One of my favourite shows, Arrow, is back with a barnstorming season opener that ‘resets’ things after last year’s finale. Last year saw Oliver and Felicity driving off into the sunset together, leaving Starling City in the hands of Laurel, Thea and Diggle.
This year opened with a glimpse into “Olicity’s” suburban, domestic bliss—that image of Flick sitting on the kitchen counter reading a book and prodding an omelette (as seen in the trailer below) will live in my memory for some time to come. But all too soon Thea and Laurel show up asking for help and by the end of the episode Oliver has been recast as “The Green Arrow”, offering to be the beacon of hope that plain old “The Arrow” never was.
And with a nasty new super-villain on the scene, we’re all set for an exciting season, one that perhaps will bring some of the fun of the comic book to the screen (at last).
But… This wouldn’t be “Arrow” if there wasn’t some pain for the protagonists on the horizon and that was offered up in the form of a six-month flash-forward scene at the end of the ep which sees Oliver crying over someone’s grave and vowing revenge.
But who’s grave? That is the question. What follows are my thoughts on each of the candidates for a mid-season exit.
The way I see it, there are five possible candidates, so let’s go through them. Starting with…
Yes, Yes, I know. This is the most obvious one. After the way this season has started, could the writers possibly come up with a more heart-breaking way to send Oliver back to “the Darkness”? Imagine it, Oliver finally pops the question, they start making plans, then… Poof, she’s snatched away from him.
Flick’s death is also the most likely to bring Barry Allen over from Central City (although I’d have thought he’d have actually made it to the funeral rather than miss it).
However, I really don’t think the writers are this stupid. Flick is quite possibly the most popular character on the show, so popular that she’s done the impossible and transitioned from the TV show to the comic book. They’d have a bloody rebellion on their hands if they killed her off. I really don’t think that it’s Flick in that grave. Or maybe I just hope it’s not.
This is the next most obvious candidate, I think. Thea is the last remaining member of Olly’s family and killing her for good would certainly send him over the edge—just look at what it did to him last season even though he was able to bring her back!
Plus, with Thea seemingly having lost all inhibitions and sense of danger and looking very much like The Arrow looked in season one—that is, willing to kill—she’s actually likely to find herself coming to a sticky end, perhaps by going off on some reckless quest on her own.
But, again, I think the writer’s would be daft to kill off Thea. She’s utterly adorable, has been since day one. She’s also the connection to the world that Olly needs that gives him a reason to keep trying to save Star City. Without her, I think The Green Arrow might well lose his motivation.
Now, here’s a character the writers could kill off that I’m sure the fans wouldn’t be at all upset about. Which is exactly why I don’t think they will. This is because she’s just starting to become interesting. Black Canary has a lot of potential, and I reckon the writers want to do all they can to realise it.
Lance has already tipped his hand in the first episode of this season and made himself a prime candidate for being offed. It would make sense from a story point of view. And I could see Olly blaming himself for not stopping it. But Lance’s death isn’t going to leave him crying at the graveside. So while I don’t think Lance will survive the season, I don’t think he’s the one in that grave.
Which brings us to…
For three seasons he’s been The Arrow’s conscience, his wise counsel, his trusted mentor. But the trust they had, and the friendship they shared, was shattered at the end of season three. At the start of season four, the animosity is still there, the awkwardness in their relationship clear to see.
Which is why it makes perfect sense for Diggle to bite the bullet. The Arrow no longer needs a big brother, a wise counsel. Diggle has, in that sense, served his purpose. But to watch them rebuild their relationship this year only for Diggle to be killed, really would be enough to set Olly on a path of revenge – and it would be a satisfying way for Diggle to bow out.
Plus, Dig also has a history with H.I.V.E. and that history is what could lead to his death. Everything about this possibility makes sense. Which is why, even though I’d be sad to see him leave, I think it’s John Diggle in that grave.
It’s speculation, of course. And there’s going to be a shit load of it from now on after every episode as the fans look for clues. But in the end, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.