[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Arrow season 5 ahead.]
Including tomorrow night's "Monument Point", Arrow has just three episodes left to show us what happens to Oliver (Stephen Amell) and his team as they battle against super villain Damien Darhk's (Neal McDonough) master plan. Pitting the vigilante hero against a magic-wielding enemy was always a tough proposition, but with the help of Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and sorceress Esrin Fortuna (Gabriella Wright), the Green Arrow recently discovered some new powers of his own.
The battle against Darhk has had substantial casualties, including the death of Laurel (Katie Cassidy), as well as Diggle (David Ramsey) making the choice to kill his traitorous brother Andy (Eugene Byrd) in order to protect his family. The episode "Genesis" also saw Thea (Willa Holland) taking a much-needed vacation that turns out to be a deceptive lure into a creepy, seemingly inescapable underground biodome.
Thea has had a complicated journey throughout four seasons of Arrow, and co-showrunner Wendy Mericle revealed to TVGuide that Thea's journey will peak in the season 4 finale.
"Thea had bloodlust earlier in the season and since then has been questioning her place on the team, and questioning whether or not she is Speedy, which goes back to her character's struggle with whether she's more of a Queen or a Merlyn. She's going to answer that question in [the finale] and come up with, what we hope, is a pretty surprising answer."
Since that biodome trap is likely Merlyn's way of protecting his daughter, it's not surprising that Thea will once again be questioning how to interpret her father's blend of love and villainy. Mericle also added that season 5 will bring "big changes" to the dynamic on the show, and the clue to those changes is in the title of the finale episode, "Schism". With the loss of Laurel, Diggle reeling from guilt over her death and Andy's, and Felicity wanting a break from Oliver, it's not hard to see how an added issue with Thea could totally break apart Team Arrow during or after the big showdown with Darhk.
For those who feel Arrow's impressiveness has been diminished by needing more and more allies by his side to take down enemies, a paring down of Team Arrow would be a welcome change. Next season will reportedly feature a new character, a possible villain on a vengeful mission similar to Oliver's in season 1. That could give Season 5 more of a mano-a-mano feel to it than the group efforts we're used to. Hopefully the Green Arrow won't be going it completely alone, however, as it's always been helpful to him to have other voices to listen to, to keep him sane and on mission.
Arrow continues Wednesday, May 11 with episode "Monument Point," at 8pm on The CW.