Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season

| September 16, 2017

The Green Arrow stands alone. Five months after the death of Black Canary and Team Green Arrow going their separate ways, Oliver Queen struggles to keep Starling City safe as The Green Arrow and fulfill his duties as mayor. Clinging to the hopes that Spartan and Speedy will return, Oliver’s mayoral approval ratings nose-dive as he refuses help from the new generation of crime-fighters he and his former teammates inspired that are popping up around the city… at first anyway! Reluctantly, Oliver recruits new talent into Team Green Arrow and he and Overwatch are joined by a rotating cast of vigilante crime-fighters including Wild Dog, Human Target, Mr. Terrific, Artemis, and Ragman as well as a predictable array of temporary and unlikely allies along the way.

What makes Arrow season five my favorite season thus far is the turn the series takes when introducing a new cast of heroes, thereby adding some fresh new blood to a series that could very well have become stale. The season tests Oliver’s leadership skills on multiple fronts, as both Starling’s mayor and Green Arrow, battling to maintain control and gain people’s trust amidst rampant police corruption and his own team’s inexperience. And this is to say nothing of the inevitable in-fighting, betrayals, and disappearances that inevitably plague Team Green Arrow and keep things exciting.

Where the season suffers is in the usual place: the season-long series of flashbacks to Oliver’s pre-Green Arrow journeys. This time, the flashbacks find Oliver infiltrating the Russian mafia on a vengeance quest after working his way up through their underground fight clubs. The harshest criticisms levied against Arrow tend to be against these flashbacks, and I fully understand that. After all, the fact that Oliver is still alive in the show’s present timeline means he walks out of those events all right. Sure, these stories inevitably become integral to the season’s current events and we learn more about Oliver’s backstory as a result of them. However, there’s nothing inherently thrilling about flashbacks that don’t fundamentally alter our understanding of the characters or narrative in some surprising or shocking way—think “learning that Bruce Willis has been dead the whole time”-type flashbacks.

And yet, if I’d praise season five for anything with regard to these flashbacks, it’s that they pleasantly become relevant quickly. Plus, they’re without a doubt the most exciting of the show’s season-long flashbacks thus far, especially during those early fight club scenes. Add to that the new heroes of Team Green Arrow and the influx of some majorly evil new villains in the form of Tobias Church and big bad Prometheus, and Arrow season five easily stands as the most exciting season of Arrow thus far. As if that all weren’t reason enough to love this season, we also get appearances by Dolph Lundgren and Cody Rhodes, who had a brief rivalry in the WWE with series star Stephen Amell, and the massive crossover with The FlashSupergirl and DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. And I do so love The Flash and Supergirl! Here’s hoping it just keeps on getting better and better from here.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Arrow: The Complete Fifth Season on Blu-ray and DVD on September 19, 2017, and the series is also available to own on Digital HD. Special features on the home video release include:

Arrow: 2016 Comic-Con Panel

-“The New Team Arrow” featurette

-“Allied: The Invasion Complex (Arrow)” featurette

-“Returning to the Roots of Arrow: Prometheus” featurette

-Deleted Scenes

-Gag Reel

About the Author:

Jef is a writer and educator in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a degree in Media & Cinema Studies from DePaul University, but sometimes he drops it and picks it back up again. He's also the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com and is fueled entirely by coffee (as if you couldn't tell).
Filed in: TV on DVD
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