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Arrow: Complete Fifth Season (Blu-ray Review)

The one that started it all is the last in line for release this DC Arrow-verse Blu-ray season. Oliver Queen and company had been through a rather middling couple of years and now they attempted to reload and bounce back in this fifth season. The season is notable too because it hit the milestone of the highly coveted 100th episode. An episode that they did have plenty of fun with. The show also featured many returns as well as having its own bit of fun crossing over (Where the 100th episode took place, actually).  This set is pretty uniform to the others both in the DC Arrow-verse line of Blu-ray releases and the previous releases from the show itself. You’ll be able to pick this one up in plenty of time run back through it, or catch up from having missed the previous season when it hits the shelves of the stores or your favorite online retailer September 19th. Below, after the full review you’ll find a convenient Amazon link that you can pre-order from to have by release day (If you’re a Prime member) and it also helps out our site.

Season 

Newly appointed Mayor Oliver Queen finds himself challenged as he fights on two fronts for the future of Star City. With his right hand, John Diggle, back in the military and his sister Thea adamant about hanging up her vigilante hood as Speedy, Team Green Arrow is down to just Oliver and Felicity – but they’re no longer the only vigilantes in town. Green Arrow’s public defeat of Damien Darhk at the end of Season Four has inspired a new crop of masked heroes to step up and defend the city, though their painful inexperience makes them obstacles rather than allies in the field. The arrival of a deadly new adversary will force Oliver to confront questions about his own legacy, both as mayor and as the Green Arrow.

Arrow’s fifth season retools by adding new characters and by sending the old ones on to some different arcs. The “old gang” has some new challenges ahead and the season takes its time getting back into the fold. Meanwhile, we are also given a fresh new “Team Arrow” that really shows Oliver Queen’s growth and ability to deal with younger vigilantes and also figure how to embrace what he began five years ago. These characters are a little more colorful and have an energy that sort of lightens up the tone and atmosphere a little, closing it in a little more to its sister programming in the universe. But, lets be real, if they are trying to “pep” it up, its still Arrow and its still very much in the grim.

Narrative speaking, the show decided to go in a different direction and actually borrow from one of its other shows: The Flash. There has been a formula (Which I talked about in my review last week) that the Barry Allen adventures have really adhered to in all three of its years. Whereas where its tiring there, it actually was fresh and bounced arrow back. Arrow used the logic of having a mystery villain, bringing new characters and having said villain hit close to home and also be someone our heroes trusted in and found a friend. And honestly, they finally found a villain to hold up to Deathstroke from season 2 (A high point villain not just for Arrow, but most of the Arrow-verse).

Speaking of Deathstroke, former cast members returned to the show in this season and FINALLY he made his long awaited return. I mean, there had been some Deathstroke in costume, but we all know it wasn’t really him. He returned in full and looks to be carrying over a bit into the next season as well. Hopefully they don’t pull a Spike-type thing with him and just give us enough to wet our appetites and remind us why we loved him. Katie Cassidy, who had been killed in the previous season, revisits her Earth 2 self for some good wretched villain fun. She has apparently signed on a regular for season six, so lets see how that goes, should be interesting.

Once again, Arrow delivers on pure action level. The other shows feature a much more supernatural angle on their action, but Arrow always takes to the streets. And every season there are always some shootouts and the like that impress on network TV kinda level. This fifth season also has bounced back, but isn’t going to settle as its cliffhanger has the potential to really shake things up once again. Here’s to looking to the sixth year that got this fantastic little DC TV universe rolling and hopefully more to come (Though I think I read somewhere that the plan may only be for seven seasons).

Episodes

Legacy

The Recruits

A Matter of Trust

Penance

Human Target

So It Begins

Vigilante

Invasion!

What We Leave Behind

Who Are You?

Second Chances

Bratva

Spectre of the Gun

The Sin-Eater

Fighting Fire with Fire

Checkmate

Kapiushon

Disbanded

Dangerous Liasons

Underneath

Honor Thy Fathers

Missing 

Lian Yu

Video 

Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Clarity/Detail: Arrow is the darkest and most rugged in appearance of the 4 current shows in the running DCTV universe. The fifth season lightens things up a hair, though its still pretty dark.  Details run pretty rampant though, as costumes show every bit of texture and pattern.  Surfaces also tack a lick and show their fine damage.  Forests, dirt paths and such also come in pretty nicely detailed.

Depth:  Movements are free, spacey and cinematic in appearance. The dimensional aspects on display here are decent.

Black Levels: Blacks are very inky and the detail that resonates through them. Despite being a very dark show, detail is not hidden and no crushing was found.

Color Reproduction: Everything errs on the side of dingy, but still manages a bold appearance in its own right. Greens and reds stick out.  This season is a bit more bright and colorful than the previous three, if not by that much.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones appear natural and have a consistent look throughout each episode of the season.  Some episodes may vary on their given look or lighting angle they take for story purposes.  Detail is always high with freckles, wrinkles, blemishes make-up and stubble.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean

Audio 

Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Spanish (Castillian) 2.0 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 2.0 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish (Castillian), Spanish (Latino), Dutch, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish

DynamicsArrow is a an action-based show and definitely delivers in that aspect.  All explosions, gunshots, punches, kicks and arrows being plucked carry a fine layer of detail and distinct follow through on their sound.  Effects are heightened but they weave in perfectly with the tracks scoring and vocals.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: Explosions, arrows piercing things, magical bursts of energy, impaling, guns, vehicle engines and all the like thunderously pound through the sub woofer.

Surround Sound Presentation: From the rear comes mainly ambiance, but some battle scenes and environments provide some interesting action sounds and other kinds of noises to give a good sense of place. The front speakers wonderful connect the action, following it around and accurately depicting pitch and volume.

Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is crisp, clear and at an ideal volume.

Extras 

Arrow: Complete Fifth Season is a 4-Blu-ray Disc set that comes with an Ultraviolet digital copy of every episode as well as an insert booklet.

Disc 1

The New Team Arrow (HD, 9:48) – Features producers, writers and showrunners going over the mission of season five and then one by one introduces us to the new heroes that learn under Oliver.

Deleted Scene

  • A Matter of Trust (HD, 1:03)

Disc 2

Allied: The Invasion Complex – Arrow (HD, 12:44) – Like the previous featurettes, this one goes over the Arrow and Oliver Queen side of things, celebrating the 100th episode, and completes the 4-part behind the scenes story.

Deleted Scenes 

  • What We Leave Behind (HD, :55) 
  • Second Chances (HD, :30)

Disc 3

Deleted Scenes

  • Checkmate (HD, 1:10)
  • Kapuishon (HD, 3:42) 

Disc 4

Arrow: 2016 Comi-Con Panel (HD, 27:19) – K, we are years into me doing these sets and 4 shows deep now. We know the drill on this one right?

Returning to the Roots of Arrow: Prometheus (HD, 15:18) – The showrunner, producers, writers, Stephen Amell and Josh Segarra go over the ins and outs the villain, his arc and the relation to Oliver Queen in Season 5.

Gag Reel (HD, 5:23)

Deleted Scenes

  • Dangerous Liasons (HD, 1:13)
  • Missing (HD, 2:26)
  • Lian Yu (HD, 1:19)

Summary 

Arrow continued its bounce back that sorta had seeds planted last season after a couple of ho hum seasons with it fifth year. Here’s hoping the sixth will keep up this momentum.  The set is very much up to snuff with all the other seasons of the DC shows, including past Arrow seasons, giving you top quality video and audio presentations along with some really nice extras exploring more depth in the show. A good collector’s item for fans of these shows.

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Writer/Reviewer, lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash, Brandon hosts the Cult Cinema Cavalcade podcast on the Creative Zombie Studios Network (www.cultcinemacavalcade.com) You can also find more essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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