Whatever you think of the state of The CW’s Arrow in its fourth season, it’s plain to see that Team Arrow itself is coming apart at the seams. Spoilers follow for those of you who aren’t caught up on this season so far, but all news related to the Season 4 finale and Season 5 casting additions are mostly speculation at this point.
Last season saw a build-up of Team Arrow as nearly everyone in Oliver Queen’s circle of friends turned from confidant to costumed crimefighter by season’s end. Laurel became the Black Canary, Thea took on the mantle of Speedy, Diggle finally got some gear to go with the codename of Spartan, and Felicity took on the alias Overwatch, a fitting moniker for her position. Then it all fell apart. Laurel died at the hands of Damien Darhk, something the rest of the team took poorly, as expected. Add to that the fact that Diggle had to kill his own brother and that Felicity has broken up with Oliver and separated herself from the team, and it starts to look like the Green Arrow might be on his own before too long.
If new comments from Arrow executive producer Wendy Mericle are any indication, that may be a possibility. As TV Guide reports, it’s Thea’s internal conflicts at the end of this season that will ultimately shape the events of the finale and set the course for the next season of the show:
“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.”
The episode titles for Arrow tend to be rather telling in hindsight, usually. Mericle herself calls the one for the finale, titled “Schism,” a “good clue”:
“We talked about Season 4 as a soft reboot and I think Season 5 will see some big changes on the show.”
The May 25th finale perhaps portends an irreconcilable split among the members of Team Arrow with Speedy’s retreat leading the way. Could she possibly side with Merlyn after everything he’s done? Next week’s episode “Lost in the Flood” should go a long way toward clarifying things since it sees the team attempting to rescue Thea from under Darhk’s dome … but will she leave that relative safety and security for a return to the violent, deadly world of crime-fighting? We’ll find out soon enough!
As for how the events of the Season 4 finale will affect Season 5, feel free to let your imagination run wild. Perhaps we’ll see Oliver Queen back on his own again with only occasional assistance from the likes of Curtis Holt (series regular Echo Kellum) and the remnants of his former team. One thing is for sure: Arrow is getting a new series regular. TV Line reports that the casting call for this part describe the character as follows:
“James,” an “irrepressibly charming” contemporary of Oliver’s who is described as “a man on a mission” — out as he is to avenge a tragic, violent loss from his own, years-ago past. The casting call seeks an actor of any ethnicity, in his late-20s to 30s and who comes across as a physical threat. The character is said to “just as easily shake your hand as your best friend or break your neck as your worst enemy — and you never know which one is coming. Either way, he’s more than capable of having a good time as he does it.”
TV Line reports that “James” will be Oliver’s adversary, but the casting description seems to paint the character in a rather ambivalent light. Maybe Green Arrow’s antics have inspired a wave of vigilantism so that the Hood himself comes up against another crimefighter. Or perhaps this new addition is connected to Oliver’s past with the Bratva, which would tie nicely to the flashback sequences rumored to take place in Russia. However it works out, a shake-up for Arrow is definitely in the cards, and I’m of the opinion that it’s coming just in time.
Anxious to see how Arrow ends this season? Any ideas on how Season 5 will take shape? Let us know in the comments below!