WARNING: This article contains MAJOR SPOILERS from Arrow!
Arrow really is a conundrum. The first two seasons were literally some of the best television that I have ever watched in my life. Then, the third and fourth seasons suffered greatly, mainly falling victim to many modern day TV tropes. It’s incredibly hard to rank which one of the first two seasons is the best but it’s equally as hard to rank which one of the last two seasons are the worst. Fans have wondered if we will ever get the Arrow we once knew and loved back, with many calling it the worst of the current superhero shows despite it’s acclaimed past. I, unlike many, like to believe that Arrow can still be saved. Yes, it has been hindered by certain creative decisions and storylines but I don’t think it’s beyond redemption. But in order to do save itself, Arrow needs a complete reinvention. Thus, here are a couple of ways that the creative team could reinvigorate Arrow.1. Channel the Dark Tone of Previous Seasons
Originals: Diggle, Oliver and Laurel
Season One and Two had the tone down perfectly. It was an unusually dark TV series that danced around the boundaries of network television but never quite broke them. This suited Arrow down to the ground. Starling City was rife with crime, corrpution, mobs and violence. Thanks to Thea and Roy, nightclubs played a key feature. Thanks to the Bowery and Verdant, the Glades was featured in every episode. But nowadays, the majority of this is forgotten. We rarely, if ever, see Verdant and it’s as though the Glades never existed. There never seems to be any crime outside of the ‘big bad’. The series relies solely on the same sets and rarely steps away from them. Everything is the exact same. In fact, I was shocked when I saw Laurel’s apartment in a Season Four episode because I had genuinely thought they had gotten rid of it in Season Three. In order to reinvogorate Arrow, the series needs to become ‘streetwise’ again. The Glades should make a comeback and so should other darker areas of the city. Where is Sin? She was a really interesting character and the show could benefit from her inclusion. Season Three may not have been as good but it still felt like Arrow. However, much of Season Four felt like a daytime TV soap opera. Stepping away from the norm could give the show its dark tone back and breathe new life into the series…life that is very much needed.
2. Bring Back the Black Canary
This goes without saying: killing Laurel was not just a ridiculous idea, it was redundant. Four years of great storytelling were washed away by an attempt to cash in on shock value. Sure, the death may have awakened some great storylines for other characters…but those storylines will eventually run dry and Laurel will still be dead. None of these supposed storylines would have lasted, unlike the 70 years worth of Black Canary mythology – a plethora of storylines and mythology that would have allowed the show to remain loyal to the comics. The fact that the writers didn’t even know who was in the grave when they shot the scene proves that it was only done for shock value. And the payoff didn’t work. Fans revolted. People tuned out. And some vicious insults were thrown around online. The death did absolutely nothing to improve ratings, storylines or the show and has only left it in a worse state than it was – only now, they are without one of their best characters. They have revived less important characters before thus, not reviving the Black Canary is an insult to every comic book fan who watches the show, and despite who may tune in, comic book fans account for one of the largest portions of Arrow‘s fanbase. They were there from the beginning, but how much longer will they be there for?
On that note, you can sign the petition to Bring the Black Canary back, here.3. A New Type of “Big Bad”
Ra’s Al Guhl and Damien Darhk were both portrayed fantastically by Matt Nable and Neal McDonagh. However, fans just weren’t invested in them like they were in Merlyn and Deathstroke in the previous two seasons. Ra’s Al Guhl was a different approach in Season Three. However, Darhk is like the sequel villain to Ra’s. And if there’s one season we didn’t want a sequel to, it was Season Three. Perhaps it’s because both of them were written as frightful villains through reputataion alone. There was an aura of fear and mystery around them. But having done this two years in a row, it’s time we got back to the scary ‘big bads’. The ones who are physically imposing and can better Oliver through force rather than mysticism.4. Make Felicity Fun Again
Arrow was a grim series that needed a beacon of light – that light was Felicity. That is why she worked so well: she made us laugh in unfathomable circumstances, adding a ray of light to a dark world. But nowadays, it’s the opposte way about. Arrow has become a bright show and Felciity has become the darker character. Somewhere along the line, Felicity lost her identity and the show suffered because of it. She used to be my favorite character and while I still love her, she isn’t the same character we fell in love with. Emily Bett Rickards has delivered some incredible performances in the past two years but it’s time for Felicity to find herself again.
Smitten: Oliver & Felicity
Love, romance and friendship are elements that all belong in superhero television. However, soap opera elements do not. I loved watching Oliver and Felicity grow closer over the first two seasons and then eventually end up together in Season Three. One of my favorite moments of theirs was when they lived together in the Season Four premiere. But unfortunately, Season Four has since been rife with soap opera-like, overly dramatic moments that have only managed to hinder the show. They used to be playful, fun and lovable…now they just keep hurting each other. I love Oliver and Felicity together but if their relationship causes them to lose each other (and the show) then perhaps, until they figure things out, it’s better they remain apart…if only for a little while.
5. Bring Back Roy Harper/Arsenal
Arsenal: Colton Haynes as Roy Harper
I know that recent reports prove that Colton Haynes left the show but I felt I should put this reason in anyway. The single Season Four episode in which Roy returned was like a breath of fresh air. Seeing him again reminded me of some of Arrow‘s best moments. In fact, much like with Laurel, seeing him grow into the fully-fledged Arsenal was my favorite aspect of Season Three. His character, his desires and his storylines all add so much depth to the show. I love Roy. We need more Roy. And Colton Haynes is just fantastic.6. Solo Storylines and Solo Fights
The multi-hero fight scenes have grown tired and weary. Having been recycled in virtually every episode, it’s time for a change. Season One could have gone through entire episodes without Oliver ever having to become physical with an adversary. It’s time for Arrow to mix it up a little, go back to the solo fights from Season One. Or have solo adventures – we don’t need to bring the whole team to every mission. And while we’re on that subject, let the team have their own lives. Like I was referring to earlier, Laurel should have been off doing her own things as the Black Canary…not been reduced to a mere sidekick of Team Arrow.In conclusion, Arrow is not beyond redemption. It just needs a little push in the right direction. If it loses the soap opera elements, reminds the characters who they are and undoes one of its major mistakes, it could actually become the great show it was, once again. Arrow has not failed this city…yet. And if it works really hard, it just may save it. The Emerald Archer just might rise again!
I really hope he can!Can Arrow re-invent itself and remind us why we loved it so much? Or has it truly “Failed this city”? Let us know what you think in the comments!