Fall TV Preview

Arrow Season 4: Our Hopes for 'Happy' Oliver, Incidental Olicity, Sara and More

The CW’s Arrow regularly hit gold during its freshman and sophomore runs, but missed the mark at times its third time around. How can Season 4 restore the superhero drama’s uncanny aim?

When last we tuned in, Oliver had defeated Ra’s al Ghul after being groomed, against his will, to succeed to the League of Assassins’ boss man. And though the archer had a plan all along to break the hold Ra’s had on his loved ones, the elaborate ruse nonetheless put his team’s solidarity to the test.

In the end, the latest iteration of Team Arrow — Laurel’s Black Canary and costumed Thea included — proved their ability to survey Starling City in Oliver’s absence, while the Man Formerly Known as The Arrow indulged in a getaway with his lady love, Felicity.

With so much — not the least of which is Oliver’s role as masked vigilante — in play, TVLine loaded its quiver with our hopes for Season 4. Review our wish list below, then share your own ideal Arrow story directions in Comments.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Luis says:

    It cannot be denied – “Arrow” S3 went juuuuuust a bit off the rails – Felicity reduced to the weepy apex of a pointless love triangle, Diggle banished to work the coms in the Arrowcave, Roy’s journey to a faked death, Sara’s death and Laurel’s transition to Black Canary, the Hong Kong flashbacks (the horror, the horror!)
    Still and all, the season was nearly redeemed by a strong villain, an exiting climax and the sight of Oliver smiling (smiling!) as he and Felicity drove off into the sunset.
    My hopes for S4 – a costumed Diggle (the Guardian?), a somewhat more competent Laurel still being trained by Nyssa, Oliver returning to costume sooner rather than later, Thea not descending into full-blown psychosis, plenty of Neal McDonough and even more John Barrowman and, of course, S1 quality Felicity(like Johnson and Johnson baby shampoo, no more tears!)
    My main fear – that we might be bidding adieu to Paul Blackthorne’s Quentin. As evil as Damien Dahrk is being advertised, death is usually that kind of guy’s calling card, and Quentin seems the most likely target. It would be extraordinarily cruel to kill off Quentin without giving him a reunion with a resurrected Sara, but it’s the kind of thing I could see “Arrow” writers doing. I would enjoy being wrong about that.

    • GildedRose says:

      Quentin Lance is not allowed to be killed off until they at least test the Quentin/Donna idea. Give that man a story. Arrow needs to stop killing off characters I like while keeping ones that aren’t clicking.

    • Maryann says:

      I love Quentin and would love to see him get a meaningful story arc.

    • Ashley says:

      I agree with most of your comments, but to be fair the reason Felicity cried was because everything was so depressing last season. It affected her character accordingly. Using Sara’s death as the driver of a lot of the season was a total mistake, it went on way too long (especially when she’s being resurrected). It set a gloomy tone for the whole season. Felicity was crying over Oliver’s ‘death’, then him becoming Al Sah him. That was justified. But the Ray/Felicity/Oliver was pointless for sure, though. It was poorly executed and no one was here for it.

      • Ashley says:

        Just to add to my above comment: And this is why no more triangles are needed, let Oliver & Felicity be happy together in their relationship and let’s see them working together as partners on Team Arrow.

  2. “How can Season 4 restore the superhero drama’s uncanny aim?” stop ripping off Batman?

  3. Shannon says:

    Yes to Deadshot not being dead. One of the most memorable recurring characters the show has.

    • Drew says:

      Sadly, it probably won’t happen due to the Suicide Squad movie.

    • Maryann says:

      I much prefer this Deadshot to what I have seen of the big screen one. I would absolutely love it if he turned out to be still alive. I will not be sitting through that drek of a movie in any case.

  4. Liz says:

    My hopes for season 4? Diggle finally getting a well deserved storyline of his own. I also never want to see him staying behind in the lair while lesser ‘heroes’ go out to play. NO. He’s a soldier. He’s the best guy for the job. I want to see Oliver happy and not keeping plans to himself like he did last season. He needs to be more of a team player.

    I hope we get to see Oliver and Felicity in a loving, happy relationship. I don’t need sunshine all the time, ups and downs are fine, but I want them to stay together. None of this breaking them up and keeping the apart again. It just doesn’t work.

    I want to see Thea kicking ass but also maybe some repercussions of being put in the pit. I was surprised nothing happened there. I don’t want to see Malcolm again. And I’d prefer as little as Laurel as possible. I’m super excited about seeing Sara again. The BC of my heart! I don’t care what they do with Quentin. Laurel selfishly keeping Sara’s death a secret from him basically ruined his character for me. Oh and I really hope we get a better villain this time. Ra’s al Ghul was so weak I spent most of the season bored by him. I do hope we see Nyssa again though. She’s awesome.

    • Liz says:

      Oh, I forgot to add about Felicity. Unlike a lot of people who can’t seem to handle a female crying when everything around her is going to hell, I didn’t mind that she cried a lot. I understood it. The season was depressing as hell. It would have been weird if she had been her usual bubbly self. But I’m looking forward to seeing her happy again. I hope she doesn’t spend another season propping other characters though. We’re in the fourth season and I feel like I know so little about her. I want to know more. I think she deserves her own storyline that’s separate from Oliver and the team and it needs to be about HER. Last year was more about Ray than Felicity and it made me furious. Felicity is more than a love interest.

      • Murica! says:

        It would have been fine if she cried a couple of times, but all she did was whine and cry. She couldn’t deliver one line without crying. They completely ruined felicity. You can thank the shippers. They’ve ruined Arrow with their olicity obsession!

        • J says:

          Oh, relax

        • Ab1973 says:

          Yeah, because obviously it was the Olicity shippers who wanted their preferred pairing NOT together and instead separately miserable, with one dating a toad. That makes perfect sense.

        • Liz says:

          She didn’t cry all the time. And she had every right to cry after everything that happened. Her friend died. And then the man she loved told her he couldn’t be with her but also that he was kind of hoping she’d wait around. Then he kept her dangling with repeated mentions of his feelings all the while pushing her away. Then he went away and essentially died, only to come back and team up with the man that killed their friend and over 500 people. I’m not surprised she cried. It was traumatising.

          Oh and please stop blaming Olicity shippers for everything. They haven’t ruined Arrow at all. No one held a gun to the writers head and told them to put Oliver and Felicity in a romantic relationship. It’s the culmination of 3 years of build up. So. Ok, you don’t like that pairing. Fair enough. Get over it. Stop talking about it. Anyone would think you have the obsession if you keep babbling on about it.

          • Drew says:

            The way you described it above, Oliver sounds like a manipulative, emotionally abusive butt-face liar. So, why should anyone not want Felicity to do better?

          • Ab1973 says:

            I’m with you, honestly. Prior to S3 Oliver Queen was one of my all-time favorite tv characters, but I basically hate him now. Along with emotionally-abusive narcissistic moron, he’s also borderline sociopathic. His whole “my ends justify my means” thing creeps me out to no end. Felicity should worry he’s going to knife her in the middle of the night for some unknown, but in his mind justified, reason, not go toddling off into the sunset with him. It’s no surprise he joined up with Malcolm; they have very similar personalities.

          • Liz says:

            @Drew. I don’t think Oliver is as bad as you’re suggesting but he made some bad choices in season 3, choices which did hurt Felicity. I just don’t think he intended to do those things. He does love her. It’s not like he set out to hurt her. And I don’t think I said anything about people not wanting Felicity to do better. I just said I wish people should stop blaming Olicity shippers for everything when the season as a whole was really poor.

          • Drew says:

            The season as a whole was very poor. Olicity was handled especially poorly, just like the Captain Lance arc and the Ra’s arc. With that foundation for this romantic pairing, it is understandable that people want it gone. It has offered nothing but stupid writing (Felicity and Ra’s talking about boys rather than his… Y’know… Killing her horribly) and tore down Felicity’s character. She became the crying girl back home who had no clue what was going on at any given point. There is good reason for people to hate that relationship. Now the writers either have to make us change our minds, or they have to end it. Either way, what we saw of them in season 3 must end.

          • Liz says:

            @Drew. Again! I’m glad you recognise that everything was badly handled. Thank you. I’m just sick of everyone placing the blame on Olicity when that was just one part of it. And that’s fair if you don’t enjoy that relationship. Each to their own. But I like their dynamic and chemistry and I truly think that now that they’ve stopped trying to keep them apart in all sorts of contrived ways (half the reason why they didn’t work as well as they usually do in season 3) that we’ll see a return to form. But that’s IMO. And I don’t think they’d end it after going to so much trouble to set them up as the main romantic pairing. Anyway, thanks for talking to me nicely. It makes a change.

          • Drew says:

            I never get why people need to bash others for their opinions. I only get sarcastic and snappy with people when they are rude first. :-)
            I guess we’ll see what happens with Oliver and Felicity. I have a feeling that this won’t be a relationship that lasts through the end of the series. To me, they worked better as buds, with Felicity sometimes making inappropriate comments. But I guess we’ll see.

        • Myself.. says:

          Felicity cried every other episode…so annoying..that needs to stop! She was not the only one going through stuff. She was the worst character of s3…TVline was just being more diplomatic in saying Felicity’s wit & joy was dialed down in S3 so as to not offend anyone but it’s simple..she was annoying as F!

        • Lex says:

          Yes. Arrow went completely downhill because of the thing that became the show’s biggest draw after the fight sequences and Stephen’s abs. Darn those shippers, always on Twitter promoting the show!

      • GildedRose says:

        YES to Felicity not being wasted propping, building, and helping spin-off other characters. If she can build all that for others it’s time for Arrow to build HER for her. Get to her story, explore her in a significant way, let’s start seeing a destiny destination take form for her the way it has for all the other characters. Love Felicity. She’s amazing. What I don’t want to see is a storyline that takes her out of the sphere of everybody else again. That was just brutal last year. She rarely interacted with the characters I like (Oliver, Diggle, Thea, Quentin, even Malcolm). So yes to her getting her own story but it needs to be woven through & with the others.

      • Sarah T says:

        I agree, I definitely want to know more on Felicity’s backstory. I’m hoping that Damien Dark is her dad (or at least that we find out who her dad is this season). And a happy Olicity with ups/downs (but still together) is good too. And definitely want to see more Diggle in action, he definitely did not deserve to be sidelined to the comms.

        • Liz says:

          I feel like the only person who doesn’t want Damien Dahrk to be her dad. He’s too evil. I kind of like it that Felicity has a normal family. But if it means we get to learn more about her, then I’ll deal. :)

          • JC1 says:

            You’re not the only one. I don’t like the idea either. DD is being described as pure evil, and that’s not what I want for Felicity’s father. Plus we’ve already done (badly) the evil dad thing with Malcolm and Thea. Not up for round two. Not to mention, DD being her father doesn’t really match up with what little we know about him from Donna and Felicity. I suspect he might end up being someone connected with H.I.V.E., but I don’t think it will be DD. This isn’t OUAT, where everyone significant is related somehow.

      • Sil says:

        Thank you, Liz. I agree with everything. My dissatisfaction with season 3 was that it was depressing as he$$. It was a character building season. Dingle was sidelined, when he is the badass soldier of the team when Oliver was missing and apparently died. Laurel is best as an attorney, IMO. Det Lance was ruined season 3. I adore Paul Blackthorne as Quenten. But, not as a vengeful dad. Laurel was the one who lied to him. She needed to take ownership of that, but, didn’t. I’m hoping for happy Oliver, not a manipulative tyrant, which he can be sometimes. And, Oliver is my favorite. Not pleased by that entire story arc last season for him. I’m so excited for Neil McDonald to be Damian Darhk. Never felt anything sinister from Ra’s Al Ghul season 3. Just devious and backstabbing. Not, what was to be so omninous and viscous as what I thought he’d be. Most of last season was a wash IMO. The best part was Oliver being alive and in a happy place for once. Felicity has been a favorite of mine, until season 3. I never liked what was done with her character at all. I miss Sara and Roy.

        • Diggle has been sidelined since Felicity became part of the team fact!

          • Liz says:

            False. Diggle was sidelined in season 2 and in season 3 to make way for the yearly Lance family storyline. In season 2 both Diggle and Felicity were barely seen for episodes because the focus was heavily on Sara and Laurel. Then in season 3 Diggle actually stayed behind in the foundry while Laurel went out with Roy and then later Oliver. Felicity has no part in it because she’s on the computers. FACT.

      • suzyque says:

        Yes to all of this! The Felicity hate was weirdly strong last year (especially since Barry cried every 2nd episode on The Flash and no one seemed to complain about that), but she’s best when she’s bringing lightness to the team.

      • Its not her character crying that bothers me its just that EBR is abysmal at it or anything drama she is terrible

        • suzyque says:

          I don’t think EBR is terrible at it but yes, she’s definitely stronger with the comedic scenes. So is the actress who plays Laurel. Her scene with Cisco was her best of the entire series.

          • JC1 says:

            I don’t think EBR is bad at dramatic scenes (although I wouldn’t call her Emmy-worthy, certainly). It’s just that, when a note is struck repeatedly over and over again, it starts to become wearing, even if there’s nothing wrong with the note itself. For me, that note was EBR’s “cry voice”, that quavery emotional trembly voice that, by the end of the season, it seemed like she was using more than her normal voice. I didn’t have an issue with scenes where she actually really cried – the scene where she goes down to the old trashed Arrow Cave and breaks down in her old chair felt very authentic to me. It was just that damn “cry voice” that was starting to get on my nerves by the end of the season, and I have always considered myself a Felicity fan.
            EBR got a lot of praise for the “you are not done fighting” scene at the end of season two (and I think deservedly so), but it kind of felt like to me that the writers said…”oh look, they liked that. Let’s give her a whole lot of those kind of scenes!” Which, well. It kind of ends up losing its impact when you do that.
            Just my two cents.

    • LTaveira says:

      I agree with your post.
      Though I still have hope for Quentin. It’s his involvement with Laurel that nose dived his character.

      • Liz says:

        I actually liked Quentin. But then Laurel lied to him repeatedly and the fallout of that just ruined his character for me. I’m still annoyed about it. She’s to blame and yet Oliver gets the brunt of Quentin’s anger. So weird. I just wash my hands of all the Lance stuff now. Over it!

        • GildedRose says:

          Quentin’s great when they let him out of the cage to actually interact with characters I like like Oliver, Felicity… wait. Does he even know Diggle? Have they had scenes? They need to broaden that man’s horizons.

        • Dee says:

          I agree about Quentin’s anger aimed at Oliver. Why didn’t Laurel fess up and tell her father SHE was the one who made the decision not to tell her father about Sara. I am still annoyed by that. Anyway, I hope season 4 is more inviting. Yes, season 3 has some missteps. But, I love this show. I like all of your very calm and rational responses especially to those who keep blaming Olicity for all the problems of season 3. It makes me think they didn’t watch the show at all.

          • Liz says:

            The Quentin storyline was appalling. I was so frustrated the whole time because it was Laurel’s decision to lie to Quentin and she bought the team in on her lies. So when Quentin turned all of his hate at Oliver and the Arrow, it didn’t feel deserved. If Laurel had tried to reason with him and said it was her fault, that would have helped but she didn’t. She just let Oliver take the blame. It was so badly done and really off-putting.

            And thank you, Drew. I enjoy Olicity but I don’t think they were always on form in season 3. They had good moments but I do see the failings of that season. I think to say that they were the best part of the season is as inaccurate to say that they were the worst. But to blame the romance for everything is just unfair. There was nothing really good about season 3. I can’t think of one good thing that happened. I’m hopeful that season 4 is a return to form. It sounds positive so far.

    • shelly says:

      do you think that the writers will break up olicity in order to out Arrow and BC together? I could not deal if that happened. They have no chemistry!!!!! I would stop watching the show.Olicity is the heart of it all.

  5. A says:

    I want Diggle and Felicity to each get their own story arcs, hopefully that will mean H.I.V.E/Andy/Diggle and (finally) finding out who Felicity’s father is. I also want more focus on the core three of Oliver, Diggle and Felicity. For me, the show was at its best when it focused on Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity (ie: the first half of Season Two). Olicity should be a happy, stable, consistent relationship, that is mostly in the background (ie: Felicity’s whole arc shouldn’t revolve around her dating Oliver and vice versa).

    I’d also like minimal time spent on launching Legends of Tomorrow. Arrow has spent a lot of time in the last few seasons launching characters for this spin-off (Sara, Ray) and launching Barry/The Flash. So it’s time that Arrow focused its story arcs on its own regular characters (ie: Oliver/Diggle/Felicity/Thea) and not on guest stars or spin-offs.

    Oh, and more Donna :)

    • LTaveira says:


      The core three have always been the interesting and captivating ones on the show. A great villain defines the hero so I hope this season we are blown away.

    • Liz says:

      Agreed. I’d love it if they didn’t keep using Arrow to launch all these spin-offs but I think that’s a fantasy now.

    • GildedRose says:

      Yes! Great post and you brought up a great point about all the spin-offs and the frustration of having Arrow used as the breeding ground for every new spin off and spin off character. It got old awhile ago. Get back to Arrow *on* Arrow and start letting these shows pull their own weight on their own time instead of borrowing Arrow’s.

    • Sarah T says:

      Yes, this!

    • Sil says:

      Absolutely, the truth.

  6. Ab1973 says:

    Oliver not being the actual dumbest television character ever to manage successfully to breathe.

  7. Kendall says:

    I agree with most of this list but do hope that we get a little more than incidental olicity, it is an important piece of the show and I think all we need is balance with the love story and the action. I do a hundred percent agree that we need more Diggle and Lyla and hopefully Original Team Arrow gets ALOT of focus this season because the show mostly works because of that trio. Looking forward to Oliver, Diggle, Felicity, Thea, Quentin and Lyla’s journeys this season though.

    • suzyque says:

      I think what they meant by ‘incidental Olicity’ is that there’s drama around them, but not because of them – which I’d love. After all the angst and mishandling of their slow burn last year, I’d love to see them happy and working as a team.

      • Kendall says:

        Ah, okay you have a point. Yes, the angst became unbearable. I heard that all the actors together told the Eps that the season was too dark. Let’s hope season 4 can balance fun, humor, drama and angst so the show will be more well rounded

  8. Eli says:

    Oliver, Felicity and Diggle. That’s all I need and I’m tuning in every week.

    There is this sheep mentality in the fandom right now that because one person said Felicity cried all the time then it must be true. And I’d like to add that unlike some people, I don’t need to see Felicity of season 1 if she’s only liked because she is comic relief. Crying isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s what you do with you pain that makes you strong. I’m thinking that taking down Slade, helping Oliver to become a hero, saving his life, helping Ray suit up, while giving Barry some much needed advice is all forgotten about just because the woman cries when the love of her life dies and then comes back and then leaves to join a group of assassins. Like you wouldn’t cry too. Felicity is the strongest character in the show in my opinion because she expresses all her emotions instead of hiding from them. Her first boyfriend comes back from the dead and kidnapped her but she handle him like a boss. Don’t be a sheep!

    • Liz says:

      Same. Oliver, Diggle and Felicity make this show. I like a few other characters like Thea and I really liked Roy, but I can pretty much leave everyone else. Give me those three and I’m very happy.

      And thank you for the Felicity/crying comment. I didn’t like seeing her so sad all the time but crying was natural in the face of everything she dealt with. And I was glad to see her grow beyond comic relief. She’s more than that. She’s an amazing character. She has more layers now.

      And really, with all this complaining that all she does is cry, well when she doesn’t cry at all next season, given that it’s a lighter season, all these haters will have no reason to moan all the time. Hahaha. Seriously. If that’s their only complaint, it’s like the easiest thing to fix. LOL.

    • Myself.. says:

      There’s no sheep mentality here..S3 ruined Felicity’s character. Seeing a woman cry over and over about a man who does not want to be with her is just so depressing and esp if it’s every other episode that she’s crying. And what infuriates me most is that Thea & Laurel came into their own in s3, the writers used all the ‘dark & gloom’ of the season to prop up Thea & Laurel but not Felicity.

    • Dee says:

      Great comment. Well said.

  9. James D says:

    All really good points made by Matt and Vlada. Season three was terrible IMO there is no point in mincing words this show always teetered on the edge of strong masked vigilante drama and soap opera the problem last season (one of them at least) was it became more soap opera than strong drama, and by doing so greatly damaged a lot of characters most importantly was Felicity. I’m sorry if this offends anyone but Olicity needs to end it was all well and good when it was just the tertiary flirt, glance, or one of Felicity’s golden quips but ever since it became a more integral part of the show it has cheapened both characters for me by making Felicity a wining nagging crybaby and Oliver a weak guilt fest, again sorry but it’s just my opinion. I really hope this season they push it to the background and concentrate more on getting back to season 1 & 2 focused drama. I’m stoked about Neal he is a great actor and a fantastic Baddie can’t wait to see what they do with Darhk. I also hope they continue developing Laural.

    • Ab1973 says:

      Felicity may have cried a bit much, but Oliver went from a guy who could think tactically in seconds (e.g., knowing exactly where the fire extinguisher was when McKenna interrupted him in going after China White so he could turn and shoot it to create a diversion) and learn two very difficult languages (Russian and Mandarin) so well that he could pass as a native speaker to a guy who was so stupid that, among many other stupid decisions, he told the League of Assassins that the bad guy they were after was his little sister’s bio-dad for no reason whatsoever, and sabotaged a plane in a way that it would go down at the end of its flight, when it was over the nice populated USA instead of the high plains of the evil guys’ hideout, and with a mostly-empty gas tank so that it wouldn’t explode. Meaning rescuers rushing to the site of the crash would get a nice dose of the bioweapon from the now-broken glass vials. Oh, and who was thoughtful enough to ensure there was ONE FREAKING PARACHUTE right there for RAG to use to survive the planned crash. S3 Oliver is an absolute, utter moron, and by far the most ruined main character, with probably Quentin just behind him. He is the dumbest “superhero” since The Tick, who is at least funny in his stupidity.

      • GildedRose says:

        I think a large part of the issues with Season 3 when it came to character as a whole for everybody across the entire canvas is that choices were made by plot-driven need, not character. It turns everybody into a pretzel. Oliver suffered from a passive stance all season. It was like he never made choices, he was pushed into things. He only reacted to everything, which made him like a passenger in his own life vs. the driver. Arrow also suffered for not putting consistent, spoken aloud character POVs on the screen. We had to constantly guess why characters were doing what they were doing and that would go on for episodes at a stretch before someone finally said, “I did that because of X” or “I reacted that way because I felt xyz.” Sometimes we didn’t even get *that.* You can’t do that. We need to know WHY characters make the choices they do. So hopefully that improves a lot in season 4.

      • Natasha0726 says:

        i have no words for how much I love this comment! I’m a big arrow fan but Oliver was beyond foolish this season. Dig &Felicity are the only reason he defeated Malcolm and spade yet this time he decides to go it alone. It was like they purposely regressed his character. Beyond that there was just inconsistent writing. It took a lawyer, arrow, arsenal, dig & his ex spy wife

        • ab1973 says:

          Yeah, he learned teams are good over and over in S1, and over and over in S2, then in S3 he was all “Derr, I ain’t gonna tell my team nuthin’ or get their thoughts re tactics or strategy on nuthin’! Cuz my team never did nuthin’ for me anyway, derr! [Other than save my ass constantly and provide the means by which I defeated both Villains of the Week and both seasonal Big Bads.]”

  10. Kate says:

    I agree with all of your hopes, and what I heard from Comic Con, it sounds like at least the first two will be addressed fully. Like Oliver is going to have a lot more of Stephen’s actual personality seep in (and if you don’t know, Stephen is actually kind of fun) and Felicity already has a story line set up to make her independent of the emotional romance of everything. Like, I could see the showrunners looking at one of their own relationships and be like, wait, they could easily be like us where they are fun and cool together but they have their own thing going on. But, like, it might be similarly interesting to introduce more of Emily’s own personality into Felicity (with less swearing) and I sense Mr. Terrific’s introduction might be how they are doing this (probably observing Emily and Colton’s dynamic which was fun).

    I just have to think that this season is more focused on Diggle’s mission and everything and Oliver is actually more of a backseat person, well, also because it might take them a bit to figure out how to have him, the guy either who is supposed to be dead or is wanted for murder, integrate back in.

    They had to hear all the complaints about Hong Kong, which I really think could have been a two episode arc while Oliver was recuperating. Leave it as a mystery who this guy that Oliver kept calling Maseo but insisted his name was Sarab and then answer it. It might have made his death sadder. I mean I even hope we know the answer to Diggle’s issue are back there from the beginning and we want to yell at Oliver to think about that and that might be the big surprise when whoever shows up actually shows up.

  11. Drew says:

    The thing with Laurel is that she can’t just be part of Team Arrow. Black Canary is her own hero, and a pretty big deal. Eventually, Laurel will have to have her own action, aside from the team. And she will need to become Oliver’s equal… But not over night.
    Malcolm, I honestly have no idea about. I don’t get why he is on the show.
    Captain Lance needs more than nookie with Felicity’s mother. He was completely destroyed last year. A great character was butchered. I don’t know how he can come back from that without our having to play stupid and forget that it ever happened. Nothing about the police force in the later episodes made any sense!
    Maybe Lance can end up in prison and make some apologies from there.

    • Kendall says:

      Oliver’s equal? I think that was done for in season 3 when they couldn’t even work together without ruthless barbs and no respect on Laurel’s part for Oliver. Btw, you’re probably one of the ones who hates Original Team Arrow but they were there first and Oliver all ready has two equals and partners and their names are John Diggle and Felicity Smoak. The Eps, the press and the actors, especially David Ramsey himself have admitted that that trinity is the core of the show so that’s not changing just because Laurel copied her sister’s outfit. Not the comics, buddy.

      • Drew says:

        Okay, I don’t think I’ve used this line since the turn of the millennium, but take a chill pill. Don’t have a cow, man.
        You want them to take one of the strongest female comic book characters and use her only as a bumbling, whiny, side-side-sidekick? No. This may not be the comics, but she is still Black Canary. That means that she will never be a part of the core Team Arrow (omg, you got something right!), because her arc should be taking her toward her own mission and her own team.
        People love to whine about how this isn’t the comics, so none of the comic book traditions apply. But just like Sara died and The Canary gave way to Laurel’s Black Canary, and just like The Arrow is transitioning into Green Arrow, and just like Thea (aka Mia) became Speedy, and just like Ray is figuring out how to shrink… The comic books are still in play. The only people who can’t see that are the ones who are clinging desperately to Olicity, which doesn’t even make a difference anyway. I don’t care who ends up with whom, but to turn Dinah Lance (Laurel is her middle name) and Black Canary into anything less than Oliver’s equal will be insulting to just about everyone, from comic book geeks, right on down to the feminists.
        They don’t need to fall in love, but Laurel should not be his underling. Not after knowing him for as long as she has, and not with their history.

        • I agree that they have history, but until the narrative progresses to the point where she can kick but like he can, she’s not his equal.

          • Drew says:

            As I said, that’s where her arc needs to go over the next couple of years.
            But I think that Laurel can’t just be a part of the team, like Diggle and Felicity. She and Oliver started with a personal relationship, as friends. They should be relating to each other in that way. I don’t like how impersonal their relationship has become. I’m not talking romance. I think that she can relate to Oliver in a way that nobody, except maybe Thea can. She knew the old Oliver. She knows how much he’s changed. She knew Tommy and Sara in ways that nobody else in the group did (again, with the exception of Thea). Last year, they had a lot of Oliver barking at Laurel, but they should be playing a different angle with her. She isn’t merely another part of his team, she is another player on the board, like Ray and Barry.

          • She’s a part of his life. I never said she wasn’t. But we’re talking about a group that routinely puts their lives on the line, and she was portrayed as being a liability because of her inexperience. Oliver never wanted her in the field to being with, hence his attitude towards her during season 3. Skills-wise, she’s somewhere around Thea (maybe). Which is still well below Oliver. His attitude might have been rude, but it was borne out of his concern for her safety. Probably *because* they have such a long history. Maybe in season 4 he’ll relax and treat her as more of a part of the team, but to me it seems more natural for Diggle (once they repair the bromance) to be his equal.

          • Drew says:

            Diggle is a part of Arrow’s team. There was some gibberish last year about them all being equal on the team, but ultimately, it is Arrow’s team. That means that Diggle and Felicity are sidekicks by default. Diggle has his own side missions. Once they become a larger part of his life and he isn’t a sidekick, he can be an equal.
            But none of that really matters. They can all be equal! What I mean is that Black Canary is like Wonder Woman or Batman orBlue Beetle. Once she gets to a certain point, her working with Oliver shouldn’t be “Black Canary is on Arrow’s crew”, it should be a crossover event.
            I don’t see what the argument is about. I haven’t said anything in disagreement with anyone, have I?

          • The issue is that she’s not there *now*, so I don’t see why you’re making a big deal out of it. She’s not to the point that they can do anything like another spinoff so she can shine on her own, so I think you can relax and let the story flow. This is just as much her origin as his, and right now, she’s still learning, so she *has* to be part of a team in order to survive.
            And no, I never saw Diggle as just part of the team. He’s been clear with Oliver from the beginning that he’s either an equal partner or nothing at all. I think that the ‘Canary Trilogy’ made the team more of a democracy, where they all pull their weight. If you’ll remember, there was a lot of animosity over Oliver keeping his plan a secret from everyone, particularly from Diggle. They only fell into line because they *had* to.
            In the future, I see everyone being equal. Right now, Diggle is the only one with the experience and the skills for that.

          • Drew says:

            My exact quote from my first comment: “Eventually, Laurel will have to have her own action, aside from the team. And she will need to become Oliver’s equal… But not over night.”
            Which part of that implied that I think that Laurel is Oliver’s equal right now?
            And the democracy thing is a cute idea, but it makes about as much sense as the no-kill policy. You don’t go into war with a democracy, taking votes every time a decision is made. Teams have leaders for a reason, and Oliver is that final say. He has some great advisers, but his word is the last word. If they disagree, they can walk away. Team Arrow will remain as long as there is and Arrow. If he steps down, someone else will take over the name and the role, and they will be the leader. What we saw last year was a city on the verge of destruction because Oliver went away for a few weeks. They didn’t hold it together at all.

          • JC1 says:

            I don’t see how Laurel can get her own team, own action, mission, whatever, separate from Team Arrow, and still stay on the show. Part of the complaints about Laurel for the prior two seasons was that she was so often off in her own little storylines. Now that they’ve integrated her into the main storyline, why would they separate her out again? If she’s not a member of Team Arrow (and thus on an equal footing with Felicity, Diggle, and Thea), why would they keep her on the show? Honest question – I’m not trying to be snarky. I just really can’t picture what you’re talking about here, short of giving Laurel her own spinoff, and I doubt that’s going to happen.

          • That was the only line where you mentioned future tense in your first two posts. Other than that, you acted like the present was an affront to her character. When she’s not anywhere near being the comic book BC yet.
            And JC1 has an excellent point, btw.

        • Arsenal says:

          I agree, and I actually think this will be the case further down the road. I’m not sure why anyone had a problem with your comment; you were clearly talking in the “future” tense.

          Generally, teams have leaders. Felicity & Diggle can be considered equals, but Oliver is still the leader. That won’t change. All you need is basic comprehension skills to understand what you meant regarding Laurel’s equality.

          Also, the whole “this isn’t the comics” argument is becoming ridiculous. Really? Everybody knows that. But with that said, I’d like to think that the showrunners/writers respect the source material. ‘Cause when you think about it, they wouldn’t have a show if not for the comics. Laurel/Black Canary will continue to become more like her Comic Book counterpart, just like Oliver is.

  12. Trish says:

    You hit on a few decent points, but I’ll have to disagree with a few. Fans have to stop demanding that Felicity Smoak remain the static character she was often portrayed as in season one. It’s insulting. It denies her character the evolution and changes that every other character has received on the show. As a fan, she’s not there to only serve as the break some of you need from Arrow’s gritty nature. That places her in a position of being denied agency and depth as a character. Having said that, I had issues with season three. For example, the fact that powers were introduced but not for the betterment of Oliver Queen, the show’s protagonist. Which seems ridiculous to me. I miss the grounded gritty nature of seasons one and two that contained more grit, street fighting (brawling), parkour, and hand-to-hand combat. Let’s put away the swords and stop portraying every character as proficient with a bow. Another point is this new formula of insta-heroes, it waters down Oliver’s journey, the gravity and personal experience it took to get him there. What is it, 8-9 years now for Oliver? Yet others are dong it in a span of weeks or months? Most importantly, it’s not necessary to pretend as if the original team arrow core dynamic (Oliver, Diggle, Felicity) weren’t a well oiled machine for three years with every role filled with a specific expertise or purpose. It’s palpable when you sideline any of these characters simply as a way to incorporate new additions. It highlights the redundant nature of their existence. Arrow has failed to show me what these new additions offer to the team other than strength in numbers. Another point, Arrow can’t continue to be used as a vehicle for spinoff shows and DC characters with potential. I know more about guest stars and recurring characters than I do the Arrow characters I watch for. They need to spend more time fleshing out their own cast. It’s taken 2 years to simply circle back to HIVE and PapaSmoak. Also, and I think this is huge, it has not escaped my attention that I just spent an entire season following the fallout and ramifications of Sara’s murder, only clearly it was a waste of my time considering they’re bringing her back to life. The Sara drama has to stop on Arrow. It’s never-ending. If she was supposed to impact the show for so long like this it sort of defeats the purpose of Laurel Lance. It’s all become too redundant and annoying. Finally, people need to let go of this notion that Arrow isn’t a drama and littered with soapy drama since it’s began. For example: Paternity reveals, sister swapping, romantic angst, cheating, lies, scandals, long lost kids, unplanned pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse, sleeping with your father’s mistress, daddy issues, love triangles, you name it, Arrow has shown it. So why the pearl clutching now, it’s almost irrational. Peace.

    • GildedRose says:

      Excellent post and yes, all of that, especially the part about Felicity Smoak deserving the right to be and grow as a character and BE a character, not just stuck in some one-mode thing, which I firmly believe the writers have zero intention of doing. She’s going to get her own presence in stories, just as everybody else has. She gets that right as a series regular.
      You also brought up a great point about powers. I just can’t with this on Arrow. It really causes problems. Arrow is supposed to be ground, gritty, and real. When they bring powers on it makes the whole show wobble for me & it almost forces Arrow to bring on other super-powered heroes to handle it because Oliver *can’t.* I just don’t care for it at all.
      LOL at the reality of soap opera elements. So flipping true. I know it “sounds good” as a criticism but there is nothing about any show that isn’t born of soap opera elements. Singing “Let it go” here.
      Arrow needs — first and foremost — to remember that it’s not the masks that make characters interesting. It’s the people under them. If you haven’t made me care about that character? Slapping leather and latex on them isn’t going to make them instantly riveting. If anything, it makes it feel forced, contrived, rushed, unearned, and, well, dull.

      • Trish says:

        Well said. I agree. If I don’t care about the character to begin with, slapping them in a mask won’t change that. And the powers thing has clearly been done to justify the presence of other characters but never Oliver or his journey. It’s been used so poorly thus far. Look at how Ray zapped Roy and the show just left him there with viewers wondering if the boy was dead. Why? Because how would viewers know his “zap” or the use of powers wasn’t lethal? It’s just messy and has no place on Arrow. This isn’t the Flash and I think it’s insulting to fans that watched Arrow to change it to accommodate powers on another show. It’s made me stop watching the Flash, because I resent the intrusion on Arrow.

        • Kendall says:

          Also why I can’t watch Legends. I love Caity and Ciara but the favoritism given to that show and The Flash has made me resentful

          • ab1973 says:

            I can’t/won’t watch Legends, despite my Sara love, because I genuinely loathe Ray Palmer. He’s a cane toad. A zebra mussel. A living, breathing turd…and not a cute one like Mr. Hankey.

      • Sil says:

        Absolutely true.

    • Riley Morgan says:

      Fans need to stop demanding what they want? Seriously? Fans are entitled to voice and campaign for whatever they want too whether they like or hate something. The writers don’t have to listen and most of the time they don’t but when they do yay for those fans. TV is always in motion and soon enough they’ll be other aspects that fans like or hate its the way of this business and these fans won’t always be happy and maybe at the next spin you’ll get what you want and I bet you won’t be too happy with people telling you to stop liking what you like.

      it always peeves me when just because someone doesn’t like something that others do they get pissed off at the fans of that liking. Instead of you guys being pissed off at these fan you should actively campaign for what you do like and what you do wish to see to the writers which would probably be more productive.

      • Liz says:

        I agree that fans should ask for what they like. Focusing on the positives rather than hating on things is the best way to go. However, I do agree with Trish above about Felicity. Demanding that Felicity stay as that same season 1 ‘comic relief’ type of character is unfair. All characters should have growth and layers. And Felicity deserves more than being comic relief. But on the whole, yeah. Voice what you like. I don’t believe in complaining about what you hate though. That just falls on deaf ears most of the time.

    • suzyque says:

      Great points, though I don’t think complaining about Felicity’s behavior in S3 is the same as saying we don’t want her to evolve. She went through some heavy stuff; of course she deserved to be emotional and not just serve as the show’s comic relief. But there were episodes last season where I didn’t even recognize her. Like the one where Ray finds out that Oliver is the Arrow, and she ends up apologizing to him? And throwing that “you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” line in Oliver’s face. Who was that?!

  13. GildedRose says:

    I’m totally ready for Arrow to re-focus and get back to all the things that made this show strong. For me, that’s Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle. Those core three — their stories, their lives, their team-status, their loved ones — make the show fun to watch. I am beyond ready for Oliver to get some joy in his life and find a more even keel. Felicity regaining that spunk and sass will be great. And Diggle doing anything but monitoring the coms while people I don’t understand (and really don’t care about) venture into the field to get all the action.
    I can’t wait to see Oliver and Diggle work to repair their relationship. Diggle/HIVE is a story I’ve been waiting for forever, same with Felicity and her father. What’s up with that? They’ve teased it for 3 seasons now. Hoping we see that pay off.
    I’m also loving the idea that Oliver and Felicity will be a together couple. No more wishy-washy anything. Make them that united front, fighting to make that relationship work, and get them back into the action and adventure. I love romance and still want its presence woven into the show though. It still needs to *be* an element for them and for the story, and nothing compliments a romantic couple more than great adventure and danger.
    I want Felicity to get back into the missions and the field, too, like she was in the first few seasons. No more benching her and keeping her out of the game for dumb reasons. Oh, and she should continue to build tech & weaponry too. I’d love to see her doing that for Oliver and the team this year.
    I saw a little shout out there for Quentin Lane and Donna Smoak. Yes! Let’s do that! Quentin need a story of his own and he and Donna would make such a great couple with built in conflicts and fun. That would be so watchable.
    Deadshot not being so dead, Oliver/Felicity/Diggle working as a team again, Felicity and Thea continuing to grow a friendship, Lyla and Felicity interacting more, organically integrated flashbacks, …. excited for all of those things.

    • Georgia Madman says:

      They’ve so gotta do “Smoakin’ Lance”. Ever since I saw that picture of them together I’ve wanted that. The comedy potential would be immense.

  14. Maryann says:

    I would love flashbacks to Olivers’s time away with Felicity.

  15. Maryann says:

    Okay, my biggest hope for next season is the Oliver Felicity romance simply be a fact of life now and not create its own drama. I want to see the fact that they are a devoted couple simply be there in the background and not have its own story line. This would let Oliver lighten up and Felicity return more to the character we saw in season 1. Unlike some, I trust the writers (aside from what they have done with Laurel and with her relationship to her dad) and am really looking forward to what they will do with the main story lines for season 4.

  16. Brad says:

    Is it too much to ask that they kill off Laurel and bring back Sara full time?

  17. KayCeeCee says:

    Kill off the Felicity character. That would (i) give Oliver more angst; (ii) help clear the path for Arrow and Black Canary; and (iii) band the team together.

    • I prefer the ‘lighter’ tone that the EPs promised us. I’m done with wanting to throw things at the the TV because Oliver is an idiot.

      • Liz says:

        Me too. I want Oliver to be happy. Killing Felicity would devastate him and set him back on all his progress. No thank you! Also she’s invaluable to the team. IMO she’s here to stay and I’m very happy if that’s the case.

  18. Lothlorien says:

    Excited for Damian Darhk and some more development for Oliver and Felicity! Can’t wait for season 4!

  19. Pdd Arrow says:

    Totally agree with everything!

  20. Oliver: Yeah, I wouldn’t mind an Oliver that isn’t always brooding. Can that be a thing?
    Felicity: I’m with Emily Bett on this one; I want her to be more happy, too. Her wit was greatly missed, even if I understood it’s absence. But yeah, Olicity doesn’t have to star in the show, just be *part* of it, like Diggle and Lyla.
    Diggle: Yes! More bromance, Diggle in the field… and maybe not a cumbersome ‘identity concealer’? The mask he’s worn previously would be a great permanent addition, if at all possible. Oh, and more of his family. What is Lyla doing, now that she’s not with ARGUS?
    Thea: Yes, LP aftereffects, please. Though I have to ask: I know it was supposed to be functional, but why would the LOA put her in a dress with slits up to mid-thigh?
    Laurel: Yeah, we need to see that she’s still learning, just to keep continuity. And if he’s available, I’d love to see J.R. Ramirez again.
    Nyssa: Yes, more!
    Damian Darhk: My experience with this char is limited, to say the least, so I’m taking the ‘wait and see’ approach.
    Sara: Will her family be unaware? We’ll see.
    Malcolm: Ultimately, I think his ascension makes sense, and I think he’ll be a presence, even without showing his face, because that was how they played him thus far in the series. Though yes, his appearances will require some explanation. Maybe Damian will treat him as a nemesis, even though he’s not the Ra’s he knew?
    Lyla: See Diggle. Though I think, what with her reason for quitting ARGUS, she might be the National Guard of Team Arrow.
    Deadshot: Oh, I’d *love* it if he managed to survive. Please?
    Lance: Oh, yes! Please, SmoaknLance! I don’t even care if they wind up as OTP! I just want some funny scenes with these two, it would be epic. And, of course, maybe a father/daughter reconciliation?
    Flashbacks: Yeah, they could be better. More like seasons 1 and 2.
    Excited for season 4!

    • Kendall says:

      Actually DR mentioned Lyla becoming the head of Argus after Waller Is killed at the beginning of the season which is PERFECT especially since they’re going up against HIVE they’ll need all the help they can get and can you imagine Diggle having the ultimate connection with his wife the head of a top secret, badass organization? I just can’t wait for more Lyla in general because she’s become one of my favs along with Oliver, Diggle, Felicity and Thea. I hope to see more interaction between her and all those people I just mentioned

      • That’s just big enough for me to be cautious about it happening. Remember, we were supposed to get Ted Kord (the char having been teased for the first two seasons) and they wound up having to use Ray Palmer because DC wouldn’t give them Ted. This isn’t the same thing, but something could still come up. I’ll be really excited if it *does* happen, though.

  21. JC1 says:

    Honestly the only reason I’m watching Arrow at all this next season is for Sara. Otherwise I wouldn’t even be bothering. I used to love this show, but it started on a downhill slide starting with Shado’s execution in season two and hasn’t recovered. I’m really sick of characters doing stupid things because plot so dictates, not because it actually makes sense. Marc Guggenheim has said on his Tumblr that they’ve “gotten a lot of mileage out of Oliver having his head up his ass” and in an IO9 interview that he often jokes that “

    • JC1 says:

      Accidentally hit post. :( …”Oliver’s bad choices are part of the currency of the show.” I’m tired of it. As far as I’m concerned, the Malcolm/Ra’s/LoA plot this last season was a complete nonsensical disaster. The flashbacks, though I loved Tatsu and Maseo, were only vaguely connected to the present, and were mostly a waste of time. And as far as I’m concerned the only good thing to come out of Laurel’s BC arc was her friendship with Nyssa. And then there was Ray Palmer, who didn’t become interesting (to me) until episode 19 when he finally started interacting with someone other than Felicity.
      So yeah. I hope they can right the ship and fix the problems. But I wouldn’t be sticking around to find out if it weren’t for Sara coming back. Just my perspective.

      • ab1973 says:

        Yeah, and it’s not just that Oliver made poor emotional decisions in S3. That I could live with, because he’s emotionally screwed up. But he was as dumb as a doorknob, intellectually/tactically/strategically, all season long. From 3.4 to 3.23, he basically proved every episode that he had been eating lead paint chips during the entire hiatus. I cannot root for a moronic superhero, especially a very unheroic, incredibly controlling, fairly creepy moronic superhero. They have GOT to stop making him stupid.

        • JC1 says:

          Hahahaha very true. That would be one of my top wishes – bring back smart Oliver. If you rewatch early S1 episodes, it’s almost painful how much he was dumbed down this season. I think the only reason he beat Ra’s is that Ra’s turned out to be dumber than him (they really did butcher that character).

          • Ab1973 says:

            Oh no, Oliver beat Ra’s, who had thoroughly whipped his butt a few months prior, and who has been swordfighting for 100+ years, after a few weeks practice with Malcolm and maybe a week post-fake brainwashing with the LOA, because Felicity’s pep talks are JUST THAT GOOD.

            Most contrived BS I have ever seen. Pep talks do NOT GIVE PEOPLE SWORDFIGHTING SKILLS.

            And yeah, in S1 and even S2, he was really smart, tactically especially. I always use the fire extinguisher example, that he had noted its precise location just walking down the hall and instantly came up with the plan to turn and shoot it to create a diversion. In S1. In S3 he was lucky his poor damaged brain remembered to breathe in and out on the regular.

  22. TVRocks says:

    Enough with the flashbacks, it slows the story down.

  23. DarkDefender says:

    Amen to pretty much all of these. Papa Lance and Mama Smoak needs to happen.
    That wish about Nyssa, though brief, is spot on.

  24. S3 didn’t work 4 me coz Olicity is the most forced,wishy washy tv romance I’ve seen in years and second Laurel sucks as Black Canary looks terrible in the suit and like EBR can’t act

  25. Ella says:

    Felicity was destroyed the moment she became a love interest. As was the show. Damn, I miss season 1.

    • Brigid says:

      Agreed. I totally loved her and Oliver working together as friends. I feel like the love was way rushed. He was sleeping with Sara most of season 2 and season 3 begins with him in love with Felicity was totally unrealistic.

      Another thing that bothers me is that people think Thea being trained by Malcolm for 3 moths and fighting like Oliver is believable but Laural training all season long with the boxing dude and then Nyssa plus having taken some defense classes in Season 2 still shouldn’t know how to fight. HUH? The BEST thing about season 3 was Laural and Thea and I hope these 2 will continue to be featured. Not every fan of the show wants it to revolve around only 3 characters.

      • JC1 says:

        Sara and Oliver got together at the end of episode 13 and broke up in episode 20. 7 – 8 episodes. Hardly most of the season. More like a third of it.

  26. Ashley says:

    I am excited about S4. Olicity is an important part of the show & I want to see them happy together & working together, less drama & angst overload like last season. I think this is, overall, a great list. S3 had its flaws for sure- Stop with the suit overcrowd & constant spinoff pushing. The spinoff stuff is okay in small amounts, as long as Oliver isn’t getting sidelined in his own show (which happened in the back half of last season) and it doesn’t take away from the stories of the core three (Oliver, Felicity, Diggle) and Thea, as well. I am excited for Sara Lance to come back, though, definitely. She was a great character that has been extremely missed. Also, fix the flash backs! The Hong Kong flashbacks weren’t as good as S2s and I think it was a big problem. They weren’t as clearly tied to the present day or as engaging.

  27. puja says:

    We need Constantine on S4 of Arrow!

  28. Azerty says:

    Basically I agree with everything you said except for villain of the week. I hate that pace. If we need other villains than Damien Darkh in that case be at least 3 episodes arc like they did with Brick last season. 1 episode = 1 bad guy doesn’t allow to fully explore them and it make Team Arrow seems invicible. I would have also added to the list the return of Roy (yes I am still not over it) at least for 1episode or 2 and also more cross over with Flash (even though I know there will be at least one before mid-season). The chemistry between Barry and Oliver is beyond awesome.

  29. Gail says:

    I know they are saying the reason Oliver will come back to Starling City is to help his sister but wouldn’t Felicity be called back first to take control of Ray Palmer’s company because everyone will think he is dead at the beginning of the season and he left the company to her?

  30. didacus mweya says:

    I really appreciate the series and it is so technological, hope the coming season will be more attracted..

  31. Lots of good comments on my favorite show. I’m glad Sara is coming back, I thought killing her off was a big mistake. But the show does need to be careful about too many characters with too many story-lines. They don’t want to wreck the chemistry like Heroes did.

  32. John says:

    Sara, and the Gang from The Waverider, with Rip… come back to visit Ollie and give a little Retribution to Damian Darhk. Darhk Killed Larel, so Sara, was cryingand Rip consoled her…. Sarah has some avenging to do, and for the most of the team, I wouldn’t mind seeing Mick, Singe Damian to a Crisp, like he did with Vandal.( Almost killed him twice as a matter of fact, but Sara got him, then Ripped pushed him into the Electrical generator).

    I’m sure there is a small Crossover, going on here, as I don’t see how in previous shows, that Ollie will be able to kill Darhk. Funny how Darhk, used to be “Dum Dum Dugan” pity.