When it came to the real world situation of a mass shooting on "Arrow," it wasn't a costumed superhero that saved the day -- it was the mayor of Star City. Of course, both of those people happen to be Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell).
It was a startling change to see practically no Green Arrow in an episode of "Arrow," instead letting Oliver's public persona play the role of hero. In "The Dark Knight" parlance, Mayor Queen is the hero Star City needs in that moment. The question is whether he'll continue to be what the city needs.
Executive producer Marc Guggenheim: "We went into Season 5 with the mindset of -- Oliver is mayor, so without it turning into 'The West Wing,' how are we going to find ways to have Oliver be active as mayor? And to everyone’s surprise, end up being a good mayor? ...You’ll start to see, actually -– and this is true in next week’s episode, in episode 14 -– Thea’s (Willa Holland) gonna make a good case to Oliver, of all people, for all the things he’s accomplished as mayor... You start to see like, oh wait, in the first 13 episodes he actually kind of did some stuff! And he’s not done yet."
While Season 4 saw the Green Arrow unite Star City to fight Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), you can't deny all the good Oliver has done for his city this year of his green costume. It's enough to make you wonder which side of him is truly best for the city -- and which one Oliver can live with.
This season has seen a massive uptick in Green Arrow's tendency to kill while seeking out vigilante justice, which as mayor would be something you'd think he would stand against. However, he's become so dedicated to his mission that he practically can't help himself. Don't believe us? Ask Felicity's boyfriend about Oliver's "kill first, ask questions later" ways.
But that's nothing new, as Guggenheim explains, "Oliver killing is the seminal moral quandary of the show. That was something I think that spoke to us as writers and spoke to the audience back in Season 1."
He's a different man now, though -- and operating in a far shadier area than he once did. That's something the show is going to explore, according to executive producer Wendy Mericle.
"One of the things we are doing in the back half of Season 5 is really getting underneath that, and what that means: Not just in terms of morality, but in terms of psychology -- specifically, Oliver’s psychology," she says. "There’s things about Oliver’s killing that you have yet to learn."
Once Oliver confronts those things, revealing them to the audience, what will his legacy be? Don't forget that Oliver's destiny is a central theme this season. What will Oliver think when he ultimately learns what his legacy is? And furthermore, will he go out of his way to change it?
Perhaps this will be the dawn of Oliver Queen, rather than the resurrection of the Green Arrow. But if that's the case, what becomes of the vigilante life he's grown over five seasons?
"Arrow" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.