After four seasons of running around in a green hood hell-bent on righting the wrongs of his family, it feels only right to point the arrow back at the hero … and heroes that have been haunting our evenings with their adventures, and maybe expose the disappointments and downfalls of the countless episodes that kept not only our eyes glued to the screen, but also our minds pondering the whys and whats behind the narrative’s seemingly straightforward progression.
The four seasons that we have so far witnessed and the numerous plans that have been thwarted by the efforts of Arrow and his companions, bring about lots of action and are otherwise entertaining to a mind that is hungry for some interesting fight scenes; however, the character development of Oliver Queen can be described as somewhat sluggish, if not stagnating, as he constantly suffers from blind spots towards his family, and guilt trips, hence inciting conflict with his teammates. The resilience to change as perceived in his persona is actually a disconcerting one, since he never practices what he preaches despite the many discoveries he makes across the episodes that ought to have changed his perception and shaped his emotions.
Oliver’s character caused him to face countless problems with his former love interest Laurel Lance, daughter of Detective Quentin Lance. His past as a playboy as well as his affair with Laurel’s sister, Sara, ended with the latter’s disappearance, followed by her death and rebirth. His stubbornness; the result of his previous experiences, could be viewed as legitimate in terms of the logic behind them; however, his strategic approach and decisions, remain ambiguous to his team as they were never exposed to the same hardships and training. An element of surprise, and actually a positive one, is Oliver’s willingness to become mayor and his efforts at helping his city by putting his exceptional skills on the shelf and resorting to conventional ones. The political aspect, despite its simplicity, spices up the storyline and adds an interesting twist.
Okay so, if we are to talk character development, we are certainly attached to two ladies that have charmed us into further watching the series; Thea Queen and most importantly Felicity Smoak. Thea’s past as an alcoholic, drug addict and spoiled-brat is replaced with that of a ruthless fighter, trained by one of the League’s best; Malcom Merlyn aka Al-Saher (translated as The Magician). Felicity, the brilliant, yet simple-minded IT girl from Queen Consolidated was later named Overwatch and morphed into the brains behind the brawn, she acted as the eyes and ears thanks to her exceptional hacking skills and managed Palmer Technologies, a multi-billion-dollar company, as CEO. What adds to her charm are the awkward/humorous moments she creates thanks to her babbling, followed by self-criticism that add a comic strip during serious scenes.
All in all, it’s an interesting series, but Oliver’s character has to be somewhat revisited as we lose interest in him as a protagonist, and focus on secondary characters with charming attributes. The four seasons, if not hanging by a thread, run the danger of wandering aimlessly as viewers are left with unanswered questions and missing closures.
To those who haven’t watched Arrow … SPOILER ALERT!
In collaboration with Maher Kahwagi