My Pitch for a Better Season 3 of Arrow

Today we're revising Arrow season 3. I can't explain what was wrong with this season. After the brilliant climax of season 2, the show became insufferable. The character dynamics became annoying and melodramatic, the pacing was sinfully boring and it felt like nothing from the last season had any consequence. It ticked me off!!

So, to sooth my own soul and to hopefully present you with something you'll enjoy, we're going to get my version of Arrow season 3. Let's fix this.

The biggest issue I had with season 3 was the amount of time passed since season 2. It is way too long of a time and I felt robbed of a potential storyline between seasons. What happened in Starling City after that? Was there resistance? What did the team do to clean up the city?

The other gripe for me there was that I felt like it was stupid not to have either Oliver or Roy go after Thea. She's Oliver's beloved sister and she's Roy's girlfriend. They were told not to go after her, but they're both stubborn and rebellious anyway, so they would go out looking for her despite her note. The only reason they aren't leaving immediately is because they need to clean up a city.

It starts exactly where season 2 left off. It's basically the beginning of the third act of The Dark Knight Returns: organized crime has taken this opportunity to flourish, there are still pockets of Deathstroke's men throughout the city and there are only a few pockets of resistance made up of cops and civilians through the city. Now, Oliver and the team are the Batman who must restore order to their city.

The first half of the season focuses on the team as they attempt to take down Hannibal Bates, a shapeshifting meta-human who has taken charge of almost every major gang in Starling. With him gone, the gangs would scatter, becoming disorganized and the police would be able to move in. Even though many people, including Oliver and Ray Palmer (who isn't the Atom yet), are supporting the police it's not enough to get the job done without the Arrow & Speedy.

They begin to make their way up the ladder, bit-by-bit, taking out old and new villains and crime bosses. Meanwhile, throughout the season, we tease a loan figure in the shadows of alleyways or staring at a screen of security cameras. We see that this figure is able to kill criminals with ninja-like skill.

We also explore the relationships between the characters: the teacher/student dynamic between Oliver and Roy, the romance between Oliver and Felicity, Diggle and his girlfriend. We'll also be getting flashbacks to flesh out the romance between Roy and Thea. Instead of adding bull crap melodrama, like in the season 3 we got, the relationships would grow, not go into limbo with no advancement and then take an annoying two steps backwards.

All of this builds up the mid-season finale , where Oliver defeats Bates after an intense fight, leaving him injured as police sirens draw near. He goes back to Felicity, they confess their feelings for each other and they embrace. This should be an intensely happy moment. With the war going on they wanted each other, but were preoccupied. Now, they're home free.

We cut to Roy finally going after Thea, as he packs his gear, looks at the note one last time and makes his was out of the Arrow cave

We cut to see the mysterious man approach Bates, shooting him dead with an arrow. He disappears into the shadows and returns to his security camera filled hideout. He takes off a previously unseen helmet from beneath his hood. He sets it on a desk, revealing a blood red, shell-like helmet. It's the Red Hood.

Now, I know what you were thinking when I said the Red Hood: "What about copyright laws? CW doesn't have the rights to Batman characters. They're too big and popular." Let me address that: yes, even though the Red Hood did stem from Batman lore, the writers have gone ahead and given Red Hood his own stories and even comic series. Besides, this doesn't HAVE to be the Jason Todd Red Hood. His personality will be similar to the Jason Todd Hood, but we don't need to know who he is. In fact, we shouldn't know who he is, not even by the end of the season.

The second half of season 3 will be focussed on the Red Hood arc. He has taken Bates' place as head of all the major gangs. Under his control, organized crime in Starling City has actually gone down, so the police won't be suspicious. Even though this is what was expected, both the police and Team Arrow are surprised that it didn't lead to the satisfying chaos among criminals they were hoping for.

The Hood starts to use his influence to really get at Oliver. He's already made the Arrow a wanted man, but now he's attacking Oliver financially by robbing banks Queen consolidated owns and stealing technology his company is developing.

Finally, the Arrow stops one of the thefts at the docks, finally getting out of the thugs that they're working for the Red Hood. They are killed by the Hood, inciting a chase across the rooftops in which Oliver studies the Hood's quick reflexes and martial arts training.

He starts investigating the Hood, but each lead comes up a dead end, with the thugs being brainwashed into killing themselves with a poison pill. However, he's also being chased by the police in a renewed manhunt.

All this time, we get more of sense of what the Red Hood is like: he's sadistic, uses horrible methods on his men (brainwashing) and is completely obsessed with Oliver Queen. He also keeps getting word on the progress of a "special project".

During this time, as well, we're getting updates on Roy's quest to find Thea, tracking her to an Asian mountain range. We have an entire episode dedicated to showing how determined Roy is to find her, fighting the elements while we watch Oliver go through similar stuff on the island.

Now, we come to the series finale. The "special project" is ready and it's time to get to work. The Red Hood now attacks Oliver personally by kidnapping both Diggle and Felicity and sending a tape addressed to the Green Arrow to the police, with orders to give it to the Arrow, or he'll kill somebody. Lance is able to get it to Arrow against commissioner orders. Red Hood threatens to kill both of them and implies he'll rape Felicity. He challenges the Arrow to make it to the top of the Queen consolidated tower, if he can, that is.

Oliver goes immediately, defeating all the henchmen, but getting banged up in the process. The Red Hood waits in the office in front of the conference room, in which Diggle and Felicity are tied up. Both are beat up, Felicity more so than Diggle.

Oliver lashes out in a fit of rage and an emotionally intense fight makes it to the rooftops of the city. Chases, punches, arrows, guns, it's all there for the climactic show down. Finally, Red Hood puts down Oliver. Oliver asks him why he did it. He says that he was jealous that Ra's al Ghul would choose Oliver over him. He would show Ra's how worthy he really was.

He takes out a detonator with a wire attached and puts it into his wrist. He explains the detonator will activate a timer, that will activate a poison, a more advanced dosage of what he gave to his minions. He'd been filtering it though the sewers for weeks. It is untraceable and as soon as he hits the button, Starling, Oliver's beloved city, will begin to die and Ra's al Ghul will see him as the worthy one. 

And, to add insult to injury, he goes on that as long as his heart keeps going, the timer doesn't stop, hence the wire. And, since Oliver refuses to kill, there's nothing he can do to stop him. Oliver thinking fast, plugs  an arrow into Hood's wrist, cutting off the detonation wire and stopping the timer. Knocked down and with nowhere to go, Hood pushes a button on his helmet, causing a bomb to go off, killing him and burning Oliver significantly.

We see Felicity and Diggle being rescued by SWAT. We cut to Roy being attacked and dragged away by a group of ninjas. The final shot is an arial swoop-in shot to Oliver lying on the rooftop. We hear a final breath at the same time the screen cuts to black.

Now, I've just gone over the entire mainland story, so let's now talk about the island story. Because that's where he still should be and not Hong Kong because that ruins the whole ENTIRE POINT!!

Anyway, on the island, we should be seeing how he actually learns to be a survivor. That means we pit him against the elements: predators, insects, lethal weather, dehydration, lack of Slade's training and even isolation madness. We should be seeing how he survives and becomes stronger because of these things.

We end, though, after Oliver has just survived a hurricane and has overcome his isolation by confronting his demons. He is unconscious, but alive. He awakens and starts looking for water. Awhile later, he comes across a ship that is setting up camp on the island shore. A very LARGE camp. Suddenly, an arrow pops out from off-screen, pointed right at Oliver's head. The screen cuts to Oliver on the rooftop for the closing shot and that is how we end season 3.

Now, not only do we have a continuing storyline on both the island and the mainland, but we have also advanced the character relationships, have a great villain for the season, character motivations that make more sense and an open door for season 4's story.

Do you like it? Did you like the third season of Arrow more than I did? What ideas do you have to improve this season? What ideas do you have for season 4? Comment and let me know.

Thank you for sticking with this long ramble. Check out my blog for more geeky posts and film reviews. Adios!

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