Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 20 of Arrow Season 5, "Underneath."
Arrow has been going full steam ahead on Prometheus as a supervillain in Season 5, and Prometheus has pretty much been beating Team Arrow over and over again. "Underneath" was a bottle episode that had Oliver and Felicity trapped down in the Arrow bunker, and their escape felt like they finally got a definitive win over Prometheus. Then, the episode tag revealed that Prometheus wasn't occupied with Oliver and Felicity dying in the bunker at all; he was off in the suburbs somehwere to meet Oliver's kid, which raises the question: should Prometheus do the unthinkable and kill the poor kid?
I'll be the first to admit that I did not like the whole baby mama drama storyline in Season 4. In fact, I was a big advocate for shipping William off-screen so we would never have to revisit the story ever again, so I can't say that my heart would be irreparably broken if the kid meant an untimely end in Season 5. I wouldn't celebrate the death of a child, but I'd be okay with it given that this is a CW superhero show, and William hasn't been around enough to really develop a personality. We have to ask ourselves if it would be good or bad for the story if Oliver's latest big bad actually kills William.
Arrow has introduced some seriously nasty supervillains over the years so far, and Oliver's big bads have had to get pretty awful to one-up or even equal each other season after season. Malcolm led to Tommy's death in Season 1, Slade killed Moira in Season 2, Ra's al Ghul ran Thea through with a sword, and Damien Darhk paralyzed (albeit temporarily) Felicity. In Season 5, Prometheus has done some pretty despicable things, such as corrupting young Evelyn and setting up Billy to be killed, but most of those things have happened to characters we haven't had much reason to care about.
William may not have had a whole lot of screentime, but episodes have established that he's very important to Oliver. The stakes for our hero would certainly be devastatingly raised if William was to die. In fact, I'd say that William's death could be enough of a motivator to believably justify Oliver's apparent decision to call upon Deathstroke in the finale for help.
We've also seen that Prometheus is basically Oliver's version of the Joker, and he has taken great joy in watching Oliver's world burn around him in Season 5. If he came to believe that killing William would help break Oliver even more without actually ending him, I'd absolutely believe he would end the life of a child. I believed it when he seemed to snap Evelyn's neck, and I wouldn't have trouble believing it if he really did kill another young person just to mess with Oliver.
Then, there's also the fact that William's primary role in Arrow so far has been to be captured by supervillains as leverage against his super dad. If Arrow keeps bringing him back just to dangle him in front of villains, it's going to get very, very hard to care about him or his fate. Prometheus is a brutal baddie who tortured Oliver to the brink of madness, and he's a few arrows short of a full quiver. If Arrow went so far as to let Prometheus kill William, it would be one of the biggest and boldest twists of the entire series.
All of this said, I'm not sure that Arrow should really go as big and bold as to let the hero's child be murdered by a bad guy. The end of Season 5 is meant to bring Oliver's journey from the pilot full circle, which means that he really should end on a high note of sorts. Maybe not quite as high as driving off into the sunset with his lady love as he did in the Season 3 finale, but definitely not mourning the death of a kid who died because his biological father made an enemy of a madman. The murder of William is something that Arrow and Oliver might not be able to come back from, and the show is already dark enough as is.
The one thing I am absolutely sure of is that Arrow cannot keep bringing William back just to have a bad guy go after him. The show doesn't necessarily need to kill the poor kid off, but I'm more on board than ever with shipping him and his mom off to Fiji for the rest of the run of the show. Whether he lives or dies, William deserves to get more exciting treatment when he's brought in. As of now, he's just the kid that Oliver accidentally created while in his profoundly skeezy and poorly-coiffed stage before Lian Yu.
Tune in to The CW on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET to see what Prometheus has in store for Oliver in the rest of Arrow Season 5, and don't forget to check out 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.
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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. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. 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).