I had high hopes for Arrow season six, especially when I heard that Katie Cassidy was going to return as Earth-2 Laurel Lance/Black Siren as a series regular. Laurel has always been one of my favorite characters and I was furious that the showrunners had the gall to eliminate the iconic Black Canary.
I knew it was going to be a long shot, but I had hoped that Arrow would have a season-long redemption arc that would end in Black Siren turning “good” and taking up her doppelgänger's mantle.
I was also hoping that the writers would work on seriously fixing the flaws with the character of Felicity, give poor Thea a storyline of her own independence of Oliver’s, and that we’d have a fascinating villain.
Sadly, Arrow didn’t really deliver any of my hopes or expectations. I can’t help but feel that there was LOTS of room for improvement. For example, they could have made Ricardo Diaz’s background a bit more comics accurate so that he’d have an ironclad reason to go after Team Arrow instead of acting like a generic villain. They also seriously dropped the ball when it came to redeeming Black Siren.
I can only hope that the new Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz will see complaints such as mine and strive to fix the previous season’s mistakes when the show returns in the fall.
15 Go Away, Civil Bore
I get that former Arrow executive producers, Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle, wanted to spice up the sixth season by pitting “Original Team Arrow” (Oliver Queen, Felicity Smoak, and John Diggle) against “New Team Arrow” (Rene Ramirez, Curtis Holt and Dinah Drake), but they miscalculated... BADLY.
Whether it was Twitter, Reddit, or Arrowverse-specific Facebook groups, I felt like every time I checked social media to see what my fellow fans were saying, pretty much everyone was in agreement with me: OTA versus NTA was a really dumb storyline.
First of all, it was clear that Guggenheim and Mericle ripped off Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War. The reason why THAT movie worked and the “Civil Bore” plot was a flop is due to the fact that Marvel gave the audience TIME to accept new characters that were introduced to the MCU instead of being like “Hi yes, these are new characters and now they’re going to fight with the fan faves.”
Secondly, NTA is pretty controversial — even without the Civil War rip-off plot. For example, many fans (myself included) disliked the character of Dinah Drake because she was introduced after the backlash started when Earth-1 Laurel Lance/Black Canary was kicked off in the fourth season. We didn’t WANT a new Canary, we wanted Laurel back.
Now that there’s a new showrunner for season seven, I hope that she writes off New Team Arrow and learns from the former showrunners’ mistakes.
14 So Long And Goodnight, Quentin Lance
I rolled my eyes SO DARN HARD when Quentin Lance was unceremoniously slayed off in the Arrow season six finale. I know the actor, Paul Blackthorne, landed a new role on another show, but did they REALLY have to reuse Earth-1 Laurel’s death for his?
Seriously, I was watching that scene and thought to myself “This looks and sounds suspiciously like Earth-1 Laurel’s death back in the fourth season.” I really don’t know what Guggenheim, Mericle, and their staff of writers were thinking, because it's NOT a good look to essentially recycle a plot from an event in a previous season that everyone disliked.
I also found it odd that the doctor that attempted to “treat” Quentin Lance was the same one that failed to save his daughter Laurel’s life, but managed to save Felicity’s life after she was shot by Damien Darhk in the fourth season. Talk about lazy and inconsistent writing...
In my humble opinion, Quentin should have been the one that was slayed by Darhk in season four. That could’ve been the catalyst for Earth-1 Laurel wanting revenge. They could’ve found a way to, given her the iconic metahuman cry from the comics, so that she could’ve taken him out once and for all.
Leaving poor Quenting to flounder as a character for two seasons was just a bad move and I can’t blame Blackthorne for wanting to move on.
13 Canary Plothole Ahoy
One thing that bugged me during the Arrow season six finale was the question of HOW THE HECK DID SARA LANCE KNOW ABOUT EARTH-2 LAUREL/BLACK SIREN? No one on the show has EVER mentioned Siren to her, and you’d THINK that SOMEONE would have remembered to throw a line in there during the crossover or something.
I know former showrunner, Marc Guggenheim, wrote a book called Arrow: Fatal Legacies that is supposed to act as a bridge between seasons five and six.
In the novel, Sara and Quentin have a heart-to-heart about Dinah Drake taking over the mantle of the Black Canary, and Quentin tells his daughter about Laurel’s Earth-2 doppelgänger, but claims that she’s corrupt.
Fans shouldn’t have to read a lackluster novel JUST to keep up with the show. In my opinion, by choosing to do that, Guggenheim failed as a showrunner. There should have been SOME mention of Siren to Sara, especially since it would be in character for Sara to want to redeem her sister’s doppelgänger.
I wish there had been a scene in the crossover where Barry or one of his friends tells Sara about Siren, or she learns about Earth-2 Laurel in a heart-to-heart with either Quentin or Oliver.
12 Make The Dragon Breathe Real Fire
In the original DC Comics, Nerdist pointed out that Richard Dragon was originally an expert martial artist that was actually a hero and mentored heroes such as Barbara Gordon (Batgirl/Oracle) and Helena Bertinelli (Huntress).
Thanks to the New 52 reboot, Richard’s story was changed. The original Richard Dragon, who was a hero, was slayed and Ricardo Diaz Jr replaced him.
Ricardo’s father was an infamous drug lord and he decided to go after Green Arrow when Diggle (posing everyone’s favorite Emerald Archer) slayed him. He nursed a grudge against both Oliver and Diggle while working up to becoming a crime boss and was quite a formidable foe.
As much as I love Kirk Acevedo as an actor, there’s only so much he can do with bad writing. Instead of being such a formidable foe, the writers depowered the character.
The Arrowverse version of the Dragon is a formidable fighter to be sure, but I felt that they made him a little TOO whiny — especially when he was going on and on about his childhood bully. It made him seem like a run-of-the-mill villain instead of the seriously scary bad guy from the comics.
I understand not every character’s backstory is going to stay the same when adapted for the television shows, but this is one time where I wish they had kept the original background for Ricardo instead of coming up with their own. It would’ve been SO interesting.
11 No More #DadLife
One of the things that bugged me was the introduction of the William Clayton character. I rolled my eyes at the secret baby drama when it was first introduced, but now I’m hoping they write him off for good.
This isn’t some romantic drama, it’s a flippin’ superhero show. Why on earth are the showrunners wasting valuable time with Oliver’s son when we could be fleshing out interesting characters such as Black Siren. Even improving the writing for Ricardo Diaz so that he actually resembles the formidable villain from the comics?
I’d much rather watch superheroes actually be SUPERHEROES than see some random original character waste valuable screen time.
It wouldn’t be so bad if the character was Connor Hawke, who was the son of Oliver Queen and his ex-girlfriend Sandra “Moonday” Hawke. You know what? Even if it was Olivia Queen, Oliver Queen, and Dinah Laurel Lance’s daughter from the Kingdom Come comics. William doesn’t really serve a purpose.
If I wanted to watch a drama with parents, I could simply watch Outlander season three and indulge myself with the storyline between Brianna Randall and her mother Claire Randall-Fraser.
I just hope the new showrunner writes off the character of William by having him go live with his grandparents and all three have to go into witness protection.
10 Ollie's A Wuss Now
One of the things that has been really been bugging many Arrow fans is that Oliver has been de-fanged. This makes it SO easy for the “bad guys” to get the upper hand.
It’s not a good look when your main character—who has been expertly trained AND was such a competent fighter that even Ra's AL GHUL wanted him to be the heir of the demon—is CONSTANTLY being beaten up by the bad guys.
I can get why he’d be beaten by Ricardo Diaz since in the comics, the Dragon is a pretty formidable foe and a fantastic fighter, but by the end of the season, the writers should’ve had Oliver kick his training into high gear. This way, by the time the finale rolled around, the two would have been evenly matched.
Instead of wasting time on Ollie’s kid, the civil war storyline, etc., we could’ve gotten scenes of Oliver upping his training regimen and pushing himself to the brink in order to take Ricardo down.
It's so frustrating as a fan (especially one that adores comic book Ollie) to watch someone that SHOULD be a competent fighter be constantly depowered and shut down by the showrunners and the writers.
9 Diggle Is Green With Envy
The whole storyline of John Diggle wanting to be the Green Arrow instead of Oliver literally came out of NOWHERE. You’re telling me that Diggle, who has been Oliver’s best friend and biggest supporter for the past six seasons, is all of a sudden harboring a secret desire to be the Green Arrow? REALLY? ON WHAT PLANET DOES ANY OF THIS MAKE SENSE?
Plus, Diggle IS a vigilante already, why would he need to be Green Arrow when he’s already Spartan? If all he wants is a cool-looking bow, I’m sure Felicity or Oliver could get him one that matches his Spartan outfit.
Besides, did Diggle REALLY want to be Green Arrow at a time when the aforementioned vigilante was being hunted? He was already having medical issues with his arm, adding more stress to his life was NOT going to go well.
To add even more insults, this head-scratcher of a plot was dropped almost as soon as it came up. Thank goodness Arrow is getting a new executive producer for the seventh season because hanging plot holes like this one bring down the quality of the show. The horrific characterization makes fans seriously consider ditching the series for good.
I really disliked the whole “Rene betrayed Oliver to the FBI” storyline the writers decided to go with this season. It was a total snooze fest. Rene was only introduced in season five, and I felt as if it was too early to introduce the trope of a friend stabbing Oliver in the back.
The writers should have allowed Rene to grow as a character and allow the audiences to get to know him. By pushing for a hasty betrayal, even though all Rene wanted was to get his daughter back, it turned the audience against Wild Dog and the rest of New Team Arrow.
It's a shame, because if Rene had been allowed to grow as a character before shoving him into a Marvel-style Civil War plot line, the audience more than likely would have grown to like him.
Rene has an interesting background. He’s definitely gotten the short end of the stick in terms of what happened with his wife and his determination to regain custody of his daughter Zoe is admirable. But the former showrunners pushed too quickly and now his actions (plus that half-hearted “apology”) has left a bad taste in the mouths of many Arrow fans.
7 Willa Holland Deserved Better
Willa Holland is a fantastic actress, and she was criminally underused all throughout Arrow season six. When Thea was unconscious in a coma for six months, and then once she was woke up, she was given absolutely nothing to do until Nyssa al Ghul arrived back in Star City. It was then she decided to go with her to find the other Lazarus Pits.
It’s such a letdown for a character that had SO MUCH potential. It’s frustrating that the writers kept sidelining Thea in previous seasons and giving her NOTHING to do.
Former executive producer Marc Guggenheim admitted to TVLine that Holland wanted to reduce the amount of episodes that she would appear in since the end of the fourth season. This is because the actress did not want to renew her contract after the sixth season.
I can’t blame Holland for wanting out, given how the former showrunners had given her character NOTHING interesting to do and didn’t seem to want to give Thea her own storyline independent of Oliver’s.
The fact that they wrote her off to chase Lazarus Pits with Nyssa and Roy (who is coming back for the seventh season) is the final slap in the face to fans of Thea. They could have at least done a cool twist where she becomes the new Ra’s al Ghul or leaves under a new identity to start over, but nope. It was just an unceremonious goodbye.
6 The Righteous Wrath Of Dinah Drake
I rolled my eyes SO HARD when Cayden James forced Black Siren to execute Dinah Drake’s boyfriend Vincent Sobel/Vigilante because it seemed like yet another forced plot to pit two women against one another.
I know that Black Siren’s sonic scream can reach 250 decibels, but Vincent was a metahuman with REGENERATIVE CAPABILITIES. It didn’t make sense that he could have been so easily executed, especially since The Flash was able to withstand her scream.
It would have been far more interesting if Vincent died, but his healing abilities allowed him to be resurrected and he helped Oliver take down Diaz in the finale.
If the writers had focused more on Black Siren’s redemption arc, by the time the season finale rolled around they could have written Vincent Sobel and Dinah Drake off so that Earth-2 Laurel could become the new Black Canary.
It is just so frustrating to have watched the writers do the “will she or won’t she be redeemed” tango with Black Siren while two women were pitted against one another YET AGAIN on this show.
Dinah’s self-righteous wrath and determination to slay Black Siren was a real snooze fest, especially when she was acting so snotty to Quentin. I’m also irritated that neither Dinah nor Earth-2 Laurel had any kind of heart-to-heart that could’ve kickstarted an understanding between the two women in the finale. Were the writers asleep at the wheel? Yeesh!
5 Black Siren's Half-Hearted Redemption Arc
Pretty much every single Arrow fan that I know of (myself included) were hoping that Earth-2 Laurel Lance/Black Siren would have a season-long redemption arc that culminated in her taking up her rightful mantle of the Black Canary as a way of rectifying the show’s huge mistake in kicking off her Earth-1 counterpart.
What we got was a character that waffled back and forth and it often seemed to me at times that the writers weren’t sure if they wanted to redeem Black Siren or keep her as a villain.
While I am glad that she is FINALLY getting the redemption arc she deserved, I also felt that it was kind of rushed the past few episodes. I really dislike that they kicked off Quentin so that his death could be the catalyst for her turning to the “good side.”
The writing for her character has been so lazy. As a fan, it's INFURIATING to me that the showrunners did not explore Black Siren’s past and her relationship with her biological father on Earth-2 before they so unceremoniously kicked off her doppelgänger's father just as they were starting to get to know one another.
I know that Paul Blackthorne wanted to leave and had accepted a new role, but it would have been more interesting if Quentin was put in the witness protection program and had to leave Star City. That could have left the door open for Blackthorne to make some cameo appearances and poor Earth-2 Laurel wouldn’t have had to deal with the pain of losing her father twice.
4 Give Us A White Canary/Black Siren Talk, You Cowards
I remember the minute that Arrow fans heard that Sara Lance was going to appear in the season six finale, everyone was SO SURE that she was going to team up with Oliver and his friends to help him take down Diaz.
Everyone was also keeping their fingers crossed that Sara would share quite a few scenes with Earth-2 Laurel and perhaps even help her on the path to redemption.
Instead, poor Sara was only in the show for like five seconds and she didn’t even have the chance to say goodbye to her dying father or have a serious talk with her sister’s doppelgänger. What a waste of a good character and potentially fascinating scenes that could’ve set up the storyline for season seven.
I get that Caity Lotz might not have had a lot of time to film for the Arrow season six finale since she has a full-time gig on Legends of Tomorrow, but it’s still not cool that they wasted a cameo.
Now that Arrow has a new showrunner at the helm, I can only hope that they rectify this mistake by allowing Sara and a redeemed Earth-2 Laurel to have a heart-to-heart during the crossover next year.
3 Shut It, Felicity
While I personally have nothing against Emily Bett Rickards and think she’s a fine actress that often gets the short end of the stick when it comes to her character’s development, one of the main criticisms of Felicity Smoak from fans is that she is prone to whining and it gets a bit repetitive after a while.
For example, fans thought it was a bad look to have Felicity be angry that Oliver didn’t tell her that he planned to turn himself in to the FBI and felt her reaction was a bit ridiculous.
I personally feel that if the Arrow writers had spent more time turning Felicity into a sympathetic, well-rounded character AND fleshed out the fact that she clearly has abandonment issues (stemming from when her father Noah Cutler left her mother Donna Smoak), her reaction wouldn’t have been THAT bad. People would know the reasoning behind it.
However, I don’t think the writers should have written that scene at all. Oliver and Felicity are married now. In order to show character growth from the previous seasons, Oliver should’ve clued his wife in to his plan and had a mature discussion about it with her. Not a good look to have Oliver keeping secrets from his wife once again.
2 Queen Family Stubbornness Is Clearly Genetic
One irritating aspect of Arrow that has generated quite a few discussions amongst fans of the television show is that Oliver never seems to learn from his previous mistakes.
In every season—including the sixth—Oliver ALWAYS pushes someone away. There is ALWAYS drama amongst his team because of his inability to open up to people.
He’s ALWAYS keeping secrets from Felicity. It’s bad writing, and I’m getting sick of watching the exact same plot lines pop up from season to season. It would be one think if the show delved into Oliver’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and he realized that he needed to seek treatment so that he wouldn’t constantly cause friction amongst his family and friends with his maladaptive behavior, but Arrow has barely touched upon it. I find that to be a darn shame.
I also find it annoying that the show wants to pretend that Oliver has supposedly grown as a person, but constantly pushes him back into the same behavior that has caused issues in previous seasons.
Seriously, Arrow writers, it is season six — surely Oliver should have grown as a person, made strides in managing his PTSD and learn to trust his loved ones and his team members by now?
1 Earth-1 Laurel's Ghost Is Rolling Her Eyes So Hard Right Now
Laurel fans were MAD when Oliver has a hallucination of the Earth-1 version of the character. In his speech to Laurel’s memory, Oliver implied that he always knew Laurel was going to become a vigilante. The entire scene hinted that the reason why she’d gotten slayed in the first place was due to her fighting skills... or lack thereof.
Really, Arrow, REALLY? What a slap in the face to the memory of a beloved character AND the fans that still miss her.
First of all, Oliver ALWAYS belittled Laurel in the beginning of her journey as the Black Canary. He never supported her in her decision; so if he knew deep down she was going to do this, why not agree to train her? Why act like a condescending jerk? Second of all, at the time of her death, Laurel was NOT some wet-behind-the-ears rookie. In the first season, it was implied that she had basic self-defense training and she knew how to handle a gun.
When Oliver refused to train her, she studied under Ted Grant. Not only was Ted a fantastic boxer, but he was also a former vigilante, too. She didn’t take a beginner’s kickboxing class designed to tone muscles, she was learning how to FIGHT from someone that actually fought crime for YEARS before Oliver returned from Liam Yu. Laurel also studied with Nyssa al Ghul, who had been trained in combat skills with the League of Assassins since birth.
She was a competent and skilled fighter; the only reason Damien Darhk prevailed is because he used magic. If they had fought hand-to-hand, they would have been evenly matched.