Following the shocking season 5 finale of Arrow, death may not be the worst thing the characters face moving forward. The Arrowverse is no stranger to death. While villains may be casually killed with alarming frequency, the heroes aren't immune to the final fate either. And despite the comic book world the shows operate in, many characters have remained dead -- save the odd flashback or dream sequence. Arrow is especially known for finishing seasons with some powerful deaths, a feat it managed to surpass in season 5.
The season ended with Oliver learning that his new nemesis Prometheus had one final gambit when bombs exploded across Lian Yu. It was a massive cliffhanger, but no one really thinks that Arrow just wiped the slate clean of its supporting cast. While we know Malcolm is gone for good, more than a few characters likely survived. We've previously heard that Thea is as good as immortal, while Black Siren will be a regular next season along with Mad Dog and the new Black Canary. Though they could appear in flashbacks, they'll most likely be alive. They may not be well, however.
Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim spoke with EW about the finale and where things will be headed next year, and he teased that there are fates worse than death in the Arrowverse.
“A lot of the discussion that we’ve had and a lot of the discussion we’ve seen online is very binary — people either live or they’ll die. There are other consequences that can come out of what happened at the end of [episode] 523. While everyone is focused on one thing, you know us on Arrow, we may be doing something else.”
Guggenheim's comment may seem a little confusing, but he's probably discussing the fallout of such an event. Unless he's hinting that some characters are trapped in another plane of existence, then he's likely taking creative license when he says there's more to the finale than life and death. Obviously, if any character survives they'll be dealing with all sorts of guilt, trauma, and possibly even injuries. That said, fans aren't wrong to wonder who lived or died. After all, Guggenheim helped create the plot point and there's a good chance it was partially motivated by the buzz and discussion it would generate.
It's possible that the whole mystery could be dragged out a bit. We previously learned the season 6 premiere will feature an island flashback. While this could be some other point in the past, it could also show the various moments before the bombs exploded from the perspective of different characters. Not only would this add tension, but it would draw out the mystery -- something superhero shows love to do.
Arrow season 6 will premiere on The CW October 12.