Every season Arrow has killed at least one major and important character in Oliver Queen’s life. In season 1 Tommy had a building fall on top of him. In season 2 Moira Queen met the business end of Slade Wilson’s blade. In season 3 Sara died (and was later resurrected) and Thea died (and was later resurrected.) In season 4 there was the year-long mystery of the grave that resulted in Laurel Lance paying the ultimate price. So far in season 5 no (major) character has died and even though Prometheus would love to make it happen, it should stay that way. Arrow season 5 should be the first year that nobody important to Oliver Queen dies.
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Been There, Killed Them
The writing is on the wall for someone to die on Arrow. Chase, among many other things, has been harping about how one more loss would send Ollie over the edge and Oliver has repeatedly shared how his team is his strength. Prometheus even hinted that he might kill Thea or Felicity to really twist the knife in “Missing.” These discussions might not have the foreshadowing of repeated flash-forwards to a funeral but they are strong indications someone might die.
At the same time Arrow has also driven home the point that to beat Chase, Oliver can’t play his game. Granted, Oliver has failed in every episode to not fall for Prometheus’ traps but that is the reason why in the finale something should finally change. It is not enough for Oliver to capture Chase again in the finale. Oliver needs to annihilate all of Chase’s plans, including Chase’s desire to even have himself killed. Oliver needs to win a complete and utter victory over Chase.
Typically, a villain kills a major character to prove they’re a major threat. It certainly is the case with every death but Tommy, which was more a mistake and/or cruel twist of fate than anything else. Prometheus has already firmly established that he is the biggest threat Oliver has ever faced. Chase doesn’t need to kill any of Oliver’s loved ones to prove that he needs to be taken out. It’s not as if the battle with Chase should be a cakewalk. There is an epic season finale in the works with Oliver and Chase both amassing their own minor armies, it’s just an army that doesn’t need any casualties on Oliver’s side.
A Step Taken Too Often (and Too Far)
Arrow season 5 has done an excellent job of Oliver showing real emotional growth all season. He went into a shame spiral once after being tortured for days but mostly Oliver has maintained his emotional maturity in the face of Chase’s desire to bring him down. Season 5 could have been incredibly dreary and it has had its dark moments but the show has balanced positivity with deathly seriousness very well. The perfect way to end the season would be for Oliver to win a moral victory as well as a physical victory over Chase and have none of his friends die.
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There is also the fact that no one left on Arrow easily lifts out. The cast is large but by fully giving Oliver two sides of his life, since the first time since season 1, the size works. Thea and Quentin are still involved and important to the show even if they’re not suiting up anymore. It’s true that the point of Laurel’s death was that it came as a shock and she was an important character cut down in her prime. Arrow doesn’t need to go through that drama any longer. Killing a character with a ton of shock value in back-to-back seasons feels needlessly cruel and unwarranted.
This is not even to mention that killing a major character is effective but it is also incredibly easy to drum up emotion. In season 5 Arrow has found the perfect balance between its dark tone and lighter, less miserable characters. Oliver hasn’t only grown more mature in season 5, the storytelling itself has matured and evolved. To kill off a major character in the finale would be revisiting all the usual tricks in Arrow‘s quiver. As the show ends a sort of era in season 5, with the flashback story coming to an end, it is time to try something new and not kill someone off.
So what do you think? Should someone die in the season 5 finale? Will someone die? Who could it be? Do you think it would feel too easy if no one died in the battle with Chase? Who do you think is most likely to be killed off? Sound off in the comments below!
The Arrow season 5 finale airs Wednesday, May 24 at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Arrow Facebook page!
(Image courtesy of The CW)