With its sixth season premiere, Arrow has reaffirmed that it is still the strongest series in the Arrowverse.
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All of the CW superhero series came back last week and they had a varying degree of success. Arrow’s finale cliffhanger left them with a big opportunity to capitalize on. Oliver and team Arrow had more consequences hanging on than any of the other Arrowwverse series.
I know the Legends of Tomorrow broke time last season, but honestly they kind of do that all the time. Supergirl got a bit of a fresh start from the dire consequences of last season and The Flash premiere was really just about bringing Barry back as smoothly as possible.
It is called the Arrowverse for a reason. Not only because Arrow kicked off all of these super-heroics on the CW, but because the overall quality of Arrow as a series has maintained a pretty strong track record. There have been bumps along the way and some creative choices weren’t everyone’s favorite. In the end, this series endures because it is the most grounded in reality. I know that might sound odd when talking about a show that has featured characters like Ragman and Damien Darkh, but in comparison to the other CW superheroes Arrow is the most realistic. At the end of the day, Oliver Queen is still just a guy with a fancy bow and some arrows. Oliver will never run so fast that he goes back in time to stop his mother’s murder. He will never go toe-to-toe with Superman and he will most likely never meet dinosaurs.
The anticipation for the sixth season premiere ramped up because Arrow faces consequences unlike other series. I know that they resurrected characters like Sara Lance and brought Thea back from the edge of death, but his parents, his best friend Tommy, his world’s version of Laurel Lance, and the mother of his child have now all died for good. It is a comic book show and it will always push the realm of believability, however having a grounded hero makes this series more interesting. You know going in that most episodes of the Flash are going to end with him solving this week’s problem by running really fast. The people behind Arrow are forced to be a bit more creative.
Some fans might have been let down by the relatively small body count from the fallout of last season’s finale, but what they did might actually work out better. I’d compare it to the premiere of The Flash where lots of problems were solved pretty easily. In the premiere of Arrow, we see that no one has recovered from that day on the island and they still aren’t at the end of the episode. Diggle is shaken by his injuries there, Thea remains in a coma, Wild Dog lost a chance to be with his daughter, Deputy Mayor Lance is dealing with what he did to protect his friends, and Oliver is not knocking this father thing out of the park.
Something that I have enjoyed about Arrow over the years is the fact that the series has shown growth not only as a show, but also of the characters. Even when Oliver got back from the island in season one he was still another version of that arrogant young man who didn’t know how to take responsibility for his actions. Today, he has grown into a hero that everyone looks up to. The Green Arrow is always the man with the plan. The other heroes of the CW Arrowverse look up to him and he was a de-facto leader when they had that first big crossover. The Flash pretty much nailed their first season and have been trying to recapture that magic ever since while Arrow continues to grow, change and try new things.
Not every attempt is a success, but they have earned enough faith to keep a lot of fans coming back. Arrow is entering its sixth season and some have begun to doubt just how long this series can run, but I think they have shown that there are still many places for Oliver Queen and team Arrow to go.
Arrow airs on Thursday night at 9/10 C on the CW, be sure to tune in!