Character returns are always a good thing on TV.
On Arrow Season 5 Episode 22, there were a lot of returns, and they were pretty great for the narrative.
TV Fanatics Steven Ford, Robin Harry, Jim Garner and Kathleen Wiedel, discuss Black Siren showing back up, Adrian's plan and Slade's plan.
What did you think of Black Siren's return?
Steve: I'm not particularly a fan of Black Siren, but I did find it interesting that she showed some regret while locking up her "daddy." There is more to her, and she is starting to pique my interest. Maybe we can start peeling those layers away in season 6.
Robin: Like Steve, I wasn't really interested until her exchange with Quentin. I could live with an episode that shows her life on Earth-2 because it sounds like she lost Quentin there. I still don't know how I feel about her being a full-timer next season though.
Jim: I agree that her interaction with Quentin made this more of a draw than I would have given it otherwise. I really hope that Black Siren is more of a "reluctant bad guy" next year where there might be hope to redeem her. I thought we might see some of that with Artemis, but we just never saw her much this season after the reveal she was a plant.
Kathleen: Poor Quentin. It would be interesting to see more of the interaction between the two of them, and the "reluctant bad guy" angle Jim mentioned might make for an interesting potential arc for Black Siren.
Was Adrian's plan to get his people to take Team Arrow to the island a good one?
Steve: Absolutely. As both a set piece and narratively. Luring Oliver to the island where it all started for him for their final confrontation is the perfect setup for the finale. It will likely come back to haunt Adrian though. He'll have one of those "it seemed like a good idea at the time" moments.
Robin: Yeah, no, Adrian's gonna be sorry he did this. I doubt that Adrian could ever know Lian Yu as well as Oliver does, no matter how much he prepared. He basically gave Oliver the upper hand. Adrian got a little too big for his britches and too clever for his own good here.
Jim: I agree with Steven and Robin, that Adrian is going to realize that it only _seemed_ like a good idea to bring the entire team to the island. As it starts to blow up in his face, I'm sure Adrian will have second thoughts.
Kathleen: Let's make it unanimous and declare that it was a bad, bad plan. If you want to remove your enemies, remove them. Don't "make them suffer" or whatever. I wonder if Adrian knows where all the land mines are on that island? Maybe he'll step on one and put himself out of our misery.
Will Slade turn on Oliver?
Steve: I have no doubt about Slade turning after Adrian has been dealt with, but it will be awesome (even if temporary) to see him working together with Oliver again. I'm so excited for the finale.
Robin: I am fascinated by this turn of events. I guess Slade will eventually turn on Oliver, but why would he even help Oliver in the first place? Has the Mirakuru madness worn off? This is going to be SO much fun to watch!
Jim: I'm not that familiar with Slade, from the comics or the earlier seasons. However, I love the actor portraying him, so I'm excited to see how things turn out.
Kathleen: On the list of Good Ideas, "Ollie teaming up with Slade Wilson" does not sound like it belongs high up. I'm with Robin -- what would possibly induce Slade to help Oliver, anyway? Wasn't Slade swearing bloody vengeance on him the last time they saw each other? If Slade *doesn't* turn on Oliver, color me surprised.
What do you want to happen in the season finale?
Steve: Two badass teams going head to head in an epic battle on the island, with plenty of bloodshed and death. Oliver said he'd never kill Adrian, but that doesn't mean someone else won't.
Robin: Somebody needs to put Adrian down, but I sincerely hope that it's not Oliver. That is really all I need to see happen. Oh, and I wouldn't mind if Evelyn dies too. She's ridiculous.
Jim: Yes, Robin, yes! Someone, please put an arrow, a bullet, and a sword into Adrian and wipe that smug-ass smile from his face once and for all! I've never wanted to reach into the screen and slap the smug out of someone so badly as I do Adrian.
Kathleen: Robin, you're reading my mind. Do in Adrian, and someone, please do in Evelyn, too. That would be sweet satisfaction.
Out of all of the returns, which character would you like to stick around full-time?
Steve: SLADE WILSON! SLADE WILSON! SLADE WILSON! He should become a recurring villain that just pops up here and there to give Oliver hell.
Robin: I don't think I want to see any of them full-time, to be honest. Merlyn is always fun (that "special kind of idiot" line almost killed me) but in small doses. Deathstroke was amazing -- probably the best villain on the show -- but I'm not convinced he could return and have the same impact as the first time.
Jim: I really don't have a favorite "please keep this one" from the current selection. I think Robin's assessment of Merlyn is right on the nose. He is great in small doses. John Barrowman knows how to hit just the right amount of snark!
Kathleen: Wow, Steve, you're really enthusiastic about Slade, aren't you? I do enjoy Manu Bennett in the role, but I don't think that Slade should be "full time." Merlyn, well, I think Jim and Robin are right about "small doses."
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Note: Arrow Season 5 Episode 23 airs May 24 on The CW.
Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.