Warning this post contains both spoilers and speculation regarding Arrow Season 4B.
Earlier today, Stephen Amell dropped a special midseason premiere extended trailer on his Facebook page. A lot of fans complain about the CW marketing team focusing on promoting The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, well neither of those shows have a hands-on star like Amell. He possibly gave us the biggest clue to the back half of the season months ago after reading the script for Arrow 4×01, and wrote a “What’s wrong Speedy?” tweet in response to a fan wanting some insight to the upcoming season. Then in episode seven, Brotherhood, Thea manages to deflect Darhk’s ability to take a person’s lifeforce. Yes, that’s how I am going to describe it until someone gives me an alternative description. Now leading up to the midseason premiere, executive producer Wendy Mericle explains to Matt Mitovich (TV Line), “moral questions” will pop up as Oliver contemplates using Thea’s ability to his advantage. Well, the biggest ethical question concerning any hero is the one that typically separates them from the villain; do you take lives, to save lives? There’s a nod to this fast approaching dilemma within the extended trailer as Laurel questions Oliver about holding a ghost hostage.
“The one person that might be helpful to him is Malcolm. What viewers will see is we’re going to have him give Oliver some very interesting and helpful advice. And obviously we’re going to blow that up. It will bring them a bit closer together though, which will give us some really juicy stuff when we start to break them back apart”. -Wendy Mericle interview with TV Line.
Malcolm Merlyn, Nyssa, and Shado (or her twin) all also appear in the trailer. The Shado return has to be in relation to a hallucination, right? She’s wearing her father’s hood, another death Oliver feels responsible for, episode thirteen is called Sins of the Father. There’s a lot of speculation about this season providing some resolution in relation to Nyssa’s claim as heir to the demon. A title that technically belongs to Thea, considering Malcolm took the Ra’s al Ghul mantel during the season three finale. Okay, Oliver gave Malcolm the title, a decision that could bite him during the back half of season four. We already see repercussions from the decisions Oliver made last year, as Thea spent the majority of 4A dealing with her bloodlust. All arrows indicate the Lazarus pit’s waters transferred some magic over to Thea that nullifies Darhk’s abilities… or could possibly even kill him in the process. Remember, Darhk used to be a League Of Assassins member, so Malcolm may be setting up Oliver and Thea to settle another score on his behalf.
The extended trailer primarily shows us Oliver’s inevitable regression back into an assassin in the wake of Darhk’s brutal attack on Felicity. The silver lining to the whole dead Felicity concept is there are barely any spoilers for us die-hard #Olicity shippers! There is one surprising Goth-Felicity moment in the trailer, a great nod to the Reaper from the Sandman run. The scene also relates back to the Marc Guggenheim tweet about there being a significant Smoak hallucination set early on in the back half of the season. If you’re not spoiler-phobic then I suggest reading my Arrow 4B Smoak theory spiral to prepare yourself for what lies ahead. Back to the extended trailer, it shows how the attack on Felicity causes all original Team Arrow members to travel down a dark path. “I know you want payback for what Darhk did to Felicity but don’t lose what made her fall in love with you in the first place,” advises Diggle, as Oliver begins to lose himself in this vendetta. I predict the scene with Lyla being held hostage is from episode 11 (AWOL). A Diggle-centric episode that will continue to show him take a page from Oliver’s playbook, as he continues to take on HIVE with his brother’s help. Honestly, I am looking more forward to Diggle’s upcoming appearance on The Flash than returning to this sibling storyline.
“We’re going to do something that’s never been done before on Arrow with the Big Bad. 15 is a real game-changer episode for us.”- Marc Guggenheim in an interview with IGN
Following the midseason finale casting news broke that episode fifteen (Taken), will feature the live action debut of Vixen. Megalyn E.K. will reprise the role she voiced over the summer in the CW Seed miniseries. Wendy Mericle explains, “We really needed someone to come in and give Oliver some help with magic,” (TVLine) maybe even help him activate that mystical tattoo Constantine gave him earlier this season? Help him harness Thea’s Lazarus pit magic so that it can be used against Darhk without killing him? I also speculate Vixen will help Laurel with her Canary cry. There’s a brief scene in trailer of Black Canary whiping blood off from behind her ears; episode fourteen is titled Code of Silence. An episode that will also have Oliver take the stage during a mayoral debate against Damien Darhk’s wife. Well I guess this Genesis plan is a family affair. Anyone have any theories about Darhk’s use for the Mother Box? Darhk’s power source is the Mother Box; hypothetically we could see a transfer of power take place from Darhk to Thea in episode fifteen, making her the big bad throughout the remaining eight episodes. This also adds to the Thea grave theory, a mystery that will be expounded upon in a flash-forward sequence shown at some point during the next five episodes. I suspect the opening scene, showing Oliver by Thea’s bedside is from the flash-forward…same suit and tie. Therefore he’s possibly returning to her bedside after attending the funeral service for another loved one.
Tweet me your Arrow 4B theories @sjbelmont