The fifth season of Arrow is only a few episodes away from its grand finale, and the action is really starting to pick up. In the last episode, the big bad Prometheus staged an attack on the Arrow bunker that has Oliver and Felicity in deep trouble, and we can be sure that he's got plenty of other tricks up his sleeve. As it turns out, another tricky character will have a part to play in the final arc: Malcolm Merlyn himself. Executive producer Wendy Mericle had this to say about Malcolm's return:
Arrow Season 5 has been bringing Oliver full circle as he comes to the end of his flashbacks to his five years of hell, so many episodes have featured all kinds of throwbacks to Season 1. It's only fitting that Oliver's first supervillain makes a return to play a part in the final arc of the season. Wendy Mericle's comments to CBR indicate that Malcolm will be one of the unlikely allies that Oliver calls upon for his showdown with Prometheus, but they also indicate that Malcolm has his own reasons for joining the fight.
Of course, viewers who have been watching all four of The CW's DC series in the 2016-2017 TV season might be a little taken aback to see Malcolm Merlyn helping the heroes. Appearing only via hallucination and flashback in Season 5 so far, he's spent the majority of his time as a member of the Legion of Doom over on Legends of Tomorrow. The Legion was ultimately defeated by the Legends, so it's possible that he'll have had (yet another) change of heart and switched sides again. Whatever the reason, as long as Thea is on Oliver's side in the finale arc of Arrow Season 5, we can bet that Malcolm will probably do what he can to keep her as safe as possible.
That said, Malcolm's idea of keeping Thea safe doesn't always align with what most of us non-villainous folks would have in mind. He has done an awful lot of manipulating, drugging, and brainwashing of his biological daughter over the years, and I've been more than ready for him to pay the ultimate price for what he's done to her and to countless innocents. Who knows? Maybe I'll get my wish and Malcolm will be sent off to meet his maker in the Season 5 finale. We've already heard that some characters might be dying in the finale. What better way to bring the show full circle than by finally getting rid of Oliver's first nemesis?
Wendy Mericle has also revealed that Arrow will look very different in its new era of Season 6, so I wouldn't be shocked if the show phases out characters like Malcolm Merlyn sooner rather than later. Then again, he's played by the legendary John Barrowman, so I also wouldn't be shocked if he survives to the very end. We'll have to wait and see.
New episodes of Arrow air on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news, and don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule to discover all your viewing options now and in the coming weeks. Be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations as well.