Our Five Wishes for Arrow Season 5

With Arrow’s fifth season on the horizon our minds have shifted to obsessing and counting down the days until our favorite masked vigilante turned hero finds his way back to our television screens.

Following Arrow’s intriguing fourth season finale, the focus shifts back to basics in season five as the show is bringing in new street-level villains and straying from the mystical. When we last left Team Arrow, Oliver and Felicity were the only ones that remained as Diggle and Thea took a break following an intensely emotional year. Oliver also stepped into his new role as the mayor of Star City, which will be one of the storylines that headlines this new season, as will the new faces of Team Arrow.

With a new season forthcoming we’ve thought a lot about some things that we hope to see come to fruition this year. From back to basics to Olicity to the desire for compelling flashbacks, here are our five wishes for Arrow’s fifth season:

1. Oliver and Felicity Rebuild and Reunite Romantically

While Arrow is at its core a superhero origin story one of the things that has made Oliver Queen’s journey so compelling has been the many relationships. None has had more impact than his relationship with Felicity. Felicity was there at the start when he consciously began his journey to redemption. She’s been a friend, a partner, and a soul mate. No one has had such a profound effect on Oliver Queen than Felicity Smoak. And that’s something that’s not going away.

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While the show steered away from reuniting the pair at the end of season four, it seems as if they’re willing to take the time to rebuild these two. If the resolution had been quick it wouldn’t have been earned. Both Oliver and Felicity have experienced a lot of as a couple and as individuals last season that they need to work through before delving back into a romantic relationship. And they will. That has never been a doubt in my mind. The only thing I hope is that Arrow does right by these two characters and the relationship that has made Arrow so much more than just a superhero show. I hope that the show really takes its time to rebuild these two characters as individuals and then as a couple because they need to learn something from the last time. They need to grow stronger because of the hardships they faced last season. And they will.

2. A Focus on the Relationships with Original Team Arrow

I feel like this is a plea that I signal to the universe several times each season, but Arrow needs to bring some focus back to the relationships between Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity. Back when this show was at its best in season two, these three’s dynamic was at the forefront. It was how they all three worked as a complete unit, how their relationships defined them as professionals and individuals, and how it made the audience give a damn. A big damn.

While there are moments when we’ll get one of those classic OTA moments, one of the things that this show needs to do is make it a priority to shed that light on these three characters. Why deviate from something that proved to be a success? That’s something we’ve all been asking for two seasons. So hopefully season five is the year that Arrow gets back to basics and takes the time to utilize that phenomenal dynamic between three of the shows central characters. Original Team Arrow represents the ordinary in the extraordinary world of superheroes. As Oliver said in season two, this started with the three of them. It’s time that they got back to that.

3. Back to Basics

Arrow is certainly capable of delivering compelling storylines and dynamics that blow away television audiences as evidenced by its sophomore season. So in regards to getting “back to basics,” Arrow needs to return to what gave it a voice in the first place – long before it ushered in other shows like The Flash, Supergirl, and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. There’s no doubt that Arrow had to deviate from itself over the past couple of seasons due to that universe expansion, but it’s time that Arrow went back to taking care of itself.

That means taking a step away from the mystical and supernatural and going back to the gritty street fights that defined this show early in its inception. That also means focusing on the character relationships that made this series so much more than a superhero show: Oliver & Felicity, Oliver, Diggle & Felicity, Oliver & Thea, and some of the newer dynamics like Felicity & Curtis, as well. All signs are pointing to Arrow returning to its earlier tonal roots as the executive producers have indicated. But once again it comes down to show me. Words are nice and all, but show us that you mean it.

4. The Mayoral Storyline Serves to Grow Oliver’s Character

While it’s fun to introduce elements of the comic books into these superhero shows, one of the things that everyone should remember is that these shows aren’t the comics. When Arrow played with the storyline of Oliver Queen becoming mayor of Star City – as per the comics – I was initially hesitant because I didn’t want it to be for all the wrong reasons. While the show appeared to step back from that in the latter half of season four, the season finale showed that this mayoral storyline will be in the forefront of season five.

So as Arrow delves into this whole Oliver as mayor storyline, my hope is that there is a purpose. Not just to deliver on a comic book Easter Egg. Make this an opportunity of personal growth for our titular hero. Here’s the thing, this storyline really has the potential to be something great. But only if it does right by Oliver Queen as an individual. There’s no doubt this will be tied into his double life of being both mayor and the Green Arrow, but there’s real personal growth to be had for Oliver that will shape him both as an individual and in his relationship with Felicity. This is a real opportunity for evolution for Oliver Queen. Please deliver on it.

5. The Flashbacks Will Be Compelling

One of the aspects of Arrow that I’ve been aching to give a damn about over the last couple of seasons have been the island flashbacks. These are the five years that shaped the broken man we met in the pilot, and yet I just have not cared as much as I should. Most of the time it’s felt like the flashbacks have been taking away more than giving. But they’ve also been inconsistent in terms of where they were projected to go throughout the season. With this being the final year of island flashbacks I’m praying more than ever that it hooks me back in. The flashbacks have never been my favorite thing about the show, but during the days of seasons one and two they kept me entertained.

Now certainly that these final year of flashbacks will focus on Oliver’s history with the Russian Bratva already gives these flashbacks a leg up on the past couple of seasons. It’s the final piece of Oliver’s island story coming to fruition. This is the year where we see him delve to his deepest in the darkness – the killer we met in the pilot. Perhaps that was one of my complaints with last season’s flashbacks – it didn’t feel like Oliver was becoming that broken, dark man in the pilot. It almost seemed the opposite. But this season’s flashbacks will have to circle back to that shell of a man that is rescued from Lian Yu. And I’m clinging to a prayer that these flashbacks deliver.

Arrow season 5 premieres Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 8/7c on The CW.


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