After four seasons that have featured a plethora of characters both original and drawn from DC comics, Arrow has no shortage of familiar faces to bring back at any given point. Folks from the flashbacks can show up in the present, and people from the present can make surprise appearances in the past. Even death hasn't ruled out the returns of certain characters, although the destruction of the Lazarus Pit should make resurrections far less frequent. Arrow just loves to bring its characters back.
The characters who pop in every once in a while tend to vary in importance, ranging from the Queen family lawyer to supervillain Slade Wilson. According to Arrow star Stephen Amell in a Facebook chat, a new reappearance is in the works for the fifth season. Apparently, the Season 5 premiere will see a character who hasn't appeared for two full seasons. Plenty of characters are candidates for a big return, but there are three at this point who could be major enough that Amell would mention them in his chat.
Walter Steele was a pivotal character in Season 1 as the not-so-evil stepfather of Oliver and Thea. He handled the finances for Queen Consolidated and had the smarts to figure out just how deep his wife was into dealings with bad people. He had sporadic stories in Season 2, and he's only been mentioned in Seasons 3 and 4. With Oliver now elevated to mayor, the time could be right for Walter to drop by for a visit.
Anatoly Knyazev is a character who has played a part in the flashbacks as well as the present. As a bigwig in the Russian mafia, he reunited with Oliver prior to Oliver's return to Starling City and elevated Oliver to a captain in Bratva. Season 5 will finally see Arrow exploring Oliver's past with the Bratva, so Anatoly could show up in the premiere to bring him into the mob in the flashbacks or visit Oliver in the present for the sake of segues between flashbacks and current action.
The Huntress -- AKA Helena Bertinelli -- is something of a wild card candidate to show up in the Season 5 premiere, but the team at Arrow has been looking to bring back Jessica De Gouw in the role for a while, and she wouldn't need much more than a cameo to be kind of a big deal in kicking off the season. She was last seen in prison after the death of her father, and she displayed signs of reforming to Oliver's version of vigilante justice rather than vengeance. Now that Mayor Oliver will have to be more on the straight and narrow, he may need a wild card in his back pocket.
Personally, my money is on Walter as the character to show up who hasn't been around in two full seasons. Oliver has a few flashback dots to connect before he's in a position to join Anatoly in the Bratva, and the Huntress would probably saved for an episode in which she plays a major role. The premiere will have plenty going on to lay the foundation for the whole of Season 5 without bringing in the Huntress.
Unfortunately, we're currently in the hiatus between Seasons 4 and 5, so it'll be a while before we get to see who will make a triumphant return in the Season 5 premiere. Check out what we know so far about Arrow Season 5 for a peek ahead.