Things were seriously shaken up on Team Arrow by the end of season 4, most notably with the death of Black Canary (Katie Cassidy). With Thea (Willa Holland), Diggle (David Ramsey), and Captain Lance (Paul Blackthorne) all taking a step back from vigilante justice, it looks like season 5 will kick off with a thoroughly diminished roster of crime fighters.
The recent San Diego Comic-Con Arrow trailer reveals that Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) will be bringing in some new recruits, including a very motivated Curtis (Echo Kellum). It's going to take a lot of work to get these total amateurs into fighting shape, and it now looks like the Green Arrow's former protege will be returning to lend a hand.
We learned a few months ago that Colton Haynes, who played Roy Harper/Arsenal in previous seasons, would be returning for at least a few more episodes in season 5. Now it looks like we've got some confirmation that the actor has been on the Arrow set in Vancouver, courtesy of Kellum's Snapchat. His appearance this early in filming likely means he'll be in at least one episode at the start of the season.
The show is reportedly "getting back to its roots," focusing on Team Arrow in a grittier, more grounded reality that calls back to the first season. This sounds like the perfect time for Roy to return, considering his own progression from season 1 purse snatcher to skilled Green Arrow sidekick. Both Roy's fighting skills and his experience at transforming himself into a vigilante hero could be very valuable to Oliver and his team-building.
Another reason for Roy's appearance could also be tied to Thea, who's been seriously questioning her secret, violent life as Speedy. Even with Roy's prolonged absences, it's clear the two remain emotionally close, so it's a good bet he'll be in on Thea's choice to stay or leave Team Arrow. Whatever his role in season 5, his upcoming season-long guest spot on Fox's Scream Queens hints that his time with Oliver and friends won't be substantial. Still, it'll be good to have another connection to the original crew - the one that got us all hooked on Arrow in the first place.
Arrow season 5 is scheduled to premiere on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 8PM ET; The Flash season 3 is slated to air on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 8PM ET; DC’s Legends of Tomorrow will return on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 8PM ET, Supergirl will make its season 2 debut on The CW on Monday, October 10, 2016 also at 8PM ET.