Season 04 of Arrow was very divisive depending on who you talked to. It was either really good, as I believed, or it wasn’t, as what many fans believed. Regardless of your stance, there was a lot of pressure to make Season 05 great. And you can tell from both the chatter before the season, and the season premiere itself that the team are aiming to take Season 05 back to it’s Season 01 roots. No frills, no magic, no metahumans, just people pushing themselves to save their city.
“Legacy” really showed how bad things had gotten in some ways for Oliver. Laurel is dead, his team is dissolved, and now he’s not only Green Arrow, but the mayor of Star City. Two very different jobs with two very different schedules. It would’ve been very easy for Ollie to revert to just being the Arrow who “happens” to be mayor, but he made it clear he tried to do it the other way around, but that it didn’t work. And the episode also showed that he wasn’t wrong in flipping the script, as the city is anything but safe in the wake of Damien Darhk.
Seeing the struggle of Ollie as tried to put (and force) pieces of his old life together was very powerful. He liked what he had, and it’s no surprise he wants it back. It also spoke to why he was so hesitant to follow through with Felicity’s advice of recruiting new vigilantes to be the new Team Arrow. After all, if his best friends, and his own blood, couldn’t handle it, how could these kids?
Adding to his woes in some ways was Quentin, who had fallen off the wagon in the wake of Laurel’s death, and had also basically lost everything. The interactions with him and Oliver throughout the episode was some of the best writing from the premiere. Quentin is broken, and he doesn’t know if he can recover, and Oliver wants him to recover because he knew that’s what Laurel would have wanted. It was great to see the memorial statue being what brought him out of his funk.
Speaking of funks, it was interesting to see the new dynamic for Thea. Who is actually embracing her position on Ollie’s mayoral staff, and wanting to be more than just a killer or vigilante. Yes, she did suit up for the episode, but she quickly stopped after it was clear what road Ollie would lead her down.
New villains brought some fun and action to the field. Charon was bold and brash, and though he feels a bit like Brickwell, it’s too early to see if it’ll be the same. Then, there’s the mysterious figure at the end. Is that Prometheus? Who has been promised to be the big bad for the season? Or is this someone else? It’s uncertain, but he does look menacing.
Despite my love of Season 04, there’s no getting around that the flashbacks sucked. It was long, boring, and served no real purpose. Season 05 promises to not be like that, and the opening proved that, as Ollie is now on the path to be the Bratva captain we know he will become. True, it could still turn bad, but something tells me this will work out for the best.
“Legacy” threw some big questions our way, and it’s clear that the tone will be more like the early seasons of the show. Which may be for the best. There’s still some mysteries that need to be solved, but for now, I think Arrow is gearing up for another great season.