Team Arrow faces off against the League of Assassins and their vicious
leader Ra's al Ghul, who is determined to wage war on Starling City.
Arrow (Season 3)
Developed by Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim,
Starring Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey,
Willa Holland, Emily Bett Rickards, Colton Haynes,
John Barrowman, Paul Blackthorne, Matt Nable,
Brandon Routh, Katrina Law, Karl Yune, Rila Fukushima,
Audrey Marie Anderson, Vinnie Jones, Grant Gustin
Based on characters from DC Comics
After the impressive bit of television that was Arrow's second season, I had extremely high hopes for its third. Unfortunately, the third season of one of my favorite shows was disappointing and lacking in direction. Whatever made the first two seasons so awesome seemed to have been left out of this one.
That's not to say there weren't some amazing moments. For example, the crossover episode with The Flash was one of the best television episodes of all time. Brandon Routh's performance as Ray Palmer was delightful and charming, while Matt Nable terrified us with his intimidating and deliciously evil portrayal of Ra's al Ghul. I also enjoyed another exciting Suicide Squad episode and the one-episode return of Slade Wilson was unbelievable.
But then, I hated the way the writers kept stringing us along on the Olicity train. Either let it happen or don't let it happen. Don't turn one of TV's most delightfully quirky and realistic characters into a bitter, grudge-holding annoyance that makes me sigh whenever she appears onscreen. This season's portrayal of Felicity Smoak was absolutely horrid and I hope and pray that they bring her back to form in season four. Also, Quentin Lance's entire character shift mid-season made virtually no sense. I understood that he was angry, but that anger should not have ripped apart his entire character.
The season finale was subpar at best, delivering none of the emotional kicks in the face that were given to us in the finales for seasons one and two. The final fight between Oliver and Ra's was not believable at all, given their respective skill levels. I hope that the writers observe the fan response to this season and do their very best to fix their mistakes and deliver at the very least a fourth season that was better than this one.
The third season of Arrow, while it may not have failed the city, totally failed me. This has proven to be the most disappointing season of this show, after a cool first season and an epic second. It felt like everything that made the past two so great was completely taken out of this one.
Before I get into too many of the negatives, let's start on a more positive note. The crossover episode, where The Flash and Arrow duke it out, was awesome and one of the most entertaining episodes of the season. Brandon Routh delivered a quirky and fun performance as Ray Palmer/The Atom. I look forward to seeing more of him in the announced spinoff show. Matt Nable was excellent in taking on the role of legendary comic villain, Ra's al Ghul. His portrayal of this character was both defined and terrifying.
Now, for all the negatives. This season suffered from a huge lack of coherency in the main storyline. It would start down one path and then go another with no explanation. This ended up creating a lot of storylines and no clear endgame. Also, the decision to completely destroy the Olicity train that was built up last season was horrendous. Either decide to have them together or apart, don't you dare string me along. Speaking of characters now, the sudden change into most of the cast becoming very unlikable infuriated me. Felicity went from a quirky, lovable person to a bitter, nagging person. Quentin Lance, who became my favorite character last season, quickly became my most annoyed with, due to his entire character shift. He really needs to learn to control his anger if he wants me like him again. Finally, the team needs to seriously learn how to trust Oliver, considering how many times he sticks his neck out for them.
Unlike previous seasons, the season finale was their weakest one they've done. While it did have its moments, it didn't have a lot of the dramatic heft and thrills of previous season finales. The final fight scene between Ra's and Oliver was subpar, coming off as two actors going through the motions instead of two skilled warriors fighting. I too hope that the writers listen to the fan response to this season and use it to course correct the next season. If I don't get a good fourth season, I don't know how long I'll keep watching.