SDCC 2017: ARROW Panel Highlights

We know you want to know who died...

You know it’s going to be an interesting year when Stephen Amell kicks off the Arrow panel by mentioning that Oliver is not a good dad. To be fair, there’s not else that the team at SDCC could say, so at that point he may have just wanted an opening that didn’t mention the island of Lian Yu.

Despite the deeply transparent scene in last season's finale Arrow, the whole team made their way to comic-con to tell us what they could about what’s going down for the team moving forward. As expected, they were tight-lipped on whether or not there were any casualties on the island, but we did get one confirmation from the footage they shared: Slade.

Not only did Slade survive the explosion, but he will be getting his own two-episode feature in season six. It will take a look at his transition from the Mirakuru monster that he was before, into the weird zen-like man we see now. This particular episode structure does bring up the question of flashbacks, and we can confirm that the flashback isn’t dead in its entirety. With that in mind, they are changing in a very real way. They won’t be every episode, they won’t be serialized, and they won’t revolve around Oliver. They will be little off-shoots here and there that focus on the characters of Team Arrow and their pasts.

Since we were at Comic-Con, the question of Vigilante absolutely came up. Guggenheim was asked outright whether or not it’s Tommy Merlyn, and of course he and the cast dodged the question in a way that only they can. While they mostly denied the idea that the character is Tommy, Guggenheim did confirm that it would be silly to have the person behind the mask be anyone other than someone that we know. So, keep those fan theories comin’!

Arrow will also head into ensemble villains this season. Anatoli will be leading the charge against Team Arrow, so get ready for some heartbreak. While they are bringing in more than one villain, it sounds as if they will all happen at different points in the season. We’ll be focusing on the fallout from the explosion, and how Oliver and the team reconcile all that’s happened. It’s also been confirmed that Helix will return, so perhaps we’ll see their evil side come to light in the show.

For those wondering about Katie Cassidy’s role, she will be infinitely more involved moving into season six, and things will be… complicated. Black Siren clearly feels some sort of connection to her father’s Earth One counterpart, and it looks like that connection will make being a straight up villain difficult for her. At least eventually. She’ll be starting off season six just as evil as she was in season five.

No matter what the result of the explosion, it sounds like there will be a huge tonal shift in Arrow moving forward. Both Oliver Queen and the Green Arrow will be put to the test. What are your hopes going into this new season?