Arrow will see the return of yet another familiar face in season 8, with Byron Mann confirmed to be reprising the role of Yao Fei Gulong. Premiering in 2012, Arrow followed the journey of Oliver Queen as he returned home after a mysterious five-year absence and embarked on a continued quest to save his city. The action-packed show quickly gained a passionate following and spawned what's come to be known as the Arrowverse. Earlier in the year, however, it was announced that season 8 would be the last.
Mann debuted as Yao Fei all the way back in season 1. Upon washing up on Lian Yu following his shipwreck, Oliver was at first treated as a hostile and shot through the chest with an arrow. The pair soon bonded, however, with Yao Fei ultimately serving as Oliver's very first mentor on his journey towards becoming The Green Arrow. As a master archer and former army general, he taught Oliver not only how to use a bow but also combat basics and how to hunt. Subsequently embroiled in a conspiracy being carried out by a mercenary named Edward Fyers, Yao Fei was forced to serve as the scapegoat for a terrorist incident. Although he complied with the demands, he was ultimately killed in the season 1 finale. Though Oliver would go on to further his training under Yao Fei's friend, Slade Wilson, and Yao Fei's daughter, Shado, Oliver would ultimately wear the green hood in honor of his original teacher.
According to Deadline, Mann will return as the character at some point in the show's final 10-episode run. Final seasons of television shows have always been typically synonymous with revisiting the past. As such, Mann will join fellow returning Arrow alums as Josh Segarra's villainous Adrian Chase, Rila Fukushima's Katana, and John Barrowman as original big bad, Malcolm Merlyn. The blasts from the past come in the wake of co-star Emily Bett Rickards' departure in season 7 and Colton Haynes' Roy Harper being demoted from series regular.
Mann is also confirmed as the latest addition to Little Fires Everywhere. Based on Celeste Ng’s bestselling novel of the same name, the limited series will star Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Rosemarie DeWitt, and Joshua Jackson. With Washington and Witherspoon also serving as producers, the show is set to be released on Hulu sometime in 2020. Mann will feature in a recurring capacity, playing lawyer Ed Lan. The actor also recently starred in Netflix's Wu Assassins.
A good portion of Arrow's final season will be focused on the highly-anticipated Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event. Despite that, producer Marc Guggenheim previously confirmed many of the episodes will be focused solely on wrapping up Oliver Queen's solo journey. Given that, and the fact each episode will reportedly serve as an homage to a previous season, it could be as early as the first episode that Yao Fei shows up. How prominent of a role he plays can only serve as the subject of speculation for the time being. Equally, given the character's death, it remains unclear in what form he'll make his return. Oliver's deceased associates have previously tended to show up as hallucinations. Since Oliver was last seen venturing into parts unknown with the intergalactic being known as The Monitor, however, it could just as likely be a result of traveling through time or across alternate parallel dimensions.
Arrow season 8 premieres October 15 on The CW.