The Season 5 finale of “Arrow” ended in an explosion of epic proportions, leaving fans nervous about the fate of their favorite characters. At the season’s end, the island Lian Yu went up in smoke with many of the main members of Team Arrow still on it. We know Oliver Queen was on a boat, so he’s guaranteed safety. But what about the other major archer, Artemis? Will she make it out of the rubble unscathed? Or will Oliver be our only chance to see some archery in Season 6?
To say the Season 5 finale ended with a cliffhanger is an understatement. The fate of every main character is unknown, although all main characters on the island during the explosion have been confirmed as regular cast members in Season 6. Whether they will appear in flashbacks or in the active story line remains to be seen.
In Season 5, the villain Prometheus rigged Lian Yu to explode in the event of his death; when he realized he was done for, he killed himself to go out in a literal blaze of glory. One of the characters trapped on the island was archer Artemis, who was imprisoned by Team Arrow for plotting a mutiny. This video by Hybrid Network reveals that Wendy Mericle, executive producer of “Arrow,” neither confirms nor denies Artemis’ return. She teased that the “jury was still out” on whether Team Arrow would forgive Artemis for her betrayal. When asked how the show will use flashbacks in Season 6, Mericle told TV Guide, “We’re going to use the flashbacks to go back and see what happened on the island and who lived and who died.” It might be safe to assume that we will see Artemis one way or another.
It’s also been revealed that Oliver will be switching back to a recurve bow, which turns out to be actor Stephen Amell’s choice. ComicBook has a video of Amell at the San Diego Comic Con panel explaining, “It’s a lot like the Season 1 bow…and not really for any particular reason. I was just like, ‘Guys, it’s time.’ I wanted to go a little old school.” He presented the idea to the writers, joking that the bow could have been made by Cisco Ramon, creating a crossover with The Flash. The new bow might be a welcome change for some viewers.
As seen in this video from the Heroes & Villains FanFest in Nashville, Amell admitted that Manu Bennett’s character Slade Wilson is “back to being a part of the show” and that he might pop up “multiple times this year.” AV Club muses, “Amell also teased that someone who hasn’t been on the show since its first season will also be coming back, but he didn’t offer any real hints. Considering that a lot of the characters who only appeared in Season 1 are dead, though, it might be tough to find one who even could come back, and that’s without assuming that the show will play some ‘they never actually died’ trick, which is entirely possible and very likely.”
Oliver has certainly experienced some character development over the years. “The Oliver Queen in Season 5 is drastically different from the Oliver Queen in Season 1,” said the writers of ComicsVerse. “For starters, he doesn’t hunt down and kill people whose names are on The List. Instead, Oliver’s taken a more practical approach. His practicality doesn’t come by being The Green Arrow, but by being Mayor of Star City and fixing it. This also extends to Oliver rounding up the other vigilantes in Star City and teaching them the right way to protect the city.”
With Oliver adding the role of “dad” to his many personas, it should be safe to assume that we will continue to see a more conscious and human Green Arrow, especially after Prometheus managed to torture Oliver into admitting that he enjoys killing.
Prometheus pulled this admission from Oliver because he recognized a kindred spirit. “Prometheus is a lot like Oliver as The Hood,” continues ComicsVerse. “He’s also a representation of what Oliver use to be before he became The Green Arrow. Prometheus’ crusade against Oliver is as self-righteous as Oliver’s crusade was against everyone who was on The List.” A very good point that hopefully will be fleshed out in Season 6.
Season 6 opens five months after the explosion and showcases Oliver’s new recurve bow within the first 10 seconds. He immediately launches into battle, giving the bow a test drive. Fans can look forward to another great archery moment when Oliver uses two arrows to pin a villain against a wall by his shoulders.
The only-alive-in-flashbacks theory is almost entirely debunked within the first 10 minutes. We see most of the characters that were on the island alive and well, with a few exceptions. William’s mother Samantha Clark passed away on the island; Oliver’s sister Thea is alive, but in a coma; and Artemis remains to be seen. Oliver tries to reach out to William after Samantha’s death, but that battle is proving to be more difficult than any he faces in the field. At the end of the premiere episode, Oliver is outed by a news station that has figured out he is the Green Arrow. As mayor, that will be extremely difficult to explain to his citizens and will make for one heck of a sixth season.
The premiere episode suggests that the audience will discover what happened on the island gradually throughout the season. We are given basic information, but they are leaving room for plenty of plot twists – not to mention, we still need clarification on Artemis’s status. At least fans can look forward to some impressive archery with the return of the recurve bow.
Tune in to Arrow Thursdays on the CW to follow along. If the show gives you some archery inspiration, be sure to visit your local archery range and put it to good use.