DC's top TV title
Arrow may have started off in the shadow of The Dark Knight, but it soon established itself as DC's small-screen heavy-hitter.Arrow (with its fifth season now airing) entered its fourth year as an well-established, richly comic-entrenched superhero series, boasting two exceptional seasons - its debut run and its arguably superior sophomore series - and a middling third year which faltered slightly, mostly in respect of the over-played relationship arc(s) involving its lead character. Even through its lows, Arrow remains compelling, character-driven and action-packed, although Season 4 certainly needed to turn some things around.Whilst Season 3 had some good elements, and some nice establishing ideas (not least the ultimately wasted introduction of Batman arch-villain Ra's al Ghul), it was often regarded as having devolved into more of a teen soap-esque will-they-won't-they debacle as it focused all too keenly on whether or not the masked vigilante The Arrow / Oliver Queen would finally get to be together with his secret love, whose identity was revealed all the way back in the Season 2 finale.
It was a hard task to rectify the problems with Season 3, so in some respects Season 4 has had an uphill struggle, and not only with the romantic angle. Over the course of the preceding three years the Star(ling) City vigilante team - headlined by Arrow himself - has burgeoned quite significantly, with almost every recurring character on the show either getting killed, killed and resurrected, revealed to be a villain, or joining forces with Arrow as a superhero (and then killed and resurrected). Amidst the casualties of this process are just about everybody who Oliver has ever known, with the latest additions into the fold including his kid sister, although the plight of her old flame's sister Sara (another old flame of Oliver's) has its own twists and turns, as does his love life.
Even through its lows, Arrow remains compelling, character-driven and action-packed
Despite the more improbable elements, Arrow still feels largely natural in its plot and character developments - at least on the face of it - with only the increasingly contrived flashbacks marring the course of its intricate 23-episode story arcs (highlights, as ever, being The Flash and Constantine crossovers) and with Season 4 turning around the show and at least heading it towards what will hopefully be a far more secure fifth season.
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