Arrow‘s season five finale was nothing short of the end of an era. The episode eloquently paid homage to the previous five seasons, and in doing so shut the door on the Arrow we know and love. So, with the flashback arc concluded and Team Arrow trapped on an exploding Lian Yu, where does the show go from here?
First, let’s talk flashbacks. Arrow‘s pilot episode clearly set up a five-year arc for the flashbacks, and we’ve all heard Oliver mention his “five years in hell” countless times. So, with that five years wrapped up in a neat little bow, what’s next?
Theory One: No more flashbacks. Although Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim has stated that the show will have at least some flashbacks, it’s not too much to hope they will be minimal. Is it possible we could be getting a version of Arrow that’s largely flashback-less?
Theory Two: A time jump. With the fate of Team Arrow hanging in the balance, Arrow has an excellent opportunity to continue the island flashbacks – with a twist. If the present day timeline jumped forward a year, Arrow could follow the journey of our favorite characters after the finale’s explosion. We could see their escape, recovery, and deal with any deaths in minimal screentime.
Theory Three: Flashforwards. Yes, this one seems like a stretch. But Marc Guggenheim has gone on record saying it’s a possibility. Could Arrow’s season six take a page from LOST‘s book and transition from flashbacks to flashforwards? It’s an interesting idea, and it worked for LOST. Who’s to say it wouldn’t work just as well for another island castaway?
With a finale as explosive as Arrow‘s, it’s hard to believe that no one died. We already know we lost Malcolm Merlyn, who went down finally being something resembling a good father. What we don’t know is who else we lost, although a few candidates are more likely than others.
Most Likely: Samantha. Sorry, Samantha, but we just can’t imagine your story continuing after this. Let’s think about this logically. Sure, Prometheus wanted to hurt Oliver, but did he really need Samantha to do that? He had Oliver’s friends and son, Samantha was pretty unnecessary. This choice makes sense, though, if you think of it from a writer’s perspective. The creative minds behind Arrow are most likely positioning the show to feature a single-dad Oliver storyline next season, and Samantha had to be brought to the island (and be killed there) to make this happen.
Semi-Likely: Evelyn, Nyssa, and Talia. Although not as obviously doomed as Samantha, these three would be the easiest to remove from the show’s dynamic. Evelyn’s character really has nowhere to go from here, and the last we saw she was trapped in a cage on an exploding island. That’s not promising for the faux-hero. Nyssa would pack an emotional punch for the audience without really throwing off the dynamic of the show – we love her, but she isn’t around much anyway. Talia was integral to the season five storyline, but would most likely be absent from season six even if she did survive, so her death would allow the season’s cliffhanger to feel less cheap. Obviously, an explosion of this magnitude would have more than a couple fatalities, so killing off as many unimportant characters as possible would keep it realistic.
Safe: We’d bet good money on the survival of Felicity and Diggle, and Dinah, Rene, and Black Siren are all already confirmed for next season. Ideally, Thea would also be included on this list, but her sporadic appearances last season have us just the slightest bit concerned.
Season finales often set the stage for the storylines of the following season, and Arrow‘s season five finale was no different. There were inklings of possible upcoming storylines littered in the episode, waiting to be picked out and examined.
Single-Dad Oliver: Arrow has been ever so subtly setting itself up for a story about Oliver as a single dad. Oliver has resolved his issues with Felicity, the majority of which were based around his son, William. Also, if William doesn’t realize The Green Arrow is his father after that last scene, then he’s got worse things to worry about than a crazy guy pointing a gun at him. If Samantha truly is a goner, it will be interesting to see the dynamic between Oliver, his son, and Felicity play out, especially with the boy knowing his father’s secret identity. Of course, we will also be dealing with a young boy mourning his mother, so we are sure to need tissues for the coming season.
Slade Wilson’s Son: The jury is still out on whether Manu Bennett will be reprising his role in Arrow‘s sixth season. If he does, all signs point to an arc about Deathstroke finding his son. In the finale, Oliver promised to aid this search with information in exchange for Slade’s help. Assuming Slade survives the explosion, season six will likely spend some time on this search, and maybe transition Deathstroke into a more anti-hero figure, similar to his comic origins.
(Re)Rise of The Black Canary: This one’s a given. In the finale, Dinah was finally bestowed the official title of “Black Canary”. It’s no stretch to think that season six will, at least in part, chronicle her transition into the iconic role. Some leaked photos have even surfaced on the internet that show her new costume. We’re no strangers to Black Canary origin stories, but hey, maybe the third time’s the charm?
We want to hear what you think! Who do you think survived the explosion? Give us a shout in the comments or on Twitter (@Pure_Fandom and @reagandpierce) and let us know.
Regardless of where Arrow takes its sixth season, it’s sure to be a fun ride. Don’t miss it when it returns on its new night – Thursday, October 12th, at 9/8c on The CW. And for more Arrow fun, head over to our Arrow cave.
Featured image via The CW