A cliffhanger is supposed to get fans thinking for months on end as to what comes next. Season five of The CW’s hit show Arrow opted for that cliffhanger style ending a week ago, as the entire island of Lian Yu was exploding, with essentially the entire cast outside of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) on it. But was it a worthy cliffhanger?
Let’s be real for a moment. There is simply no way the show is going to kill off its entire core cast outside of the lead actor. All of the following characters were on the island at the time of the explosion: Felicity, Diggle, Thea, Slade/Deathstroke, Rene, Curtis, Lance, Dinah, Nyssa, Black Siren and Samantha. The show already killed off Malcolm Merlyn during the course of the episode. So knocking out the majority of the cast simply is not in the cards.
We know Oliver informed his team of an A.R.G.U.S. base on the opposite side of the island, which would help provide them an escape. But there is no realistic way that they could have made it across the entire island in the time they were given. So this leads me to believe that the cliffhanger was done for one of two reasons.
The first reason, it gets fans thinking about and guessing “how did the team survive?”. I know I have run this question through my head countless times over the course of the last week. I have thought maybe Slade, who was leading the charge to the opposite side of the island, knew of a closer base. There is always the possibility that Felicity or Curtis used their large brains to come up with some clever trick to shield them from the blasts. Maybe they came across a bunker of sorts that Curtis surmised would not be impacted by the blasts.
Fans will surely be invested in the answer to this question come the start of season six. If the answer is as simple as they made it to the other side of the island, this fan will be pretty upset.
But let’s move on the other potential reason for the cliffhanger. It is obvious that the ending is meant to make fans think the worst. Given most fans know they can’t kill off everyone, it is possible many will fall into the trap of “well everyone will survive” trap.
I could very well see the season six opener starting with Oliver all alone. As the episode continues, it is clear that someone did not make it. Slowly throughout the episode, characters that were on the island begin to show up one by one. Slowly, the list of who did not make it can be narrowed.
If they really want to keep fans on the edge of their seats, they can end that episode with two characters still missing. Then episode two can run through the actual events of what happened in the finale, and how most of the team survived. Of course, the reveal of who died can be saved for the end of the episode.
The point here is, not everyone is safe. The Lian Yu cliffhanger may seem like a moot point, given a number of characters that would be considered in danger. But just because they cannot kill off the entire supporting cast, it does not mean they can’t kill off one character.
Nyssa and Samantha would certainly be the top two contenders to get the ax. Nyssa is the type of character that is nice to have around for a few episodes here and there but is not essential moving forward. Samantha would be a bolder choice, as it would put the fate of William in jeopardy. However, killing her off would certainly have a major emotional impact on Oliver.
So what are your thoughts on the season five finale of Arrow? Do you think everyone will survive the island explosion? If so, how? Will anyone bite the dust and exit the Arrowverse? Tell us what you think in the comments!