Now that Arrow Season 5 has completed, what did you think?
CRAIG: I feel Arrow got its groove back in the fifth season. There were a lot of callbacks to the show I fell in love with in the beginning, but I also felt like there was a very solid plan for Season 5’s storylines marching on to the finale. There were some things I may have wanted more of — Thea, where were you? — but ultimately, the characters were moved around in good places, Adrian Chase was legitimately scary, and I got to see some faces that were long missed.
MATT: Best overall season since Season 2. It’s was stronger, more focused, better grounded, and engaged the audience in a way that they seemed to forget over the last two seasons. The flashbacks were still problematic, as much as I enjoyed both David Nykl and Dolph Lundgren in them, but did help to bridge the gap to the Oliver we saw in Season 1. I liked how there was even more of a team focus this year while the villain story was specifically tied to Oliver.
MELISSA: I think it had a very strong string of episodes in the back half of the season and I think the strength on which a season ends often becomes how the entire season is judged, so it’s tempting to forgive and forget the strong emotional disconnect between the characters and between the audience for much of the early to middle episodes. Tempting, but those emotional connections are what drives my love for the show and during the low points of the season, my affection for the show had never been lower. At the most trying moments of season three and four, I had at least been angry or upset, passionate. Season five, though I never stopped watching or fell behind, took me to the point of indifference and that’s very dangerous territory.
So in the end, I look back at season five as a very divided season. A lot of it I could have fast forwarded through and it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference, but it also did deep character driven episodes like “Kapuishon”, “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Underneath.” Had the negative come after the positive, I probably would have considered it the worst season on record, but for me, how each season ends matters more than how they begin, and season five ended very well and set me up looking forward to season six as much as ever before.
STEPHANIE: The first half of the season was just okay, but by the second half, I was fully engaged. On the plus side, Adrian Chase turned out to be a great villain and the other new characters really grew on me over time. On the other hand, it kind of felt as if some of the main characters were in a lull. Thea excelled as Chief of Staff, then disappeared for a chunk of episodes, and Quentin’s storyline still revolved around drinking. While I wasn’t really a fan of “dark Felicity” because she’s too smart to compromise and team up with a sketchy hactivist group and fully capable of figuring things out on her own, even if she didn’t have all of the resources they did, I liked how Oliver’s fear of rubbing off on the team was made concrete, whether or not he was actually to blame.