There isn't any doubt that Arrow Season 3 was quite divisive among fans. It ended on a sour note and a lot of the worst moments in this season assessment come directly from the finale.
While it's hard to escape the worst of the season, there were also bright spots. Funnily enough, those very bright spots are just as highly debated as the weak spots others argue.
It will be interesting to see if another season will bring the many facets of fans together to a more agreeable place on Season 3.
In the meantime, take a look at what we've put together for best and worst episodes, character developments, plot devices and some other fun categories like WTF moment, character that's gotta go, shocking death and servicing the fangasm.
Let the battle commence!
Best Episode: Canaries
Best Episode: Only one episode earned a 5-star rating this season, and it was Arrow Season 3 Episode 13
, "Canaries." What made it so good? The focus on siblings and love.
Although she only came back through a drug-induced haze, Sara was as real to Laurel as she needed to be to thrust Laurel out of her funk and onto her own path as Black Canary. Oliver also revealed his alter ego to Thea, which was surprisingly well received. Felicity got her mojo back and rallied the troops after a less-than-stellar run following Oliver's death and was the one who urged Laurel not to follow in Sara's footsteps, but to be herself. It felt like everything was back on track.
Worst Episode: My Name is Oliver Queen
Worst Episode: I hate to beat a dead horse, but Arrow Season 3 Episode 23
, "My Name is Oliver Queen," certainly fit the bill as worst episode. It was a close call, really between that and Arrow Season 3 Episode 14
, "The Return." Both stumbled out of the gate and never recovered. "The Return" brought back a beloved bad guy in Slade Wilson, but only as another worthless pawn for Malcolm Merlyn.
"My Name is Oliver Queen," on the other hand, was a wasted opportunity to redeem a lackluster season.
The only inkling of hope comes from a commenter who suggested that Malcolm as the new Ra's al Ghul is still part of a plan because it seemed to him that Nyssa was in on the gag. Here's hoping he's right.
The best thing to say about it was it meant Season 3 was over and we could now look forward to wiping the slate clean for another go.
WTF Moment: Felicity Flies in the Exo-Suit
WTF Moment: There were so, so many, but we didn't have to stray from the finale to find Felicity in the ATOM exo-suit, flying as if it was the most natural thing in the world. Not only did she originally intend for Ray to foresake all of the people of Starling City to save Oliver, "But, Oliver!," but then she donned a suit clearly made to order for a man almost twice her height and flew it like a champ.
Arguments for this ludicrous scene have included Ray taking precious time away from finding a cure for the bioweapon to manually fly the suit from the new Arrow lair for Felicity. If he was going to do that, why not fly it himself? Another was that Felicity helped build it, so she should know how to use it just fine. A lot of people help build airplanes, but that doesn't mean they can fly them.
While these goofy moments can be easily overlooked on sister show, The Flash, it cannot be done here on Arrow, which as been grounded in reality for most of it's run. The show takes itself too seriously for whimsy to flutter in and out.
Best Character Development: Thea Queen
Best Character Development: Thea Queen has really come a long way from the girl we first met. Even though she had a little fashion faux paux midway through the season, her struggles against her father and her eventual acceptance of her fate as a warrior were amazing. She's the one person who allowed herself to feel fear and question her identity without whining about it. That she's the youngest person we focus on says a lot for her character.
Despite the fact she was forced to kill Sara and never knew about it, she was willing to sacrifice herself to atone. When Nyssa forgave her, she decided to fight against the forces of evil, even if that meant turning against her own brother. The writing for Thea Queen gives me hope that the team behind Arrow and our other DC comics franchises have some clue how to write for female characters, after all.
Worst Character Development: Felicity Smoak
Worst Character Development: Speaking of that great writing for Thea Queen, let's chat about the terrible writing for Felicity Smoak this season. Even her own episode, Arrow Season 3 Episode 5
, "The Secret Origin of Felicity Smoak," didn't offer up a decent backstory for Felicity, but instead introduced her mother, Donna (which was a decent alternative, don't get me wrong).
Felicity has been written as strong and uplifting (of everyone) one moment and incapable of standing tall the next, making once faithful fans question their devotion to the character. Once steadfast in her belief of Oliver, she was quick to doubt him on more than one occasion with very little evidence to sway her. If it was drama they were going for, it played more like teenage angst. We want our girl back.