Warning: the post below contains both some serious Arrow 4B spoilers, speculation, & theories.
According to a report from TVLine, CW boss Marc Pedowtiz has renewed Arrow for an epic fifth season! This is a pivotal renewal for the series, because it should include the final set of Lian Yu flashbacks before Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) decides to return home to Starling City. At long last Oliver’s past will connect back to the series beginning and sets up a very mysterious possible sixth season, but lets not get ahead of ourselves. We still have eight episodes, one heroic sacrifice, and possibly a big bad death before theorizing about future seasons.
Arrow will return from its three-week long hiatus on March 23rd with a heartbroken Oliver Queen, Felicity Somak (Emily Bett Rickards)… and Cupid (Guest Star, Amy Gumenick). Following the events in “Taken” (4×15) Oliver and Felicity resume their “working” relationships, but unresolved feelings will surface with Cupid running around, killing couples on their wedding day. Showrunner Marc Guggenheim gave us the biggest #Olicity tease to this upcoming episode, “Broken Hearts” with this wedding day set photo. Congratulations to everyone who theorized that our crime fighting duo are merely setting a trap for Cupid. At least that’s our takeaway from the episode synopsis. Hopefully this bittersweet plan will illustrate that they will always be crime fighting partners first. I also look forward to seeing the writers explore Team Arrow grappling with finally taking down Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) while still seeking justice.
Earlier this week GreenArrowTV released the episode synopsis for “Beacon of Hope” (4×17). Guest star Emily Kinney will make her Arrow debut and reprise her Bug-Eyed Bandit villain role from The Flash (1x18). Remember Felicity literally walked away from Oliver during the final scene of “Taken,” after Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum) built her a bio-chip for her spinal injury. I still have problems with how the writers handled this subplot. Everything felt really rushed to coincide with the “baby mama drama angst.” Now looking ahead, the bio-chip is set to cause Brie Larvan (Bug-Eyed Bandit) to want to take it away from Felicity for some unknown reason. She may have been recruited by HIVE since we last saw her on The Flash, there were a lot of “bee” references in “All Star Team Up“. Based on the description there will be plenty of female bonding in this episode between Felicity, Donna Smoak (guest star Charlotte Ross), and Thea Queen (Willa Holland). Interesting how we finally are given a Felicity and Thea plotline that occurs after the #Olicity breakup; we haven’t seen this pairing since “Al Sah-Him” (3×21). The synopsis also includes a tease for Oliver recruiting a new team member to help handle this crisis. I believe Oliver will recruit Curtis, considering the hostage situation is taking place at Palmer Tech. Why wouldn’t the synopsis include that Curtis was also being held hostage at his work site? He could be away, but this just seems like the perfect opportunity to finally let him in on the secret. In addition, there’s online speculation that Oliver gets hurt during “Beacon of Hope” and there’s a shot of him flat lining in the new Arrow Cave during the “Broken Hearts” trailer. I believe the shot is actually from “Beacon of Hope” and if you look close enough you’ll see Curtis manning the computers in the Arrow Cave… not Felicity. Earlier this week the CW marketing team did release a brand new character poster for Felicity Smoak, set in the new Arrow Cave, and she’s holding a T-Sphere! Mr. Terrific is coming before the season’s end and hopefully will be a more prominent character in the fifth season. Based on both panels and fan interactions with the cast at the most recent Heroes Villains Fan Fest in Chicago, the #Olicity breakup may continue through the end of season four. David Ramsey insists that the pair will reunite eventually after Diggle talks some sense into them both… translation #Delicity scenes are on the horizon!
Now let’s delve into some serious spoiler and speculation talk in relation to “Eleven Fifty-Nine” (4×18). Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) is in the grave. She’ll die in 4×18, while the flash-forward scene from “Green Arrow” (4×01) will take place during the nineteenth episode. Since about January, I have tried to keep my own personal bias in check about the Canary grave theory. Now after both recent set photos from the nineteenth episode, social media buzz (BTS tweets), and interviews from the cast/crew it’s been all but confirmed that she’s in the grave. The title “Eleven Fifty-Nine,” connects back to when Laurel officially took up her fallen sister’s canary mantel in “Midnight City” (3×11). According to reports emerging from HVFF the upcoming death will be a heroic one for Laurel, “taking one for the team” (source link). Plus when Arrow returns from this hiatus we will be seeing Laurel return to the courtroom in an attempt to finally bring Darhk to justice once and for all. This tactic will likely place Laurel in both Darhk’s and new Star City mayor Ruve Adams’ crosshairs. The Arrow writers could draw an interesting parallel between Oliver and Laurel, both attempting “to fight the darkness in the light of day.” I am still not entirely convinced that Darhk’s behind the flashforward grave scene. My money is still set on it being Malcolm (see Arrow 4B: Malcolm & Spoilers post). He killed Sara last season and Laurel vowed to get justice for her sister, so she picked up the Black Canary mantle. Now with Sara resurrected and time traveling on Legends of Tomorrow, some very interesting questions concerning fate may surface.
The set photos from the untitled nineteenth episode indicate Laurel flashbacks to Sara’s original funeral after the Gambit sank. I have seen theories that this storyline actually flashes back to Tommy’s funeral, but there’s too much parallelism between the sisters to pass up in this situation. Note, Katie Cassidy only appears shooting scenes for the flashback grave scene. Meanwhile the rest of the cast including Paul Blackthorne have been shown shooting for the present day grave scene. These leaked set photos also reveal that Nyssa (Katrina Law) will be in attendance during the present-day funeral, I believe that disproves the Donna Smoak theory. Guest star Madison McLaughlin is also shown shooting at the present day grave site alongside Nyssa. We currently don’t know much about McLaughlin’s upcoming role, only that she’ll be on the run from a cult (according to TVLine). My theory is that she’ll be shown in the flashback storyline as Laurel helps her escape the cult, and this case triggers her to accept the job at CNRI. Then Mclaughlin’s character reappears in present day to pay her respects, possibly after fleeing the cult she fell into the care of a different league. McLaughlin is currently only reported to appear in 4×19, with a chance to reoccur later in the series.
I understand the desire to refute this grave theory until 4×18 airs or the character death has been confirmed. Black Canary is an iconic character from the DC mythos and has a very significant relationship with Green Arrow for fans of the comic book series. However, I do agree with Marc Guggenheim’s perspective on killing off superheroes:
“I think it gives stakes to the stories and I think it humanizes them in a necessary way to make you care about these characters. They are living myths, but I like the fact that they’re mortal myths.” – Entertainment Weekly Interview
Arrow may be killing off this iconic character to continue telling a new story, but DC is currently building a cinematic universe that could include a big screen Black Canary. After all she is a Justice League member and this will allow new writers to finally tell her story without Green Arrow at the forefront. I keep hearing a demand to see the Birds of Prey series brought to life. They could pursue this in the cinematic universe. Since season one, Laurel Lance has been set on her own hero’s journey. She’ll go out a hero in her own right and I wonder if that’s enough to appease her fans. Eight more episodes remaining in Arrow season four, including “Genesis” (4×20)… so much story left to unfold.
Tweet me your Arrow season four theories @sjbelmont