Four seasons in and Arrow still never fails to surprise, but this year it tipped its hand ever-so-slightly when the season premiere flashed forward to a grieving Oliver standing over an unseen grave. The stakes are higher than ever this season, and it’s clear that not every member of Team Arrow is going to survive. But who’s the unlucky victim? The thrilling new Arrow teaser that was released yesterday hints at a few possible victims, but the truth is that it could be anyone on the show. The only person we know isn’t in that grave is Ollie (and Barry Allen, but we figure characters on other shows are safe).
With Arrow returning tonight, we thought it was the perfect time to look at and handicap the possible victims. But first a caveat. None of us writing for DCComics.com know which character is in the grave. We’re as in the dark as all of you. What we’ve written below is just our best guess based on what we know at this time. Maybe we’re right, maybe we’re wrong. But we’ll do our best to give you a sense of who’s most likely. You know, so you have time to say goodbye.
Let’s just get the big one out of the way first. Could Felicity Smoak die this season? Certainly December’s cliffhanger would leave the door wide open for that, and there’s a real sense that something’s going to happen to Felicity. But we’re going to put our poker skills to use and call this one for a bluff. Felicity Smoak is probably not going to die. It feels too easy and obvious for a show that has built a reputation on surprising us. Obviously, we can’t say with complete certainty that she’s safe. As we’ve said, we don’t know. But for any Olicity fans reading, there’s probably no need to break out the pitchforks…yet.
Unlike Felicity, John has been by Ollie’s side since the very beginning. But everything must end, and Team Arrow’s most enduring partnership is no exception. This season has seen John and Ollie gradually repair their friendship after Ollie nearly destroyed it last season during his attempt to infiltrate the League of Assassins. So wouldn’t it be perfectly tragic if Diggle were to die shortly after forgiving Oliver? Plus, John’s brother is a member of H.I.V.E. and nothing’s more disarming than family. Still, our gut is telling us it’s not likely to be John. Which is not to say he won’t be affected…
The problem for John Diggle is that Ollie isn’t the only person he’s close to on the show. Yesterday’s trailer clearly shows Lyla Michaels, John’s wife and mother to his small child, in trouble—possibly lethal trouble. That’s not good, but what’s also really problematic for Harbinger as a character and why the odds might not be ever in her favor is that she’s not a show regular. She doesn’t appear in every episode, and losing her doesn’t create the sort of problems for the writers that losing a key character like Diggle, Thea or Laurel might. Diggle doesn’t strike us as a flowers sort of guy, but still, you might want to get a nice condolences card ready for him. Just in case.
Yesterday’s trailer also gave us a startling glimpse of Ollie’s butt-kicking little sis lying unconscious in a hospital bed. Could Ollie’s newest and closest partner be in for an early retirement? Well, as we keep saying, no one’s truly safe. But we just can’t see Thea as our victim. For starters, killing her would infuriate Malcolm Merlyn and likely provoke a war with the League of Assassins, and we doubt even H.I.V.E. would want that. Plus, she’s already died once. Killing her off again would just be cruel, and it would leave Ollie with no living family members. He’s already survived the death of his parents—we can’t imagine he’ll be forced to say goodbye to his sister as well. Then again, Arrow IS the darkest of all the CW #DCTV shows…
This season has seen Laurel Dinah Lance really step up into her role as Black Canary, but she’s still arguably the least trained member of Team Arrow. She’s certainly not as strong a fighter as her sister, who was killed last season (and then resurrected, but that’s another story and another show). If Sara Lance wasn’t safe, how safe could Laurel be?
Well, we’re going to go out on a limb and say very safe. For starters, poor Detective Lance has been through enough. He’s already lost one daughter twice, and like with Ollie and his sister, there’s only so much one person can take. We can’t see him being subjected to the loss of his other daughter. Nor can we see the writers completely shutting the door on a future relationship between Green Arrow and Black Canary, which as fans of the comic can tell you, is one of the DC Universe’s most beloved and consistent couples.
Off course, Laurel’s not the only member of the Lance family that’s a key part of the show, and one way to end poor Detective Lance’s suffering is to take him off the board completely. Plus, his death does make some amount of sense. After all, he’s currently playing double agent within H.I.V.E. for Oliver. What do you think Damien Darhk would do to him if he were to find out? Quentin’s certainly at risk, but there are a few things working in favor of his survival. First, there’s his newly introduced relationship with Donna Smoak. Why introduce that relationship only to end it with the abrupt death of one of the newfound lovers? (Unless it’s to kick off a Kill Bill-style revenge story featuring Mama Smoak! We would be 100% on board with THAT!) Also, after the death of Moira Queen and the disappearance of Walter (whatever happened to him?), Quentin Lance is one of the very few remaining cast members who’s over 40. Yes, this is The CW, but we need a few grown-ups to rein these crazy kids in from time to time.
Someone Unexpected (Malcolm Merlyn, Nyssa al Ghul, Curtis Holt, Samantha or William Clayton, etc.)
Of course, there’s always the chance that it’s not any of the above possibilities and it’s someone entirely unexpected. Damien Darhk certainly has his reasons to hate Malcolm Merlyn, but would Oliver seriously be all that bothered by his death? Nyssa al Ghul is likely to return to Star City at some point, but when? And wouldn’t it be completely unexpected to see Curtis Holt meet his maker far before anyone—particularly anyone familiar with his comic book history—expected? Then there’s William and Samantha Clayton, Ollie’s newly discovered son and his mother. How awful would it be for either of them to get pulled into Oliver’s secret life in such a tragic way? There are other out-of-the-blue possibilities as well. Donna Smoak! Alex Davis! Mari McCabe! Helena Bertinelli! Slade Wilson! Walter! (Seriously, what happened to him?) The only thing we know for sure is that the individual whose name is on that gravestone has a tie to Oliver, so the entire cast is a possibility.
So who do you think it is? Share your thoughts by voting in the above poll and sounding off in the comments below. Did we leave someone off the list? You can let us know that in the comments as well. And don’t forget to watch tonight’s all new Arrow at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW!