This post contains spoilers for Arrow Season 5.
#Arrow has always been a gritty, dark show where no one is ever really safe, even if they're wearing a mask. Over the past five years, all of the major characters have lost someone close to them. So, up until now, all actors on the show were fair game and could possibly be written off at a moment's notice — with the exception of #StephenAmell, who plays the lead character.
Executive producer Marc Guggenheim changed all that when he told Entertainment Weekly that he'd drawn a line in the sand, and that line protects one character from an untimely death:
"[F]or as long as I’m involved with the show ...I never want to kill off Thea [Willa Holland] because we’ve taken so many family members away from Oliver..."
Of course, that isn't saying that #Thea can't be put through hell and back. She's already been kidnapped, stabbed by Ra's Al Ghul, healed by the Lazarus Pit, has suffered from rabid urges to kill, almost died because of the pit's aftereffects, and was almost killed by a soulless #SaraLance. But no one ever said life in Star City was easy, especially for the masked heroes.
And speaking of the masked ones, there is one character who will never don one—Felicity Smoak. That's another line Guggenheim has vowed never to cross:
"I never want to do put Felicity in a mask and a costume...because when you put a character like that in a costume, I think it diminishes who that character is and it makes the idea of superheroics seem silly."
Although #Felicity had a brief stint in a mask in the 16th episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, that's as far as Guggenheim will allow it to go, and his decision makes sense. Star City has its fair share of masks, and they need someone behind the scenes to guide them.
By gathering the intel the team needs, Felicity is a hero without the mask. And I can't see her wanting to get out into the field and fight the bad guys like #TeamArrow — although she did manage to protect herself and Curtis from DoubleDown last season.
Marc Guggenheim has had to make some difficult decisions about this show, but these two calls are quite simply sensible. Keep what remains of Oliver's family intact and leave an unmasked hero to handle operations. In a world where there's so much chaos and uncertainty, it's nice to have two things we can depend on.
What do you think about Marc Guggenheim's decisions? Let me know in the comments below!