Oliver Queen and Team Arrow have spent the last five years saving Star City from the likes of Malcolm Merlyn, Slade Wilson, Ra’s al Ghul, Damien Darhk, and Prometheus. For half a decade, Oliver has taken down petty thugs and criminals like Danny Brickwell, The Dollmaker, Count Vertigo and William Tockman — everyday crooks who brought drugs and violence to Oliver’s protected city. During that time, “Arrow” has told 10 years of stories, with five years on the island, Hong Kong, and Russia, and five years in Star City. Now that “Arrow” is concluding the flashback storyline (presumably ending Season 5 with Oliver’s rescue from the pilot episode) we find ourselves wondering if “Arrow’s” present day storyline should wrap up as well.
Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim has stated that the initial pitch for the show and the flashbacks were a “five-year deal,” but will the show stop there? From the start, Oliver’s mantra and promise to his father has been “My name is Oliver Queen. After spending five years on a hellish island, I have come home with only one goal: to save my city.” Now that he’s mayor, is he able to find that goal within his grasp? If so, are there really more “Arrow” stories to tell? Should there be more stories?
Let’s dive into a few reasons why the show could benefit from bringing things to a close with Season 5.
Finishing What His Father Started
Oliver’s mission has always been to right the wrongs that his father Robert Queen committed. That included dismantling corruption in the business sector, the public sector and on Star City’s streets. Oliver has been fighting on all of these fronts as the Green Arrow for five years, effectively taking down numerous forces that sought to destroy Star City. With Oliver’s commission from his father nearly complete, “Arrow” could end here, using his new position as Mayor to steer Star City towards a bright future.
With “Arrow’s” upcoming 100th episode poised to conclude Oliver’s five-year journey, Robert Queen is set to return in some capacity. Even though Robert has not been a visible character on the show since Season 1, his presence is felt in every episode. Oliver makes every decision in his life in accordance with the promise that he made to his father. If Oliver is able to find closure with Robert in the 100th episode — which he hopefully can — and save Star City once and for all, Oliver’s mission would be finished, and the premise fueling the show would be fulfilled.
Transitioning to the Arrowverse
Of course, if “Arrow” does end this season, that wouldn’t be the end of Oliver, Felicity, Curtis, Thea or even Quentin Lance. Each of these characters could easily transition to other shows like “Supergirl,” “The Flash” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.” All of these shows are part of what’s known as the “Arrowverse” — the universe was kickstarted by “Arrow” back in 2012. These shows are not just telling their own stories; they’re part of a grand narrative.
“Arrow” has always been the launch pad for these other shows. Barry Allen made his “Arrowverse” debut in Season 2, and before “Legends of Tomorrow” was even a glint in The CW’s eye, both Ray Palmer and Sara Lance got their start on “Arrow.” Maybe it’s time for these other shows to embrace more of Team Arrow. Oliver and Thea could stay in Star City, working in the Mayor’s office. Quentin Lance could guest star on “Legends” anytime he wanted to visit Sara. Felicity and Curtis both seem perfect to transition to either “Supergirl” or “The Flash.” Even if “Arrow” is finished with its journey, there’s no reason why these characters couldn’t live on across the CW’s multiverse for many years to come.
Arrow… and the Outsiders
Since the show is going to wrap up Oliver’s main storyline this season, why not rebrand itself next year with the new team? A name like “The Outsiders” may have Batman overtones thanks to the ’80s “Batman and the Outsiders” series, but it’s not like “Arrow” has been hesitant to mine the Bat-mythos before. Led by Felicity/Overwatch, Wild Dog, Ragman, Artemis, Spartan and Mr. Terrific made a fantastic team in “Vigilante,” proving the chemistry is there for weekly adventures.
Instead of Oliver’s flashbacks each week, “Arrow and the Outsiders” could showcase each member of the team’s past, like Wild Dog’s street history, Curtis’ time in the Olympics, and Rory’s past in Haven Rock. Lyla could even let Team Arrow run side missions under the funding of A.R.G.U.S. and the oversight of Mayor Queen. Felicity and Lyla tag teaming on ops, running a diverse and passionate team of heroes sounds like the forward-thinking legacy “Arrow’s” creators would be interested in developing.
Ending On A High Note
“Arrow’s” fifth season has been the show’s strongest since Season 2. After two years of magical battles with Ra’s al Ghul and Damien Darhk, Olicity shipping, and the death of leading characters like the Black Canary, “Arrow” has finally come back to its roots. We’ve once again embraced a morally ambiguous Oliver, a broody Oliver, an Oliver who is burdened by his family legacy. Both “Arrow’s” heroes and villains this season are more grounded, a big part of “Arrow’s” appeal in the first place. Oliver’s not on the defense, he’s on the offense, tracking down villains as the Green Arrow and affecting public policy as the Mayor.
As we covered earlier, this season is poised to conclude Oliver’s promise to his father, which means Oliver will be literally climbing out of his father’s shadow into his own legacy. When the season concludes, it will perfectly tie-up a five-season arc — ten, if you count the flashbacks as separate from present day. Few television series have been able to accomplish such nuanced and interwoven storytelling over such a lengthy stretch. As Oliver is exploring thoughts of his own legacy this season, the show is perfectly poised to firmly establish its own legacy as being the forerunner “Arrowverse” show. Going out on a high note, with praise from fans and critics alike, would allow the other CW shows to fully take up the mantle of superhero storytelling on the network.
Oliver is poised to fulfill his promise to his father, which means he will be literally climbing out of his father’s shadow into his own legacy. When this season concludes it will perfectly tie-up a five-season story — from flashbacks to present day. No other series has been able to accomplish such nuanced and interwoven storytelling, except maybe “Lost.” Whether or not the show continues past Season 5, the show has the perfect opportunity to conclude here, ending on the high note of fulfilling Oliver’s promise to his father and starting a new era of prosperity in Star City. As Oliver is exploring thoughts of his own legacy this season, the series could firmly establish its own legacy as being the forerunner “Arrowverse” show. It could go out on a high note, with praise from fans and critics alike, allowing the other CW shows take up the mantle of superhero storytelling on The CW.
Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer, “Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, John Barrowman, Willa Holland and more.
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