May's Arrow season 5 finale resolved numerous dangling plot threads -- including Oliver's season-long battle with Prometheus and the five-years-long journey of the flashbacks -- and answered questions that fans had been wondering about for years -- why, exactly, was Oliver running when the pilot started? Where did all those scars come from?
It did not, however, resolve the question of Vigilante's identity or whereabouts, something that fans had been wondering about since Adrian Chase (the man previously thought to be Vigilante) turned out to be Prometheus. Showrunners said shortly after season 5 ended that Vigilante had not died when Promtheus dropped him off a roof, and would reappear in season 6.
Not much else was revealed about the costumed crimefighter, who served primarily as an antagonist to Team Arrow, until this week, when some new clues hit the web and started to change the shape of the mystery a little bit. Among them: Vigilante will be someone close to one of the series regulars, and he will serve as an "opposite number" to one of Team Arrow's members. He was also characterized as a villain, rather than the antihero he sold himself as last season.
Did Vigilante start out as an antihero and evolve, or has he always been bad, and they just soft-pedaled it last season? The answer will probably not be clear until the audience starts to have a little bit more of an idea of who he is and what drives him -- which brings us back to the mystery that we have been worrying away at since March.
Yes, it's time to play "Who is Vigilante?" again -- albeit this time with a bunch of new evidence and a couple of new names to float by.
One of whom only occurred to us because Deathstroke will be returning in season six...!
Unless his father was going to be a major player in season six, it would not have made sense to consider Grant Wilson -- previously seen only in an alternate future on DC's Legends of Torrow -- as a serious candidate.
Ravager or not, Grant would be a wild card in a season that promises a Deathstroke subplot that centers on the hunt for his other son, Joseph, who was previously referred to as dead but who has secretly been operating under an assumed name as part of an Australian military outfit.
Because Deathstroke and Joseph (known in the comics as Jericho) both turned to a military career and became elite soldiers, it would not be a stretch to assume that Slade's other son, if indeed he exists in the Arrowverse, would have a skillset not unlike the one demonstrated by Vigilante in season 5.
Unlike Joseph, though, we have seen him to be uncompromising, brutal, and willing to wear costumes (in his Legends appearance) -- and those are all traits that sync up with Vigilante.
Slade is not (yet?) a series regular, but it would not be a stretch to see how Deathstroke's estranged son could turn out to be intimately tied to Oliver, Thea, or other characters in Oliver's circle who are already in most of the seasoin's episodes.
It would also be a potential game-changer for Slade to believe he had the Joseph situation settled, only to discover that his other son was raising hell in Star City.
Note, too, that there are even similarities between his costume design on Legends and Vigilante's on Arrow, with the black suit, kevlar vest, bandolier, and "vented" look to his facemask.
Everyone has guessed Tommy Merlyn might be Vigilante at one point or another -- largely becuase everyone has guessed "Tommy Merlyn!" for every masked mystery figure since season 2.
Someone, eventually, is bound to be Tommy. Given his popularity among the fans, actor Colin Donnell's popularity with the other cast members, and the fact that he is related by blood to Thea (there's a good connection to one of the regulars for you), he is bound to reappear at some point.
Still, this feels like it would be an odd fit -- first of all, for Tommy to take on a masked identity and start killing villains, one would assume he would have needed a motivation. Revenge for his death seems like an obvious one and given the conditions of his death, that would presumably make him almost as angry at Oliver as he was at criminals...something Vigilante did not demonstrate when he seemed to only battle the "good guys" reluctantly.
Killing Tommy so early in the season has actually been a bit of a blessing and a curse for the writers: everyone is always clamoring for more of him, and everyone is always expecting him to turn up when there is a mystery or a milestone.
Of course, the Arrow writers usually don't play the kind of long game that would be involved for making a character as important as Tommy a two-seasons-long mystery; the producers often joke that they wrap such stories up quicker than they maybe should and move on to the next one, burning through two or three seasons' worth of stories in one year.
Fans have been pretty steadfast in their desire to see Tommy, and we think he will show up again...but we're not convinced it will be as Vigilante. Still, we could be surprised.
If there is anyone who has been pegged as a masked avenger more times than Tommy, it is probably Quentin Lance.
Lance, of course, is a series regular himself and has close ties to nearly all of them, but especially to Oliver, Rene, and Black Siren (his daughter from another Earth).
There was a red herring last season about Lance being Prometheus, and back then, we didn't really buy into it. While the trauma of losing Laurel could have broken most people, Quentin is not most people -- and frankly his story is more interesting and inspirational if he can find purpose and walk himself back from that ledge rather than give into darker impulses and become a villain.
For that reason, Vigilante may have seemed a more reasonable guess than Prometheus -- again, last season Vigilante presented himself as someone who just thought the system was broken and villains were not being properly punished. As an ex-cop and someone who has suffered immeasurable tragedy in his life, that seemed like a fairly credible ethos for Lance.
Going full-on bad guy, though? Hard to believe. And for all his conflicts with Oliver and the team over the years, the numerous times Vigilante tried to put bullets in Oliver and Diggle would feel really difficult to swallow.
Floyd Lawton is a character who got the short end of the stick on Arrow, and we would love to see that rectified.
Mike Rowe's fan-favorite portrayal of Deadshot fell victim to a moment in time where most of the show's Suicide Squad connections were being killed or written out. The difference with Lawton versus the other characters, though, is that he had a long history with Team Arrow and it was left unresolved as a result of his death.
Since his death on Arrow, Lawton has appeared (as an alternate-universe duplicate of himself) on an episode of The Flash, in which they even jokingly called him "Deadshot."
We are guessing that the dealbreaker would be having Lawton call himself Deadshot or appear in the Deadshot costume, since it could create brand confusion with Will Smith's take on the character in Suicide Squad. DC and The CW have insisted that it wasn't the Suicide Squad movie that removed numerous characters from Arrow, but fans have a hard time swallowing that company line.
Lawton has a long history with Diggle and his brother, and after spending season 5 agonizing over the decision to kill his brother, it could be really interesting to see how Diggle responded to being confronted with Andy's "killer" all over again in a new context.
Creating a new identity to stay under ARGUS's radar would be clever on Lawton's part, and he is one of a handful of existing characters who could believably go toe-to-toe with Oliver, Diggle, and Prometheus the way Vigilante has.
“You didn’t see a body; they just had to remove him quickly from the show because of business and there would be a lot of fun ways to bring him back and to revisit some of the storylines that we originally had,” said Rowe, who also said he did not believe Deadshot had died in the blast that supposedly killed him.
“One of [those ideas] would be a Deadshot/Deathstroke either versus or team-up,” Rowe added. “Me and Manu are pretty fiery when we get together in real life, so we would love to see us through those characters end up in the same scenes and the same scenarios together; I think that would be real fun and real interesting.”
With Deathstroke not only back on the show, but operating alongside Team Arrow from time to time, it would not be unreasonable to think that Vigilante could be the villain analogous to Slade.
A former ARGUS member, Shaw could be a pretty believable foil for Diggle, especially -- as David Ramsey seems to be implying -- if things are still on the rocks between John and his wife, ARGUS chief Lyla Michaels.
Shaw was last seen faking his death to get out from under Amanda Waller's thumb. He appeared in a single episode, "Corto Maltese," where Diggle had to hunt him down on ARGUS's after Shaw went dark.
He was clearly a dangerous individual and had little moral compass, though; he was ready to sell ARGUS secrets to a drug cartel in order to make enough money to safely escape Waller.
That he seemed to have some deep-seated PTSD or mental imbalance caught the attention of many fans becuase in the comics, Mark Shaw was a government-sponsored superhero called Manhunter who eventually cracked and developed another personality, becoming his own arch-nemesis.
That kind of mentality could easily lend itself to creating a persona like Vigilante's, and using Manhunter as Vigilante could be a clever way to subvert fan expectations (as they did with Vigilante and Prometheus) as well as leaving the door open for the fan-favorite Kate Spencer version of Manhunter.