Why Green Arrow's Secret Identity Might Not Be So Secret Soon

arrow oliver queen

Warning: spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Arrow Season 5.

Oliver Queen has been a very public figure ever since the very first episode of Arrow, and he's gone to a lot of effort to keep his identity secret. One of the first things he did upon returning to Starling City in the pilot was murder a guy because he'd seen Oliver in action. Recently, however, Oliver's gotten pretty complacent about his secret identity. From the looks of things, he may pay for that complacency sooner rather than later. His secret identity is in jeopardy on two fronts and the consequences could be devastating.

The most immediate problem on the secret identity front comes from Prometheus. Oliver managed to nip the Tobias Church problem in the bud and stop Team Arrow from completely falling apart, but Church did not go quietly into the night. Prometheus didn't take kindly to Church disobeying his directive not to go after the Green Arrow, so Church revealed that Oliver Queen is the man beneath the mask to try and save his own life. Prometheus just went ahead and killed Church anyway. Now, Prometheus knows that Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow. The show hasn't yet delved into whether Prometheus is motivated by his hate for Oliver or for the Emerald Archer. Now, we can bet Oliver is in danger from Prometheus in both his day job and his night job.

A less pressing but possibly more disastrous problem on the secret identity front comes courtesy of reporter Susan Williams. Despite agreeing to lay off criticizing Oliver in the media for one month, she continued to dig deeper into his past and made a shocking discovery. Susan has her hands on a photo of Oliver from five years previous, when he was supposed to be wasting away on Lian Yu. Instead, the photo shows him hanging out in a Russian bar surrounded by Bratva men guzzling vodka. There aren't too many dots left for her to connect before she realizes that the mostly harmless Mayor Handsome is actually a member of the Russian mob with allies in very nasty places.

Basically, Oliver is in danger of having both his present life as the Green Arrow and his past life as a Bratva brother exposed. A reveal of either could result in all of his decisions as mayor being called into question and/or overturned. Granted, Arrow never addressed the fact that Oliver's decision to publicly acknowledge Laurel as the Black Canary after her death should have resulted in all kinds of legal problems for every case she prosecuted, so we shouldn't expect the show to get into any details about how the office of mayor would be affected by a scandal of epic proportions. Still, it would undeniably be very bad for all that he's accomplished for Star City if the truth about either of his lives gets out.

There are really three ways for Arrow to address the current issues of Oliver's identity. The first would be for Team Arrow to prevail and stop Prometheus and Susan from using any of their information. Whether they pull off a heist to steal evidence from Susan Williams or Oliver just flings newbie vigilantes at Prometheus until he runs out of ammo, it's possible that the good guys could neutralize the threats without any long-term damage.

Another way for the secret identity problems to be resolved would be for Prometheus and Susan Williams to go ahead and use their info to murder and/or ruin Oliver. If Oliver doesn't do anything and just lets the fiasco unfold the way that he did when Malcolm Merlyn found out about his hidden kid in Central City, the secrets could be enough to oust Oliver at best and put him in a world of hurt at worst.

A third way for Arrow to fix the situation would be for Oliver to decide to get ahead of the situation and come clean to the people of Star City. Sure, he'd still be a murderer in green leather who's technically still a captain in the Russian mob, but at least he could control the narrative as the story broke. Stephen Amell has said that he'd be on board with Oliver pulling an Iron Man moment, and it could conceivably work.

We'll have to wait and see. Tune in to The CW on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET to see what's next for Oliver on Arrow.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).