Following the East Coast broadcast of tonight's Arrow episode, titled "Collision Course," The CW broadcast a teaser trailer for next week's episode, titled "Doppelganger," which features the return of former series regular Colton Haynes as Roy Harper.
Following next week's episode, the series will take a two-week break before resolving Roy Harper's storyline.
Harper has been largely absent from Arrow since leaving the show in season three, and fans - as well as series star Stephen Amell - have been eagerly waiting for him to return.
“If we end this show, whenever it happens to end, without seeing Roy Harper again, I think we will have made a tragic mistake,” Amell said during a convention appearance last year.
Haynes was then confirmed to return to the show back in December, and shared some adorable behind-the-scenes video from the episode back in January. Another behind-the-scenes photo seemed to hint at Thea Queen (Willa Holland) suiting back up as Speedy, something that officially-released promotional photos confirm.
Of course, conventional wisdom says this might be goodbye for Oliver's beloved sister. Thea has played a much smaller role in the last couple of seasons than she previously had, but it was Holland's choice, according to producers -- and fans have long speculated that putting her back together with her on-again, off-again love interest Roy might be the way to write her out without killing anybody.
Thea's absence in the second half of Arrow's fifth season was noted by many fans, but Guggenheim told ComicBook.com that it was the byproduct of Holland's own request to scale back her time on set. While the explosion at the end of season 5 might seem like the ideal way to get rid of an actor who doesn't want to be onscreen all the time, Guggenheim has said in the past that he doesn't imagine that Thea will die on his watch, since Oliver has already lost both parents.
"We love Willa, we love Thea the character and we particularly love Thea's relationship with Oliver," Guggenheim said. "That said, Willa came to us at the end of season four and she, very honestly, expressed a desire to cut back how many episodes a season she was doing. She's a member of our family, and we wanted to honor that request. That's what happens when you have a show that goes over a hundred episodes, people start to say, 'hey, I would like to pull back,' some people don't want to renew their contract. There's a whole host of different things that start to come into play and you work that into the story telling."
Harper first appeared in the show's first season and was almost immediately set up as Thea's boyfriend -- a role he would continue in (mostly) until his departure in season 4, when he faked his death and left town. His final full episode (he did make a cameo in "Invasion!") dealt with the complicated feelings between the two and Roy's need to move on in his new life.
If this is our final look at Roy Harper (which it may well be if Thea leaves with him), it would be the second such return this season: in December, Arrow gave Slade "Deathstroke" Wilson a two-episode arc, before he was reportedly taken off the board for future appearances by Warner Bros. corporate.
You can check out the synopsis for "Doppelganger" below.
ROY HARPER RETURNS — Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Thea (Willa Holland) are shocked to hear that Roy Harper (guest star Colton Haynes) is back in Star City.
However, when they discover the circumstances of Roy’s return, Oliver and Thea realize that Roy is in trouble and jump in to save him.
Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) makes a shocking decision.
Kristin Windell directed the episode with story by Christos Gage & Ruth Fletcher Gage and teleplay by Speed Weed.0comments
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Arrow airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.