Arrow‘s game of “pass the hood” has a new contender.
Like the sleeping beauty she is, Thea (Willa Holland) Queen roused herself from the depths of a coma just in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Unconscious since Lian Yu, Speedy is blissfully unaware of Diggle’s (David Ramsey) nerve damage, Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) promises to William (Jack Moore), and the overwhelming threat of five disparate villains. And yet, her facility with a bow might make her a prime candidate for the Green Arrow position.
Who should don the hood – Oliver, Diggle, or Thea? In light of episode 7, “Thanksgiving,” it’s time to tap into out inner Rory Gilmore and pull out the trusty pro/con list.
The Case for Thea
Oh Speedy, how we’ve missed you. Holland’s character received short shrift in Arrow season 5, both on the vigilante and personal fronts. The young archer made the wise decision to hang up her quiver as the premiere began, deciding instead to take up a role in the mayor’s office. Although she’d clearly found her calling shouldering the weight of her brother’s political responsibilities (’cause, you know, his night job made him a fairly incompetent city employee), her malicious takedown of Susan Williams caused her to bow out. To top it off, Malcolm Merlyn’s (John Barrowman) death will undoubtedly cause her to enter the mid-season finale with survivor’s guilt as a constant companion.
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Nevertheless, Thea’s an archer of renown. Trained by her felonious father, her field experience is considerable. In fact, she’d fit right in with the League of Assassins. And that right there is the problem. Although cured of her Lazarus Pit bloodlust, Speedy has a tendency, in the heat of battle, to tap into her primal side. Don’t get us wrong – everyone on Team Arrow is stained with blood. The younger Queen just might add a little more Lady Macbeth than necessary.
The Case for Diggle
Military experience. Tried and true leadership skills. An actual desire to take up Oliver’s mantel. Restraint. John Diggle’s resume reads like a dream, despite the inevitable Green Arrow learning curve. It’s the things one leaves off a CV, however, that dampen his golden boy aura.
A family. A toddler. Nerve damage. The sheer fact that Samanda Watson (Sydelle Noel) already has him pegged as Oliver’s replacement. It’s almost as if someone is stacking the odds against him (*cough* Arrow writers *cough*). He’s already proved he can lead the team through thick and thin, and while his moral compass is pointing due north, the fact of the matter remains – he can’t enter the field if he’s not up to par. The risk to him and others is just too great.
The Case for Oliver
If Oliver weren’t already the Green Arrow, no one would hand him the job. Not at this moment in time. He’s stretched too thin, what with mayoral duties, fatherhood, and an FBI investigation that just won’t quit. While he might tell himself it’s okay to lie to William in the short term, it’s inevitable that those little morsels of misinformation will come back to bite him sooner rather than later.
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Despite all of that, saving Star City is his burden to bear. Is it fair to saddle Team Arrow with the weight of his mistakes? He’s had a blissful few weeks of domesticity (his brief foray with Deathstroke aside), but others have had to sacrifice their safety, and that of their own families, in order for him to do so. Now, his fellow heroes must pay penance for his sins. It was Anatoly’s (David Nykl) anger that brought Watson to town, the Green Arrow’s missteps that allegedly spurred Cayden James (Michael Emerson) into a fit of paternal rage, and his own misdeeds that sparked anti-vigilante laws. Can he turn his back on all of that and let his friends suffer? Knowing Oliver’s personality, the answer is no.
Who do you think Arrow should place in its titular role, no matter how temporary the promotion? Let us know in the comments!
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(Image courtesy of CW)