Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season
In Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season, as we pick up from last year, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is mayor. Black Canary (Katie Cassidy) and Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) are both dead, and Oliver has no problem, it seems, continuing to kill people.
Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), who’s walked away from their relationship, is still monitoring his superhero actives as Arrow. (And she has a code name, Overwatch.) She encourages him to form a new team of vigilantes with Wild Dog (a guy with a gun and a hockey mask, Rick Gonzalez), Mr. Terrific (played by Echo Kellum; I really want to know how he has the time to put in those braids when suiting up; great look but…), girl archer Artemis (Madison McLaughlin), and Ragman (Joe Dinicol). What a weird group of characters to pick! (But see below.)
(The studio, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, provided me with a free review copy of this DVD set. My opinions below are mine.)
It’s a shame that I don’t find the new crew as interesting as Canary or Speedy (Willa Holland, who as Oliver’s sister is running his mayoral office) or Roy or the others who’ve gone through the Arrow-cave, although I do like Felicity and Rory (Ragman)’s scenes together. She’s the only thing I really still enjoy about the show, as when she sends off the ragtag group of apprentice heroes by saying, “Go! Do not die.” Her character brings a welcome lightness and occasional bit of humor.
While I normally like gangs of misfits coming together, this group is either not developed enough (Artemis, Curtis/Mr. Terrific) or just unpleasantly one-note (Wild Dog, Arrow). And the less said about the plotline about breaking Diggle (David Ramsey) out of jail, the better, since the reason he’s there is ludicrously unbelievable.
The flashbacks, which is why I stopped watching this show, continue with Oliver infiltrating a Russian underground group. (“Bratva” reminds me of both a spoiled kid and a fancy hot dog, not the impression they were going for.) The flashbacks mean Amell works twice as hard as the other regulars, but since I’m rarely interested in those storylines, I’d rather see him interacting more with the continuing characters. I know they’ll never do it, but a home video option to watch only the current-day scenes would be my most favorite special feature.
I owe this show some gratitude, for being successful enough it launched a new era of DC TV, but that richness of choice is precisely why I don’t have to watch it anymore. It’s too dark and grumpy for me. I’ll stick with Supergirl’s hope and Legends’ creativity and craziness.
As previously announced, the special features consist of the following:
“The New Team Arrow” (10 minutes) has producers talking about how the other vigilantes are necessary to help Oliver build trust and establish his legacy. They also comment on what they see in each character, which answers my question above about why these weird choices were made.
“Allied: The Invasion Complex (Arrow)” (13 minutes) explores the middle part of the crossover with The Flash and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, mostly focusing on the alternate reality dream sequence that makes up a large part of this episode, since it’s also Arrow’s 100th.
The “2016 Comic-Con Panel” (27 minutes) has the main cast and two producers. It starts off by teasing Prometheus (shout-out to Marc Guggenheim for knowing his audience well enough to immediately clarify that he wasn’t the Grant Morrison/Howard Porter character from Justice League) and talks about planning much of the season contained on these discs.
“Returning to the Roots of Arrow: Prometheus” (15 minutes) explores the evil archer and his motivations, which for me, didn’t make him any more interesting, since he’s just a torturer and sadist.
The Gag Reel (5 1/2 minutes) is funny mostly because this show is so darn serious all the time; it’s a pleasure to see people laughing and smiling. There are also a variety of deleted scenes.