The CW’s biggest shows just wrapped up their latest seasons. Now we want to put them into a competition: Was it Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash, Supergirl, The 100, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries, or The Originals who had the best season?
With all of the shows still fresh on our minds, we thought it’d be fun to host a competition amongst our best CW shows! To help you make your choice, we asked our writers to explain why each show deserves to win.
Vote at the bottom of the article. Hurry, the competition closes end of day on June 1!
What do you do when you find out the world ends in six months? Do you fight to survive, or give into the inevitable? Who do you try to save — and how far will you go to save them? The 100 season 4 set out to answer those questions, inviting its audience to ponder big moral quandaries alongside its characters, and blurring the lines between who we might have previously considered ‘heroes’ and ‘villains’ in this relentless and heart-pounding tale.
With its fourth season, The 100 continues to be a standout sci-fi show on network television, featuring strong, diverse characters, led by the wonderfully brave, flawed, strong, stubborn, and so very real Clarke Griffin (Eliza Taylor), who found herself grappling with her own humanity as she attempted to save the world. Octavia Blake (Marie Avgeropoulos) became the champion of not just her own, but all people; Raven Reyes (Lindsey Morgan) won the battle to save her own brain, and Bellamy Blake (Bob Morley) learned to let go of his guilt to become the leader he was always meant to become.
The 100 is a powerful, diverse, morally complex and important show, and its fourth season might be its best yet. The stage is set for an epic season 5 when the CW drama returns in early 2018. — Selina
It’s truly amazing that we can sit here and say that Supernatural still feels relevant after 12 seasons — making it America’s longest-running sci-fi/fantasy series — but the fact of the matter is that it does and die-hards are calling this the show’s best, most cohesive season in many years. Whether that’s due to the vision of a new showrunner — longterm staff writer Andrew Dabb — or the fact that there are no actors currently working on television who have put more into developing their characters than Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles, it’s nigh impossible to just stop caring about Sam and Dean.
Season 12 saw a whole ton of validating growth for them, and culminated in Sam stepping up as a leader and Dean stepping back as emotional support — the best possible fit for their dynamic. For those who eschew Supernatural as a boys’ club, this season had more focus on a female lead character than ever before. One of the greatest feats of Supernatural season 12 was the handling of Mary Winchester — the reintroduction of a female character whose death was the catalyst for the entire show, and whose image has been sanctified in the eyes of her sons ever since. Mary’s great un-fridging allowed us to explore us to dismantle the ideal and meet the woman — a ruthless hunter, an imperfect mother, lost and guilty.
The finale also opened up a whole new world — literally — as the nephilim son of Lucifer opened a hole in the fabric of the universe, setting up the mysteries of season 13, and left us on somewhat of a cliffhanger, with two regular characters (permanently or impermanently) meeting their end, and another being trapped in the post-apocalyptic parallel world. — Natalie
After two less than stellar seasons, Arrow returned to form in its fifth season. Season 5 was all about bringing Oliver’s journey from season 1 full circle, as Oliver discovered a new way to serve the city as the mayor while facing off against a villain he essentially created through his actions as The Hood in season 1. Prometheus turned out to be one of the show’s strongest villains, as he was constantly “ten steps ahead” of our heroes.
Furthermore, Oliver recruited a new team to work alongside him. Rene in particular brought surprising depth to the new Team Arrow, as it was revealed that his wife had been killed and his daughter taken from his custody. We also got to see Curtis deal with personal ramifications of being a vigilante while Dinah brought a much-needed levelheadedness as the new Black Canary. The Original Team Arrow faced its own complications, as Diggle was caught up in a frame job and Felicity was brought into a world of hacktivists whose motives were questionable.
The season 5 finale was one of the best episodes of the series, as Oliver reunited with Slade Wilson and allied with Malcolm Merlyn and Nyssa al Ghul to rescue his friends and his son from Prometheus. The episode brought Oliver’s journey full circle as he finally forgave himself for his father’s death all those years ago while the flashbacks finally ended Oliver’s journey in the past. The five-year journey completed with the fates of all the members of Team Arrow left up in the air after Lian Yu exploded. — Caitlin
The Flash‘s third season was an exploration of what happens when a speedster uses their powers for selfish reasons. By going back in time to save his mother and creating Flashpoint, Barry not only changed the fates of his friends (such as giving Caitlin metahuman powers, which would eventually turn her into Killer Frost) but also set events in motion that would ultimately culminate in his ultimate sacrifice to the Speed Force to set things right.
The Flash season 3 introduced Wally as Kid Flash, something fans have been waiting for since his introduction, as well as brought in Tom Felton’s Julian Albert as an antagonist-turned-ally. We also met yet another version of Harrison Wells: Earth-19’s H.R., a non-genius who served more as muse than expert. The season included high points like a Gorilla Grodd two-parter and the musical crossover with Supergirl.
And, when the final villain, Savitar, was revealed to be a version of Barry, the true ramifications of Flashpoint were truly felt. But more than anything, the reveal gave Grant Gustin time to shine as he played both hero and villain. The season’s cliffhanger, Barry’s apparent death as he reached his finish line by entering the Speed Force, leaves us with a ton of questions as we wait for season 4. — Caitlin
Supergirl‘s sophomore season was also its first on The CW, and certain changes from the network move were definitely felt, such as Cat Grant’s absence and the ramp up on romance through the season. Supergirl‘s second season also gave us Tyler Hoechlin’s Superman, a version of the character who truly feels like his comic book counterpart. We were also introduced to Lena Luthor, Lex’s adopted sister who didn’t want to be defined by her Luthor name; her friendship with Kara is a clear mirror to the well-known friendship once shared between Clark and Lex, though the outcome has yet to be decided.
The season also introduced M’gann, a White Martian who was ashamed of her people’s treatment of the Green Martians, giving J’onn a new dynamic to explore. James, after Kara broke up with him, joined forces with Winn to become Guardian, a non-powered vigilante fighting crime on the streets of National City. The friendship that developed between the two after their somewhat antagonist dynamic in season 1 was refreshing.
Alex went through a beautiful coming out story, as she realized that she loves women. Her relationship with NCPD detective Maggie Sawyer flew in the face of all the shows that are burying their gays. And then there was Mon-El; the prince of Daxam was the person in the pod at the end of season 1. After butting heads with Kara, the two fell in love with one another. Kara helped Mon-El become a hero, culminating in Mon-El’s willingness to sacrifice his happiness with Kara to stop the Daxamite invasion headed by his mother, Queen Rhea.
Besides the Daxamites, the show also introduced Cadmus, an anti-alien organization led by Lillian Luthor that employs Jeremiah Danvers and the real Hank Henshaw. Supergirl‘s second season expanded the world in significant ways, making it a worthy addition to the Arrowverse (officially Earth-38). — Caitlin
‘Legends of Tomorrow’
After a less-than-stellar first season, Legends of Tomorrow‘s sophomore season figured out what made the show work and doubled down on it in season 2. By bringing in the Legion of Doom, comprising Eobard Thawne, Malcolm Merlyn and Damien Darhk, the show corrected its villain problem from its season. The Legion was such a strong adversary that we even got a Legion-centric episode that was nothing short of delightful.
The dynamics of the Legends themselves also improved in season 2. With Rip Hunter missing at first, a new captain had to take charge, and Sara Lance soon proved to be the natural leader of the misfit team. The introduction of historian Nate Heywood and Justice Society of America member Amaya Jiwe (Vixen) filled out the roster in a satisfying way after the exit of the Hawks from season 1.
But perhaps most satisfying was Mick’s journey, as he dealt with both his grief over Leonard Snart’s death in season 1 as well as a complex relationship with the other Legends; the exploration of Mick’s hidden depths has been one of the most effective stories Legends has told since revealing he became Chronos in season 1.
The Doomworld story, in which the villains actually won, was particularly shocking — as was the fact that all our heroes sacrificed themselves to prevent that future from coming into being. With season 3 being set up as the team having to face the repercussions of their actions stopping the Legion, Legends of Tomorrow season 2 set itself apart as one of the most fun shows on television. — Caitlin
‘The Vampire Diaries’
Since season 8 was the final season of The Vampire Diaries, they pulled out all the stops. Season 8 featured one of the most formidable villains the show has ever seen: the devil himself. The pursuit of the devil and subsequent exploration of hell facilitated some of the best character moments in the history of The Vampire Diaries, as everyone was forced to contemplate where their vampirism left them on the scale of good and evil.
While diving deep into the powerful themes of love, friendship, sacrifice, free will and perseverance, we also got to play in Mystic Falls, one last time, revisiting familiar faces and places. The show’s epic conclusion brought back the characters we’d missed the most, finally settled the score between the Salvatore brothers, and set up the world for a very intriguing future.
With all of that, and a wedding to boot, it’d be tough to beat The Vampire Diaries season 8. — Kendra
The Originals season 4 may not be complete, but it’s already proving to be the best season of Mikaelson drama yet. The Originals has benefitted greatly from the reduced episode order and the ability to create the entire season story in a vacuum, and I fully expect for this season’s finale to impress in all the ways.
Already this season we’ve met an ancient evil unlike any we’ve seen before, seen real stakes for the Original family, including the possibility that one of them may need to be truly sacrificed to have enough power to once again cage the Hollow, and just barely skimmed the surface of Hope’s potential to be a game changer. Her relationship with Klaus is developing beautifully on camera, and I find myself anxious to see more and more of their interaction.
Questions like, “How much does Hope know about their past? When will she learn exactly the type of person her father is?” and “How will she feel about his way of protecting their family?” have us anxious to see what the writers have in store for Hope and the rest of her family.
We may not be in the midst of the vampire heyday that we were when True Blood, Twilight, and The Vampire Diaries reigned supreme, but The Originals season 4 has delivered more than just your typical vampire drama. There’s a realism to this season that hasn’t always been there, and I credit that to there being actual life and death stakes on the line for these characters in a world where they’ve previously become all but invincible.
The Vampire Diaries may be over, but The Originals is here to stay. – Kristen