Arrow wrapped-up it’s third season a few weeks back, and we were left with a lot of questions at the end of it. But throughout the run of the third season many can’t help but notice, including me, that somehow, someway, the show lost its edge and magic that made it one of the best superhero shows in its first two seasons.
Now, this had me thinking, what should the show-runners do to re-ignite that flame for a spectacular season 4. Here are some of my ideas:
Like it or not, the crossovers were a treat for the fans of the comic books and the series. From the Flash showing-up from time to time, to Cisco, the Atom and other characters, the entire season was riddled with crossovers and guests. While it was entertaining and it provided a sense of a bigger DC universe, story-wise, it bogged down the narrative.
Crossovers would often time derail the flow of the episode, or even episodes right when the show was hitting its stride. While the crossover in season 2, introducing Barry Allen, was regarded as a huge success, in this season it wasn’t. At the middle of the season the show-runners teased the crossover of the Flash in Starling City, which in my opinion bogged down the whole flow of the season.
Now not all the crossovers were a bad thing for Arrow. In fact, the appearance of the Flash in the season finale was a welcome one, offering us a plausible explanation as to how team Arrow would get out of Nanda Parbat.
The Atom, if you consider him as a crossover, also didn’t provide much for the entire season. He gave us levity in scenes with Felicity, but aside from that he felt out of place. Sure, its a good way of introducing the character in this DC universe, but the less screen time devoted to him this season would have been better.
Another criticism this show has taken throughout the years is the abundance of villains culled from the Batman lore. This season was no exception with Ra’s Al Ghul being the big bad. While, it was an entertaining tidbit in season 1 and season 2, the whole Ra’s being the main villain this season was a big let down.
Probably the biggest reason why it was a big let down was the fact that lesser time was devoted focusing on him, unlike Merlyn and Deathstroke. Even the sense of dread and urgency in our heroes felt mild as compared to the previous seasons. The showdown in the finale was also ho-hum due to the lack of build-up.
What would really be a shot of energy for the series is to get a villain from the Green Arrow lore and make said villain sensational. The likes of Vertigo or Komodo or Richard Dragon would be a great addition to his rogues gallery. And I’m not talking about the Joker knockoff Vertigo in seasons 1 and 2. I’m talking about a Count Vertigo that is worthy of being an equal to the Arrow. Komodo would also fit the bill, and the good thing is that he was already introduced in season 3 (a forgettable one, at that), which bodes well by refurbishing him into a daunting villain.
It wouldn’t also hurt if the show creates a new villain, like DC did when they created Hush or the Talon for Batman, or Ulysses for Superman. And the best part about this is that the villain created could even be a melee fighter and not an archer.
EXPAND THE ARROW MYTHOLOGY
You know what made the first two seasons great? It was the mythology or the world-building of the Arrow. In season 3, the mythology of the Arrow was put to a stand-still. Sure, we saw the transformation of the boy Oliver Queen to the Arrow in the flashbacks, but none of that really expanded the backstory of Oliver Queen.
What I’m talking about is the need to give the viewers a deeper look into the Arrow. One that would explain why Oliver chose to use the bow and arrow as his weapon and his ancient ties to it. One that would make Oliver someone else, or something else; that of being a symbol, or not being just a small cog in the grand scheme of things, but an essential one.
So for season 4, I’m hoping to see two sides of the Arrow. The first being the dark, brooding, ruthless Oliver during the flashbacks, because clearly he has fallen-off after the events of season 3; and the symbol of hope and the hero that the Arrow is in the present.
Hopefully by doing this, the whole mythology or narrative of the Arrow story would widen and give us a wild ride akin to that of seasons 1 and 2.
If you’ve noticed, one story arc of the Green Arrow that I have been particularly fond of is the Outsiders War by Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino. It dawned to me while reading the entire story arc that it was ripe for an adaptation in the Arrowverse. As stated in my previous suggestion, the arc provided for a deeper mythology of the Arrow. It even introduced the Outsiders consisting of 5 clans, the arrow clan being one of them.
Naturally, the arrow clan belongs to Oliver Queen partly due to his father’s stature in the clan. It also introduced to the readers interesting characters such as Magus and Emiko. And from what we have learned during the past seasons is that in every new one, a new set of characters are introduced either as ally or enemy.
The good thing about this arc being brought to live-action is that it paves the way for a grand showdown in the finale when all the clans engage in a war with each other. This would equal the sense of urgency and destruction we have witnessed when Deathstroke invaded Starling City.
Another thing to look forward to here is the fact that Shado and Count Vertigo play a significant role in this arc, which in turn could also be a way to revamp Count Vertigo and to see more of Shado or her twin, and who wouldn’t want to see Celina Jade again?
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, “Diggle should wear a mask”. You’ve thought of it, I’ve thought of it, heck even Oliver Queen mentioned it. It’s just that damn obvious.
Kidding aside, throughout the series we’ve seen team Arrow expand and with that the need for teamwork has been more evident than ever. Having said that, we rarely see the entire team work as a unit. And for season 4 I wish to see more fluidity in their teamwork, and not just isolated shots of members doing their thing.
Additionally, I’d love to see Speedy in action more. And hoping against hope that Roy would return as Red Arrow and we’d see both Speedy and Red Arrow in action. Canary could also use a boost this coming season and be indoctrinated as a bona fide member of team Arrow and not merely a bench member, as Oliver usually thinks of her. But seriously, get Diggle a mask and a costume, he deserves one.
Are there any other things you’d like to see on season 4 of Arrow? Agree or disagree with my choices? Feel free to let us know in our comments section.
Gino is the Gladiators’ resident TV and Comic Book reviewer. He is a lawyer in the making by day and a full on geek at night. He believes that the lightsaber is the best weapon during a zombie apocalypse. #AgeOfTheGeek