Spoilers ahead for anyone who hasn’t seen the Season 5 finale of Arrow.
[Update: As we get closer to the Season 6 premiere, more and more cast members are confirming their Alive-and-Well status, including Juliana Harkavy in a recent interview with EW, where she talks about officially suiting up as Black Canary. As a reminder though, check out every major cast member’s chance of survival since “Lian Yu”]
The CW’s Arrow wrapped up one of its best seasons to date last night with the explosive Season 5 finale that put a lot of conflicts to rest but raised many more questions after the fact. If you need a refresher, be sure to check out Kayti Burt‘s recap here, but the basic thing you need to know is this: Season 5 ended with the suicide of Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra) triggering a massive explosion that destroyed the island of Lian Yu. Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and his son were safely out to sea at the time, but just about everyone else in the Arrow cast was, presumably, trapped on the island and killed in the explosion. Whoa.
Now, because Arrow has been renewed for a 6th season and because certain cast members have legally binding contracts here in the real world, obviously the show will not completely wipe out 95% of its characters. However, even though Arrow Season 6 likely won’t be a total reset, this clever bit of writing could allow the creative team to cull the herd, as it were, if they see fit to do so. Perhaps not everyone actually made it off of Lian Yu alive. Either way, there are some changes coming to Arrow in Season 6: The pater familias of the CW superhero series will be shifting to Thursday nights at 9pm for the first time ever, and there will be no more flashbacks to Oliver’s time on the island.
Here’s a look at the known series regulars who are contractually guaranteed to return next season, other than the usual suspects Stephen Amell, Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, Willa Holland (who infamously suffered a reduced number of episodes this season), Echo Kellum, and Paul Blackthorne, there’s Katie Cassidy as Earth-2 Laurel Lance / Black Siren, Rick Gonzalez as Rene Ramirez / Wild Dog, Juliana Harkavy as Dinah Drake / Black Canary, and John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn on all shows across the Arrow-verse. Jack Moore as William Clayton and Audrie Marie Anderson as Lyla Michaels/Diggle should be safe as well since they were off the island.
Let’s see how they all stack up.