Warning: major spoilers ahead for Arrow! Don't read any further if you are not up to date on The Emerald Archer's solo series!
It's safe to say Season 5 of Arrow has seen Oliver Queen and his adventures resurging with the grounded and dramatic storytelling that made the early seasons so watchable. Season 5 will soon be extinguished with a huge showdown between the Green Arrow and Prometheus on Lian Yu, and all eyes are on the finale to bring five years worth of storytelling to a head. With such a climax on the horizon, there's only one way this season can and should end: Adrian Chase needs to irrefutably and irreversibly die, allowing Arrow to cap off its cyclical Season 5 run in a satisfying way.
First, let's go over some background information. The perpetually devious Prometheus has officially taken several members of (the often woefully incompetent) Team Arrow hostage, and to compensate for the reduced manpower, Oliver has enlisted the help of some notable Arrow-verse heavy hitters like Nyssa al Ghul, Malcolm Merlyn, and a newly freed Slade Wilson to go up against Adrian Chase, Black Siren, Talia al Ghul, and the traitorous Artemis. It's set to be a regular "who's who" of the Arrow-verse, distilled to its most essential elements; it represents a conflict between basically every surviving hero and villain to ever appear on Arrow. This, in part, is why Prometheus needs to die.
He's not only Oliver's greatest enemy at this stage of Arrow's run, but Prometheus is also a symbol of every major hallmark from the last decade of Oliver's life. He's an antagonizing representation of how far Oliver has come since first donning the hood in 2012, and the foe serves as the last major obstacle in the way of Oliver becoming the real Green Arrow from the DC comic book lore. The sadistic evildoer's aesthetic, personality and tactics are all an amalgamation of the Hood/Arrow/Green Arrow's worst enemies, and Prometheus has come closer than any other bad guy to destroying Oliver's personal life -- particularly when it comes to his son, William.
Merely putting Prometheus in a cell like Slade Wilson would make for a wholly unsatisfying (not to mention derivative) conclusion. And it would also create a dangling plot thread that would eventually need to be addressed at some point in a future season, which is exactly what we want to avoid happening, since this five-year cycle is its own thing. Besides, who wouldn't want to see Oliver employ his trademark neck snap one more time? Based on a newly released photo from the upcoming finale (seen below) it's clear that he will have at least one opportunity to use it, even if the snap never happens.
Arrow has relied heavily upon the idea of legacy this season, and it's no coincidence that we're about to run out of flashback material for the series to use. The beloved CW series is apparently heading for some type of soft reboot when Season 6 rolls around, and that simply cannot happen if Adrian Case continues to exist and haunt Oliver for sins committed during his first five years as a vigilante. It's definitely worth mentioning that Oliver doesn't need to be the one to kill Prometheus, and it might work out better if he doesn't.
Even if the Green Arrow gets the upper hand on Adrian Chase, ultimately abstaining from taking him down permanently, there remains the possibility that a hardened killer like Slade Wilson or Malcolm Merlyn could still kill Chase at the last minute -- possibly even to save Oliver. This would not only allow the series to close the book on Chase as a villain; it would also allow Oliver to maintain his moral high ground that he has fought tooth and nail to establish over his darker Season 5 nemesis, even as Prometheus dragged him right back to that mental state.
Even beyond the need to kill Prometheus himself, this finale also offers an opportunity for Arrow to cull its whole roster in some substantial ways. With so many villains and heroes about to duke it out in the jungle of Lian Yu, we can easily expect at least a few key characters to bite the dust by the time the curtain lowers on Season 5. It's clear that the series wants to shuffle its chess pieces around before Season 6 debuts, and doing that now, while so many deadly characters are together in one place, is one of the easiest ways to do it.
Arrow's Season 5 finale will air tomorrow night (Wednesday, May 24) at 8 p.m. EST on The CW. It's going to be difficult to say goodbye to The Emerald Archer's solo series for the summer, but we luckily have quite a few awesome series on the horizon. Check out when the other big primetime finales are airing, and then hit up our summer TV premiere guide for more information about all of the most highly anticipated television debuts set for the next few months!
How do you think Season 5 of Arrow should end?