019. Arrow: Season 3B

21 May 2015


Continuing on from the fatal fall that left Oliver Queen on the brink of death, Season 3B finds itself exploring consequences of past actions and mysterious of the Arrow's future in Sterling City. Team Arrow find themselves soul searching and questioning their identity outside of Oliver, while trying to keep Starling city safe. So many mysterious and events lurk in the path of Team Arrow, as they collide against the league of assassins forces and the devil Malcolm Merlyn himself.

This season blew my mind. It's crazy that our biggest concern was about weather Oliver was truly alive. Who knew there were actually things worse than death and being imprisoned on an deserted island for five years? What started of as an identity crisis for Team Arrow turned into a fight for survival, where trust is no longer a given.


Between Olicity, a budding relationship developing between Felicity and Ray Palmer, and tension between Team Arrow and the league, this season was jam-packed and so thrilling! It's only unfortunate that the season finale rushed it's end conclusion, tying up storyline way too neatly packaged.
Spoiler Alert: Readers enter at your own risk.

Highlights
Oliver's transformation over the past few seasons has been incredible. His main motivation for his work has been caring and protecting the people he loves, and that was completely evident from this season. From his decision to come back to Sterling city as the Arrow after nearly dying, to joining the league to save Thea, he has always gone above and beyond. Each experience has made him grow into a stronger individual, and tested in him in the most unimaginable ways. But Oliver becoming Raza Al Ghul's apprentice was something else entirely. For a while, I wasn't even sure if Oliver could be trusted anymore. That kind of doubt was incredibly awesome! It really showed how Team Arrow could handle the crusade without Oliver - their mentor, their founder and leader. Team Arrow could rise to the occasion when most needed. Oh how they've grown!

Can we just talk about Olicity for a minute? I
 have shipped this couple since the moment I knew they existed, and they are finally together! I'm so glad that they finally were able to truly connect - (Although I do wish it had been more gradual frankly). Something tells me though this path is still going to lead to heartbreak. I mean how else can it not? How else with Oliver return to his mission as the Arrow? Sure his given it up for now, but he has to return sooner or later. A show called Arrow has to have someone as the Arrow, otherwise ... what is this show about anymore? Really?

Shortcomings
I loved the depth that we explored this season on Arrow, but that season finale episode was way too neatly packaged. Everything came together way too quickly. Oliver butchered his relationship with Felicity and Diggle, when he 'tried' to kill them, Lila and go against everything he previously stood for. He lost everyone's trust through his actions as Al Sah-Him, regardless of his good intentions. So how did Oliver just by simply returning to Starling and saving the day, did he become instantly forgiven by Felicity and the rest of the team for everything he put them through? Well with the exception of Diggle, thank lord. But nope. This was not on. There needed to be more tension, more grovelling, more actions that helped to express his humble remorse over what had happened in the past several weeks. When you butcher someone's trust like that, it isn't so easy to get it back so instantly. Time is an essential healer in that process, which was lacking from this moment.

Now I understand that Sara's death put everything into motion. It's the reason why Oliver became involved with the league of assassins, how Thea became part of Team Arrow and how Raza Al Ghul is now Malcolm Merlyn. But I hated the fact we didn't get to see her interact and be apart of the league of assassins. It would have provided an insight look into the league from a different perspective, and how cool would that have been? I felt like the timing of her death was so tragically timed. There was so much untapped potential left in her character waiting to be explored! I'm still so devastated.

One of the main reasons why I also feel this way is because Laurel fails to fully successfully take on the role of the Black Canary. Sure she has had some pretty defining moments, but there is something just not right about it. While Sara effortlessly fought side by side with the gang, Laurel comes in guns blazing attempting to led the team - who are way more experienced than she is. 
Laurel only seems to react to situations with this dedicated anger that feels more intrusive than productive, hindering her character development and likeability. I really wished the producers of Arrow had structured he character with passion, compromise and believable conviction. She needs to evolve and assimilate as the new version of Black Canary, which hopefully we shall see happen in the next season.

Conclusion 
This season pushed the boundaries of what we knew of Team Arrow. It questioned how Oliver's struggle as the vigilante shunned by society and his longing for a normal life. He was torn, battled and bruised when Raza's took advantage of the situation he created, and yet Oliver survived. But not without a few battle scars. Season Four is going to be a completely different show, as we see a much more happier Oliver embracing his humanity and love for Felicity, and Team Arrow facing the next generation of supervillians lurking the streets of Starling. An entertaining season, but not quiet matching up to it's usual potential. 

So what did you think of Arrow 3B? What were your favourite moments?

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