Starring: Stephen Amell, Paul Blackthorne, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Echo Kellum, Willa Holland, Rick Gonzalez
Created By: Marc Guggenheim, Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg
Written By: Various
Studio: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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After a season plus of being down on his luck, without his fortune or the full support of his friends, the Arrow publicly defeated Damien Darhk and Oliver Queen has been elected major of Star City. There is no rest for the wicked though, as the dark archer Prometheus makes himself known to Team Arrow and will haunt them for the entirety of season 5.
After the death of Laurel Lance last season, there were some major shakeups on “Arrow”. John Diggle and Thea decided to pursue their own agenda leaving the team to just Oliver and Felicity. This provided the opportunity to introduce some new cast members to Team Arrow to keep things fresh. Curtis AKA Mr. Terrific, Evelyn Sharp, Wild Dog and Ragman join the team as Oliver struggles to train and guide the group of unpredictable wild cards. I’ve always been a fan of Curtis, played by Echo Kellum, on the show so him taking on the guise of Mr. Terrific was…terrific. Wild Dog grew on me over the course of the season as the writers got to develop his character and relationships with other members of the team. I wasn’t much of a fan of Evelyn from the start. Ragman was an awesome addition to the cast but it seemed that the writers wanted to ground the show and steer away from the more supernatural elements from season 4.
With the new recruits causing plenty of grief to Oliver, I enjoyed the push towards him being a little more light-hearted like his comic book counterpart. Season 4 was dark and led Oliver to some shady places but it planted the seeds for Oliver to “look on the brighter side of life”. This carried over into season 5 and it showed with the dynamics that were introduced with Oliver having to train new recruits that were young and brash, much like himself when he first started out. It led to some strong moments of introspection and realization of growth that showed that Oliver is finally starting to develop into the true super hero that he’s supposed to be.
Season 4 was my personal favorite season of “Arrow” due to the clash of the impossible opposites. On one side you had a street level archer that handles his battles with his fists and arrows going up against a terrifically campy Bond-style villain who brings the elements of magic and the supernatural to the forefront. You loved to hate Damien Darhk! Much to my dismay, season 5 repeats the same trope that has been plaguing “The Flash” series…a repeat villain of the same class type. I don’t believe that I found any interest whatsoever in the Prometheus character because the show has done it before and it didn’t quite work out that well. Thankfully Malcolm Merlyn was able to be saved as he graduated from not just being an evil archer to a character that is torn between revenge and his daughter Thea.
Prometheus didn’t have much to differentiate from all of the evil archer stories of Merlyn’s. It was predictable that he would somehow be twenty steps ahead of Oliver and know every single thing he would try to say or do. I could almost picture Prometheus hanging out around Oliver’s place on trash day and digging through his old magazines and scraps of food in order to “know everything”. The Prometheus story arc went on for the entire season…which seemed like an eternity.
What did I enjoy about season 5 since it was mostly “all Prometheus all the time”? I really enjoyed the flashbacks this season as we got to learn of another part of Oliver’s past and his dealings with the Russian mafia group known as the Bratva and the return of one of Oliver’s old friends, Anatoly Knyazev. Anatoly has always been one of my favorite characters on the show since the first season when he helped Oliver escape from the tanker prison. The flashbacks this season follow Oliver’s journey to prove himself to the Bratva as he seeks to gain membership and the benefits that come with it regarding his mission of atonement. By the end of the season you see the rift that is formed by two former friends and their differing opinions on loyalty, honor and friendship. Episode 18 “Disbanded” brings things to a head and stands out as my favorite episode of the season that was not titled “Invasion!”.
Speaking of “Invasion!”, I’ve made it known that the crossover was my favorite part of each “Arrowverse” show this season. The “Arrow” episode puts Oliver through the ringer as the Dominators set him up in the perfect world where his parents are alive, his family is together and happy and he is planning to marry Laurel. All of this is false of course and Felicity, Supergirl and the Flash must fight to free their friends as Oliver begins to notice that his new life isn’t so perfect after all.
The Blu-Ray release of “Arrow” season 5 is packed full of extra features much like all of the CW “Arrowverse” releases. There is a great feature covering the “Invasion!” crossover as well as a Comic-Con panel and some features on Prometheus and the new Team Arrow. The gag reel is quite amusing since everyone knows that Steven Amell is quite the prankster and instigator to the rest of the cast and crew.
Overall, “Arrow” season 5 was hit or miss for me. I wasn’t that interested in the Prometheus storyline since it felt like more of the same but I enjoyed the flashbacks as well as the introduction of Dolph Lundgren as Russian Mafioso Konstantin Kovar. Oliver’s battles with the Bratva and the Russian underworld were much more interesting than the dark archer spiel. The way that the season ended is somewhat shocking and if they decide to carry on with the course of events that occurred in it, things could get very interesting. With most of the DC universe at their disposal, I would like to see some smaller story arcs and not the typical one main villain all season stuff. I’ll still be a card carrying member of Team Arrow for the time being.
As the show that started everything that is now known as the “Arrowverse” on CW with a dark and gritty hero/vigilante show, “Arrow” has done a lot of things right. But there have also been a few hiccups along the way. Personally, season 5 is one of those hiccups. Instead of moving forward with Oliver in a different place in life and with the positive attitude and confidence he gained in season 4, everything was swept out from under him with a rehash of an evil archer villain in Prometheus along with an uninspired season full of “been-there-done-that” surprises. The Green Arrow is much more interesting when he’s not made to look like the villain and or a complete idiot at every opportunity. If only he’d learn something along the way.
Epic DC Super Hero Crossover Event with Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl
4 Featurettes: The New Team Arrow, Allied: The Invasion! Complex (Arrow), Arrow: 2016 Comic-Con Panel and Returning to the Roots of Arrow: Prometheus
Deleted Scenes and Gag Reel
DTS-HD Master Audio English 5.1
English SDH, French and Spanish Subtitles
1080p High Definition 16×9 1.78:1
Bottom Line: While season 4 forced Oliver to think outside the box and go up against a villain that is way out of his league, season 5 rehashes the evil archer trope for the umpteenth time. The best parts of season 5 are the parts that involve everyone other than Prometheus/Adrian Chase.
Running Time: 970 Mins
Rating: Not Rated