Comic book tv shows

What’s Going On? The problems with Arrow season 3

problems with arrow season 3Over the past few seasons I have become a huge Arrow fan, it is one of the shows that I’m genuinely looking forward to every week. However not everything is perfect, so I’ve had a couple of issues with season 3 of Arrow. Season 2 was pretty amazing, and hard to top I know, but for now I just want to get into what I think are the two major problems with season 3 of Arrow.

The first problem is having too much focus on Olicity

I thought Olicity was cute in the first couple of seasons. You have the cute little nerdy girl, fawning over the tank hero. They had a cute little back and forths and it was nice. I obviously wasn’t the only one who liked it as fans made endless posts on Twitter, Tumblr etc about their love of Olicity. The producers obviously took note of this and decided to really start pushing Olicity, and I’m starting to wish they didn’t.

Every episode now has some way to bring in the soap opera moments between Oliver and Felicity, and it’s getting annoying. One minute Felicity is being cute, great, smart Felicity, then she’s getting all angry at Oliver for not being like Ray. Like seriously? Must we always come back to this. It makes me almost wish we went back to the Laurel/Oliver days.

arrow olicityI think that Arrow should keep the relationship between Felicity and Oliver as flirty friends. I know, unpopular opinion. But we have all this drama between them when they’re not even together, imagine all the drama that will happen when they do get together. Oh man, the near break-ups and make-ups ahhh! Smallville did it right with the relationship between Clark and Chloe, yeah they had their moments, but in the end they just stayed as best friends, which worked really well, as she was the one constant in his life. And that is what Felicity should be to Oliver.

The second problem is the unfocused season

Season 2 was great as it was such a focused season. The core was with the trio that was Oliver, Felicity and Diggle. Slade was the big bad, and was a character that was developed since the Pilot episode. Everything was leading up to this one big confrontation between Slade and Oliver, and it was well worth it.

Season 3 has so many different characters, with different complex relationships, it’s hard to keep up with. We have our big bad in Ra’s Al Ghul, but there’s been so much packed into this season so far, his presence doesn’t have the impact Slade’s does.

arrow season 3 episode 14 slade wilsonNow don’t get me wrong, I am really loving Ra’s right now, but the first two seasons of Arrow did such a good job developing, focusing and fleshing out the Slade Wilson character, that it’s hard not to expect the same from Ra’s. Now of course we have a lot more to see with Ra’s, but because there are so many different story arcs going on at the same time as the Ra’s story arc, we’re not getting the suspenseful build up we had with Slade.

Even just looking at the most recent episode of Arrow, episode 18, ‘Suicidal Tendencies’, it was a totally disjointed episode. It was meant to be a “Suicide Squad” episode, yet we only get 2 members on the team, and that plot is being weaved in with a completely unrelated plot to do with Ray Palmer and the Arrow copycats. Usually there is some kind of relationship between the subplots, but there really was no connection this time. So instead we get a half-ass Suicide Squad subplot, that feels like it should have had more focus, with more team members, in an episode that was actually mainly about the Suicide Squad.

the flash episode 8 flash vs arrowAnyways those are just my two major problems about Arrow season 3 right now. I get that the producers are into world building right now, but let’s not lose focus on what the core of this show should be. Of course Arrow is allowed to grow and evolve as a show, but the show works best when it stays focused on the core trio and Starling City.

However I’m still completely invested in the show, and am really looking forward to what is going to happen next. We saw those leaked set pics of the finale (which I won’t spoil what they were), so we know what’s going to happen, and it seems pretty damn exciting!

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21 replies »

  1. There is a lot of focus on Olicity this season. I think there are far too many characters running around now, so the character of Arrow seems a little overshadowed at times. The Flash & Arrow crossover got the balance just right though. I think the makers of Arrow are clearly World Building atm, sure it will focus more on the core trio again soon. Still totally enjoy Arrow though, its a great series, and I can’t wait to see how season 3 ends

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    • Yeah completely agree, I really hope they start moving away from Olicity soon. Hopefully once everyone spinoffs onto their own shows, we will get the focus on the trio again. But still, really looking forward to the rest of season 3 as well!

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      • The 3 biggest problems with arrow season 3 are, 1. They’ve really compromised felicitys character to set up ray palmer. I like Brandon ralph in the role but man they’ve really forced his relationship with felicity. 2. It seems like at times they dont know what to do with diggle. 3. Alot of times things just dont make sense.

        For example, theres been no explanation for how oliver survived the sword through the chest. The way oliver and thea escaped that argus prison on the island was nonsensical. A cell open button right next to the cell. With that said i dont think this seasons been terrible, but it’s been wildly erratic.

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      • Yeah there’s been a lot of out of character moments from Felicity because of all this love triangle crap. And agreed about Diggle, he’s just always awkwardly there in between Olicity’s drama.
        Haha there have been a lot of lack explanations, I’m just hoping the season ends strong with this Ra’s story arc

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      • I agree, I expect more character will spin off into others shows ect, and then Arrow will focus on the core team more. Really looking forward to seeing the rest of Season 3 as well though, sure it’ll be action packed!

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  2. I don’t think Olicity is a problem at all, the problem is in how they handled it. By actually limiting Oliver and Felicity’s interactions, the show has taken away an interesting and engaging dynamic. Also, I read this complaint about too much Olicity and kinda chuckle. Do you know that most eps, the Olicity stuff don’t even take more than 3 minutes out of a 42-minute ep? There’s a blog somewhere that tracks these things. But I guess it’s just too memorable that a lot of people hone in on it 🙂

    I also think one of the problems this season is not enough Team Arrow. They’ve kept Oliver separated from his “real” team, Felicity and Diggle and the show has suffered for it, IMO. Sidelining Diggle is a real problem. Because while Oliver running around with bumbling vigilantes, I’m wondering why the guy with Special Forces training is at the lair manning the comms with Felicity. //facepalm// Which makes it really difficult to accept the wanna-bes.

    Felicity and Ray ARE a problem, and not because of the whole love triangle thing. The EPs have said they wanted to have fun characters, old-Hollywood style banter. The problem with that is that it’s so tonally different from Arrow that Felicity and Ray feel like they’re in their own little sitcom in their interactions. It’s incredibly jarring. Hopefully, with Ray not weaved into the larger cast, that difference in tone is lessened.

    Don’t even get me started on what’s wrong with Ray Palmer. I feel bad for Brandon Routh, the writing has not been good for his characters. It’s baffling because you’d think the EPs would want you to root for this guy since he’s getting spinoff. But they’re making the same mistakes they made in the first season with Laurel Lance, but inadvertently turning him into a bad guy, or at least somebody the audience would have difficulty rooting for. (Starting with those stalkerish tendencies).

    The story structure of the entire season has been wobbly as well. There’s no urgency to it. The villains are not menacing enough, and don’t feel like believable threats (Brick? Really?), even when they are killing people.

    BUT, Arrow has managed to finish strong the last couple of seasons, so I’m hoping it manages to pull together a grand finale that gives Olicity a much-needed relief from the angst, that returns focus on the original Team Arrow and sends other characters on one-way trips out of Starling.

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    • Great comment! That’s true about Olicity, I think because it’s always one of the most dramatic moments of the episode, it seems like there’s always so much Olicity. And I completely agree with you about Diggle, I hate how he always gets sidelined, when he is one of the more consistently great characters.
      As for Felicity and Ray, I do like we get lighter moments in the show between them, but I really didn’t like the way they handled his character in the last episode. Ray’s character is supposed to be the loveable nerd who just wants to help people, instead he came off as arrogant and ignorant.
      But yeah, I’m hoping that the Ra’s story arc starts really becoming the focus and we get a great finale, which I’m still confident we can get

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  3. I agree that there are problems this season, Lots of problems.

    One reason is that they are trying to build two new superhero, Laurel/BC and Ray/Atom and it messes up the pacing of the show. Diggle has been mostly prop this season, including in what was supposed to be his episode. As much as I like Deadshot, I don’t think he should be getting as many flashbacks as Felicity did in her episode.

    Both Diggle and Felicity have been on prop duty, Diggle for Laurel and Felicity for both Laurel and Ray, and it’s made them say things that are out of character given who they were for the first two season.

    Sara’s death was a waste of a storyline except that if propped Laurel and Malcolm. Meanwhile Ray’s been off in what appears to be another show with Felicity.

    The other reason this season is disappointing is not too much Olicity, but the creations of The Triangle to make Ray look good and to put a stop to Olicity. Triangles always screw shows up, and this one is especially bad because it’s caught between building up Ray Palmer as a great guy, and Oliver being unable to be with Felicity because he feels he can’t.be with her. It’s idiotic.

    Frankly, if they had just let Olicity play itself out naturally without all these artificial blocks, it would have been a much more pleasant season.

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    • Well said! There’s been so many out of character moments this season, all of which have been plot devices to further the other characters, even if it doesn’t make sense. And yeah the dramatic love triangle is very irritating. Every episode Oliver and Felicity have the same friggin conversation about why Oliver can’t be with Felicity, and Felicity getting annoyed by it. Now that we’re in the back half of the season I’m hoping they spend less time on that and more on Ra’s

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      • I think they just need to keep things simple. The world building has convoluted the show. Easier said than done though as im not a writer. After only 2 episodes izombie is a more smoothly running show.

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  4. Sorry to chime in on an old post since it’s a year old lol. Anyway, I thought season 3 was iffy before, but I’m currently going through season 2 (I only watched bits before but now I’m going through it completely and yeah kinda weird doing that while season 4 is currently airing; better late than never, right?), and in comparison, season 3 is worse than I thought. It’s not COMPLETELY terrible, but it has its problems. Honestly, the way it did pan out, it obviously could’ve been a lot different. Ra’s was kinda built up in previous seasons, and it kinda made sense to have him appear, but he shouldn’t have been the main villain. Maybe an overseer or someone who, along with others, was being manipulated by another person pitting him, Oliver, Merlyn, and others into a war in which they all die as part of a plan, probably in preparation for what is happening in season 4 given how HIVE and Damien Darhk were built up and planning things.

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    • You didn’t completely watch season 2? Season 2 is amazing! Which is why it’s such a shame that the show went downhill, they’re focusing on the wrong things in season 3, season 2 was a very tight story

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      • I’m almost done with season 2, just 4 episodes left, though I’ve seen the finale and other episodes before, but now in better context since I’m watching it completely. And now with season 4, especially the most recent episode (don’t worry no spoilers from me here), Arrow has gotten back to such intensity, quality, and awesomeness of season 2.

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  5. Finally finished season 2, and I’m gonna have to say you’re right. It has gotten way too soap opera. Still has its good moments. I’ll admit season 4 isn’t as intense exactly, still has some soapy moments, but it’s at least a step up from season 3. I think if Arrow gets a season 5, and it probably will, it should do away with Green Arrow fighting illuminati groups for a little while, maybe go into the criminal underworld more, because there’s been plenty of ventures, but it’d be cool to see that happen for a whole season. Maybe he could fight someone just trying to take over the criminal element, someone like Count Vertigo, Onomatopeia, Ricardo Diaz, Komodo, or someone else. Just thinking out loud on that

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    • Season 4 is definitely better than season 3, but it still has way too much soap opera drama. I think it would be good to separate Oliver from his normal life for a bit and yeah do something like send him into the criminal underworld, because in this current setting things aren’t exactly working well

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