Hiatus is winding down which means that Arrow season six is just a week away!
While I’m sure many fans have been heading up their own re-watches over the summer; I thought I’d share my top five episodes from Arrow season five. Season five bounced back with the return of a non-mystical entity, moving far past that magical misstep and brought an overall mix of good episodes. It was tough to pick only five episodes, but each brings a different aspect of the story this season that I absolutely loved.
From the acting to the character growth to the story itself, here are the top five episodes of season five.
Never have I ever been happier about logistics/budget not working out that made the writers get creative and give fans a bottle episode. “Underneath” felt like an hour that was just waiting to happen, addressing not only what happened between Oliver and Felicity in the aftermath of season four through flashbacks, but also forced them actually to talk to each other in the present as well. They were forced to stop walking on eggshells and address the biggest issue they had, trust. The hour leaving the pair in a far better place than where they were at the top of the episode. “Underneath” also included one of my favorite stunts of the season as Diggle went in to save his friends and partners, Oliver and Felicity. It was really a great OTA moment.
True, it had standard components that are synonymous with Arrow season finales, including massive fight scenes, big confrontations, and a final showdown. But this episode honestly felt like closing out a part of Oliver’s story, and I’m not just talking because we saw the island that caused him so much pain and became the beginning of his path becoming the Arrow blow up. It became the culmination of the growth we saw in Oliver over the last five episodes of the season. That’s what we see in the last scene of the episode as Oliver refuses to kill Chase and play by his game, telling him “That’s who I was before. It’s not who I am now.”
“Lian Yu” also gave us big moments for the team including Dinah getting the Black Canary moniker from Lance which was terrific, Thea dealing with Malcolm sacrificing himself, and the continued rebuilding of Oliver and Felicity’s relationship with that kiss and her need not to have any regrets.
This takes a spot on the top 5 episodes of the season for many reasons. One of those reasons was the utterly dark and heartbreaking acting done by Stephen Amell. In an hour where it was just Oliver being subjected to Chase’s torture, we saw how far Prometheus went to break the man and the vigilante, convincing him that he was the killer he always thought he was. Josh Segarra was fantastic as Chase in the latter half of the season, playing the sociopathic villain perfectly, paired with a solid performance by Stephen Amell.
Almost every member of the team got their moment/episode this season. This episode was the moment things for Felicity’s arc hit the fan and put the team in a unique position that we never got to see them in. And with the confrontations came Felicity facing off against her adoptive family, including coming up against Oliver.
The team returning to Russia was really entertaining to see, from the mission to the undercover portion. “Bratva” was the first episode of the season to reunite OTA and give us a shift in their dynamic. We saw Digg dealing with his hunt for Walker and Felicity starting down her path thanks to Pandora. Oliver was forced into a position where had to get through to the pair of them, telling them that they make each other better (which is one of the most accurate descriptors of the trio).
HON. MENTION: Invasion! Crossover
Though not a top 5 episodes, it lands the honorable mention spot. “Invasion!” commemorated a considerable accomplishment for the flagship member of the Arrow-verse. The 100th episode gave us one of the most emotional Queen family moments the show gave us this season as Oliver and Thea said goodbye to their parents before heading back to the real world. It signified a shift in Oliver as he realizes the real world may have its problems but it’s the real world that feels right.
So, these were my five episodes (plus one). What are yours?
Arrow returns on its new night and time, Thursday, October 12 at 9 p.m. on the CW.