‘Arrow’ Season 5 Premiere Recap: Going Back To Your Roots

Warning: This Article Contains SPOILERS For Episode 1 of Arrow Season 5. Read at your own risk!

Arrow Season Five has now begun, and fans were looking for a huge premiere to silence the outcry of hate that the show has received over the past two seasons. While the episode showed promise, it wasn’t the hit we were looking for to start off the new season.

Episode One, titled “Legacy”, gave viewers the tease they needed to continue on to the next episode. The episode starts, as expected, catching us up with our central cast. Oliver has now been Mayor of Star City for a few months, as well as the Green Arrow. With Felicity by his side, Oliver has once again launched a one man war on the crime of the city while also working on a police Anti-Crime task force. However, with corrupted cops left and right, Oliver fears he is the only one who can protect his home. Thea now helps Oliver as Mayor, but not as a vigilante. Her blood lust is no longer around, and she enjoys living a normal life. Quinton Lance is a drunk once more, but has a nice arc in the episode that teases a smaller but more prevalent role in Season 5. As for Diggle, he is still overseas fighting in combat and does not get much screen time. We also got a brief look at Wild Dog and Curtiss Holt, who we will address later.

The episode begins with a pretty nice fight sequence between Oliver and Anarchy, who we met last season. His character was somewhat comical to fans, so although the fight sequences were exciting, the character brought back some bad memories. We see that Laurel has been celebrated for her actions as District Attorney and as a vigilante, receiving a statue in her name, but not everyone in town is a fan of the heroes. This episode also shows us Tobias Church, a new gangster who means business. My guess is that he will be around until at least the mid-season finale, or maybe the entire season. His character showed promise, and I’m looking forward to seeing him more.

The other reoccurring story in this episode was Felicity trying to push a new team on Oliver. Based on trailers, set photos, and information from cast and crew, we know that Oliver takes her advice. However, it is worth mentioning that Oliver begins to form his team at the end of this episode, deciding to add Wild Dog and Curtiss to his team. Speaking of Felicity, she has a new boyfriend. At the end of the episode it was teased that Felicity lives in Oliver’s old penthouse with her new boyfriend who is still unnamed. I assume we will meet him next week.

The flashbacks were also reintroduced in the premiere. This season, the flashbacks take place in Russia during the time that Oliver joined the Bratva. It has already been confirmed that this will be the last season of flashbacks in the form that we see them in now, so hopefully they can go out with a bang. While I still find them unnecessary, they were already much better this season than in previous years, and used a technique from Season One where Oliver would learn something in the flashback, then use it in the present.

There were actually a lot of things I enjoyed from this first episode of season, the first being the action. While these fight sequences weren’t the best ever, they showed a lot of potential for the upcoming season. We have already heard about gritty and harsh scenes that are coming up, and hopefully this is a sign that those promises made by the cast weren’t lies. Aside from the fighting, the new grittier Oliver Queen feels so right. While I respected his decision to stop killing, it brings us back to Season One and reminds us why we love the show so much in the first place. There were also so many homages to the first season such as the “No one can know my secret.” and neck snapping sequence that was in both the Season One and Five premieres.

However, there are problems with every episode of every television show, and Arrow is no exception. From little funny moments like corny license plates to bad CGI, the episode had its ups and downs. Even the parachute arrow, which was awesome, looked somewhat funny. Arrow is not a show meant for too much CGI, and it shows in moments like that. But everyone’s biggest complaint about this episode is going to be the reveal of Oliver’s promise to Laurel. For those of you who don’t know, Laurel Lance was Oliver’s love interest and best friend as well as the Black Canary. She was killed last season, but on her final breath she made Oliver promise something that viewers could not hear. Now, in the Season Five premiere, it was revealed that Laurel wanted Oliver to promise her that she would not be the last Canary. This aggravated fans because Laurel is the only Black Canary in their minds, and they are very much afraid of who they think will take up the mantle. Finally, while Prometheus’ entrance was cool, his introduction was already shown off in trailers and he felt rushed and unnecessary. Typically Arrow doesn’t reveal their main villain until the middle of the season, so to see this is an interesting change. Hopefully it works out for the best.

As for predictions on the next episode and the rest of the season, I have a few. The next episode is titled “The Recruits”, which is pretty straightforward. Oliver will be recruiting his new team and begin to train them. For season long predictions, I have this odd feeling that we already know who is underneath Prometheus’ mask. I suspect that Prometheus is Felicity’s new boyfriend. While I have no proof of this, it seems like some thing the writers on Arrow would do. And with rumors of Felicity becoming a vigilante, it would make sense to have someone closer to her be the villain. Although I am not for Felicity as a vigilante, I think having this new boyfriend being Prometheus could be an interesting twist, like with Zoom last season on The Flash.

Overall, this first episode of Season Five shows a lot of potential for the upcoming season. Hopefully the show can dig itself out of its own grave by staying closer to its roots. I personally already think it is a bad idea for them to introduce another team of vigilantes but since it is happening I hope for the best. What did you think of this week’s episode of Arrow? Do you think that it will improve this season? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter and Instagram!

Arrow shoots into your TV every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EST on the CW

Sean Hussey

Sean Hussey is a writer who enjoys both Marvel and DC, as well as Star Wars. He also has two YouTube channels as well as hosts a Podcast.