Review of the Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray set Blu-ray Review: Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season

The Complete Fifth Season of Arrow hits Blu-ray and DVD today with all 23 episodes of Season 5 spread across multiple discs. GATV has been provided with a copy of the set and here’s our review! First, though, here’s how Warner Bros. Home Entertainment describes the set:

In Season Five, newly appointed Mayor Oliver Queen finds himself challenged as he fights on two fronts for the future of Star City. With his right hand, John Diggle, back in the military and his sister Thea adamant about hanging up her vigilante hood as Speedy, Team Green Arrow is down to just Oliver and Felicity – but they’re no longer the only vigilantes in town. Green Arrow’s public defeat of Damien Darhk at the end of Season Four has inspired a new crop of masked heroes to step up and defend the city, though their painful inexperience makes them obstacles rather than allies in the field. The arrival of a deadly new adversary will force Oliver to confront questions about his own legacy, both as mayor and as the Green Arrow.

“After five strong seasons, Arrow remains one of the most talked-about shows on the air,” said Rosemary Markson, WBHE Senior Vice President, Television Marketing. “The loyal fan base will enjoy the special features, in addition to the 23 gripping episodes following new challenges and new characters.”

With Blu-ray’s unsurpassed picture and sound, Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season Blu-ray release will include 1080p Full HD Video with DTS-HD Master Audio for English 5.1. The 4-disc Blu-ray will feature a high-definition Blu-ray and a Digital Copy of all 23 episodes from Season Five.

Arrow stars Stephen Amell (Private Practice), David Ramsey (Blue Bloods, Dexter), Willa Holland (The O.C.), Emily Bett Rickards (Brooklyn), Echo Kellum (Sean Saves The World), with Josh Segarra (Sirens, Chicago P.D.) and Paul Blackthorne (The River). Based on the characters from DC, Arrow is produced by Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Supergirl, Blindspot), Marc Guggenheim (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Andrew Kreisberg (The Flash, Supergirl), Wendy Mericle (Desperate Housewives) and Sarah Schechter (The Flash, Supergirl, Blindspot).

The Episodes: As I made pretty clear when we did our annual RoundtableArrow got its groove back. The show returned to its roots and gave Oliver Queen the dual challenge of being Mayor of the city he’s trying to save while moonlighting as the Green Arrow. New recruits came in, but that wasn’t the biggest deal, which would be the coming of a villain called Prometheus whose origins are tied to Oliver’s actions back in Season 1. The actor revealed as Prometheus brought an intensity to his work that made him the show’s scariest foe since Deathstroke.

The flashbacks – which are considerably less painful this time – offer the origin of Oliver’s hooded alter ego in a way, but they also finally wrap up to get us to the point the show was at in the pilot. Season 5 also contains the series’ 100th episode which shows Oliver a world where he didn’t get on the Queen’s Gambit to launch this journey.

This was the best Arrow season since Season Two and it’s an easy place to jump back in if you’ve dropped off.

Picture & Sound: Often times when I review these sets, especially for series that don’t get the Blu-ray treatment, I complain because so much TV looks so bright and vivid that it needs that look. With its darker color palette, yes, seeing Arrow on Blu-ray is a treat, but it’s not as necessary as it would be for, say, Riverdale. So, if you want to spring for Blu-ray, you’ll get a better picture and probably some more extras than the DVD offers, but I think DVD would actually work just as well here.

The Extras: This set has a few featurettes and I really appreciate that some of the writers we don’t usually see interviewed are talked to on here. Speed Weed, Beth Schwartz, Brian Ford Sullivan, and Emilio Ortega Aldrich are all represented in addition to Executive Producers Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle. We don’t often hear from them so it’s a treat to “meet” them on these features, in a way.

As for those featurettes: There’s the Arrow “Invasion Complex” interview, which is great and talks about the 100th episode; there’s a spotlight on “The New Team Arrow,” the requisite Comic-Con panel, and a featurette on Prometheus. Honestly, the gag reel is mostly made up of people laughing and isn’t particularly laugh out loud funny; it could be I’m just numb to these after seeing so many.

There are also a lot of deleted scenes, from the episodes “A Matter of Trust,” “What We Leave Behind,” “Second Chances,” “Kapiushon,” “Dangerous Liaisons,” “Missing,” and “Lian Yu.”

I do wish the other chapters of “Invasion!” were represented here, or at the very least a video recap reel was available for those who might not get the sets for The Flash or DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. Otherwise, they’re getting only 1/3 of the story. I understand that including the full episodes might make a set too expensive to produce, but a trailer or recap would be nice.

Is It Worth It? For the Arrow fan in your life, definitely. The set has so many extras to keep viewers entertained, and of course, the episodes are top-notch.

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Craig Byrne

Craig Byrne has been writing about TV on the internet since 1995. He is also the author of several published books, including Smallville: The Visual Guide and the show's Official Companions for Seasons 4-7.