The fourth season of Arrow is coming to an end as Oliver and Co. gear up to make a last stand against Damien Darhk and his nuclear apocalypse. The stakes are still plenty high for the Season 4 finale, but Arrow star Stephen Amell is already looking ahead to what Season 5 is going to deliver. According to Amell, the next Arrow supervillain is going to be the kind of big bad that a television series can really only pull off once into their fifth season…and there will be no superpowers involved this time.
Stephen Amell also shared that Arrow will be getting back to its roots in Season 5, according to Variety. For longtime fans who have been yearning for the Arrow of Seasons 1 and 2, the news of a supervillain without superpowers in adventures that hearken back to early years is definitely cause for celebration.
The Arrow leading man didn’t drop any specifics about the identity of the next supervillain. In fact, Stephen Amell didn’t even use any pronouns that could indicate whether or not his nemesis next year will be a man or a woman. There’s no shortage of characters from DC comic lore that could be adapted for an Arrow version, but the show could use the fact that it’s now in its fifth season to go completely off-book and create an entirely original evildoer.
Season 4 of Arrow has been unlike any that came before. Oliver’s latest big enemy has been Damien Darhk, who has spent twenty-two episodes so far thwarting Oliver with magic that basically equates to a superpower. The flashbacks have been all about magic. Episodes that didn’t even center around Damien Darhk featured magic. The hero of the show has been routinely defeated due to magic. There’s really been a lot of magic, and the show that had been touted as a gritty and relatively realistic superhero series hasn’t been entirely recognizable from earlier seasons. A villain without superpowers could be exactly what Arrow needs to return to the type of narrative that hooked an audience back in the beginning.
Arrow has begun to set the stage for a return to the natural rather than supernatural. Nyssa awesomely got rid of the resurrecting Lazarus Pit that offered a get-out-of-death-free card, and the entire Flarrow-verse has gone out of the way to establish that the big death of Laurel Lance can’t be undone. The practical stunts in the last couple of episodes have achieved some of the same complexity as in earlier seasons, and there’s really no way for Season 4 to end without Damien Darhk being defeated. We’re surely in for a very magical finale, but Arrow has taken steps toward returning its universe to one in which magic and superpowers are the exceptions rather than the rule.
Considering that the Flarrow-verse on The CW now has both The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow bringing the fantastical, Arrow can return to its grittier roots without depriving the network of superpowers. Arrow is, after all, the show that started it all for superheroes on The CW; hopefully now that there are no more plans to expand the Flarrow-verse, Arrow can get back to what it does best without setting up any spinoffs.
To see how Oliver and Team Arrow make their final stand against Damien Darhk and his magic, be sure to tune in to The CW on May 25 at 8 p.m. ET for the Season 4 finale. Don’t forget to check out our summer TV premiere schedule to find which shows you’ll be able to watch over hiatus.