I was thinking about Arrow some more, going through comments sections and Twitter feeds, and I have to wonder what the target demographic for the show is at this point. When the show started, they were going for the male audience (broadly speaking. I'm not saying that women don't like comic books or action). The show was grittier and more grounded. The fights hit a bit harder. Relationship drama was present, but not overwhelming. It was a comic book show, about a fighter who is taking out bad guys on the streets of a corrupt city. Early casting was also very masculine. Stephen Amell is very muscular. David Ramsey is as well, and we also had Manu Bennett and Collin Donnell. All big, manly men. When Colton Haynes came onto the show, he was playing the younger, skinnier character, but even he was pretty muscular/athletic.
Looking at how the series developed over time, it seems like the tone quickly changed. I never really bought John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn, because he wasn't muscular or intimidating in the least. He looked like a stage actor playing a part. None of the new crop of heroes on the show really sell the part of "superhero". They don't train like Amell, so they're not able to be as physical on screen. Curtis is supposed to be an Olympic athlete, but they kinda play that down because he doesn't look that part at all.
I'm not saying that any of these actors are bad actors or bad people in any way, but I'm not sure that they're right for the parts of superheroes.
But... were they really cast to be superheroes at all? The stories have changed as well, and the show isn't really about the superheroics anymore. It's about drama. Relationship drama. Family drama. People standing in various lairs talking about how much they don't trust each other. Felicity crying, and crying, and crying, and crying.
The show doesn't even try to resemble the comic book source material. In fact, they seem to have gone out of their way to annoy comic book fans who wanted a Green Arrow series.
Looking through the comments and Twitter feeds, I can't claim to have a great view of the audience as a whole, but based on the samples that I saw, it seems like the female audience members were much more excited about the season premiere than the males, and a lot of those comments had the word "Olicity" in them.
Basically, I'm wondering if the mission of the series changed over time. Is the show even targeting the same demo that it was when it premiered? Is it wrong to keep hoping that it "gets back on track" when they might not even be looking to reach the same destination anymore? The action and superheroics don't seem like a priority to the writers, who simply forgot to resolve a major life-or-death fight scene between Felicity and Diaz... or they thought it wasn't important to resolve that scene. They could just mention that ARGUS saved her and that Diaz got away, because nobody needs to see that.
Either way, the episode says a lot about where the writers' heads are. And they're not focused on any mission to save the city. That's just a setting for the drama.