Numerous questions abound as CW’s Arrow enters Season Five

Will Season 5 be the last for the CW's Arrow?
Will Season Five be the last for the CW’s Arrow?

By Alex Gustafson

With Arrow Season Five debuting on October 5, 2016 after a questionable story arc throughout Season Four has led me as a fan since the beginning of the series to  question what to expect during Season Five. Below are questions I have as the season premiere date approaches:

  1. Is this the end of the series?
    When Arrow premiered in October of 2012 primary executive producers Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim and Greg Berlanti announced they had pitched the show to The CW as five season series. With Season Five coming up for the 2016-17 television season has made fans weary that this might be the end of the series is possibly coming. The that led to the development of three other series set in the same universe, known as the “Arrowverse” by the show’s fandom. With these shows being set in the same universe, a possible turnover in production crew should be expected since all the shows are part of Berlanti Productions umbrella which is what I feel has led to poor performance of the show’s fourth season. As a fan of the series since its debut four years ago, Season Five is vital to extending the life of the series by another season or two. Either way, I am going to stick things out until the end.

2. Can Season Five make up for the poor performance of Season Four?
An overall weak story arc during season four has put the series on shaky ground with fans, notably with both story arcs focusing magic and mysticicm compated to more grounded story arcs as in the first three seasons and the unmarked grave concept beginning with the fall premiere to when the name on the grave was revealed in episode 18 entitled “11:59“, in which it is revealed that Laurel Lance is the fatally wounded in the crossfire between Darhk and Oliver Queen (disguised as the Green Arrow). Furthermore, the relationship arc between Oliver and Felicity Smoak stalled out after the midseason finale in which Felicity was shot and paralyzed in an attack orchestrated by Darhk. To fixed this, I would limit Felicity’s interactions with Oliver in a romantic capacity and  I believe the best plan would be to have the pair rejoin forces as “Original Team Arrow” members of Oliver, Diggle and Felicity.

3. Will characters (new and old) introductions and exits be handled better than in previous years?
The writers have removed important characters such as Roy Harper/Arsenal and Laurel Lance/Black Canary which has led die hard Arrow and Green Arrow comic book hard core fans that were hard on how those character exits were handled poorly. The casting of Dolph Lundgren and Cody Rhodes have led me to think that the casting department is leaning toward towards “splash” castings with celebrity appeal. However, I feel this has led the show down a bad path. We wil see how things pan out in Season Five.

4. Will Oliver go out on his own as in Season One and early Season Two or will he choose to remain with the team approach he utilized in Season Three and Season Four?
From the trailer released at San Diego Comic Con in July, the approach appears to be the latter while die hard fans want the former approach to be least acknowledged. With the presence of a new Team Arrow likely to assemble during Season Five. For the series to truly survive longer than one more season, the writers could sprinkle in some moments of Oliver working on his own and then possibly return to the loner vigilante concept originally presented in Season One.

5. What can be expected from the flashbacks in Russia?
Writers have stated that this season will have elements similar to seasons One and Two. Furthermore, the flashbacks are tied to Oliver’s time with the Russian Bratva, a concept which has been dormant since Season One. While I am optimistic about the upcoming season, between the flashback arc and the present day arc I am more excited for the flashbacks than the present day arc due to how the present day arc was mishandled last year.

6. What is Oliver’s motivation throughout Season Five?
During Season One it was revenge driven by his father’s list, season Two he was motivated to honor Tommy Merlyn’s memory after he died during “The Undertaking” by finding a new way to catch the bad guys besides shooting them with his arrows. During Season Three following Thea’s death at the hands of Ra’s al Ghul, Oliver and Malcolm Merlyn dismantled the League of Assassins from within after Oliver went through League training and became Al-Sah-him and eventually he inherits the title of Ra’s al Ghul by defeating his predecessor in combat. During Season Four his motivation is to create a sense a hope as the Green Arrow as Damien Darhk and his “ghosts” attempt to complete their mission of “Genesis”. However, this motivation was not well accepted among fans and has led to uncertainty leading into Season Five at what the motivation of Oliver Queen as the Green Arrow will be throughout Season Five.