These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
"It feels really good having you inside me. [Beat] And by you, I mean your voice. And by me, I mean my ear. I'm going to stop talking right now."
Anti-Climax Boss: Some claim that Deathstroke and his followers are these, as after all the build-up behind them and the fact that it took three hand grenades to kill one of them, they're defeated in a few minutes with Mirakuru cure arrows and rope arrows.
Some comic fans didn't like the choice to giveRoy powers via Mirakuru, so the revelation of a cure existing and Roy being the first to get it probably pleases them.
Casting Peter Stormare as Werner Zytle, the new Count Vertigo, following Seth Gabel's Count Vertigo being killed off during Season Two amid numerous fan complaints that Gabel's performance in the role was too hammy to take seriously as a threat.
Thea, with the fans either liking her for being like an average teen dealing with losing her brother and father or hating her for making the problems all about her and being a Spoiled Brat (being a Canon Foreigner doesn't help her with that last part). Fans in general have now warmed up to her considerably (in due part because of her improved attitude and close friendship with Tommy and Laurel, and her relationship with Roy), so she's probably left this territory now.
Laurel, with the fandom split between those who enjoy her character and those who find her bland, unlikeable and an inferior love interest compared to some of the other fan preferred pairings. Season Two has mostly changed this, but not for the better.
The casting of Grant Gustin as Barry Allen has split the fandom, with a number of people arguing that Gustin looks too young to be playing Barry Allen and would be better suited to Wally West, whilst others see no problem with the casting as Gustin is portraying a Barry Allen who has yet to gain superpowers and therefore suits an inexperienced Flash.
Count Vertigo; people either love Seth Gabel for portraying him as a Large Ham or despise him. Still, he's dead now, so it's likely a moot point.
It should also be noted that, since this version's debut, the New 52 version has also appeared. There's a very large portion of the fandom that prefer him and want him on the show, if only because he's Darker and Edgier while also being a very credible and intimidating villain. And with the casting of Peter Stormare as Werner Zytle, the Count's successor, they may get their wish.
The depiction of Slade is this, though really only to comic book fans of the character. Some appreciate that Slade is depicted in a manner where he gets to show off just how dangerous he is, while others find the changes made to him — the island origin, the design of his costume, and lately being the true Big Bad behind Brother Blood's army — to be insulting to his fans.
The show itself among comic fans: Either the show's decision to go no-superpowers route and many other changes (especially the changes made to Huntress) mean it's an insult to the comics, or the no-powers thing makes it approachable and, in spite of those changes, it is still a decent show.
The repeated statements by higher-ups that superpowers would start appearing more often in Season Two, to the point that a pre-superpowers Barry Allen will be making appearances in the mid-season finale and the twentieth episode of the season would serve as a Back Door Pilot for a Flash spin-offnote It has since been announced that the pilot will not be an episode of Arrow, but rather a separate pilot. Some think it's good for the show to try to stay closer to its source material, while others think it ruins the tone the show established.
Slade's new mask in Season Two. Some like it, thanks in no small part to how it's introduced. Others don't and think it looks cheap. Then there are those who just think it's an improvement over the old mask.
Season Two's increased Ship Tease moments for Oliver and Felicity. The fandom generally likes both characters and they're a popular ship, but some feel that it's being laid on thick.
The Count from season 1's "Vertigo" and season 2's "State v. Queen" is a sadistic drug peddler who seeks to push a new drug on the street known as "Vertigo." To perfect Vertigo, the Count kidnaps people to be his test subjects. He then injects them with Vertigo to cause them excruciating agony before offering them a gun with one shot: they can either shoot themselves to spare themselves the pain, or shoot him for revenge. The suicide rate, after nearly thirty victims, is one hundred percent. The Count views this as making Vertigo even better, comparing it to a wine ripened with age, and plans to flood the streets with Vertigo as a whole. He later attempts to inject it into Oliver during their fight.
Barton Mathis from season 2's "Broken Dolls", best known as The Dollmaker, is an Ax-CrazySerial Killer who enjoys targeting young women. After kidnapping them, the Dollmaker murders the girls and preserves the corpses by injecting them with chemicals. The Dollmaker has a particular grudge against Quentin Lance, the cop who put him away the first time. After his escape from prison, Mathis calls up Lance and forces him to listen as he kills a girl before he attempts to do the same to Lance's daughter Laurel.
Damsel Scrappy: Laurel, as out of the cast, she's the one who needs saving the most. Granted, it's somewhat justified by both her job and her father's making her a target for lowlifes in their attempts at revenge, and the writers seem to have picked up on the dislike, as it's not happened as often in Season Two.
Designated Villain: Helena Bertinelli/Huntress, in her first appearances at least, when she is actively going out of her way to kill the members of her father's crime family. Oliver treats her as being in the wrong for this, as she's acting out of a desire for revenge rather than to get justice, and as such her methods are leaving a pile of bodies in her wake rather than trying to put her fiancÚ's killers behind bars. However, his own motivation is to avenge his father, and he also racks up quite a body count. She loses the Designated part later on, when she becomes so obsessed with revenge that she's willing to hurt innocent people for it, something Oliver clearly doesn't do.
Die for Our Ship: Laurel and Sara Lance for some of the Olicity shippers; arguably less so with Sara given her Badass nature and understated friendship with Felicity, in marked contrast to Laurel's general attitude problems.
Dude, Not Funny!: Oliver has this reaction when Lance sarcastically asks, whilst investigating a robbery at Queen Consolidated, if they had another earthquake machine lying around, but Lance apologizes for the quip a second later anyway.
Roy Harper, for some fairlyobviousreasons. Being the future Arsenal/Red Arrow in the source material probably helps.
There is a sizable contingent of people who want Caity Lotz as Sara Lance to stay as the Canary, due to her Badass nature, her link to Ra's Al-Ghul and the League of Assassins, and her actually having some chemistry with Ollie.
Isabel Rochev, but being played by Summer Glau will do that.
Once he starts making regular appearances, Anatoli Knyazev becomes very difficult to not like. A snarky Russian, former KGB Bratva head with a Badass Beard.
Epileptic Trees: A common fan theory is that Detective Lance has already figured out Oliver's the Arrow, but doesn't confront him about it so he can retain plausible deniability if questioned on the matter.
Fan-Disliked Explanation: Isabel Rochev's motivation for her villainy against the Queens? She was Robert Queen's mistress, and hated that Robert chose his own family over her. This received quite a bit of backlash since it turns a super-competent corrupt businesswoman struggling in a male-dominated world into another Woman Scorned, an outdated and fairly sexist trope. Of course, this was based on her villainous motivation from the comics, and at least this version removed Yandere traits (as far as we can see) and her former life as a slave.
Tommy/Thea became quite popular to the point where the announcement that Roy Harper was being introduced as a love interest for Thea drew ire. Of course, Tommy's death in the Season One finale and the revelation that Tommy and Thea are half-siblings thoroughly sank the ship.
Oliver/Felicity, despite Laurel's status as Official Love Interest. The writers seem to be aware of this, and have downplayed Oliver/Laurel in the second season, in favor of teasing Olicity instead.
Tommy/Laurel is popular, despite Ollie and Laurel seemingly being destined to become the Official Couple (which, with Tommy's death, now seems inevitable), since they actually have something resembling chemistry.
Oliver/Sara has gained some fans in Season Two, thanks to the chemistry between the two and the implications of a Canary/Arrow Battle Couple, in addition to her connection to Oliver's missing five years.
While Sara and Felicity aren't enemies, Felicity's inferiority complex in "Time of Death" makes them a bit adversarial for a short while. Sara takes a Hands-On Approach when teaching Felicity how to throw a punch, and Felicity later wears Sara's leather jacket during a mission. Oh, and during this same episode and in "League of Assassins" earlier, Sara calls Felicity cute.
Oliver and Isabel Rochev, which is somewhat canon given the fact they slept together, but it's helped by the fact she almost flirts with him while threatening his family and stealing his company. By the same token, him and Helena, though in a Dating Catwoman kind of way, and it appears she's on her way to a Heel-Face Turn by now.
There really was no reason Malcolm had to have Oliver's shirt removed when he had him captured, other than to honor an agreement with his actor to have one scene of him with Stephen Amell while he's naked.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: In "Lone Gunmen", Thea tells Oliver "You're barely my brother." In "State v. Queen", it turns out to be more true than we thought.
Genius Bonus: A two-fer in "Time of Death". Tockman quotes from War and Peace a line that he says is on the 1440th page in the book. 1440 is the exact number of minutes in a day.
Growing the Beard: Many feel this happened in mid-to-late Season One. At the very least, "The Odyssey", when Oliver's Power Trio of him, Diggle, and Felicity is first formed and when Island!Oliver has his first adventure with Slade Wilson.
Some people think it grew the beard at the beginning of Season Two when Oliver decided to stop killing in order to honor Tommy's memory, bringing him more in line with his comic book counterpart.
When Oliver first comes home and everyone welcomes him back, it's sweet in and of itself, because the idea of a man returning home after five years lost at sea would naturally be a heartwarming experience. However, later in the series, we actually see Oliver's relationship with each character, so seeing that scene again after watching a few episodes has even more kick.
The friendship between Thea and Tommy, which features numerous moments where he looks out for her as if she were his own sister, in light of the second season revelation that they actually were half-siblings.
He Really Can Act: "Time of Death" was this for Stephen Amell. Having spent the previous season and a half playing The Stoic, he's usually stiff and emotionless. But in this episode, Oliver snaps at Laurel, revealing both the anguish that Oliver has constantly bubbling beneath the surface and that Amell can give a great emotional performance when he needs to. It's also notable as one of the very few times Oliver really loses his temper, and the first time he cries that's not in response to a character's death. Not a dry eye in the house.
Holy Shit Quotient: Stephen Amell said way back that Episode Sixteen of Season One, "Dead to Rights", was unofficially called "The Holy Shitballs Episode" due to having a large amount of this. Since then, it's been clear that he gave away that title way too soon, as following episodes have made that episode look tame by comparison.
The Season One finale, "Sacrifice", is made of this. Basically, take everything that comes to mind with a blockbuster action movie and condense it into 45 minutes.
"State v. Queen" manages to cram two HUGE shockers into the final three minutes.
The last ten minutes of "Three Ghosts", with Tommy's hallucination encouraging Oliver to defeat Cyrus Gold, Slade Wilson/Deathstroke revealed as the true Big Bad, Roy being injected with Mirakuru, the Flash's origin, and Oliver getting a Domino Mask.
"Deathstroke" lives up to its name by having FIVE (if not more) major developments: Detective Lance is put under arrest for helping Oliver, Slade tells Thea about her true parentage and Laurel about Oliver's secret identity, Roy leaves Starling City, and Isabel Rochev is revealed as a cohort of Slade's JUST AFTER taking over as Queen Consolidated's CEO due to Oliver's multiple absences, then turns their Applied Sciences department entirely towards replicating the Mirakuru from Slade's blood in order to create a planned army of soldiers. Holy Shit, indeed.
"Seeing Red" has the revelation that the Mirakuru in Roy's blood has driven him insane; Sara leaves Starling City because of how badly she wanted to kill Roy just to keep Oliver safe, and knowing Oliver abides by a strict "no-kill" policy with only few exceptions, she backs out believing she isn't right for him; Moira reveals to Oliver that she's suspected he's the Arrow ever since the Undertaking, and his newly broken leg has convinced her of it and that she's proudof him; it's revealed that seven years prior, Oliver had an illegitimate child and Moira, par for the course, bribed the mother with $2 million to fake a miscarriage and leave for Central City, with Oliver none the wiser. This will likely be the last secret of Moira Queen we will ever know because at the very end of the episode, Slade kidnaps the three Queens and forces Oliver to make the same choice that got Shado killed, this time between Moira and Thea, but Moira being Moira, she takes that choice out of his hands and sacrifices herself.
"Unthinkable" lives up to its name, too. By the end, Isabel is dead, the Mirakuru army has been cured and captured, Oliver has defeated Slade by tricking him into taking Felicity hostage so she can get close enough to inject him with the cure (and, in the process, hinted that her feelings for him are mutual after all), Sara has returned to the League of Assassins willingly, Quentin has collapsed from injuries sustained while fighting a Mirakuru soldier, Slade has been imprisoned in an A.R.G.U.S. cell on Lian Yu, and we've seen in the flashbacks that after the destruction of the Amazo, Oliver wound up in Hong Kong under Amanda Waller's custody. The wait for Season Three is going to kill us.
Fans will routinely refer to Oliver as Green Arrow when talking about the show, despite his not taking the name yet. He was also regularly called 'Arrow' or 'The Arrow' during Season One by some reviewers despite not using that name, though he does pick it up during the second season.
Despite fans and reviewers commonly referring to her as Black Canary, Sara Lance actually operates for the League of Assassins under the name Canary.
Right from the pilot, fans have already been commenting that Oliver has more chemistry with his sister than with his ex-girlfriend. Doesn't help that by giving her the nickname "Speedy" the writers seem to have destined her to be his sidekick.
A canon instance between Thea and Tommy, though neither of them knew it and it's only revealed several months after Tommy's death.
It Was His Sled: It's near impossible to discuss the plot of season 2 without revealing Sara's alive & the Canary.
Roy to a lesser extent. He resents the rich and successful, refuses to let people help him, steals from people (at one point planning to rob a liquor store with a gun), and in general does what he can to alienate people. But he's got no family, he's so poor he'll be lucky to live past 21, everyone judges and writes him off as a thug, and when held at gun point and told to give a reason to be spared, he can't think of one, or anyone who'll miss him, instead telling the Savior to Get It Over With. When he's saved, he's visibly surprised that anyone would bother to save him.
Malcolm Merlyn. It goes without say that his plan to level The Glades is a horrible thing to do to people, but his genuine love of his wife, the entire situation with her, and his frustration with his inability to improve The Glades with his previous efforts are all sympathetic elements.
Sebastian Blood and his followers. They almost attack Oliver on the street, but they've also lost their loved ones and their homes, and the only hospital they have access to is being robbed by China White's Triad faction because the police can't protect them, making them take out their rage on the "elitists", especially the Queens.
Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Felicity. In addition to the constant Ship Tease with Oliver, there have been hints of stronger feelings between her and Walter, her and Dig ("You're irreplaceable, Felicity."), and her and Sara (the former saved the latter's life, and the latter thinks the former is cute, AND is Bisexual in canon).
Slade Wilson, as of Season Two's present day. He's been several steps ahead of Oliver ever since he was revealed as the Big Bad of the year, with his manipulations and influence extending back to the start of the season. He's only defeated by Oliver doing something he truly never would've expected: using Felicity as bait (with her consent, mind you) so he can be injected with the Mirakuru cure, allowing Oliver to fight him on even ground.
Memetic Badass: Slade, while plenty Badass in his own right, seems to get this treatment from the fandom.
The nicknames "Black Driver" and "Bitch with Wi-Fi" were originally throwaway remarks by those two respective characters. Fans have since taken these remarks and run with them.
A common response on Reddit to the frequent absence of Roy in the middle of the second season was that Roy was busy shopping for hoodies.
Memetic Sex Goddess: Sara. The daughter of Ra's Al-Ghul found it hard to get over their breakup, and plenty of shots of her working out in an outfit that shows off her beautiful muscular body have cemented her hotness both in-universe and out.
Moe: Thought Felicity was already the epitome of Adorkable? Just look at her when she's hopped up on painkillers in "Time of Death". The sight of her giggling and slurring her speech in an oversized shirt is cute enough, but her pure joy at Oliver stroking her face and telling her "You will always be my girl" is just Cuteness Overload.
Helena/The Huntress crosses this in "The Huntress Returns" when she murders several US Marshals in cold blood while trying to kill her father. Assuming that her threatening Oliver's family and friends, and coming close to killing or, at the very least, severely hurting one of them, didn't do it.
However sympathetic he might be and however noble his intentions are, Malcolm definitely crosses this line when he tells Oliver that he is going to kill his mother and sister out of nothing more than spite.
And as fate would have it, Slade Wilson crosses it in the same way, mirroring Ivo's Sadistic Choice by trying to make Oliver choose between Thea or Moira. However, Moira takes the choice out of Oliver's hands and gets Slade to kill her, leaving her children utterly devastated — and worse, Slade vows that one more person will die before this is over. This death is especially bad because he makes a point of killing her with his sword instead of with the handgun he was thinking of before.
Older Than They Think: Some people initially accused this series of being a rip-off of Hawkeye from the movie The Avengers. This is despite the fact that the show is based off Green Arrow, a comic book character that has existed since the 40's and who predates Hawkeye by over two decades. The use of a hacking arrow does not help matters, but that was probably cribbed from the New 52 reboot of Green Arrow, where it's central to the plot of the first issue. Not to mention that all of these characters homage Robin Hood to one extent or another.
Visible among the episodes, given that each one is produced only shortly before it airs. Characters that audiences responded well to were given more screen time and development (While Diggle being brought into the fold was likely planned from the start due to how relatively early it happened, Felicity likely wasn't, and her, Slade, and Roy being promoted to main cast for Season Two is likely because of audience reaction), while aspects that were critiqued (Thea's Jerk Ass and It's All About Me tendencies, and Oliver's occasional cold-blooded killing) were toned down and more focus was put on the positive aspects.
There's the most common form of base pandering, which the show delightsin doing. One such example is the first scene in "Identity", which shows Oliver working out for roughly a minute with no relevance to the episode, as the scene immediately cuts away to Roy trying to stop the Triad from stealing hospital supplies.
The posters released to promote the second season consist almost entirely of the show's male cast standing shirtless.
Felicity and Oliver's many Ship Tease moments in the second season, to the point she seems to be promoted to the Official Love Interest, seems to be them pandering to the very vocal Olicity fandom. This actually got toned down later in the season when the rest of the fandom complained about it.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Thea, after getting in a car crash whilst high on Vertigo kick-started some much needed Character Development by having her begin working with Laurel at C.N.R.I. and subsequently begin developing a relationship with Roy Harper. It also helped that her relationship with Oliver had become less frosty as the season went on, as they both began understanding what the other had been through in the five years that Oliver was missing.
Romantic Plot Tumor: Season One's Oliver/Laurel was a thoroughly hated romantic element, but was thankfully sunk in Season Two. Some consider Oliver/Felicity to have taken its place in this regard.
Rooting for the Empire: More than a few fans support Malcolm's plan to destroy the Glades, mostly because of how everyone there seems to be a crook and a criminal.
Ship-to-Ship Combat: As of the second season, fans are split between Oliver/Sara and Oliver/Felicity; Sara and Ollie are currently canon ( that is, until "Seeing Red", when she breaks up with him and leaves Starling City), but the writers aren't very subtle with hinting at Felicity's strong feelings for Oliver, so both sides have been arguing quite a bit about it.
Shipping Goggles: Olicity fans are prone to this; one of the more egregious examples is the claim that Felicity calling Oliver by his given name rather than Ollie means that he's closer to Felicity than Laurel or Sara, with the use of Oliver signifying that Felicity knows Oliver's true self while Sara and Laurel use Ollie because they were closer to the man he was before the shipwreck. They seem to forget that everyone in Starling City and on the island refers to him by his given name, while the only who call him Ollie are Thea, Tommy, Sara, and Laurel.
When Island!Ollie is carrying a wounded Slade away from a fight with Fyers, he's shooting a gun. The muzzle flashes are clearly fake though this may very well have been done for safety's sake since shooting one handed with a heavy load in the other hand isn't exactly a good position to be shooting from.
Unlike Smallville and Daredevil which both heavily used it for some of their main casts, this is averted when it comes to the free running bits; likely since the actors themselves are actually very good at it while Smallville took obvious advantage of strings and Daredevil CGI, and the show's realistic tone means that they use realistic stunts rather than the more over-the-top stunts the other two used.
In "City of Heroes", when Oliver and Felicity smash through a window and fall to the floor, you can see the pieces of "broken glass" bouncing up and down; they are actually made of transparent rubber.
In "Heir to the Demon", two characters are poisoned with a venom which causes a haemorrhage in the eye. Rather than portray this realistically (in real life a blood-red patch would appear on the victim's eye), it's shown by some crudely CG-ed golden sparkles.
And "Suicide Squad" has the drone strike. The Conspicuous CGI of the drone might be excusable, given the budget, but the idea that a drone missile would go off with as little force as a firecracker has raised a few eyebrows.
Some feel this way about the idea of Diggle dating his sister-in-law. Others just think it's quite awkward of him to do so, considering that she's the widow of his dead brother. They break up between Seasons One and Two, so it's not really an issue anymore.
Going and back and watching Season One after "State v. Queen" might make some scenes with Tommy and Thea uncomfortable, such as his comment to Oliver about how hot Thea has gotten.
Watching Sin pose as a prostitute in order to draw out a serial killer gets a little creepier when you see "Time of Death" and realize that she's only seventeen.
The ending shot of "The Promise" is a deliberate case; it shows Slade Wilson facing the camera without his eyepatch, and his missing eye is not covered by shadow.
The Reveal in "The Man Under The Hood", meaning that Oliver had sex with Isabel, who had sex with his father. He himself is visibly horrified and disgusted by this.
In "Seeing Red", Oliver's leg gets broken at an extremely painful angle, on screen. To the point where it's almost 90 degrees at the knee...sideways.
Thea to some fans, albeit mostly in Season One. Whilst some people hate her just for being a Canon Foreigner, it doesn't help that at the start of the show, her character was defined by trying to guilt-trip Ollie over being missing for five years and how hard that was on her.
Sadly, she's begun to get more of this in Season Two, what with her letting both her family's and her own assets be lost just because she was too angry at Oliver and Moira to sign a piece of paper and being so unforgiving of her non-biological father choosing to stay over running away with Isabel.
Helena Bertinelli/Huntress. A lot of Birds of Prey fans, and fans in general of the comics, absolutely detest the show's depiction, primarily because it changes her from an Anti-Hero to an Anti-Villain, reduced her competence so Oliver can mentor her, and a general dislike for how she jumps down the slippery slope.
Laurel. While her mixed feelings toward Oliver were somewhat understandable given their turbulent history, a lot of fans were put off that she spent a lot of the first half of Season One telling her father to stop hating Oliver and/or blaming him for her sister's death, while using it herself as ammunition every time she and Oliver got into an argument; others point to her lack of importance to the overarching plot making her a Satellite Love Interest at best. The dislike has increased in Season Two, with Laurel spending the first few episodes wrongfully blaming the Arrow for Tommy's death and having very little relevance to the major plotlines of the season's first half. Then there's her reaction when Sara returns; while her being upset is understandable, the fact that she blames her for everything that has gone wrong in her life makes her come off as immature, especially since both Sara and Oliver have gone through much worse and not turned to drugs and alcohol to cope. Things eventually got so heated that Oliver finally called her out on her behavior and it seems that since then steps have been taken to improve her particularly after Slade reveals Oliver's identity as the Arrow to her, where she worked with Diggle and Felicity to keep Oliver from going on a suicide mission, though only time will tell if this can get her away from the Scrappy label.
Strangled by the Red String: A lot of people don't like the attention that the romance between Laurel and Oliver is given, particularly due to the lack of chemistry between them. Some feel the same way about Felicity and Oliver, despite their having more chemistry, after Season Two laid it on a little too thickly that she was attracted to him.
Strawman Has a Point: Moira's campaign for mayor has been seen as ill-advised by several people, most of whom are either villains (Sebastian Blood) or at the least considered in the moral gray area (Moira herself), whereas several of the good guys (Walter, Thea) see it as a great idea. She initially brings up the very valid point that she was involved in the Undertaking that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of people. After some prodding, she relents, then Blood brings up the (again, very valid) point that during her trial, she painted herself as a fragile creature living under Malcolm Merlyn's thumb, which won't help people believe she's strong enough to hold public office. The points that convinced her to run? Being told that she has high name recognition (to which she snarks "so does Charles Manson"), that she was able to successfully run Queen Consolidated, and that people love redemption stories. A lot of people seem to agree those justifications are a little thin and wonder how anybody thinks it's a good idea.
Oliver not being called Green Arrow. Word of God states that this is because they intend to show Oliver's growth from vigilante to hero, and as such he's not Green Arrow yet.
Oliver's mask being painted on.
Mostly averted when Oliver finally donned a mask in Season Two's mid-season finale. Whilst the reception was positive, you can still find people disappointed that Oliver dropped the face paint in favor of the mask.
Dinah "Laurel" Lance isn't the Black Canary, despite the possibility she could become take up the identity as the show progresses.
As the show has progressed, fans have actually begun to turn on the idea of Laurel ever becoming the Black Canary, and would rather the show strayed from the comics and kept Sara Lance in the role.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Count Vertigo is one of Green Arrow's more prolific and frequent villains, being something of DC's own Doctor Doom, and a member of the Suicide Squad; however, the show used him as a small, minor threat that fans are split on either being entertaining or annoying. So, given that he's killed off after his third appearance, it's a bit wasteful.
After spending a season being made of Badass, having actual chemistry with Oliver and making friends with all of Oliver's allies, and slowly coming to terms with her own lowview of herself, Sara deciding to leave with Nyssa, forgoing her Character Development so Laurel can start to take her place as Black Canary, is a pretty lame way of leaving her character, especially since it makes the build-up of her story arc all for nothing.
They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some fans are disappointed in the Season Two finale because despite Malcolm appearing in it, he never did much aside from persuading Thea to join him and never encountered Deathstroke himself. Of course, with John Barrowman recently being promoted to a series regular and Slade definitely still around, even though he's heavily incarcerated at the moment, that doesn't mean they won't still be able to meet up sometime in the future...
True Art Is Angsty: Between the show's first two season finales, Sacrifice was much more acclaimed, as it dealt with Oliver being unable to completely stop the Glades from being destroyed and ended with the death of his best friend leaving it very downbeat. While Unthinkable was still positively received, most reviewers and fans felt it was the weaker of the two. That episode ends with Oliver defeating Slade without suffering any more major casualties on his side and without resorting to kill again, ultimately ending on a much more optimistic note.
Diggle goes undercover in an attempt to ambush drug dealers... as a potential customer. Largely because they couldn't send Oliver since he's a figure in the public eye, and Oliver and Diggle refused Felicity's offer to go undercover. Wonderfully lampshaded upon Dig's return:
Diggle: Okayyy, person of color has bought you drugs. Felicity: For the record: I offered.
Hilariously riffed on in a Season Two episode. Felicity chews Ollie out for her being "promoted" to his "personal assistant", to which Diggle replies:
Diggle: Could be worse. My secret identity is his black driver.
Starling City's criminal elite have lots of shades of this. The second episode alone features a "legitimate businessman" threatening the life of a police detective and his daughter directly to said detective's face. Directly subverted in the very next scene: With his daughter under threat by an alleged criminal, Quentin... assigns her a police escort for the duration of the case.
In the Season One finale, while the building is coming down around her, Laurel is running to the exit... while holding a bunch of papers. Especially since that few seconds spent gathering those papers and gawking at the falling roof, if spent running, would've got her out of the building before the roof caved in, and subsequently Tommy wouldn't have died saving Laurel. To make it even worse, she'd been warned no fewer than four times to stay out/get out of the Glades, and she still waited until the building started to collapse around her before trying to leave. In Episode Three of Season Two, she even admits that she was being too stubborn and cost Tommy his life.
Something also has to be said for the residents of the Glades who made "The end is nigh" posters instead of evacuating their homes.
Ollie himself gets in on the act in "Birds of Prey" by making Roy break up with Thea. One, not a good idea because she was the only thing keeping the Mirakuru from driving him insane. Two, it leads to her getting kidnapped by Slade.
Ollie appointing Isabel Rochev as CEO while he is busy, a woman he hardly knew. Somewhat mitigated by the fact that the two had developed a friendly working relationship, but given how many times Moira and Felicity warned him about her, it still wasn't his smartest move. Then again, Thea had just been kidnapped by Slade, so he's not unjustified in being distracted.
What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic?: In "Salvation", the way the Hood and Dark Archer kill their targets is pretty much exactly the same — from behind, straight through the chest. The third person in the vicinity is left with a marker of the encounter in their hand.
Tommy's a guy with good intentions but at every turn, people just seem to shoot him down and don't look at what he's trying to be. His dad cuts him off from his trust fund, without so much as an advance warning, purely because he's fed up with Tommy being a Rich Idiot with No Day Job, which in a positive turn of events, leads to Tommy moving in with Laurel and taking a job at Oliver's club. Only that all blows up in his face when he learns that Oliver is the Hood, as he can't look at his best friend since childhood anymore and his own insecurities in comparison to Ollie result in him breaking up with Laurel because he thinks that if Laurel knew what he knew, she'd return to Ollie without a second thought. Oh, and his dad is also the Big Bad. Worse, when Ollie himself tells Tommy to go see Laurel, he sees them making out. Any attempt he makes to become a better person is shot down! And to top it all off, he gets Killed Off for Real in the Season One finale.
Quentin: His daughter died while sleeping with his other daughter's boyfriend, resulting in his wife leaving him. He's spent the time since blaming himself, and now he's so consumed with anger he's unable to let anything go. His remaining daughter not only insists on dating the kind of men he hates, but then she started working with the Vigilante he's trying to take down; as far as he can see it, he's slowly losing the only family he has left and he can't stop it happening. He's briefly reunited with Sara, and learns she's the Canary, but has to tearfully keep her secret and watch her go back on the run, because if she stays her family will be in the League's crossfire.
Laurel: Boyfriend cheated on her with her sister and possibly others as well, then both of them got lost on a boat trip, meaning that she wasn't able to grieve or be mad at them. She finds herself drawn to the wrong type of men, her father's protectiveness borders on manipulation, and she's unable to really help anyone without breaking the law by aiding and abetting a killer and vigilante. Then her new boyfriend (Tommy) breaks up with her for no good reason she can see, and she winds up sleeping with Oliver, only for Tommy to die in the Glades, and Oliver to disappear for a few months.
Moira's only trying to protect her family, but to do so, she has to cross so many lines that its killing her. She had to allow her husband to be killed, an incident that also nearly killed her beloved son, and left him missing for five years. Her second husband then tried to dig into what she was doing, forcing her to sit back and allow him to be abducted. When she tried to end all of his, it ended up resulting in innocents dying in a crossfire, then forcing her to rat out her friend Frank to avoid being implicated and her family being killed.
Thea, despite coming off as bratty, had to suffer the deaths of her father and beloved big brother at 12, and with little support due to how grief stricken her mother was, wound up turning to drugs. Her brother returns home 5 years later, and doesn't seem to want anything to do with her whilst at the same time treating her like he did 5 years earlier. And to top it off, she found out that she's the product of an affair between her mother and the Big Bad Malcolm Merlyn.
Yao-Fei was betrayed by his country and used as a scapegoat in a massacre, resulting in him being sent to a prison island where he was forced to fight for his life. Then, as the only remaining person on the island, he was forced to deal with Edward Fyers and his men by himself before Slade arrived to save him, but he gets stuck too. He befriends and takes care of a shipwrecked Oliver, but he's captured protecting him and forced to betray him in order to protect his daughter, who's dragged into this because of him. He then gets killed by Fyers, courtesy of a bullet to the head.
Slade was a special forces commando sent to an island to rescue a prisoner, only to be captured at some point, with his best friend, and god father to his child, betraying him in a heart beat. He's forced to hide out as he struggles to try and take down Fyers, or at least escape the island, where he's been for years, unable to leave and see his family. He gets one shot at escape, but ends up losing it to save Oliver's ass when he fails to rescue Yao-Fei. He still then sticks around to train the kid the best he can. He also loses the woman he was starting to fall in love with after she tried to save him, and at some point he and Oliver turn on one another, resulting in him becoming a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds.
Shado spent her life looking for her father, who she knew was wrongfully imprisoned. When she believed she could save him, instead she got captured and used as a bargaining chip to make her father betray Oliver. She's stuck on an island with Oliver and Slade, but still remains, mostly, chipper and happy, even joyfully training Oliver in how to use a bow. Then she gets a bullet to the head thanks to Ivo.
Diggle fought in Afgahnistan, until his brother Andy, whom he was close to, was killed by Floyd Lawton, Deadshot, with no arrests made following. He grew close to his brother's widow, but is unable to make a move at first and act on his feelings because she's his sister in law, and it'd be too taboo to do so. When he finally believes his brother's killer has been brought to justice, they find out he's still alive. And when he finds out his former CO is on the list, he tries to prove he's innocent, only to be proven wrong.
Oliver himself: Watched Sara die then had to witness his father kill another man and himself to save him, before then spending five years in hell-on-earth, struggling to survive while plagued by guilt over what he did to Laurel, a time that has ruined his ability to connect with people. He's forced to hide who he is from everyone, and it is not something he's enjoying. In spite of all this, he keeps fighting the good fight. As of Season Two, his best friend is dead (on the day before his birthday no less), his mother is facing the death penalty, the family company is nearly bankrupt, and everything he fought for in the first season was for nothing, as half the Glades has been destroyed. And then we learn that he lied about Sara dying on the boat; he did think she died, but only after their reunion one year after the wreck of the Queen's Gambit. His reason for hiding it? He didn't want to tell Laurel and her father what really happened to Sara, as he implies that it was nothing good.
The Canary aka Sara Lance. She nearly drowns in the wreck of the Queen's Gambit, only to end up on the Amazo prison ship, hardened by a year of fighting to survive. Whatever happened with her on the island, Oliver did not believe she came out of it alive until they meet again, and this time she seems to be running from the League of Assassins and can't go back to her family for their safety and because she is no longer the Sara that they remember.