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Arrow Season 5 Was the Arrowverse’s Peak – And It All Went Downhill From There

Ten years ago, one show unexpectedly changed the trajectory of The CW forever, unleashing a universe of heroes the realms of television had never seen before. Despite this, Arrow was initially a rather low-key, street-level series that was fairly obvious in its juxtaposition of the Green Arrow character with Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. Taking from those films’ serious, grounded tone, Arrow would succeed most when it remained the same.

The series briefly stumbled big time in its fourth season, but its fifth was easily the best. Introducing a very personal villain for Oliver Queen, and bringing several years worth of stories to a close, Season 5 of Arrow was not only the show’s best, but the best in the Arrowverse as a whole. With the shared universe now coming to a close and Arrow having long since gone off the air, here’s a look at what made this season such a delight.

Arrow Season 4 Nearly Destroyed the Show
Arrow Damien Darhk Laurel Lance Black Canary
The fourth season of Arrow was inarguably the worst, and for a variety of reasons. For one, it introduced the concept of magic into the Arrowverse via its overarching villain, Damien Darkh. A very loose adaptation of a Teen Titans opponent from the comics, Darkh’s occult presence didn’t fit at all with the grounded niche that Arrow had carved out for itself. Eventually, Oliver Queen himself had to seek out magic in order to take down the latest threat to Star City, which was a horrendous turn of events that completely desecrated the gritty, realistic scope of the show. It didn’t help that, in having such a spooky villain instead of one that Oliver could truly fight, the show’s once great fight scenes were rendered completely toothless.

Other areas of the writing weren’t any better, namely due to developments with the character Felicity. Audiences had grown tired of the once-beloved hacker, and when she was officially slotted into the role of Oliver’s one true love instead of Dinah Laurel Lance, fans were livid. By the time of the season’s finale, angered viewers had actually transformed the Arrow Reddit page into one instead based around and praising the far superior Marvel Netflix series Daredevil. With such a huge drop, Arrow had a long way to climb to get back to where it once was… and the results were stunning.

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