When a program reaches 100 episodes, it's always a cause for celebration, giving show runners a chance to develop major story lines that rock their characters to the core. Friends celebrated with the birth of Phoebe's triplets; Family Guys' Stewie finally killed Lois; and Buffy died doing what she does best:
The pressure's on then for Arrow, who will finally hit this monumental landmark early on in its fifth season, which airs this fall. So far, the show runners haven't revealed much about the direction that Arrow's 100th episode will take. All we've known up until now is that the CW plans to celebrate Oliver Queen's birthday as part of the upcoming 4-way crossover that will bring together Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow for one epic tale.
Check out the extended trailer for Season 5 of Arrow below:
However, new information came to light on Twitter today, as executive producer Marc Guggenheim shared a photo from Arrow’s centennial table read, revealing the return of an old face alongside the rest of Season 5's cast.
That's right. If you look closely, you can see that actor Jamey Sheridan is set to join the cast again after we last saw him commit suicide all the way back in Arrow's first episode. Those quick to blame flashbacks or Flashpoint for the return of Oliver's father, Robert Queen, should probably read the caption closer, which definitively reveals that neither will be responsible. If it's not Barry Allen's fault for once, where does that leave us?
Is Oliver Hallucinating?
We know that this epic superhero crossover will pose a huge threat to Green Arrow and the rest of our heroes, so it wouldn't seem out of place if Oliver saw an imaginary version of his father doling out advice or encouraging him to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
This wouldn't be the first time that Oliver's seen figures from the past, as characters like Shado still haunted him long after their death in earlier flashbacks. Let's just hope that if Arrow does go down this route, the scene will hold more emotional impact than Jonathan Kent's strange return in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Is Robert Queen Still Alive?
Given that Arrow regularly likes to pull the rug out from under its viewers with character reveals and shocking revelations, we wouldn't be too surprised if it turned out that Robert Queen was still alive somehow after all these years.
Sure, Oliver watched his father shoot his own brains out, but we never saw this happen onscreen and stranger things have happened in the world of super heroics. However, this would definitely feel like a cop-out, as Robert's death was pivotal in the development of Oliver's character in Season 1. We heavily doubt (and sincerely hope) that the show runners would actually go through with this approach.
Has Robert Queen Been Resurrected?
Rather than reveal that Robert has been alive for the past 99 episodes of Arrow, it would make more sense for him to be brought back from the dead with his good looks magically restored. It's either that, or he'd be walking around with a gun-sized hole in his face.
Magic has become an integral part of the Arrowverse in the last few years and the Lazarus Pit was used to resurrect both Thea Queen and Sara Lance before. Sure, the Pit's apparently closed for business now, but we're sure that the show runners could find a way around this. Once again though, using a plot device like this would feel cheap, and could enrage audiences who were already turned off by Arrow's foray into the supernatural over the past two seasons.
Will Arrow Journey Into The Past, Anastacia-Style?
In an attempt to win back audiences who abandoned Arrow by the end of Season 4, the show runners have repeatedly insisted that the program will reintroduce street-level crime-fighting, taking the CW's flagship show back to basics.
However, this will be next to impossible during the crossover, when aliens, meta-humans and time travellers all coming together to stop a threat bigger than any one of them can handle alone.
With all of these shenanigans going on, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine Rip Hunter's team of time bandits travelling with Oliver back to the past at some point, potentially meeting Robert Queen along the way. After all, photos have already confirmed that the Green Arrow will make a guest appearance on Legends of Tomorrow earlier on in the season. It stands to reason that Oliver could be used to all of the time hopping by the time episode 100 rolls around.
Will We Finally Meet The Robert Queen From Earth-2?
Instead of travelling through time, there's a distinct possibility that the CW heroes will move between dimensions instead. After all, how else is Supergirl going to eventually join her new playmates in the Arrowverse?
During one of Barry's many jaunts between dimensions, we discovered that Robert Queen had adopted the mantle of Green Arrow on Earth-2. On this alternate earth, it was Oliver who died in the storm, and his father who vowed to clean up his own mess. At the time, this revelation just seemed like it would be an exciting easter egg for the fans to discuss — but with Jamey Sheridan's impending return, we may see Oliver's father fight crime in an alternate dimension.
Let's not also forget that there exist an infinite number of earths in the CW's multiverse, so this version of Robert Queen could also hail from Supergirl's dimension or somewhere else entirely. Not sure what we mean? Let Barry Allen explain it to you:
Could Any Other Familiar Faces Join Robert Queen In Arrow's 100th Episode?
Out of all the possible explanations behind Robert Queen's return to Arrow, our money's on Earth-2, as it's already been hinted at before and would provide Oliver with a harrowing glimpse of what his legacy could have been if he had gone down another route.
As if that wasn't exciting enough, this approach would also open up further appearances from other familiar faces we thought were long lost. Out of everyone we would like to see return, Moira Queen is top of our list, as an emotional reunion between Oliver and an alternate version of his mother would be the perfect way to celebrate the show's centennial episode.
Here's the harrowing moment when Deathstroke took Moira Queen from Oliver, just in case you missed it the first time around:
Then again, there's always a chance that Robert Queen could turn out to be Prometheus, the new big bad of Season 5. Perhaps Earth-2's version of Green Arrow eventually turns to evil and travels to Earth-1 for some kind of nefarious purposes. This would certainly fit in with Season 5's legacy theme, but such a move could alienate fans completely, as this would mean that Arrow has well and truly jumped the shark for good.
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Whatever happens though, we're confident that Arrow will right the wrongs of Season 4 with the 100th episode, which could turn out to be the most memorable crossover event yet.
How do you think Robert Queen will cheat death in the 100th episode of Arrow?