I watched Arrow’s Season 5 premiere expecting the worst. After nearly two and a half years of absolutely wretched storytelling from Seasons 2.5-4 I was expecting a croquembouche shitpile of a start for the Berlantiverse flagship. But to my surprise, the premiere showed me that there’s a chance for Arrow to actually turn the corner and actually start being a watchable show again.
In the aftermath of Seaon 4’s dreadful finale, Oliver now is the Mayor of Star City. And The Original Team Arrow is no more. Now Oliver is training a new group of heroes (Wild Dog, Mr. Terrific and a female to be named later) to be his new Team Arrow.
Oh, and Ragman pops up to join the team. When obscure DC characters pop up in a DC show it’s always a good thing.
I guess we need to stop calling this show Arrow and start calling it Green Arrow and The Outsiders. Because that’s what this show looked like in the season premiere.
And this year’s big villain is Prometheus, another Batman villain from the Morrison Era of the JLA. Yeah, Ollie killed him in the comics, but he’s more associated with Batman than Green Arrow. But JLA Villians in Arrow. Another plus.
There’s a subplot featuring John Diggle being framed while on a mission for the military. Don’t know where this is going but it looks intriguing.
This year’s flashbacks take us back to Oliver’s time with the mysterious Bratva, and him learning a new way of training. The longer this show stays on Oliver’s origin gets more ridiculous and more convoluted. First there was the island, then he worked with Amanda Waller. For a guy whose comic book origin was as simple as learning how to shoot arrows on an island, his training is becoming as intricate and complex as Batman’s.
While the writing looks like it’s turned a corner on Arrow, I’m a little disappointed at how much of Green Arrow’s history had to be sacrificed to get to this point. Five years in, I don’t think we’ll ever see the real Oliver Queen show up on this show. You know the prickly liberal who fights for the little guy and tries to make time to have romance with his pretty bird Dinah Lance.
Oh wait, she’s dead. L
I’m starting to understand why some comic fans call him Bat Arrow. Every element of Green Arrow’s world looks like Batman’s. The Arrowcave has the costumes of the former members of his team on display like Bruce’s in Batman Beyond. His training is so complex he’s going to all the corners of the earth to master all sorts of fighting skills. He puts his sidekicks through all sorts of rigorous training. Why not just cancel Arrow and give us a Batman show already?
Oh wait, there is a Batman show on. It’s called Gotham. And because it’s a Batman show with no Batman in it, it’s a shitpile.
The sad part about Arrow is the longer Arrow remains on the air, the further away they get from who Oliver Queen and Green Arrow truly are. Black Canary, Roy Harper, Shado and all the mainstays of Green Arrow’s world are gone. Yeah, there’s a guy who has a story loosely based on Oliver Queen’s on Arrow, but the internal elements that make Green Arrow a great character have never made their way onto this show.
In spite of Arrow being hot garbage left out in the sun for the last two and a half years, the Season 5 premiere wasn’t the croquembouche shitpile I thought it would be. Yeah, TV Oliver still isn’t Comic Book Oliver, but there was a solid setup of the seasons’ story arcs, and pretty solid pacing of the storylines. If the writing can remain this consistent, maybe Arrow can have a decent season for once. And maybe Shawn can finally get Wild Dog and Ragman action figures for his collection.