What Happened to the Arrow?
What attracted me to CW’s Arrow was the mystery behind Oliver Queen and the journey he undertook to become The Arrow. It’s not uncommon for a television show to slide after a great first season, but what we’re seeing on Arrow appears more like a complete shift from the writing and direction of the first season. Consequently, I find myself dissatisfied with nearly every new episode.
Arrow began with Oliver being rescued from a mysterious island. Although his appearance was heinous, he clearly was thriving and ready to return home to take care of business. The impression we were all given is he went through hell, but came out a hero on a mission. Fast forwarding through the introductions to characters and setting, and the plot materialized into Oliver being a killer we could respect. One who sacrificed his own life to make up for the sins of his father. I loved this arc. I envisioned new season where bigger and badder villains challenge The Arrow to improve his skills. That first season ended in epic fashion with the city nearly destroyed, his best friend killed, and his nemesis slain. I was hooked.
Things begin to go sideways in Season 2, but the convincing villain that is Slade Wilson kept the show alive. We began to see new heroes integrated well, such as Black Canary, but that threat of anti-realism started showing its ugly head. Why can’t Oliver be the only hero to come from Lian Yu? Does everyone who lands there end up a hero in Starling City? Yes, I was not thrilled the writers diluted Oliver’s alter ego, but they killed off his mom and suddenly I was back into it. What a bold move! And really, she was annoying. Shows like 24 and Chuck where the characters are good one day and heels the next remind me too much of soup operas and WWE. I don’t like it. So, they killed off one of the biggest culprits. We’re back on track.
Season 3 started out slowly. And, really, it had only 1 redeeming moment, and that was when Ra’s Al Ghul appeared to kill Oliver. That was awesome. But then my fear came to light: the show began to stink. The epic, show defining moment was erased in 45 minutes by Oliver recovering in a shack with no medical equipment, but a whole lot of foul tea. And wouldn’t you know it, someone from the island happened to be there! It’s a miracle! No, it’s bad writing.
Now, nearly through season 3, Arrow has the following landscape: everyone is a super hero, and everyone is good one day and bad the next. I should also add everyone from the island is alive, wants to kill each other, or hug, and the suicide squad is really out of place. Unless the consequences are permanent and real, I’m going to have to say farewell to Arrow.