One week from today, Arrow kicks off its 2nd half of its ongoing season on The CW and unlike The Flash Season 2B; we know very little about Arrow Season 4B, especially after the big cliffhanger in the winter finale. We know characters like Roy Harper/Arsenal will be returning in episode 12 which will also feature the debut of the DC’s The Calculator (Everwood’s Tom Amandes) who may or may not be Felicity Smoak’s dad. Also, Megalyn Echikunwoke who voices Vixen in the CW Seed animated show, set in the Arrowverse, will finally be bringing Vixen to life in live-action in episode 15. As we wait for the winter premiere airing next Wednesday, here are 5 things that we hope to see in Arrow Season 4B.
Number Five: Major Improvement For The Flashbacks
One of the big key elements of Arrow since its inception is the flashbacks, the story of what Oliver went through during the 5 years. Season 2 was Arrow’s best season, and one of the best aspects of that season was the flashbacks as we saw the tragic story of how Slade Wilson and Oliver became enemies. Season 4’s flashbacks, however, have so far been a major letdown as they don’t have the spark that the flashbacks in the first two seasons had. The only time in Season 4A that I cared for that storyline was when Constantine was in them during “Haunted”. Despite the fact that we’ve not seen this fully play out yet, I honestly feel that it was a huge mistake to even take Oliver back to the island so soon. Season 5 will be Year 5 for Oliver in the flashbacks and that’s when he should have been returned to the island before he gets rescued.
While that season may not end up as the final season of the show: it’s most likely the final season to have those flashbacks. My favorite aspect of the flashbacks throughout the whole show has been whenever it connects with something in the present and tells a parallel story for Oliver. If we can see some of that come back in the upcoming half of the season, I may just start caring for the flashbacks again. I’ve faith that the Arrow Writers are saving the best for last so hopefully, when we get into 4B for the flashbacks, we’re going to start getting to the better stuff. I’m also not against the idea of getting a few non-island flashbacks as well and maybe tell the stories from some of the other characters’ POV. It’s good every once in a while to see where some of them were at back at the time when they were living their lives without Oliver.
Number Four: Curtis Holt Becoming Mister Terrific
Season 4 have done a really good job with some of the new DC Comics characters that they have introduced so far. One of them is Curtis Holt (played by the amazing Echo Kellum) who is based upon the Mister Terrific character that needs to either get promoted to series regular in Season 5 or become a series regular for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow Season 2, should it be renewed. Kellum brings so much charm and humor to Curtis who works so well with the show – basically, I could go on for days how well I’ve responded to this character.
Holt’s presence helps the show keep some humorous aspect while also not going too comedic since Arrow is the darker out of the three CW DC shows. But just like with Cisco’s progression into becoming Vibe on The Flash, we can’t go too fast with Curtis becoming Mister Terrific on Arrow, but at least start taking a couple of steps forward to that, even if he doesn’t suit-up till next season. If Season 4B can give us more progression for Curtis to get closer to becoming Mister Terrific, that’s a huge plus because something tells me that after the winter finale: things are going to be quite dark and serious for a good while and it will be useful to have a few arcs to get some variety.
Number Three: Return Of Some Established Characters
Throughout 4 seasons of Arrow, we have seen some great characters be introduced from the comic books that have either not been on for a long while or just been killed off for various reasons. There are several characters that deserve to come back, but that can also be useful for certain stories. I need to put an emphasis on one thing: I’m aware that it’s easier said than done with bringing back certain characters. Factors like actors availability play a huge factor as well as if it makes sense for said character to come back: is there a story worth to be told?
Those are important pieces for any return of a guest character, but I also believe that there are stories left to be told with certain characters. One of my personal favorites has always been Jessica de Gouw’s Huntress who hasn’t been on the show since her last appearance in Season 2. It was a good reset for the character which could go on to a redemption arc, along with perhaps having her and the Black Canary fighting side by side, but also fleshing out Helena as a character in general. Arrow tends to borrow from Batman’s Rogue Gallery a lot, but one of the greatest villains that the Emerald Archer has is China White.
She has been on the show several times, played by the outstanding Kelly Hu, however not used right. The show has never taken her to the status of a big bad, like she is to the Green Arrow or used her more in general. Whenever she shows up, White is just to be there for a few cool action scenes and that’s it. While she and the island have a strong connection in the books, we’ve not seen that on Arrow – at least yet and maybe this is where the flashbacks might get interesting, if they reveal that she was part of Shadowspire all those years ago.
Better yet, what if they start to set her up as the big bad of Season 5, whether it be in the past or present because that’s something the show has yet to do – a female big bad/main antagonist for Oliver. If Damien Darhk wants to go hardcore, let’s get Slade Wilson (if Manu Bennett isn’t too busy with his new show Shannara Chronicles on MTV) out of that cell on the island and have him join Darhk for a while as another obstacle for Team Green Arrow. When it comes to Deathstroke, you can never have too much of him.
Speaking of people you can’t get too much of: Constantine. Unless Justice League Dark is truly getting in the way, Matt Ryan should get to come back for a few more episodes or perhaps get setup for a certain time-traveling show if it gets a second season. Either way, there are some solid established characters that have either been gone way too long or not been here enough in recent time.
Number Two: Female Hero Focused Episodes/Birds Of Prey
Arrow (as well as the Arrowverse as a whole) have ton of phenomenal female characters, both series regulars as well as guest-starring ones that have now become extraordinary heroes. Let’s look at some of Arrow’s female heroes: Black Canary, Felicity Smoak, Speedy, Katana, Nyssa al Ghul, Huntress, Vixen (arriving in 4.15) and who knows who else may be introduced eventually. How has there not been an episode or two centered around on some of these remarkable women where they get to save the world? It’s still beyond me how a Birds of Prey TV show is NOT in development for The CW, even more so after Mark Pedowitz’s (CW President) recent comments at the TCA.
Maybe he and the show-creators are working on something in secret and are just not ready to tell yet, or there is legitimately nothing in the works. While a Birds of Prey movie is possibly being developed for the DCEU, a team like that would also work so well as a TV series. Before you use the old “there was a Birds of Prey show in 2003 and it sucked so therefore it can’t work” argument in the comments: let’s remember that Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg & Co. have a pretty good track-record with what they have been giving us since 2012. 2003 was also a long time ago and last I checked, the way television is done now in terms of production, writing and execution, has evolved so much over the last 13 years. If we can’t get a female team show on the CW in the near future, then I propose this, starting with this 4th season.
Make it like the annual Arrow/Flash crossover event: once per season, you set aside 2 episodes or maybe even more where you bring together some of the female characters. You can even have The Flash’s own heroic ladies Iris West and Caitlin Snow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow’s Hawkgirl and White Canary join in on the fun and truly make it a crossover that features the women in the spotlight. This isn’t a slam on the Green Arrow and The Flash, I love them as leading characters and as shows, but think about this for a minute. In the comic book TV landscape right now, we currently only have 3 female shows (Supergirl, Jessica Jones and Agent Carter) while there are at least over 8 comic book shows that are centered around male leading characters. A female-crossover/team-up would also be a nice way to do something different and take a break from certain storylines, both good and bad ones.
Number One: Oliver Defeating Damien Darhk – Without Killing Him
This one will be short and sweet: while Damien Darhk has caused Oliver, his team and Star City, all sorts of terror so far this season, I want to see Green Arrow finally take him down which is obviously going to happen. But my one wish for whenever it comes down to their final fight: is for Oliver to take Darhk down, without killing him.
Despite what Darhk did to Felicity and all the other horrible things he has caused, I want to see Oliver beat his inner struggle which is giving in to the darkness and use killing as a solution. Oliver has overcome so much throughout the series and as Darhk is his toughest opponent yet: if the Green Arrow can come out victorious without killing him, that will make Season 4 one of the most memorable seasons.
BONUS: Death Of Diggle’s Helmet
John Diggle is pretty much perfection in many ways, and after waiting for almost four years to get the man something to hide his identity with when fighting crime: he got THAT. Since he is going to be visiting The Flash pretty soon to take down King Shark, let’s hope that it gets destroyed somehow. Or that Cisco gives it the proper upgrade it deserves. And by “upgrade”, I mean as in throw it in the trashcan, send it to Earth-2 and have Cisco design Diggle a helmet/mask that doesn’t look like what you can see it in the photo above. Heck, let’s kill two birds with one stone: make Diggle’s helmet the thing to end up in the grave in the flash-forward, so we don’t have to say goodbye to any of the series regulars. I mean, a dead object can have a funeral right? OK, maybe not – either way, the helmet needs to go.
Those are the five things I wish to see in Season 4B of Arrow – what would you like to see in the upcoming episodes of the show? Let us know in the comments below.
Arrow returns with all new episodes on Wednesday, January 20, 8/7c on The CW.