Sigh. I don’t know where to begin. You guys know all I want in a TV show is good and consistent writing which makes sense. We haven’t had that. I think the biggest problem here is that they have a lot of ideas, but literally have no clue how to execute them.
We’ve seen main characters get thrown under the bus — in Sara’s case, die — to prop up other characters. Felicity is being used to usher in Ray into the Arrow universe. Digg was sidelined for no reason while Laurel was getting her ass kicked — tbh, he’s been sidelined this whole season. Thea has been used as a plot point for Malcolm’s storyline, and Quentin is being used as a tool to fuel Laurel’s arc. What happened to not knocking off characters to accommodate others? And the worst part? There are so many other alternatives to tell the same story WITHOUT tearing other characters down. More importantly, it’s possible to tell the same story WITHOUT blatantly “killing” off a main character to make room for others. Like damn, how obvious can the writers be? Arrow’s strength comes from it’s characterizations, and to see main characters treated like this boggles my mind.
Give me Original Team Arrow back!
Then, there’s a large amount of inconsistency going on here, mainly due to the characters being OOC with no explanation as to WHY they’re saying / doing those things. Like, you can have a character make mistakes and say something off, but it needs to make sense within what’s been established. Digg can stay back in the foundry and let Laurel go out in the field if he and Laurel talk, and he decides she needs a chance. Even so, if you know someone is a liability out in the field, there HAS to be a bigger reason why Digg — the most qualified fighter between Laurel and Roy — is letting them go. Instead, we had to get behind it with no explanation and watch Digg sit in the foundry for no reason. It doesn’t add up, considering Digg fought so hard against Oliver’s wishes and STILL came back even though Oliver said no. At least let him go home and play peek-a-boo with Baby Sara. And that’s just one example. (Y’all know how I feel about Laurel’s BC arc.)
As for the flashbacks, there’s no continuity compared to S1 and S2. The unique thing about those flashbacks is that Oliver’s decisions impacted what was happening in the present. Now, it seems like the flashbacks are going off on their own tangent to create a separate storyline best suited for next season, and it doesn’t really relate to what’s happening now. There isn’t a connective thread between the two, so now the flashbacks are tedious and only provide glimmers of interesting information.
Also, the show seems to be going back and forth between two bad guys — Malcolm and Ra’s. We’re told Ra’s is the big bad, but all evidence points towards Malcolm. The season isn’t over so I can’t really make any assumptions, but we were led to believe Ra’s would really twist Oliver and his ideologies, but I haven’t seen anything of that sort coming from Ra’s. It’s coming from Malcolm.
Likewise, there’s a lack of surprise going on here. Not to say Arrow doesn’t have great cliffhangers and such, but it’s like the writers laid out their cards in the first three episodes of the season and trying to add more to keep up the interest.
And may I add, I don’t really see any payoffs happening here. Oliver died, and he comes back wanting the same thing again? What made Bruce’s return in TDKR was how he learned to fear again, and that fear propelled him to save his city and shed his Batman persona. Oliver? It didn’t really do much. He still has a death wish. So unfortunately, his “death” was a tool to give room for other characters, not so Oliver can grow from his experiences. Why would any writers choose to do that? Where’s the payoff? What’s this going to do for him? What are the consequences here?
I’m sure there’s more to this, but at the end of the day the writers have ideas and somehow forgot how to write. There are huge gaps, and I feel like they’re rushing everything — why, I don’t know. Ironically, I feel they’ve done a fantastic job for Olicity’s arc, so I don’t know why everything else is falling short. There’s a lot of inconsistent writing (why in the world would Laurel tell Thea Sara’s dead when you haven’t even told your dad?), and it pains me to see main characters treated like this. I’ve dropped shows over smaller things than this, but I’m still hoping Arrow can bounce back. Until then, I’m not a happy camper.