[This article contains SPOILERS for the Arrow season 4 finale.]
Even before the Arrow season 4 finale, real-life members of Team Arrow – those writing, producing, and acting on the show, that is – have been eager to discuss what lies ahead for Oliver, now that the fictional Team Arrow has been all but disbanded in the wake of Damien Darhk’s persistent attacks on Star City that left one member of the crew dead and two others questioning their roles as vigilantes. There has been talk of who the new villain will be, as well as more than a few discussions of how the show can get back to basics after back-to-back seasons that didn’t quite live up to the expectations set by the series’ first two outings.
That said: showrunner Wendy Mericle and star Stephen Amell have both addressed certain aspects of the show they would like to see change in the upcoming fifth season, like facing villains more suited to Green Arrow’s particular set of skills – i.e., no superpowers or magical beings, if you don’t mind – and flashback sequences that inform more on Oliver’s journey from billionaire playboy to green-suited protector of Star City. To that end, the season 4 flashbacks ended with Oliver vowing to keep his promise to Taiana (Elysia Rotaru), all but confirming a Russian setting for the season 5 storyline taking place in the past. Meanwhile, certain casting announcements have suggested that Oliver Queen (now Mayor Queen to you) will be facing off against a new, “irrepressibly charming” adversary who will “just as easily shake your hand as your best friend or break your neck as your worst enemy — and you never know which one is coming. Either way, he’s more than capable of having a good time as he does it.”
But this new adversary isn’t the only bit of trouble coming Oliver’s way in season 5. According to a new report by TVLine, Star City will make up for its masked avenger deficit after Thea and Diggle handed in their vigilante cards by introducing a brand new defender of the people into the mix. The identity of this new crime fighter is anyone’s guess, but the news describes him as “a cocksure/reckless ex-Marine turned vigilante” who will have a recurring role throughout the season.
Were the words “in addition to” not used prior to the description of this new vigilante, one might be inclined to think the description was merely clarification on the season’s supposed charming antagonist, suggesting that Oliver was set to do battle with someone much like himself from just a few years ago. While that would make for an interesting storyline, what with the obvious comparisons between the Arrow who killed and Green Arrow who didn’t (but only sometimes) and this new reckless crime fighter, we’ll take it that these are going to be two different characters for the time being.
Still, with Diggle and Thea potentially off doing their own thing, the addition of another vigilante for the Emerald Archer to deal with/potentially mentor might make for an attractive subplot that would see Oliver weigh his ability to be a leader for a young crime fighter in need of guidance against his ability to lead a city looking for much the same thing. That might actually be closer to what Arrow plans to do, as Mericle also discussed the importance of Star City’s government in the upcoming narrative, saying, “City Hall, that institution, is crucial to our series.” Though she didn’t offer much on how it would be crucial, it stands to reason that Ollie’s days as mayor will be one of the season’s main plots.
As far as who this mysterious new avenger is, fans may begin speculating whether or not he’s a familiar DC Comics hero or an entirely new character created for the show as soon as they like. New details on who will be taking a swing at making Star City safer will likely be coming in before summer is out, so place your bets Arrow fans. At any rate, with Curtis Holt taking on a larger role and Roy Harper set to return for a few episodes, it seems Oliver will have his hands full dealing with vigilantes new and old throughout season 5.