Arrow season 5 was both a welcome return to form for the series, and an epic rollercoaster ride, that was full of surprises (i.e., the Prometheus reveal). The Arrow season 5 finale ended things on one hell of a cliffhanger, with Prometheus/Adrian Chase blowing up Lian Yu, the remote island were Oliver Queen was once stranded - and where his former Team Arrow friends and foes may have just been destroyed.
Now that Arrow is done for the season, the show's fans are understandably twsiting in the in, wondering what may have become of some their favorite (and not so favorite) supporting characters. We're definitely caught up in our own speculative debates about where Arrow will/should go from here - including the theories we're about to share.
Here are 5 Theories on How Arrow Should Resolve Its Season 5 Cliffhanger.
The first and most popular theory is that Team Arrow escaped from Lian Yu unscathed.
In the final moments of Arrow season 5, Oliver ordered his team to get across the island to take possession of an ARGUS boat docked on shore. Given the nature of that order and the island, it's conceivable that the team made it to safety.
Slade Wilson/Deathstroke was supposed to lead the team to the boat; Slade was stranded on Lian Yu along with Oliver, so he would naturally have knowledge of all shortcuts and "island hacks" for getting to the boat on time.
More to the point: we know from Arrow season 4 Lian Yu is an epicenter of mystical energies. In the time since he left and returned, Deathstroke may have also picked up a trick or two for using the mystical power on the island to escape death.
Whatever explanation there is, it wouldn't be hard for the Arrow showrunners to sell the idea that the team escaped destruction intact.
The plane that Oliver and Co. came back to Lian Yu in was sabotaged beyond use - but that doesn't mean it's totally useless in its damaged form.
Even sitting idle on the water, the plane would act as a temporary raft that the memebers of team Arrow could take shelfter in - working together to push it away from shore and out onto the water before Proemtheus' bombs went off.
That would be a fun way to play the situation: it would force Team Arrow (the surviving memebers, at least) to hold up in the plane and on whatever part of Lian Yu is left, creating a survivalist story we haven't really seen since season 1 - back when we all still thought Oliver had to survive on the island for years on end...
How that extreme situation affects the teams' bonds would be interesting to see (who would eat who, first?).
John Diggle's wife / A.R.G.U.S. head Lyla Michaels didn't make the trek to Lian Yu, but that doesn't mean she's going to totally sit this battle out.
Lyla and John are known for fiercely protecting one another's backs, so it wouldn't be surprising at all (as in, almost disappointing) if Lyla and her A.R.G.U.S. resources came swooping in from the sky (or speeding across the shore in a vehcile, or pulling up in a boat or submarie) in order to save the day.
For our money, having A.R.G.U.S. scoop Team Arrow in a vehicle for a franctic drive across the island (to where the A.R.G.U.S. boat is docked) would be an awesome, Fast and the Furious-style sequence to open season 6. Or, perhaps Arrow season 6 could eventually show us that explanation for the escape in a new "flashback" format.
Either way, this is one of the more predictable (and cool) options to go with.
One character who many viewers may have lost in the shuffle of Arrow's finale chaos is Artemis, the young Team Arrrow archer who was revealed to be one of Prometheus' agents.
After being subdued in a holding cage by Team Arrow, Artemis was abandoned by Prometheus and his squad, and was apparently an expendable asset, as Adrian Chase was content to blow her up with the rest of the island.
After some words of wisdom from Slade Wilson about picking the right friends, Artemis may have realized the error of her ways. She could have escaped the cage and secured the A.R.G.U.S. boat (or some other secretive escape route), making an attempt at redemption by saving her former teammates.
Since Artemis only got half of a meaningful character arc before being largely passed over in the second half of season 5 (see also: Vigilante), this would be a great introduction to her continuing character arc, during season 6.
Any of the scenarios we've laid out above are a possibility for how Arrow can resovle its season 5 cliffhanger - but there is a final possibiity that could incorporate any of the aforementioned ones, or simply stand on its own:
Since the Arrow season 5 finale revealed that an (over)abudnance of characters now populate the show, the showrunners could "thin the herd" by sacrificing some characters, in order to save the rest.
That sacrifice could include easy figures to get ride of, like Talia al Ghul (who could repay Nyssa's mercy), or Artemis (finally living up to her hero facade). It could also possibly inlcude a more major supporiting character - like Captain Lance, or Mr. Terrific. Certain characters (like Thea or Felicity) we know are safe - mainly because the showrunners have plainly said so in the past. However, Arrow season 6 could clean house by starting things off with some powerful character deaths. Sacrifices that move the story forward, and provide actual payoff for the season 5 cliffhanger.
...in fact, the show has already started that process, with John Barrowman's Malcolm Merlyn sacrificing himself to save Thea (the actor's final scene on the show).
Based on the characters from DC, ARROW is from Bonanza Productions Inc. in association with Berlanti Productions and Warner Bros. Television, with executive producers Greg Berlanti (“The Flash,” “Supergirl”), Marc Guggenheim (“DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “Eli Stone”), Wendy Mericle (“Desperate Housewives,” “Eli Stone”), Andrew Kreisberg (“The Flash,” “Eli Stone,” “Warehouse 13”) and Sarah Schechter (“The Flash,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow”).
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