful so far).  For Season 6 they will need someone that captivates the audience, but should stay away from another archer.  Don’t get me wrong, I think what they have done with Prometheus is great and even though people have suggested that he/she is similar to the Dark Archer, I think that is alright for this season as it gains back some of the credibility lost last season.    They must be extremely careful when choosing because a villain honestly can make or break a season, and Arrow cannot afford another broken season.


1. OLIVER’S PURPOSE


Photo Courtesy of the CW/DC.

Photo Courtesy of the CW/DC.

 

Established in Season 1, Oliver had a purpose: Avenge his father and clean-up the city.  It was simple, and straight-forward.  He had his father’s book and he would go through the list taking out the corrupt while saving the city at the same time.  As the seasons have progressed his goal is still to save the city, but it doesn’t seem to have the same impact.  Here is how each season has gone: 

Season 1 – Malcolm Merlyn wants to take down the Glades – Arrow stops him.

Season 2 – Slade wants to take over the city in order to beat Oliver – Arrow stops him.

Season 3 – Ra’s al Ghul wants to destroy the city (Batman Begins, anyone?) – Arrow stops him.

Season 4 – Damien Darhk wants to destroy the city and start over – Green Arrow stops him.

Season 5 is somewhat different as the focus initially was on Prometheus purely hunting Oliver down and taking out everyone/everything he cares about which has been somewhat fresh. Recently the focus has been on Mayor Queen and it seems as if someone is yet again trying to bring down the city.  If they want Arrow to go beyond Season 6, they have to decide what exactly Oliver’s purpose is and find a fresh way of approaching it.  Will he be the more brooding Oliver Queen from the earlier Seasons?  More light-hearted like Season 4, or a mix like this season?  The writers need to focus on what direction they want Oliver to go and keep it consistent.  

If anyone wants Arrow to go beyond Season 6 it is definitely me, but I can’t help but notice some of these glaring issues.  I hope the remainder of Season 5 is like the first half of the season and we get a fresh, consistent story arc in Season 6.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think Arrow will go beyond Season 6?  Do you agree with my reasons or do you think there are other issues?  Leave your thoughts in the comments section, and thanks for reading!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.