Arrow 5x15 “Fighting Fire With Fire”: We All Got Burned
I’m not quite sure how the Arrow
writers are managing this but every single week this show has gotten worse. The
issues plaguing the show have only dug in deeper, taking root and I’m not quite
sure how Arrow at this point can rid
itself of the legacy this season is going to leave in regards to the industry
and the fans.
I fully understand that everything is a journey and when you are writing a twenty-three episode series, they tend to draw out plot points that a 13 episode series would conclude rather quickly or smartly avoid. But there is the difference between taking the long way to your destination and setting the car on fire while you’re still driving it.
The Arrow writers have completely forgotten this. Their oft-espoused “back to basics” really meant they were going to erase years of character development. I do not recognize these characters anymore. I do not know Oliver Queen anymore. This isn’t the character that I’ve loved; that I’ve defended like a momma lion; and that I’ve championed a hero even when he wasn’t working with his better angels.
This character is an asshole. I was rooting for impeachment. I’m this close from starting up a Prometheus fanclub. I was once a huge The Vampire Diaries fan. And then Elena Gilbert became a vampire and the show was ruined for me because the show ruined its protagonist. Everything about her character was erased entirely just to perpetuate a love triangle that they had supposedly resolved at the end of the previous season. In doing so, they turned Elena Gilbert entirely unlikeable for me. I just never got over her 24-hr brother swapping or her irritating personality change that was never really explained properly. I never thought I’d see another show destroy its own protagonist as swiftly as TVD managed to do.
Thus it was funny that I would go on to watch Arrow and root for Oliver Queen, who had his own history of sister swapping. But the difference was that kind of behavior was clearly in Oliver’s past; he was beyond that. He’d grown and learned that he’d been an asshole because karma had kicked his ass something fierce. I’m not saying he didn’t screw up in the present because Lord knows he did. The revival of Oliver and Sara’s relationship was in the worst taste. But it was a little more believable than this push for Oliver and Susan’s relationship in S5.
I thought that douchebag behavior was behind Oliver. Especially once he and Felicity had gotten together. He’d found his light and the one to help him harness it. Oliver had attained a kind of emotional maturity and then the BMD happened. It’s really all been downhill for Oliver since 4x08. It only got worse when S5 started. And yet somehow in 5B they have managed to make all of it worse than 4B and 5A.
I am at my breaking point with Oliver. This isn’t a good feeling as someone who loved his character; as someone who loved this show and was rooting for him to come out the end a better, fully-developed person and hero; and as someone who shipped him with my favorite female character. Because here is the hard truth that makes my stomach hurt to even think: Felicity deserves better than this version of Oliver. I think I’ll stick with what I named him last week: Ollie 2.0. And without some sort of magical reversal, I can’t quite see how any kind of reunion between Olicity could be a good thing, let alone believable. I actually have tears in my eyes writing that out. Like a physical pain has lanced my chest. But I feel that defeated after this episode. I am grateful that we have a couple of weeks off before this reel disaster returns.