Arrow: 5 Questions We Want Answered at SDCC

As the countdown to San Diego Comic-Con reaches the one-month mark, we can practically feel the fall television season get closer within our reach. Which means that Arrow’s fifth season is upon us promising a return to the gritty, grounded reality we’ve been missing and teasing a return to the heart of Team Arrow. And October cannot come soon enough.

Following Arrow’s mystical fourth season, Oliver and Felicity are the lone members of Team Arrow in Star City now that Diggle, Thea, and Quentin have taken a break following the emotional events of the season. As Oliver prepares to step into his new role as mayor of Star City, questions of his Bratva past and his reconciliation with Felicity loom large over the upcoming season. Basically, this season cannot come soon enough.

Here are five – of many – questions we want answered at San Diego Comic Con:

1. How will Team Arrow eventually reunite?

It’s not so much a question of if rather how Team Arrow will eventually reunite following this five-month break. Much like last season ended with Oliver and Felicity departing town and taking some time for them, Diggle, Thea, and Quentin all took much-needed breaks following the emotional hardships they experienced. Last season’s new big bad, Damien Darhk, brought Oliver and Felicity back from their break. So might we see more of the same in the season five premiere as Team Arrow – which currently consists of Oliver and Felicity – is probably going to need some back-up.

But I’m wondering if perhaps we won’t see everyone return right away? Following the season four finale, Diggle appeared to be enlisting in the Army while Thea remained in Star City questioning why she is doing this, and Quentin left town. So perhaps not everyone will be ready to return right away? But when it comes down to it, the heart of this show is Team Arrow, especially that core trio of Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity. So while it might take longer than the season premiere for some members to reemerge, they’ll be back. Eventually.

2. Will we get to see Oliver and Felicity repairing their relationship?

Once again this isn’t so much a question of if Oliver and Felicity will be getting back together rather if we’ll get to see them repairing their relationship onscreen. That’s what happens when you’re the true love story in a superhero’s story. One of the complaints that I had about the transition between seasons two and three was how when season three premiere it jumped right into Oliver and Felicity dating. There was so much development that happened off screen that fans didn’t get to see.

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But hopefully that won’t be the case this season. Stephen Amell has already teased that Oliver and Felicity won’t be together when the new season starts, indicating that perhaps we’ll get to see that last bit of development as they look to reestablish that trusting foundation that has defined their relationship. Sure, there will be development that happens off screen – it will have been five months, after all – but fans want to see some of that development on screen especially considering that it will have been five months that they’ve been working together alone. Once again it comes back to the show don’t tell rule in storytelling. Show us Oliver and Felicity working on themselves as individuals and as a couple.

3. Who is the Big Bad this season?

This is always the thing that Arrow saves for Comic-Con, and most shows actually. It’s all about the hype. But will this season’s big bad have a connection to Oliver’s Bratva’s past? One of the things that Arrow has done well with its some of its villains is that personal connection between Oliver and the bad guy. It elevates the villainy to a new level that makes it mean even more than it does. With season five being the final year of Oliver’s flashbacks

The big bad always tends to have a connection to the flashbacks in some way, minus Malcolm in season one. So at this point I think we’re all assuming that whoever this villain of the season is will be someone that has some sort of connection to the Russian Bratva. Now will he be someone that Oliver knows from his time in Russia? That remains to be seen, but I know that’s what I’m hoping for.

4. What will we learn about Oliver’s Bratva past?

Arrow is headed into the final season of flashbacks as we are 23 episodes away from meeting that cold-hearted killer we met in the pilot. Considering what Oliver went through in season four, it doesn’t appear as if he’s hit that darkness that molds him into the calculated killer he becomes. Each flashback year is said to become darker as Oliver needs to complete that journey and become that man we met in the pilot. With that said it appears as if things are going to take a dark turn in the flashbacks this season.

Being that it’s the final season of flashbacks, I’m both elated and disappointed that the flashbacks are coming to an end. They haven’t had a significant impact on me as a viewer since season two, and I’m hoping this final season changes that. Given that Oliver’s Bratva past looks to be the darkest of what we’ve seen to this point in the flashbacks, I’m cautiously optimistic for this.

5. What lies in store with Oliver’s mayoral storyline?

Changes are coming in Arrow’s fifth season as Team Arrow’s make-up have changed and Oliver sets his sights on perfecting his craft as Star City’s newest mayor. While the first half of Arrow season four focused on Oliver’s mayoral campaign, other matters soon shifted that dream to the side. But in the final moments of the season finale, Oliver received a call asking him to step in as mayor following Ruve Darhk’s death and his inspirational speech to the people of Star City. While the position was offered to him as an interim one, there is still an election that will be held for the position to become permanent. But considering how Oliver inspired hope within the city – and how he garnered 48 percent of the vote via write-in – it’s safe to say Oliver will be the mayor when Arrow returns.

This might explain the new additions to Team Arrow we might be getting. But with that said I don’t Arrow to lose focus about what Oliver’s journey as Green Arrow. Sure the mayoral stuff is a part of that, but don’t let it overshadow his role as Green Arrow in the shadows. Perhaps season five will be about learning to balance being a hero in the light (as mayor) and the shadows (as Green Arrow)?

BONUS

6. Will Arrow be affected by The Flash’s season two finale?

There’s no doubt that this will be the question asked by everyone about every DC show on The CW. Will The Flash affect these shows in a significant way? While it’s possible that Barry Allen rewriting the timeline will have a slight impact, it shouldn’t be something that we feel as a significant storyline on these other shows. Perhaps this storyline is geared more towards December’s four-night crossover event, which will feature Arrow, Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. But don’t expect The Flash to affect Arrow significantly. Unless that’s their reasoning behind returning to the gritty, grounded nature of the show, which I’m all for.

Arrow season 5 premieres Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 8/7c on The CW.

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