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Spoiler alert! If you don't want to know which former Arrow character will be returning to the series, read no further!
Team Arrow has gone through a few changes over the seasons, but the biggest lineup change came earlier this year with the loss of Roy Harper. A member of the show since the latter half of Arrow Season 1, Colton Haynes left the show late into Season 3, prompting Roy to exit the team after taking the fall as The Arrow in place of Oliver Queen. Following Haynes’ departure as a series regular, the Arrow showrunners said that there would be opportunities for him to come back, and that time will come later this season.
While the details of his return are being kept secret, executive producer Marc Guggenheim announced that Haynes will reprise Roy shortly after Arrow returns from its midseason hiatus. As Guggenheim said to EW:
We are beyond thrilled that Colton will be returning to Arrow this season. It was always our intention to have him return following his departure last season, but it was a matter of finding the right story line to pull it off. That opportunity presented itself in episode 412 and we can’t wait for the fans to see this reunion.
Haynes also expressed his excitement on Twitter, revealing that he recently landed in Vancouver to shoot his scenes for Episode 12.
Roy was introduced in the latter half of Season 1, but it was in Season 2 that he finally became a member of Team Arrow. Originally the Mirakuru coursing through his system (compliments of Brother Blood) gave him super strength, but that was removed from his system once he went into a murderous rage, and it was in Season 3 that he shined as the crimson-garbed Arsenal. When Oliver was arrested in “Public Enemy,” Roy decided to take the fall instead and convinced the people of Star City that he was actually the bow-wielding vigilante. In the following episode “Broken Arrow,” Roy had his death faked while in prison, allowing him to start a new life and paving the way for Oliver to take the Green Arrow identity in the Season 4 premiere. The last time we saw Roy, he had reunited with Thea, and before disappearing again, he left her his Arsenal costume, which she now wears as Speedy.
Given that Roy has left his superhero life behind, it will be interesting to learn what draws him back into the game. Roy may be a skilled fighter and archer, but it’s not like he has any special talents that would make defeating Damien Darhk and H.I.V.E. any easier. Certainly his emotional support would help, especially given everything going on with Thea and the bloodlust she’s experiencing from her Lazarus Pit revival. Depending on if he sticks around for just the one episode or longer, this could also make Roy another candidate for that grave Oliver was crying in front of in the Season 4 premiere’s flash-forward.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.