I think Arrow needs to step it up. I've been thinking about it a lot this season, especially after the Birds of Prey episode. It feels like there's something lacking.
I'm going to start off by saying that I really enjoy this show, but I don't absolutely love it. I don't have to tune in every week or die of anticipation like I used to with DS9, Buffy, Angel, Battlestar Galactica...and I should. The show is really good, but there's something missing and I can't quite put my finger on it.
However, if I have to guess, I'd say that the show has been coasting a bit. We've gotten lots of guest stars and fast paced action, but nothing Earth-shattering. It's like the show figured out in the first season what it does right and it's been doing that ever sense. It really needs to step everything up to the next level. It's still early days (DS9 and Angel didn't get awesome until season three) so heading into season three, what would Arrow have to do to become one of the best genre shows on television? I have three suggestions:
1) Thin out the cast. I love most of these people but there are too many of them running around and the stories have become diluted. This one is easy but Laurel needs to go. Thea (I love Thea!) but she's just treading water and killing her is the only way that Roy is going to get serious. Speaking of which, Roy is getting annoying so if his character doesn't grow next season you can kill him too. Focus on Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity with Sara and Lance as supporting characters.
2) Embrace the Martial Arts. The fight choreography on this show is pretty amazing. This show (in its DNA) is a martial arts show and it needs to embrace the Kung Fu cinema vibe. The League of Assassins needs to be a bigger threat. The Brotherhood of the Fist needs to also show up. Silver Monkey, Chesire, Lady Shiva could all be great fly kicking bad guys.
3) Moira needs to be the big bad. I've said this before in the comments: Sometimes Moira is my favorite character. Like Gul Dukat or Gaius Baltar she's best when she's sympathetically evil. And she needs to embrace the evil. If she becomes Mayor of Starling City, she needs to go to all-out-war with Arrow and his gang and make them wish Sebastian Blood had been elected instead.
That's all I got, but that last one alone would totally raise the stakes. How would you dial Arrow up to 11?