TV Review: Arrow (Season 4, 2015-2016)

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Now officially going by the name comic fans have known him as for decades, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is the Green Arrow of Star City. Along with his allies, John Diggle / Spartan (David Ramsey), sister Thea Queen / Speedy and tech guru Felicity / Overwatch (Emily Bett Rickards), the Green Arrow defends the city against all manor of threats, both human and meta-human. After disposing off the League of Assassins in the previous season, season 4 features former League of Assassin’s Member Damien Darkh (Neal McDonough) and his array of powerful magic abilities as he attempts to take over Star City, if not the entire world.

+ Neal McDonough as big bad Damien Darhk was the highlight of the whole season. His charm and black comedy timings were unaparalleled, and even when threatening to slaughter the good guys, he is still kind of endearing. McDonough’s recent run on Suits showed he can pull off the smartass back and forth banter, which is used to perfection as Damien Darkh
+ generally, our main characters are fine to watch; Oliver aka The Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Thea “Speedy” Queen (Willa Holland) have had four seasons now to get to know each other, and this does show in their chemsitry together. Even on-off love interest Laurel Lance / Black Canary (Katie Cassidy) was not nearly as annoying as previous seasons
+ a handful of the fight scenes are simply choreographed absolutely beautifully. One episodes features an assault on Darkh’s evil compound with a single-take fight scene of several minutes, moving between all of the different good guys. It was like something out of Daredevil, or a John Woo movie
+ That Constantine (Matt Ryan) cameo episode was perfect, but it just made me miss him and his show even more

– once again, the CW’s original character, Felicty (Emily Bett Rickards) is just absolutely unberable to watch. It seemed the writers were pandering more to the ‘Olicity’ crowd more than wanting a coherent story
– much like with The Flash, the mid season tie-in to the Legends of Tomorrow spin-off slowed the pace to a crawl, as well as writing off The Atom (Brandon Routh) and Sara Lance / White Canary (Caity Lotz). When our heroes are dealing with arguably the greatest threat yet, two of the more powerful members deciding to leave for their own reasons creates massive plot issues
– it appears that more than ever, they want this show to be Batman-lite, evident perhaps most tellingly by the fact the Green Arrow very rarely seems to use his bow. When the final fight between two former League of Assassins members culminates in a handful of wild haymakers, you can tell something is wrong
– the flashbacks have run their course, and really need to stop. It is clear where they will be going next season, and it is something referenced in the very first season. However, it seems clear they only exist to have an ‘ironic’ reference to whatever is happening at the present time or as a way to cut between action set pieces. They are just ruining the pacing of the show at this point

Should you watch this show: It is sad to say but this show has entirely lost it’s steam. If you can stomach the horrendous side plot of various romance dramas, then this might be worth your time, but if you want anything remotely relating a comic book, then it’s time to stop watching this show. I know I am.

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