With a revamped Team Arrow, more focused flashbacks and one of “Arrow’s” strongest villains, season 5 breathed new life into the Arrowverse’s flagship series.
The biggest change this season was giving Oliver a new group of heroes to fight alongside him. The previously established characters of Curtis Holt and Evelyn Sharp, Mr. Terrific and Artemis respectively, are joined by newcomers Wild Dog and Ragman. Mr. Terrific floundered most of the season, only beginning to tap into his potential once his patented T-Spheres are introduced. He’s still an awkward character, but if they can work a few more kinks out he can be a strong addition to the team. Artemis mostly fell off the map after her betrayal of the team, while Ragman, the member with actual superpowers, left the show out of the blue. Wild Dog was grading for all his early appearances, constantly ignoring Oliver’s orders and screwing up multiple missions. Once he began to play ball and bond with the other characters, Detective Lance in particular, he became the most interesting new member of the group. The new Black Canary was a late addition to the series, and so far she’s been bland and uncharismatic. Hopefully she can be fleshed out some next season.
The other returning cast members held up their end. As far as standouts, Paul Blackthorne’s Detective Lance still brings the deepest emotion to his scenes when called for, while Stephen Amell as Green Arrow has some strong moments as well. Josh Segarra really nails it as the primary villain, Adrian Chase. He comes off a bit unhinged in his early appearance, but this plays into the red herring that he’s the new vigilante, well, Vigilante. Once his identity is revealed as Prometheus, he gets to cut loose and just ooze evil charisma.
The flashbacks on “Arrow” have been a double-edged sword. They’re either interesting and add to what’s happening currently on the show, or they’re just tacked on and stretched out over the length of the season just to have flashbacks. For better or worse, they won’t be returning next season.
The finale had an interesting conclusion. While chances are things weren’t as catastrophic as they seemed, it’s very possible that some characters have bit the dust. And after a spectacular and long awaited return, I’m hoping to see Deathstroke find his way back for more appearances.
The final word: this season of “Arrow” saw some retooling, that after some growing pains, showed potential for a fun new status quo. Next season can take a dramatically different direction after we say goodbye to the flashbacks, Adrian Chase and possibly almost all of Team Arrow.
*** out of *****