Posted by Michael Patterson @WatchTower
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Michael Patterson

Warning: This article contains spoilers from Arrow Season 5, Episode 4 "Penance" and Episode 5 "Human Target."

The most recent installment of Arrow not only hit the mark, it proceeded to move the #TV show in an exciting direction which saw the new vigilantes going it alone to take down Tobias Church and save the Anti-Crime Unit. However, things didn't go too well for the vigilante #superheroes as Mr. Terrific was injured and Wild Dog was kidnapped by Church's men.

And judging by the trailer for the upcoming episode, things are about to get a whole lot worse for Team Arrow. This week's episode will see Tobias Church — after finding out the Green Arrow's true identity — hiring Human Target to take down Mayor Oliver Queen, and based on the ending of the trailer, the assailant hits his target as we see a bloody Queen collapse on the steps of City Hall.

However, all may not be as it seems and Oliver might not actually get shot — in fact, the Mayor of Star City may end up faking his own death. And after looking into it, there is actually some very compelling evidence to support this theory.

Wild Dog Warns Oliver That Church Knows His Identity

Despite the past episode's thrilling cliffhanger regarding Wild Dog's fate, it seems that Rene Ramirez will indeed be rescued from Church's clutches by the rest of the team. The trailer not only begins with Ramirez and Diggle conversing about therapy, it reveals the Green Arrow taking out some of Church's men in the woods and soon afterwards, we see a beaten Ramirez tied to a tree. Ramirez informs the Green Arrow that "he knows your Oliver Queen." And I'm pretty sure that the "he" who Wild Dog is referring to is none other than Tobias Church.

A beaten Ramirez informs Green Arrow that Church knows who he really is. (via The CW)
A beaten Ramirez informs Green Arrow that Church knows who he really is. (via The CW)

Last week, Church told his men that he might have uses for Wild Dog, and it's becoming clear that he beats him into confessing the Green Arrow's true identity. But perhaps Church allows Wild Dog to stay alive longer than he should have because upon his rescue, Ramirez informs the Green Arrow that Tobias knows the truth. So there's no way that the battle-hardened Oliver Queen won't be prepared for what's coming.

So it's highly likely that he will be prepared for Church's attempt to take him out. And if so, it's possible that Queen will fake his own death — or at the very least his near-death experience — to allow Tobias Church to think he has taken down the Mayor. With his vulnerable identity out of the way, Green Arrow could then focus on stopping Church, who may have let his guard down thinking that he has succeeded. And there's one way Oliver can be sure to convince Church that he's a goner.

If you're a fan of Arrow, check these out:

Human Target Is Actually Oliver's Friend

Chance's "target" is actually his best friend. (via The CW)
Chance's "target" is actually his best friend. (via The CW)

The real kicker here is that the hitman Church hires to take down Oliver Queen is actually Oliver's old friend. That's right folks, Human Target and Green Arrow go way back. The previously released synopsis for the upcoming episode highlights this:

DC COMICS’ CHRISTOPHER CHANCE AKA HUMAN TARGET TEAMS UP WITH OLIVER — When Tobias Church (guest star Chad L. Coleman) captures and tortures one of Oliver’s new recruits, Oliver must turn to an old friend, Christopher Chance (guest star Wil Traval) AKA the Human Target, for help.

So after reading this, I'm guessing that that Oliver will reach out to old friend Christopher Chance and together, they will come up with the elaborate rouse to trick Church into hiring the Human Target to take out Oliver Queen.

Then all they have to do is stage the showdown between the Mayor and the Human Target in which it will appear that the hitman wounds Oliver. But in fact, none of it will be real and will just be done for publicity. My guess is that Ollie will be wearing a bulletproof vest and just spill a little fake blood on his shirt to make it all the more convincing.

To Convince Church That He Isn't The Green Arrow

Tobias Church is a very deadly man. And knowing a secret like the Green Arrow's true identity makes him even more deadly, as that would mean that the likes of Thea, Felicity and Quentin would be in danger. So I'm guessing that the Star City Mayor will go to extreme lengths to throw Church off the scent.

Church doesn't know that Human Target is working with Oliver. (via The CW)
Church doesn't know that Human Target is working with Oliver. (via The CW)

And so, if a major figure like the town mayor gets injured in public, of course that information will make its way back to Mr. Church. However, if the Green Arrow still shows up to take him down, then it's pretty obvious that Tobias will have some re-evaluating to do as to who the Green Arrow actually is.

Thus, it's a strong possibility that Oliver will ensure that his confrontation with Human Target will take place in public to allow Tobias to let his guard down, thinking he has taken out the Green Arrow. And if that happens, Ollie's loved ones will be safe and the press will report on the demise — or near-demise — of Mayor Queen. And when the Green Arrow still shows up to take down Tobias Church, both Church and the press will know for sure that Oliver Queen and the Emerald Archer is not the same person. So, in a play very much like when he got himself arrested in Season 1 to "prove" to the SCPD and the press that he wasn't the Arrow, Oliver will set the whole thing up to prove to Church that he isn't the Green Arrow.

Wouldn't be the first time Church and Oliver have met without masks. (via The CW)
Wouldn't be the first time Church and Oliver have met without masks. (via The CW)

With Tobias Church having beaten the Green Arrow's true identity out of Wild Dog, it appears that he hires a hitman to take out the Emerald Archer when he's vulnerable — doing his mayoral duties in Star City. However, it only appears like that because Wild Dog manages to inform Oliver that Church knows his secret. And it seems as though Mayor Queen will be behind the whole thing, setting up a fake death scene between him and the hitman Human Target — who is in fact, an old friend.

Oliver will have plenty of reasons for doing this, but none more likely than to throw Church off the scent and convince him and Oliver Queen and the Green Arrow are two different people in order to protect his secret, protect those he loves and to take Church down once and for all. After all, Church won't be expecting a mortally wounded man to show up and stop him, and I'm guessing that is exactly what just might happen.

Rest easy Star City, Mayor Queen isn't dying, he's just pretending!
Rest easy Star City, Mayor Queen isn't dying, he's just pretending!

Arrow airs on Wednesdays on The CW. Do you think Oliver will fake his own death? Let us know in the comments below!

[Source: Comic Book Movie]