Arrow Bringing Back Katana For Final Season

Arrow will continue its journey through the series' history with "Welcome to Hong Kong," the second episode of the series' eighth season. The episode will bring back Tatsu Yamashiro (Rila Fukushima), who was last seen for a brief cameo in season five. The character's return was teased by series star Stephen Amell at the Television Critics Association tour, but just emerged on Green Arrow TV earlier today. The return is just one of a number of such appearances in the upcoming, final season of Arrow, including Susannah Thompson (who played Moira Queen), Colin Donnell (who played Tommy Merlyn) and Echo Kellum, who recently took to social media to tease a surprising return to the series that may turn out to be behind the camera.

In the series, Tatsu Yamashiro, also known by the antihero moniker Katana, was a major supporting character in the third season, with a few scattered appearances since. Her husband, Maseo, was essentially Oliver's handler during his time in Hong Kong (during the period when he was supposed to be lost on an island but actually wasn't). She disliked him at first but came around to him after he saved her life. She would return the favor later, when Maseo brought a nearly-dead Oliver to his wife to be nursed back to health after his failed duel with Ra's al Ghul. She was eventually forced to kill her husband when he and other members of the League of Assassins turned against her, and rather than joining up with Team Arrow, she returned to her life. She would be instrumental to saving the life of Thea Queen, as well, when her bloodlust was eating away at her after she had been revived using the waters of a Lazarus Pit.

When Tatsu exited the show, there was an assumption on the part of many fans that it was because the character was making her way to the big screen, played by Karen Fukuhara (The Boys) in the David Ayer movie Suicide Squad. In that movie, as in the comics, her sword was enchanted by the souls of those she had killed -- as well as her unjustly murdered family.

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There is no clear indication whether the version of Tatsu who appears on Arrow will be the same one as before, or whether she will turn out to be a character from another Earth, as many of the Arrow returns so far appear to be.

Arrow returns to The CW this fall for its eighth and final season, a ten-episode run that will bring the story of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards, who exited the series at the end of last season), John Diggle (David Ramsey), and the rest of Team Arrow to a close (unless, of course, there is a spinoff planned). The series’ end will coincide with The CW’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” mega-event, which will run for five episodes over December 2019 and January 2020, featuring episodes from Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and Batwoman. That seems particularly meaningful since in Arrow’s season seven finale, The Monitor arrived to tell Oliver and Felicity that Oliver would need to join him — and that he would not survive the experience of helping The Monitor defend the multiverse in the Crisis. Season eight of Arrow will premiere on October 15, 2019.