Arrow began its 5th season tonight, which makes for one of the more curious premieres given the tone and somewhat downhill nature of the previous two seasons. However, personally, season three was not as bad as some people thought. Although, it did manage to deviate from the whole “no superheroes, meta-humans and magic” on this series. What happened in season four was the series’ attempt to brighten the show to match The Flash, which fans disliked the entire tonal shift of the series that started it all.
Season five began with time having passed but the team did not return to old form to save the city. In season four, Oliver had left to be happy and his team remained to protect Star City. Unfortunately, for them, that didn’t last long and Oliver returned with his whole brand of no-kill justice. It is understandable why they chose this path but fans of the show noticed a major absence of the grit and dark side of the DC Universe which allowed the Green Arrow to do what it took to keep everyone safe.
Given that after Tommy’s death, Oliver decided that he would not kill again. That never quite set right with fans because it seemed like a huge leap to take, which would have been an issue had Oliver killed Tommy. Unfortunately, Tommy was killed by his own father and made no sense that Oliver would take that as a sign to never kill again.
Needless to say, it seems that the creative team for the start of season five heard the fans and got back to basics. There is no heartfelt returning of the old team, Oliver doesn’t get the girl and killing is back on the table. Thea and Captain Lance are shells of their former selves. Both realizing that their future is waiting for them to take charge. Thea’s future is leaving Speedy behind, while giving it one last hoorah to don the suit to save Oliver. Captain Lance returns to help Oliver and honor Laurel’s sacrifice.
While the main crutch of the story is showing off the new baddie and having Oliver face off against him, the true thread in the story is the dilemma that Oliver is in: trying to recapture the past versus moving on and forming his legacy. The formation of the new team is thrown around a lot in the episode and is topped off with the final reveal of the promise Oliver made to Laurel before her death. This was a nice touch for Oliver to finally agree to do what he promise at the behest of his own struggles with keeping that promise.
As the writers seem to be throwing us back to the old Oliver, which made fans giggle with glee, that he will do what it takes to stop the bad guy, but it gave us a more mature Oliver. Not the completely stubborn Oliver Queen that fights every recommendation because he thinks he can do it all, but a more mature Oliver that is stubborn for the right reason. After losing Laurel, he isn’t willing to throw someone that he cares about into the mix to meet the same fate.
The start of the season seemed to be devoid of any romantic involvement, especially between Felicity and Oliver. However, it seems that Felicity is back to her old self with no inkling of what happened last season. Could that be an affect from Flashpoint? We will have to see but having them get back to basics seemed to work in this episode and starts the season more promising. After the end of the season, we will have to see how things turn out but, for now, things seem a bit more promising.