Arrow Season 4 Review

This review is way overdue (along with The Flash review), but I still have much I want to say in regards to this season of Arrow. Last season was not terrible, but it was not as great as the first two seasons. I had hoped that this season would get back to the heights of season one and two, but it ended up falling into the same traps as the disappointing third season.
You’re At War With Two Sides Of Yourself
Before delving into the season’s problems (and believe me, there are enough), there are several aspects that were handled very well. First of all, Diggle had a great season. While many did not like his costume (I thought it was fine) he was given some compelling material to work with. This season broke him down and he has yet to build himself up again. It is interesting because usually Diggle is the team member who keeps himself together. I hope the next season does not shove his arc aside as I am interested see what mindset he is in the season 5 premiere. As always, Stephen Amell does a great job as Oliver Queen. His arc was pretty good this season, even though occasionally it was too on the nose. After spending three seasons as a brooding vigilante, Oliver wonders if he can beat the darkness from within. This question is more or less answered by the finale, but I have a feeling this struggle will be revisited in the upcoming season. The best part of this season has to be Neal McDonough as Damien Darhk. He may have ended on a whimper, but throughout the season McDonough delivered some of the best scenes the show has ever seen. He could take even the worst dialogue and transform it into something truly amazing. Simply put, every time he was on screen I had a smile on my face. Hopefully the next “big bad” can live up to his high standards. Finally, this season had several really strong episodes. These episodes were ones that did their best to subvert expectations and took characters into new and interesting places. Granted there were not many episodes like this, but certainly more this season than last.
Oh, You Two Just Melt My Stone Cold Heart
I know what most people think is the big negative of the season: Ollicity. I personally do not hate Felicity and Ollie being a couple, but what I do hate is when the series deems them a priority over the main plot. Many times this season the main plot would be in full force, but the show decides to focus more on the drama between Oliver and Felicity. Hopefully the show runners realize that it’s hurting the show, and they pay a little less attention to their “soap-opera drama”. On the other hand, there was some good drama between Oliver and Felicity, but again it should not be a main focus. Some of the other lows of the season include the pacing, flashbacks, and the main plot. This show seems to be running out of ideas, so it would make sense for them to shorten the seasons. There are too many episodes where I feel like nothing of note is happening. These episode make the show lose focus, which in turn makes me disinterested in the upcoming episodes. The flashbacks this season were a mess, no other way to put it. I don’t know what the writers were thinking, but the flashbacks did not do much for me at all. I did not care for any of the characters in the flashbacks, and the plot line just felt shoehorned. The main plot line did not fare much better. It certainly had its’ moments to shine, but overall it felt inconsistent and resolved just like every other season. That part is what disappointed me the most. Why does the whole city have to be in peril every single season? It would be far more compelling if the season ended on a personal attack, rather than a large scale attack.
Closing Remarks
Is this season better than season 3? Yes, but not by much. With every step forward that the show took, it also took a few steps back. I still have faith that the show could turn itself around. The season did end in an interesting enough way that could introduce some compelling arcs for our characters. Here’s hoping to a better fifth season.
ArrowS4

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