Since the very first episode of Arrow season 4, fans have been wondering about how the season is going end. The season premiere ended a flash-forward of Oliver and Barry Allen standing in front of unknown grave stone mourning the loss of another character. The identity of this mystery deceased person has been a source of near-constant speculation and pondering. In “Blood Debts” Arrow revealed a little bit more about the identity of the person, specifically who is it not. Felicity will survive Arrow season 4, or at least she isn’t the person who is dead and buried. 

Yet in “Blood Debts” like in “Green Arrow” Oliver and Felicity refused to say outright who killed the person in the grave. What if the grave mystery is really just one big misdirection? The real mystery is not, “Who was killed?” but rather, “Who is the killer?” What if it’s not Damien Darhk, as we all assume, but someone else entirely?

Darhk Doesn’t Need More Blood on His Hands

It does seem highly suspicious the more Arrow refers to this killer by pronouns and insults. All this mystery suggest that the killer’s identity is going to be just as big a shock as whoever they killed. Damien Darhk is too easy a target. He wouldn’t be shocking. After the events of “Dark Waters,” Oliver doesn’t really need any more reasons to go after Darhk. Darhk crippled Felicity and he’s an ego maniacal murderer. Darhk has signed his death warrant many times over. Darhk killing one person, no matter who it is, is not going to make things more intense. Oliver already wants Darhk to pay for what he has done. Judging by Oliver’s words to Barry, it seems that the death of the mystery person is an impetus for Oliver to go after their killer. It’s the final straw. Damien has place his straw onto Oliver’s back with Felicity’s paralysis.

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Arrow loves to set up and knock down expectations. They are the biggest trolls in the current superhero creative boom. They mercilessly teased that someone very important was going to die in season 3 and had all fingers pointing at Roy. Yet in the episode “Broken Arrow” Roy faked his death and it was Thea who was fatally attacked by Ra’s Al Ghul. Focusing everyone’s attention on the dead person but the real shock being the person who killed them would be a very Arrow thing to do. Arrow executive producer Wendy Mericle is even stoking the fire in a recent interview with TVLine. She said the mystery of who “him” is just as big as who is in the grave. 

The Threat Has to Come From Inside

Of course if that’s true, the killer needs to be unexpected. So let me put on my tin foil hat and come with the craziest theory I can manage. Now that Arrow has confirmed that Felicity won’t die, they appear to putting the crosshairs on Thea. If Thea were to die then I think it’s pretty safe to assume “the killer” that Oliver is after is Malcolm Merlyn. Merlyn sent Thea down this dark path she is currently on. At the very least he would be indirectly responsible for Thea’s death. Felicity’s anger telling Oliver to kill the “son of a bitch” would fit with this theory. Felicity loathes Merlyn and has called a “son of bitch” (and worst insults) several times. Like Damien though, Malcolm is too easy a target for speculation. Plus Arrow is in love with John Barrowman’s performance and I (begrudgingly) can’t blame them for that affection. 

Felicity’s anger at the killer is a clue but doesn’t mean the killer is Malcolm Merlyn. Rather I think Felicity’s anger has to do a betrayal inside Team Green Arrow. Felicity is shaking with rage in the final scene of “Blood Debts” which suggests a few things. She was very close to the person that died or she is outraged at whoever murdered them or a combination of both, likely a combination of both. If Malcolm and Damien killed someone close to Team Green Arrow, it would be upsetting but expected. Felicity’s perfectly within her right to express her grief however she wants but anger is a weird way to go. Especially since how  relatively well Felicity handled her own paralysis.

The Likely Suspects 

If the killer is a traitor to Team Green Arrow that narrows down the suspects quite a bit. In fact it gives us about three solid names, Diggle, Roy or Lance. On a personal level, I want to remove Diggle and Roy from the running automatically. It’s hard to imagine after everything they’ve been through that Diggle and Roy would ever betray Oliver and Felicity. We don’t know why Roy is going to return Star City in an upcoming episode but I don’t think Arrow would be so bold (or stupid) as to assassinate his character development. Roy left Star City initially because of his love and respect for Oliver and the mission. He wouldn’t willingly betray it. Diggle has been around since the very beginning and  loyalty is his defining characteristic. It’s possible he’s the one who gets killed but no way is he the killer.

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So that just leaves Lance and there’s enough evidence to suggest he could betray Oliver and cause someone’s death. Let’s face it, Captain Lance is not the greatest at his job. He switches between slavishly relying on Oliver and his team and treating them like the greatest menaces society has ever seen. He’s been unable to stop three attacks on the city which he has sworn to protect in three consecutive years. He foolishly began to work Damien Darhk when Oliver left town for a few months. It is not so hard to believe he could make yet another mistake that betrays Team Green Arrow and causes the death of a beloved character. It is even possible that he could flip the switch again and think Oliver is the enemy and purposely betray the team. 

Either way, you could understand why Oliver would consider Lance’s actions his responsibility. Oliver tells Barry that the situation he is in the flash-forward is not his fault but his responsibility. Oliver brought Lance into Team Green Arrow. Oliver is the one who trusted him. Laurel did as well, because he is her father, but Oliver nearly always has final say. He’s like a cuddly dictator that way. If Lance were to get someone killed directly or indirectly, you can easily see why Oliver would take responsibility for it. If Lance is the killer it would also explain Felicity’s rage because presumably Lance has not just betrayed her but Donna as well. 

But do you think of my crazy theory? Off the wall or surprisingly on the money? Do you think I’m right to assume that the killer is not Darhk? Who is your best guess for the murdered and the murderer? 

Arrow season 4 airs at 8pm on The CW.

(Images courtesy of The CW)

Derek Stauffer

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV

Derek is a Philadelphia based writer and unabashed TV and comic book junkie. The time he doesn’t spend over analyzing all things nerdy he is working on his resume to be the liaison to the Justice League.