In last week's episode of Arrow, Cayden James (Michael Emerson) revealed that the motivation behind his crusade against Green Arrow/Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) stemmed from the death of his son.
James insisted that his son died by one of Green Arrow's arrows, telling Oliver that the death had happened in Star City exactly one year prior. This reveal troubled Oliver as he wasn't in Star City on that day and, therefore, couldn't have killed James' son. Someone, Oliver assumed, was manipulating the facts to make James think he was responsible.
While many have theorized as to who really killed James' son with Oliver being in Hub City recruiting Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy) at the time (including us), a new theory posits that the real manipulation is not who really killed James' son, but when the death occurred. This theory suggests that Oliver is, in fact, responsible for James' son's death. How? The answer to that question really is more of a who.
It's not made clear on Arrow how old James' son is when he dies, and while many assume he is a child, it's just as likely that his son was an adult, and, looking back at Season Five, there's an interesting candidate: Billy Malone (Tyler Ritter).
Last season, Billy was a detective with the Star City Police department, part of Oliver's Anti-Crime Unit as mayor and the then-boyfriend of Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). In the episode "What We Leave Behind", Billy is ambushed by Prometheus and abducted. When Green Arrow hunts down Prometheus a bit later, he shoots what he believes to be the villain only to discover, much to his horror, that Prometheus had dressed Billy in a copy of his suit and equipped him with a radio so it would seem like Billy was the vigilante. Billy died as a result of this mistaken identity. In the next episode, a still troubled Oliver goes to Hub City to recruit Dinah.
While Billy's death doesn't exactly line up to the date James claims his son died, Billy as James' son still works. James did tell Oliver that the Green Arrow missed his mark and ended up killing his son instead, which is exactly what happened. Oliver thought he was shooting Prometheus. Also, it's possible that Billy's death wasn't revealed right away. It's not impossible that the information about the death of the police detective was held back by a day, giving Oliver time to depart for Hub City and, thus, think there is no way he could have killed James' son.
And if it does turn out that Billy was James' son and that Prometheus knew that at the time he set him up to be killed, it would just be further evidence of how twisted the villain was. It would also fit what executive producer Marc Guggenheim told ComicBook.com about who is behind the murder.
"I think it's going to unfold in a way that will really surprise people," Guggenheim told ComicBook.com. "I actually expect it to be controversial, because we're doing something that's so different than what we've done in years past. There's one particular hard right turn that we've got up our sleeves that we've never done before. So, I'll be curious to see what people think of it."
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.