Arrow‘s Season 5 finale might just be its best episode ever, a fact that certainly isn’t making the wait for Season 6 any easier. It’s going to be several months until fans learn who survived the destruction of Lian Yu and what new enemy will rise to threaten Star City now that Prometheus is finally gone.
The good news is that we do have some idea of where the show is headed in Season 6. Scroll down to find out everything we know about the new season, from which Team Arrow members will be in the spotlight to what the end of the five-year flashback storyline means for the show.
The CW recently revealed its schedule for the fall 2017 season, and fans will now have to wait an extra night to get their weekly Arrow fix. Riverdale will be taking over Arrow’s old Wednesday 8pm EST/PST slot, with Arrow shifting to 9pm EST/PST on Thursdays (after Supernatural).
The later airtime might actually be more significant than the different night as far as the show’s execution goes. Agents of SHIELD underwent a similar time shift this past season, moving from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesdays. The show immediately took on a darker and more mature tone, with ABC clearly targeting an older audience this year. Could The CW be going for a similar approach with Arrow’s sixth season? Arrow already shifted in a darker direction for Season 5, and given the way the finale ended, it’s not hard to imagine Oliver Queen’s world becoming even more embroiled in darkness next year.
The CW has revealed very little about the general direction of Season 6, much less the main villain or the conflict Team Arrow will be facing. But it does stand to reason that Team Arrow will be short a few members when Season 6 picks up. After all, the finale ended with Adrian Chase executing the final stage of his complicated revenge plot, killing himself and detonating a bomb that destroyed Lian Yu (with pretty much every living soul that call’s Oliver Queen “friend” still on it).
We know for a fact that not every member of Team Arrow will be killed off in Chase’s attack. Recent casting announcements mean that a handful of characters are pretty much safe from harm. That said, we can’t imagine that the writers would end Season 5 on such a dramatic note and then grant every single Team Arrow member a reprieve. And even if there are survivors, Ollie may not be immediately aware of that fact. Expect the new season to open with Ollie mourning the deaths of some of his comrades, with that grief compelling him to redouble his war on crime.
We’re not optimistic about the fates of characters like Mr. Terrific and Deputy Mayor Lance, but it seems we can at least count on Wild Dog and Black Canary to survive Chase’s attack. That’s because actors Rick Gonzalez and Juliana Harkavey have been upgraded to series regulars for Season 6.
It makes sense to shine the spotlight on both characters in Season 6. Rene has plenty of unfinished business to take care of, as he nearly achieved his dream of regaining custody of his daughter before being kidnapped by Prometheus. If Lance perished on Lian Yu, we could see Rene being further compelled to reunite with his daughter as a way of honoring his friend’s memory.
As for Dinah, it felt like the show was barely getting started with her by the time Season 5 wrapped. Hopefully Season 6 will have ample opportunity to explore her background and her evolving role in Team Arrow. That goes double considering that she’ll probably be butting heads with another sonic-screaming metahuman.
One of the bigger plot twists in Season 5 involved the surprise return of the late Laurel Lance in the midseason finale, though it wasn’t long before Ollie and the gang learned that she was actually Earth-2’s Laurel, a metahuman villain known as Black Siren. Black Siren resurfaced to help Prometheus carry out his final plan in the finale. And while her fate is unclear following the destruction of the island, it seems Laurel is being given yet another lease on life in Season 6.
We learned back in March that Cassidy is returning as a series regular for Season 6. “This year, our midseason finale reintroduced us to Laurel’s doppelgänger, Black Siren. We were so taken by Katie’s fearless interpretation of this character that we knew her story was not yet finished,” said Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim in a statement.
That still leaves the question of what role Black Siren will play in the new season. While she’ll no doubt be an antagonist early on, we have to imagine that Ollie and friends will be doing their best to reach out to Laurel and help her find redemption in this new world. We’ll also be interested to see how Laurel’s character arc intertwines with that of Dinah. Is there room for two Black Canaries on this series?
One of many reasons we loved the Arrow: Season 5 finale was the fact that it was the first episode in more than two years to prominently feature Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson. Better yet, it restored the strong, brotherly bond between Slade and Ollie that was destroyed when Slade became a Mirakuru-fueled super-assassin.
There’s been no word yet on whether Bennett might stick around for Season 6 (or if Slade even survived the destruction of Lian Yu). And unfortunately, Bennett’s ongoing commitment to Spike TV’s Shanarra series makes it difficult for him to juggle both shows.
But based on some of the dialogue between Ollie and Slade in the finale, it definitely sounds as though the writers have future plans for Slade. In the episode, we saw Ollie recruit the hesitant Slade to his side by offering him information on Slade’s missing son, Joey. That seems to pave the way for a future episode where the two characters go in search of Joey and we learn more about the tragic, troubled history of the Wilson family.
It’s also interesting to note that this setup comes shortly after the announcement that Greg Berlanti, Geoff Johns, Sarah Schechter and Akiva Goldsman are developing a Titans series for DC’s new streaming video service. There’s been no word yet as to whether Titans is connected to the Arrowverse, but it does seem a little convenient that Arrow is delving into a crucial Teen Titans storyline even as the Titans themselves are making their live-action debut.
In the comics, Adrian Chase is the most famous of the costumed assassins to call themselves “Vigilante.” But Arrow shook up the formula in a big way this season when it revealed that Chase and Vigilante are two completely different characters. And while Chase went on to become the driving force of the season, Vigilante hasn’t been seen since his brief clash with Prometheus in “Fighting Fire With Fire.”
Showrunner Wendy Mericle explained the Vigilante shake-up in an interview following the release of “Fighting Fire With Fire,” saying, “We thought it would be a really fun twist to do what we’ve always done on the show which is to take the comic book mythology and turn it on its head and see what kind of story we can mine from a surprise like that. It was also something different for this season. We wanted to change up how we introduced the big bad and change up when we did it, how we did it, and hopefully we succeeded in that this year.”
Definitely look for Vigilante to return in Season 6 as the writers delve deeper into the character and his own, mysterious motivations. And don’t be surprised if actor Josh Segarra still winds up being underneath that mask. It definitely sounded like Segarra’s voice in those few instances where Vigilante actually spoke this season. We have a couple theories about how Prometheus and Vigilante could be connected, including that Vigilante might be Adrian’s twin brother, Dorian.
Flashbacks have been an Arrow hallmark from the very beginning. But with the story of Oliver Queen’s “five years in hell” coming full circle in the Season 5 finale, the series seems ready to finally move away from the flashback formula.
Showrunners Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle have made it clear that fans can expect a less flashback-driven approach in Season 6, though some episodes will continue to feature flashbacks of some sort. “Last year, when we sort of realized we’re going to go past Season 5, we basically made a collective decision that Season 5 would be the final year of flashbacks,” Guggenheim told us. “Next year, in Season 6, what we’ll end up doing is we’ll do some episodes without any sort of flashbacks. We’ve [also] established over the first four seasons of proof of concept that we can do flashback stories that don’t involve what I call the island narrative, even when he’s not on the island.”
We’re assuming that the flashbacks will shift away from exploring Ollie’s early years and focus more on characters like Dinah Drake and Vigilante. Guggenheim even teased the possibility of featuring flash-forward segments for Ollie and Diggle, a la Lost: Season 3.