This is probably going to be the last of the season wrap-up posts for a while, as I'm still multiple episodes away from finishing this season's Agents of SHIELD, although I may be caught up on Gotham before the week is out (Avengers Assemble and Guardians of the Galaxy don't seem to operate on standard season start and finishes, unfortunately). Spoilers ahoy!
Arrow promised that this season wasn't going to be as dark as previous seasons were, and then right away we were introduced to this season's villain, Damian Darrk, followed shortly by a flash forward with one of the characters having died, although we didn't know which one. Obviously, the producers of the show have a different idea of dark than I do!
We did get a few introductions of characters this season... John Constantine made an appearance (right after his self-titled TV show got cancelled, which I didn't even know was in the Arrowverse), and we also got a live-action Vixen, which was nice. Late in the season, when Oliver needed help dealing with magic and Constantine wasn't available, they introduced a new character that hinted at being a character we already knew, but turned out to be someone I'd never heard of. I was hoping for Zatanna, or at the very least Madame Xanadu, but was disappointed.
The biggest shock this season, to me, was killing off Laurel Lance, aka Black Canary. Black Canary's been part of the whole Green Arrow continuity in the comics for so long now, it seemed like she'd be on the show as long as it lasted. I mean, we knew a death was coming, but I thought it would be someone else (my money had been on her father).
Of course, the season was full of flashbacks to the island, save for one episode, which was a very nice change of pace. I'm hoping that next season, given where the flashbacks ended this season, that we can go away from the constant flashbacks that follow a chronological order and just happen to fit in with the modern-day scenes chronologically. I mean, how much more could've happened on that island before Ollie was rescued, anyway?
I did enjoy that Oliver's character arc worked towards having him being more of a beacon of hope rather than always fighting with his dark side. Yes, everyone does have a dark side, but given that this season he'd gone from being the Arrow (with a reputation for killing the bad guys) to becoming the Green Arrow (who was supposed to be inspirational) -- and by the way, I'm pretty sure the citizens of Star City are hip that this is the same guy, they've just decided to go with it -- I was hoping that he'd really work on being that symbol of hope that was promised early on. Perhaps next season.
We've seen a few characters depart in the last episode... Ollie's sister has given up being Speedy in order to leave and find her way back to where she wants to be, and even John Diggle is taking some time away. I can't imagine Diggle will be gone forever, and am guessing that early next season, we'll start seeing what he's going to be up to now (we last saw him in uniform again, so apparently he's going back into the military in some role).
This leaves Team Arrow as being Oliver and Felicity, although I'm hoping that we'll see the probably future Mister Terrific joining the team on a regular basis. Given that his skills aren't "just" with computers (like Felicity's role is), but is able to work with technology more, I'm hoping we'll see him providing tech support, such as working on new arrows for Oliver to use. It would be cool if they don't use Wildcat in Legends of Tomorrow, they could have him don his costume again and join the team on a regular basis. I'm pretty sure we won't be seeing Roy Harper returning, so Oliver needs more back-up in the streets. I'm hoping that we haven't seen the last of Oliver's sister, either.
One more hope for next season is that instead of a single season-long arc taking over pretty much the entire season, perhaps we can see a bunch of smaller arcs, perhaps six episodes or so each. There may be a connection between them that we don't see until the final one, but it would be nice to see a bit more of a variety. I can do without more League of Assassins or Mark Merlin, personally (they really need him to be killed off, perhaps by a big baddie for one of the arcs to show how much of a challenge he'll be to Oliver and company).