Season 1 of Arrow was great. Season 2 was incredible. Season 3 was... none of the above. This last season of Arrow has been a huge disappointment. It has gotten mostly negative reviews, and the ratings are dropping slowly but surely every week. If Arrow is gonna get back to the greatness it had in its first two seasons, here are five things that I believe they need to change in Season 4.
5. Things need to get personal for Oliver again. Season 1 was all about Oliver honoring his father and his dying wish to right his wrongs. Season 2 started off with him honoring Tommy's memory, and came to a head when he realized that his former mentor/friend (Slade) was still alive and was trying to destroy Starling City, and even murdered his mother. Season 3's big storyline has been Oliver trying to decide who he is, Oliver Queen or the Arrow. That isn't necessarily a bad storyline, but the writer's have gone about it the wrong way. Oliver is not as personally motivated as he has been the last two seasons and I think that audiences (myself included) have had a hard time buying into Oliver's "journey" this season. Even when Oliver was "killed" at the halfway point of the season, it was obvious that he wouldn't stay dead for long, otherwise there'd be no more show, so it was difficult for audiences to take that seriously.
4. The flashbacks need to get more interesting. The Season 1 flashbacks did a great job of showing how Oliver could have gone from being a rich, spoiled playboy to the hero that he is in present day, and Season 2's flashbacks were awesome because of how the mirakuru storyline tied into both the flashbacks and present day storyline, along with Slade being the main villain for both. This season, they have been way too brief and also lack any character development for Oliver. The whole point of the flashbacks is to show how Oliver has developed internally into how he is in present day, but if you really think about it, Oliver is the same exact person at this point in the flashbacks as he was in the beginning of the season. Yes, there was the one episode where he went back to Starling City and decided that he needed to protect everyone and not just those close to him, but that storyline began and ended all within that episode. The main villain of the flashbacks (General Shrieve) has also barely even been in them, so it is difficult for audiences to buy into him and his plan.
3. Laurel needs more screentime. Before the series even began, one thing that every fan wanted to know was how long before Laurel became Black Canary. This season it finally happened, but the writers seem to have skimmed right through it. There have even been episodes where Laurel has only been seen once the entire episode (3 by my count). The storyline seems to have only happened in the background of everything else going on, even though it is so much more interesting than a lot of the other storylines this season. They put more focus on Ray becoming Atom than Laurel becoming Black Canary, which was a huge mistake.
2. More interesting villain. The Ra's al Ghul storyline started out great this season. He is first seen earlier in the season declaring war against Oliver Queen, but that is forgotten about by his next episode. The whole thing about him wanting Oliver as his heir was really when this season began to hit its low point. In my opinion, it would have been much better if they had just gone on with the storyline of Oliver losing his confidence after Ra's killed him, and Oliver continues training with Malcolm and Thea to defeat the league, and Ra's continues his quest for war against Oliver. The fact that Ra's wants Oliver to replace him is just a Batman comic storyline that the writers of Arrow decided to use. This season, they wasted one of the greatest villains in all of DC Comics.
1. A lot of you are gonna want to see my head on a plate after this one, but a lot of you are also going to agree with me... Felicity needs to go. I LOVE Emily Bett Rickards, and I LOVE Felicity Smoak. However, this whole Olicity storyline has been awful. I don't care what the Olicity fans say, Oliver and Felicity have ZERO romantic chemistry, and the fact that Oliver is just all of a sudden madly in love with her makes no sense at all. Take a look at all of Oliver's previous girlfriends; Laurel, who even before she became Black Canary, has always had a good sense of justice, right and wrong, and going after the bad guys, and has always been emotionally strong and been the voice of reason in her family and a lot of times in Oliver's life. For example, when Oliver was ready to turn himself over to Slade, it was Laurel who convinced him not to after Diggle and Felicity were unable to; Sara, who was just badass as Canary, and Oliver's equal in more ways than one; Shado, who was the one to teach Oliver archery and played a huge role in Oliver's character development; Helena, who was crazy, but Oliver was never really in love with her, so its ok; and McKenna, who a lot of people seem to forget about, but she was a badass cop; and then you have Felicity, the socially awkward computer geek. Does not go together. I loved Felicity when she was the comic relief tech sidekick, but I cannot take her seriously at all as a love interest. I don't want her to leave the show, but the Olicity storyline needs to end, and they can't just forget it ever happened (as much as a lot of us probably wish they could), so she needs to leave the show, and maybe join the cast of Legends of Tomorrow, where I feel like she'd fit in a lot better.
Thos are the things I feel really need to change in Season 4 if the show is gonna ever be as good as it was in Seasons 1 and 2. If you disagree, that's fine, you're entitled to your opinion, but I really miss the way the show used to be and these are things that I feel are ruining the show this season.