I have a book and a play to be writing. So what have I decided to instead? Rank the Arrowverse. When I used to run a website, one of my favourite things to do was ranking things. I never really knew why I enjoyed it so much and it’s one of the few things I’ve missed, other than the freebies I used to get, ah how I miss the freebies. With all of the CW DC shows now on a break until October, now seems like the perfect time to give this a go. I’ll add a season per post for the next 12 blog posts. This is from worst to best by the way.
Before I do, quick update on The Jump. I entered it into a short story competition but one of the rules is that it can’t be published anywhere until it closes, even on this blog. Always the pessimist, I don’t expect it to do very well, so when I’m allowed I’ll get it out there straight away.
SPOILERS ahead for Arrow seasons 1-4
12. Arrow Season 4
It’ll be lighter they said. Oliver Queen will be more fun they said. They lied. Arrow season 3 is hardly a stellar season of television, but season 4? Man. Thankfully this is the only season in the whole Arrowverse that I actually hate, the only one to do so much wrong that there is barely any redeeming qualities to it. The first episode actually seemed to deliver on the promises that we were given, it was a fun episode and set Damien Darhk up as an extremely intriguing villain. But everything went downhill far too quickly from there. The first half of the season suffered due to being bogged down with setting up Legends of Tomorrow, much like The Flash season 2, only this one didn’t have a compelling enough story to make that forgivable. Sara’s resurrection was fine, Constantine was a welcome addition, but very little here had an impact on the show itself. The Darhk threat quickly became tedious, building up to a ridiculously overblown plan that stretched credibility to breaking point, even for a verse that has time travelling superheroes. Arrow has for the most part been the more grounded of the shows and it’s clear from this season it needs to stay that way.
Then there were all the character problems. Diggle arguably had the best here, his plight with brother was great to watch and gave him something to do that wasn’t just reacting to other characters actions. Although, his suit and helmet were hilariously bad. Quentin too at least got some development, his questionable actions here added new depths to his character even they left him largely redundant in the following season. The rest though? Not good. Oliver continued his terrible decision making from the previous season, keeping a secret from Felicity for literally no good reason and thus ending the relationship that had become far too integral to the show. Thea was underused, Laurel existed to be the catalyst behind Sara’s return and then was sacrificed for a cheap death that was irritatingly teased all season long.
Then there was Felicity. I like Felicity, I don’t hate her like some fans do but man did they test that this season. She ended things with Oliver over a secret that he kept regarding his son (poor move from Oliver but a relationship ending secret it was not). Then she became paralysed, only to stick the middle finger up at disabled people everywhere by quickly regaining the use of her legs thanks to some stupid tech that newcomer Curtis made. But that’s nothing when you remember that she nuked and killed thousands of people. No, it wasn’t her fault, her actions made sense but there was so little fallout from it (excuse the pun) that it became laughable. This should have broken her, this should have seen her wind up in therapy, unable to even carry on for a time after doing such a thing. What did we get? Next to nothing. It was brought up again early in season 5 but the impression I get is that Felicity doesn’t really give a crap. It’s as close to character destroying as you can get.
And then there were the flashbacks. They were dull in season 3 but at least they seemed like they had a point there. I can barely remember anything that happened with them this year because the writers gave the impression they were being shoehorned in for the sake of it. There was some guff about magic that tied into Damien Darhk which gave it a tenuous link but these were so forgettable, so half arsed that I got distracted by other things when they were on screen.
By the time the season grew to a close and the team scattered, I was past caring about them. So much so that I struggled to invest in season 5 which was infinitely better. I was so sure they would screw up the following season that I didn’t allow myself to enjoy it as much as I should have done. That’s how bad this season was.
Best Episode: Green Arrow
Worst Episode: Schism