Is It Time To Move On From “Team Arrow?” Is It Time To Move On From “Team Arrow?”
Has "Team Arrow" run its course? Is It Time To Move On From “Team Arrow?”

For several years now, the television series Arrow has focused not just on the heroic adventures of Green Arrow but also those who formed a “team” around him — first John Diggle and Felicity Smoak, and then a roster of allies which has included such teammates as Arsenal, two Black Canaries, Speedy, Mister Terrific, Ragman, Wild Dog, and Artemis. This season, the original members of Team Arrow (often referred to by the fans as “OTA”) had a big fracture with their newer allies… and in the show’s most recent episode, even Oliver and Diggle are fighting.

The “team” concept — perhaps also a way to ensure the lead actor doesn’t have to be in every single scene — has permeated its way onto almost every DC show on The CW, though it can be argued that Legends of Tomorrow has always been an ensemble and that Black Lightning’s “team” is his family. It allows for a diversity of characters, but in some ways, it also takes away from the hero at the center of the show at times. In the case of Arrow, lately, it’s been an excuse to spotlight Oliver’s shortcomings as a leader while still growing as a man.

John Diggle has moved on, though he’ll surely be back eventually. But really, perhaps everyone should keep moving. Though I’m not suggesting that the show should get rid of any cast members, either. Read on.

I grew up in an era where the heroes of their respective TV shows really lived up to “one man can make a difference.” Knight Rider’s Michael Knight had an amazing talking car and a support team in Devon, Bonnie, and later RC3, but he and his car were usually the ones to save the day and we never had team fractures. One of my favorite TV shows of the 1980’s, The Equalizer, had a lead character who had a support team of characters who would assist him on whichever case, as needed, with the most effective always being Keith Szarabajka’s Mickey Kostmayer.

There’s also the notion of what we have in the comic books. Yes, Green Arrow has been a part of the Justice League, he had amazing team-ups with Green Lantern, and there seemed to be a “Green Arrow Family” in the comics by the time Kevin Smith got to them, but there are still times like the acclaimed Mike Grell run on the character when he worked best as a solo hero. Now, we’ve seen what a completely solo Green Arrow looks like early on in Arrow, weird voiceover and all. There’s no worry of the show going that far again while Oliver Queen has a wife and a confidant in Felicity, so we’d be spared the voiceovers now.

This Oliver Queen needs a chance to grow as a man, and not rely on the crutches that come with hoping a team will back him up. I’m not asking for anyone to leave the show, but I’d love to see Oliver take this all on by himself. Felicity can and will always be helping him with the tech, but she deserves the chance to also spend time building her own company, which is where Curtis can continue to come in. Dinah Drake would be a fantastic police contact to team up with when needed; ditto John Diggle at ARGUS. Wild Dog seems like he’d be happier going solo again, too. And who knows what will happen with Laurel and Quentin after Season 6?

Moreover, a solo Green Arrow might not need a lair anymore, which means the villains won’t be able to find him so easily in the future. Just a stripped-down, back-to-basics war on the crime of Star City. That sounds good, right?

The world of Arrow as envisioned by the show’s writers is still a rich one, but inter-team squabbling is no fun. So maybe it’s time for that solo Green Arrow, with the rest of the characters coming to him? Even if it’s a short-term fix to rebuild Oliver’s leadership skills, this is all something to think about for Season 7…

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.

  • Lola

    April 8, 2018 #1 Author

    No. Team Arrow – Original Team Arrow – is the main reason I keep watching. They’re the heart and soul of the show. I’ll keep watching the show as long as the three of them (Oliver, Diggle, Felicity) are still on it.

    Reply

    • Craig Byrne

      April 8, 2018 #2 Author

      Felicity is going to be at Oliver’s side whether or not there’s a Team Arrow, I figure. And I definitely wasn’t suggesting that either of them are gone from the show!

      Reply

      • Lola

        April 9, 2018 #3 Author

        I agree with the first and understand the second. I still stand by my opinion: Original Team Arrow is the heart and the soul of the show and the show wouldn’t be the same without it. Oliver needs a team and he needs his original gangstas because they help make him a better person and hero.

        Reply

  • Jens

    April 8, 2018 #4 Author

    I love OTA but the new team can go, never liked them and since they got involved it seems like Oliver can’t do anything on his own anymore. He used to do almost everything by himslef and take on 20+ guys at a time in an awesome fight scene and now he needs a team to take out 3-4 normal criminals.

    Reply

  • Lucyford

    April 8, 2018 #5 Author

    Thank you for this! Anyone who has spent the time/years with this has to feel the same. The city being in jeopardy every season and at times the world is getting a bit grandiose. More time as Oliver and with the family and rebuilding Queen Industries.

    Reply

    • Chris

      April 10, 2018 #6 Author

      Bravo, I agree that Queen industries needs to be rebuilt. In the comics Oliver Queen was a business leader who also was the Green Arrow. By rebuilding that part of Oliver you can play up the interactions between the business side of Oliver (run in’s with organized crime, global gun runners, foreign government, and cool tech) and the vigilante side (undercover work, kicking ass and shooting people to address the issues). That would allow a diversity of story on a year by year basis (every year is someone threatens to expose Oliver as the Green arrow and is a threat to the city). Diversifying Oliver allows for diverse story telling.

      Reply

  • John Aughinbaugh

    April 8, 2018 #7 Author

    The show has been bogged down by all the interpersonal infighting and the resulting self-reflection and brooding.Green Arrow should be a hero aided by others. The villains should provide the conflict,not the other good guys/gals.

    Reply

  • Shelley

    April 9, 2018 #8 Author

    It’s extremely irritating the infighting. The newbies don’t trust them. Good lawd. Now, it’s John and Oliver. There is an army of bad guys to seek and capture. Curtis and Felicity could be inventing something spectacular to save the day. But, no! The writers seem to fall back on the same old stories. Oliver compartmentalizing, dominating and manipulating. It defeats the purpose of the theme of this season. Not a fan anymore.

    Reply

  • K. Taylor

    April 9, 2018 #9 Author

    The more people they’ve brought in, the less capable they’ve made Oliver. Instead of enhancing his skills with the expertise of others here and there, they’ve repeatedly dumbed him down or made him hard to root for. Like this season, every time Oliver could and should have de-escalated an argument for the greater good, they have him do the opposite – poking wounds for this artificial construct they’ve decided to do in the whole “season 6 is about Oliver losing his support system” thing. Oliver Queen is nearly 40. He’s been at this a long time. He’s been to hell and back. He for certain should be mature enough to hold his temper and not antagonize “allies” all the time when it does no good for anyone. All this petty conflict that has zero organic development in any shred of the writing has made this season feel like it’s taking forever. For once, I agree with the people that say Arrow should have shorter seasons so it stops meandering.

    Reply

  • Liz

    April 9, 2018 #10 Author

    The fact of the matter is, the more comic book masks they bring into the show, the less Oliver is special or even needed. This guy used to kick ass all by himself and then with just Diggle by his side but as soon as it was revolving door of masks, and now even metas on the team, Oliver’s skills have been diminished year by year. It’s sad to see.

    The best team was when it was OTA and Roy. None of them shined above Oliver or took over the show. We knew who was the leader. Get back to basics and get rid of the newbies. Make Oliver the hero again, make this HIS show again. That doesn’t mean moving on from Team Arrow but making it the best team it can be and that’s the old one, not this new mess they’ve been trying. It just does not work.

    Reply

    • Fred Lafrance

      April 9, 2018 #11 Author

      Agreed ota is perfect. Oliver, john, felicity and a secondary hero on the team is perfect. Roy is returning for the new season he maybe the secondary hero

      Reply

  • Fred Lafrance

    April 9, 2018 #12 Author

    I agree Oliver Queen diggle Felicity and a secondary hero is all the fans need. With roy returning next season in he may be secondary hero in the team again.

    Reply

  • Ginny

    April 10, 2018 #13 Author

    I don’t care if the other one leave but Diggle and Felicity keep him grounded. As for the other ones they can take a hike. I really don’t care for them. So really I hope we do not see them on the show ever again

    Reply

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