Arrow’s fourth season may not have been an all-out success among fans of The CW’s Emerald Archer-centric series, but there’s far more hope amongst the show’s loyal fanbase where the upcoming Season 5 is concerned. The most recent season came to a close with Stephen Amell’s, Oliver Queen, seemingly going back to a more basic approach as the whole concept and notion of Team Arrow had crumbled before his very eyes. From what we were led to believe, Team Arrow was now merely just Ollie and Felicity, with Diggle and Thea having decided to hang up the tights and masks, whilst Laurel Lance had been killed off earlier in the season at the hands of uber-rogue Damien Darhk. With the magical, mystical threat of Darhk now vanquished, the new lay of the land saw Oliver end Season 4 as the Mayor of Star City. But of course, all cannot be too peaceful for too long in a show such as Arrow, and so there’s plenty of new threats and problems ahead of Star City’s new head honcho.
Many are hoping that the show’s fifth season can get back to the extraordinarily high standards of the series’ standout second season. Seasons 3 and 4 have been largely so-so at best, with the occasional moments of brilliance sprinkled in, but this new season has fan anticipation high once more. As Season 5 gets ever-closer, let us get you up to speed on all that you need to know about the return of the Master Bowman and his familiar (and new) faces.
One of the biggest questions that fans have had ahead of the new seasons of The CW’s DC output is just what impact Flashpoint will have on the shows. Flashpoint is a hugely popular comic book arc from Geoff Johns which saw Barry Allen go back in time to save his mother from being killed by Reverse-Flash. While he does indeed save mother Nora, that, in turn, causes a whole altered timeline for the present-day. In this new timeline Bruce Wayne died, Thomas Wayne is an extremely aggressive Batman, Martha Wayne is The Joker, Green Arrow is a Tony Stark-esque arms dealer, Superman is reduced to a military experiment, Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at brutal war with each other, and Cyborg is the world’s biggest hero. The closing moments of The Flash’s second season saw Grant Gustin’s, Scarlet Speedster, going back in time to save his mother, which is to lead to a whole load of changes to the present-day landscape of that series.
Initially, it was said that Flashpoint wouldn’t affect Arrow, but more recently it’s been confirmed that Barry’s decision will indeed impact upon all of The CW’s DC shows. What that means for Arrow remains to be seen right now, but it’s believed that Diggle will be the one most affected by Barry’s changing of the timeline.
14 John Diggle, Military Man
After last season saw Diggle finally get his own hero moniker and his own shoddy headgear, the hero life soon became too much for Dig by the time the season had come to an end. With brother Andy, who had been believed to be dead since the show began, now revealed to be alive, well and working for the villainous Damien Darhk, Dig’s emotions were all over the place in Season 4. Added to that, he also had wife Lyla and young daughter Sara to think about, not to mention the trauma of Laurel Lance’s death. As such, Oliver’s trusty right-hand man ended Season 4 by quitting Team Arrow. When we pick things up with Dig in this upcoming season, he’ll actually be in Chechnya as part of the US military. The logic here is that he has gone to ‘find himself’ and that he needs to clear his head of the trials and tribulations that came with patrolling the streets of Star City on a daily basis.
It has been previously reported that Diggle will be majorly affected by the events of the sister-show, The Flash. The flashpoint arc where Barry Allen going back in time will initially show a skewed, altered timeline vastly different to what we’re used to. Perhaps, we’ll see Dig become a superpowered sort at some point. Either way, Diggle will be back helping the Green Arrow at some point, complete with a new helmet courtesy of Cisco Ramon.
13 Speedy No More
Every good (or bad) hero has their days where they just don’t want to do it anymore. The superhero gig gets too much for even the most dedicated, thorough and unrelenting heroes at times, and Season 5 will see Thea Queen now totally not Speedy. After an up and down first three seasons, Season 4 of Arrow was a fantastic one for Willa Holland’s Thea. Given the hero moniker of Speedy, plus having the ‘bloodlust’ angle handled brilliantly by the show, Thea became one of the most enjoyable and interesting characters that the show had to offer.
Following the trauma of the show’s fourth season, Thea joined Diggle in quitting Team Arrow by the time all was said and done with Season 4. Yet, whereas Dig has decided to up sticks and leave Star City for a life in the military, Thea will still have a day-to-day presence in the happenings of her brother, Oliver. Even though she’s no longer Speedy (we’ll see how long that lasts, though), Thea will be at Ollie’s side as she helps out with his Mayoral duties. In fact, she’ll basically be running that side of Oliver’s life for him while he focuses his attention on his hero act.
12 Moving On
In terms of the mainstays of Team Arrow, Emily Bett Rickards’ Felicity Smoak has been there or thereabouts since the get-go. After much will they/won’t they, Season 3 of the show saw Felicity drive off into the sunset and into her happily-ever-after with Oliver Queen at her side. Unfortunately, though, the relationship between Ollie and Felicity broke down over the past season and went from being engaged to completely breaking up. In fact, truth be told, Season 4 did some major damage to the Felicity Smoak character in the eyes of many fans. The once-cute and quirky Miss Smoak had become an annoying character who’s usually-funny quips were proving to be ill-conceived and badly placed. It feels strange to say it, but Felicity somehow became one of the worst parts of the show (something that was inconceivable before the midway point of the fourth season).
In Season 5, we’ll pick things up with Felicity as she has to struggle with the fact that the conclusion of the past season saw her taking responsibility for the death of thousands. Sure, she’d saved millions of lives, but she couldn’t save everybody. As such, Felicity will be battling these demons whilst moving on from Ollie as she gets a new boyfriend. Regardless, though, she’ll still be bringing her skillset to the table as part of Team Arrow.
Having briefly ruffled some feathers as Star City’s new Black Canary during Season 4, the Evelyn Sharp character will be back under a new guise in Arrow’s upcoming fifth season. Madison McLaughlin’s Evelyn character will be returning to take on the mantle of Artemis, a troubled young hopeful who Oliver Queen will take under his wing. Much like he’s done with Roy Harper previously, and even Thea to an extent, Ollie will mentor this tenacious youngster and look to take her spunk and spirit and channel it into making her an effective vigilante of her own. The comic book Artemis is the daughter of the villainous Sportsmaster and Tigress, initially following in the footsteps of her parents before later being showcased as a hero as part of Young Justice.
Picking up a bow and taking aim for the bad guys, Artemis will be looking to become a key member of the new Team Arrow moving forward. Let’s just hope that she has better luck than the previous members of the Green Arrow’s entourage. Diggle has become so traumatised that he’s gone back to the military, Felicity has been on death’s door courtesy of a Damien Darhk-arranged hit, Roy has had to go underground after publicly outing himself as the Arrow, Laurel was murdered at the hands of Darhk, and even Thea has chosen to walk away from the hero life due to the stresses of the job.
10 All-New Team Arrow
The returning Evelyn Sharp won’t be the only new face to join the Green Arrow in his crusade against the vermin that threatens Star City on a daily basis. In fact, she’ll be joined by several new faces as part of Ollie’s famed Team Arrow. Pulling straight from DC comic book lore, Arrow has brought in Wild Dog, Vigilante, and Ragman to help out Green Arrow, Felicity, and the newly-recruited Artemis. Played by Rick Gonzalez, Wild Dog is an edgy vigilante who is often unpredictable and reckless, seemingly a little like how Roy Harper was when Ollie first took him under his wing. As such, this will be the newcomer who brings the most trouble to Ollie in terms of training him up to the standards expected of someone who’ll be working hand-in-hand with the Emerald Archer.
As for Vigilante, well quite simply he does exactly as it says on the tin. Josh Segarra is the man tasked with the role, and by day he’ll be Adrian Chase, the new DA of Star City, but by night he’ll be the aptly-named Vigilante who looks to unleash his vengeance upon the criminals dirtying his streets. Where Ragman is concerned, Joe Dinicol will be playing this interesting newbie, also known as Rory Regan. Moving to Star City to get some answers relating to a personal tragedy, Ragman’s extreme methods will soon get the attention of the Green Arrow.
As soon as it was revealed that Echo Kellum was playing Curtis Holt in Season 4 of Arrow, longtime DC fans instantly started to speculate on whether Curtis was to follow in the footsteps of the comic book world’s Michael Holt and become the superhero known as Mister Terrific. Well, the speculation can now stop, for Curtis will indeed be becoming a fully-fledged hero in Arrow’s upcoming fifth season. With Kellum now bumped up to a series regular for Season 5, and with recent trailers even showing him training alongside Stephen Amell’s, Oliver Queen, this new season will see Curtis step up and become Mister Terrific as part of the new-look Team Arrow.
In the comic book lore, Mister Terrific is an Olympic athlete who is the brainbox behind the genius technology known simply as the T-Sphere. We’ve already seen Curtis Holt developing the T-Sphere at various points throughout Season 4, and now he’ll be bringing those to the party to help fight the good fight. And yes, he’ll also be getting his own mask and hero outfit. From the information that’s currently out there, you should expect to see Curtis go full-on “Terrific” within the new season’s first nine episodes.
8 Mother Russia
In Arrow’s first two seasons, the flashbacks to Lian Yu were fantastic as we got to see the troubled relationship between Oliver Queen and Slade Wilson develop, making the modern-day butting heads between the two all the more impactful when it finally happened as Season 2 unravelled. While the Hong Kong-set flashbacks of Season 3 were solid enough, last season’s return to Lian Yu for the flashbacks were just plain dull as we saw Baron Reiter looking to get his hands on a magic totem. In fact, dull is probably being kind. Luckily, Arrow’s fifth season is finally going to take us to Russia where the flashback element of the series is concerned.
When Arrow debuted, the very design of the series meant that we could only get five years of flashbacks at the very most, and the prospect of heading to Russia (as teased by Ollie’s interactions with Anatoly Knyazev on Lian Yu and then briefly in modern-day Star City) has been something that we’ve all been waiting for. Anatoly Knyazev is a DC character also known as the KGBeast (a master assassin who is a weapons expert and who happens to have a gun instead of a left hand), and so we’ve all been hoping to see more from a character last seen in Season 2 of Arrow. Expect to see how Oliver became a captain in the Russia Mafia, plus we’ll be getting Dolph Lundgren as Kovlar, a hulking brute with Ollie in his destructive sights.
For the past two seasons, we’ve seen some great crossover moments and episodes between Arrow and The Flash. With a new season of TV ahead of us, expect to see that concept of a superhero show crossover taken to a whole new level. With Supergirl having moved from CBS to The CW for its second season, and with DC’s Legends of Tomorrow now a part of The CW’s DC-driven family, it’s been confirmed by the brains behind these shows that we’ll, in fact, be getting a whopping four-show crossover event that should air in December. How these four shows will come together (not to mention what huge threat will require the combined might of these huge helping of heroes) has yet to be confirmed, although it’s believed that The CW’s take on the infamous Legion of Doom team could well play a part.
Already confirmed to terrorize Rip Hunter’s Legends team throughout the second season of Legends of Tomorrow, this take on the Legion of Doom will feature Malcolm Merlyn, Reverse-Flash, Captain Cold, and Damien Darhk. Additionally, the crossover may well be used to bring Supergirl into the world inhabited by the Green Arrow, Flash, and Legends. Luckily for the Emerald Archer, he’s not a part of the musical crossover adventure confirmed to take place between The Flash and Supergirl.
6 What Laurel Said
Despite “Dinah” Laurel Lance being a vital part of the Green Arrow’s world and the greater DC comic book realm in general, Arrow’s Black Canary was a regular source of disappointment for fans. So much so, many were actually happy when Laurel was killed off by Damien Darhk during Season 4. That in itself is sad, but it’s actually totally understandable. Looking ahead to Season 5, the presence of Laurel isn’t totally gone, for her final words will be something that hung over the show’s fifth season. As Laurel lay on her deathbed with Oliver at her side, she whispered something unknown in his ear. In Season 5, we’ll find out exactly what the dying Black Canary said to her former beau. Speculation on those final words ranges from Laurel telling Oliver how he must always allow others to help in his crusade, to some even suggesting that those final words were putting in place a plan to actually fake Laurel’s death ahead of her eventual return this season (please, no!).
5 The Return Of Roy Harper
One of the most popular characters in Arrow to date has been Roy Harper, played by Colton Haynes. After a so-so introduction to the show as the ever-cliched troubled street kid, Haynes’ Harper soon became a pivotal part of the show as he helped Oliver Queen in battling the bad guys. Following initial trepidation, Ollie would take Roy under his wing and eventually give him the moniker of Arsenal. Unfortunately for fans, Roy would be written out of the show during Season 3. Roy would be brought back for a guest appearance last season, but that wasn’t enough to satiate the thirst of fans of the characters. Luckily, Colton Haynes has confirmed that Roy Harper will be back, at least for a short period of time, in Arrow’s fifth season. At France’s Justice Squad Convention, Haynes revealed, “I get to come back on a few episodes of Arrow next year.” It may only be temporary for now, but here’s hoping that this maybe leads to Roy becoming a more permanent member of the show once more at some point down the line.
4 The Past Haunting The Present
Where this new season’s "big bad" is concerned, it all ties back to Arrow’s very first season. In the show’s fifth season, it will be Prometheus who is the overarching threat to the Green Arrow and Co. Yet, longtime DC fans might be disappointed to hear that this isn’t Prometheus as they know it. Where the DC comic book realm is concerned, there’s already a well-established Prometheus (there’s been a few of them, actually), but Arrow’s Prometheus will be nothing to do with his comic book namesake. This fresh take on Prometheus will be an archer who is out to tarnish the legacy of Star City’s Green Arrow. Taking to the streets in an outfit similar to the Master Bowman’s, Prometheus will be looking to undo the good that the Green Arrow has done and to tarnish his name.
What’s most intriguing here, however, is that the minds behind Arrow have confirmed that Prometheus will tie back to the series’ first season (the season where Oliver Queen thought nothing of killing people). As such, it could well be that Prometheus is someone who suffered due to Ollie’s previous murder spree.
3 Uniting Criminals
Whilst Prometheus will prove to be a mysterious and intriguing threat to the Green Arrow’s legacy, the Emerald Archer will also be having some problems elsewhere. Tobias Church, played by The Walking Dead’s Chad Coleman, this new addition will play a nefarious gangster who will be looking to causes all kinds of chaos both for the Green Arrow and for Oliver Queen, Mayor of Star City. Not just any old gangster, Church is more of the thinking man’s criminal. So much so, his plan to topple the Green Arrow and the Mayor is to unite all of Star City’s criminals in order to overload the city’s police force and its sworn protector.
Much like the presence of Prometheus, at this stage it’s expected that Tobias Church will be a threat that is present throughout the majority of Season 5. Of course, we’ve been led to believe that before with certain new villainous threats (including Season 3's Komodo) supposedly here for the long stay, only to see them taken out of the equation almost immediately.
2 Back To Basics
The first two seasons of Arrow were pretty grounded in their approach. Sure, Season 3 may have veered a little into the more otherworldly and magical once Ra’s al Ghul and his Lazarus Pit were introduced, but even then the show managed to just about keep things at a level that never felt too over-the-top. Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be the case with the series’ fourth season. In Season 4, mystical magic was the order of the day. During the flashback moments on Lian Yu, Baron Reiter was after a magical totem that would make him all-powerful, whilst the present-day saw Damien Darhk using said totem to be all-powerful in his attempt to destroy the entire world.
Ever since Barry Allen became The Flash, that meant that a whole host of doors were opened in terms of what The CW’s DC world was made up of. Grounded-in-reality wasn’t necessarily the norm now that metahumans were on the table. Whilst The Flash has flourished during this time, Arrow has sadly stumbled. In Season 5 of Arrow, however, we’ve been promised a more back-to-basics approach, with magical and enhanced beings seemingly to be kept to a minimal in Star City (and in the Russia-set flashbacks, for that matter), as the series looks to take things back to what made the show so fantastic for its first two seasons.
During its run, Arrow has featured some intense, brutal fight scenes at times, although these have seemingly got lost in the shuffle a little lately. Season 4 may have featured a phenomenal battle as Thea Queen battled one of Damien Darhk’s Ghosts in and out of an elevator, but some of the epic fight scenes that the show was known for in its infancy seem to have become a bit of an afterthought. With Season 5, that’s about to change. Ahead of this upcoming season, the Green Arrow himself, Stephen Amell, has said how the show has filmed the most brutal fight scene in network TV history. That’s quite the boast when you consider some of the carnage we’ve seen in the likes of Game of Thrones and the such in recent years.
Showrunner, Wendy Mericle, has gone as far as to directly reference Thrones in being an influence on Arrow in the way that their bloody battle scenes have raised the bar when it comes to TV violence. Obviously, Oliver Queen likely won’t be going back to the murderous ways of the series’ first season anytime soon, but it sounds like we can certainly expect a new level of intensity and brutality in the future of Arrow.