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Arrow: Where do we go from here?
There are just a handful of weeks left before the CW DC Universe bursts back onto our TV Screens; and while we have spent an entire summer looking backward it is now time to cast our eyes forward to what might happen in the upcoming season.
When last we left Arrow, Oliver Queen was on a boat in the South China Sea – having just shot Prometheus to save his son William when all of a sudden the entire island of Lian Yu erupted into a massive series of explosions with the entirety of Team Arrow somewhere on the island. Where could Arrow possibly go from that explosive ending.
Before we branch off into wild speculation, let’s take a look at what we know about Arrow Season 6 so far. As always contractual obligations give us the quickest and most obvious spoilers in that almost every single person whose fate was left in question at the end of Season 5 is under contract to return in Season 6. Just because they’re definitely coming back does not mean that there are no consequences to last season’s finale table flip. Let’s look at what we know is coming for our favorite characters.
Oliver was never in any danger of blowing up, because it’s kind of hard to have a show called Arrow without The Green Arrow – also he was safely on a boat when the bomb went off – but we are led to believe that the bomb will fundamentally change Ollie’s life as it will leave him the primary care giver to his son William. Star Stephen Amell has been hinting that he would like to see this coming season feature a brighter more comics accurate version of Oliver now that the character has confronted the trauma of his time at Lian Yu – whether that will come about still remains to be seen.
Little has been revealed so far about the final fate of Felicity Smoak, but the writers and producers have stated that Felicity will have to contend with the Anonymous styled hacker group known as Helix who as a result of Season 5 are not exactly thrilled with Team Arrow’s uber hacker.
The slow leak of news about Season 6 has also revealed little about the fate of John Diggle except for direct quotes from David Ramsey who says that his character is “deeply affected” by the events on Lian Yu – emotionally and physically. Is it possible that Diggle has been severely wounded by Oliver’s crusade much as Felicity was during Season 4? Another piece of Diggle related news is that rocky times are coming for Dig and his wife Lyla, whom Diggle worries is losing her moral compass and becoming more and more like former A.R.G.U.S. Director Amanda Waller.
Long since believed to be off limits to Arrow thanks to Joe Mangianello’s Slade supposedly set as the villain in The Batman, fans were shocked to get a return of Manu Bennett as Deathstroke at the end of Season 5. What we know for certain now is that Slade will be a big part of at least the first part of Season 6, with promises that there will be a two part episode devoted specifically to Slade and his search for his son Joseph who will be played by relative unknown Liam Hall. No longer clouded by the Mirakuru, Slade is still somewhat of an X-Factor because he clearly has not completely forgiven Oliver for the death of Shado. Expect some tension between our leather clad warriors.
Thea is the wild card in all of this, we have no real statements about a direction the character will take in Season 6 and Willa Holland had already taken on a smaller role on the show during Season 5. Could Thea be dead? Sure. Has that stopped Thea before? No.
The Vice Mayor is another for whom we just don’t have any information, which is not atypical at this point since he is on the civilian side for the most part. Without any news, and given the fact that this show practically gets off on killing members of the Lance family in Season Premiere’s – QL might be in trouble. If he does survive, expect him to have some drama with his dead daughter’s Earth 2 doppelgänger as well as her replacement.
Newcomer to Team Arrow, has been added as a series regular for the upcoming season, so it seems that Rene is safe from any lasting explosion damage.
Still no word on the fate of Curtis Holt either, so it’s fair to say that Mr. Holt might not be entirely safe.
Also added as a new series regular, the Dinah Drake version of Black Canary is getting a new super suit this year to help her do some serious ass kicking as part of Team Arrow.
The woman that simply will not die, Laurel Lance returns once more in the form of the Earth 2 villainess Black Siren who may or may not be hoping to explore the things that made Earth 1 Laurel such a good person. Expect tension between the two ladies with The Canary Cry.
Colton Haynes has confirmed that Roy Harper aka Arsenal WILL return to Arrow in Season 6, though we currently know nothing more than that.
One of only two characters we KNOW was killed in the explosion on Lian Yu, actor John Barrowman expressed sadness that his time on Arrow was over and regret over how it had ended and within hours DC/CW Producers went out of their way to publicly inform Barrowman and the world that Malcolm Merlyn can and WILL return whenever Barrowman would like. Even death can’t stop a fun actor in a world with a vast multiverse.
Kirk Acevedo (The Thin Red Line, Band of Brothers, Fringe) is joining the series in a recurring role as Ricardo Diaz, alias Richard Dragon a master martial artist who trained some of the greatest fighters in the DC Universe, including Nightwing, Huntress, and Batgirl. More important to Arrow Season 6 is the fact that Diaz/Dragon is a member of the League of Assassins (who don’t like Oliver very much after all) as well as being a member of an organization known as The Longbow Hunters who served as a modern update to the original team of deadly assassins who targeted and nearly destroyed The Green Arrow.
Sydelle Noel (GLOW) will be joining Arrow as an FBI agent hunting down the connection between Oliver Queen and The Green Arrow.
UNNAMED MICHAEL EMERSON CHARACTER
We know that Michael Emerson (Lost, Person of Interest) has been cast in a role on Arrow, beyond that we know literally nothing. A vague comment was that he would be playing a character similar to roles he has played in the past has led to a great deal of internet speculation that he is playing the leader of HELIX, and that would be the safest bet. My hope is that they are doing something amazing that would also really suit Emerson as an actor, and that would be to cast Emerson in the role of Vic Sage otherwise known as The Question – a brilliant costumed private investigator who was trained in combat by Ricardo Diaz.
The biggest dangling thread from Season 5 isn’t the elite hacker organization that is after Felicity, it is the murderous Vigilante known as Vigilante who it was revealed in a surprise twist was NOT Adrian Chase right before the character vanished for the remainder of the season. Who is behind those ski goggles if not Chase, who is hunting the streets of Star City? We’re told we’ll see this mystery resolved. Is it Michael Emerson, or in a strange twist does Adrian Chase have a twin brother who is also looking to ruin Oliver’s life?
Early in the summer Stephen Amell hinted that someone we have not seen since Season One will return. I am hard pressed to think of any Season One characters who didn’t at least have one more appearance, so feel free to speculate wildly.
The casting of Acevedo as Diaz has fueled speculation that Arrow will do their own version of The Longbow Hunters storyline (either the original or the New 52 version) and while that would certainly be a strong story – it is quite similar to what was done last season with the character of Prometheus.
I suspect we will see a grounded season where Oliver works to rebuild Team Arrow and put his own life back together while vigilantes inspired by him and villains looking to depose him band together in an all against the middle plot reminiscent of Deathstroke’s scheme from Season two. I have my fingers crossed for another appearance by The Huntress to tie into Ricardo Diaz.
In four weeks we’ll have our answer when Arrow moves to its new night and time: Thursdays at 9:00 on the CW.
NEXT WEEK: With Barry trapped in the Speed Force, who is The Fastest Man Alive?
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