Note: heavy spoilers for Arrow Season 5 follow. After Oliver Queen battled Adrian Chase for months throughout the fifth season of Arrow, their conflict has finally been resolved. And to no one's surprise, Oliver was victorious in the end. Unfortunately, it appears that his victory came at the cost of his friends' lives.
Towards the end of the Arrow Season 5 finale, Oliver and Adrian battled it out one last time. Their fight led them to Adrian's escape boat, where Prometheus held Oliver's son William captive. Oliver had to choose between saving his son and saving his friends. If he killed Adrian, Oli's friends on Lian Yu would die from the explosives set to rig in case of Adrian's death. But if he didn't kill Adrian, Oliver would have to watch his son die.
It looked like Oliver would have to make the toughest decision of his life — but he managed to shoot an arrow through Adrian's leg, freeing his son without ending Chase's life. After seeing Oliver get the better of him, Chase did the unthinkable and shot himself in the head, causing the explosives he placed on Lian Yu to ignite. The following scene depicted Lian Yu going up in flames.
Moments earlier, Team Arrow attempted to escape Lian Yu. Unfortunately, they found their means of transportation taken out of commission, leaving them with no discernible way to get off the island. But we don't know with certainty that they all died on the spot — and no one really expects the majority of Arrow's cast to be killed off in one fell swoop.
So unless Arrow is receiving a complete revamp for Season 6, we can probably count on Team Arrow making it off of Lian Yu alive. Here are the three most logical ways Team Arrow could have survived the explosion on Lian Yu:
1. Slade's A.R.G.U.S. Prison Cell Doubled As A Bunker
A.R.G.U.S. has a presence on Lian Yu, as evidenced by the prison cell made for Slade Wilson and Digger Harkness on the island. What's unclear is how fortified the prison cell is. But when we consider the precautions taken to keep a madman like Slade Wilson imprisoned, the outside would reasonably be fortified to withstand any sort of attack that would allow him to escape.
So it might serve as a bomb shelter for Team Arrow. If that's true, Team Arrow could have very well survived that explosive ending.
2. A Secret Bunker
A.R.G.U.S. could have provided another way of surviving the blast. We know that A.R.G.U.S. has turned Lian Yu into a prison for hardened criminals like Slade Wilson and Digger Harkness, but could they have used it for other black site operations? If so, there may have been a bunker placed on the island in case of emergency.
Now, you could argue that Team Arrow would never have been able to find out about it in time — but if John Diggle contacted his wife Lyla at A.R.G.U.S., she could have relayed the information with enough time to spare to get everyone to safety.
That solution may seem somewhat improbable, but knowing A.R.G.U.S., it's possible that they would want to protect any important assets on the island in the case of such a cataclysm.
3. Metahuman Rescue
Probably the most implausible theory floating around suggests a metahuman could have saved Team Arrow. For example, Barry Allen, although he's locked up in the Speed Force at the moment. The other potential candidate is Wally West, but would he be fast enough to save all of Team Arrow? Probably not. The only way he'd be able to save them is to go back in time, and we all know how that wound end, thanks to Barry Allen's mistakes in Season 3.
The only metahuman who could believably make the jump to save Team Arrow is an interdimensional traveler, someone like Cisco Ramone. He knows how to open breaches with his metahuman abilities, so he could jump through one and pull Team Arrow through. But that kind of sudden character crossover is unlikely to say the least and borders on deus ex machina territory.
Did Team Arrow Actually Die On Lian Yu?
Most fans would argue that killing off the whole cast won't work for the dynamic established on Arrow, but Oliver Queen is a solo hero for the most part or at least his comic counterpart is.
In the comics, Green Arrow is strictly a solo vigilante. Admittedly, he does partner up with other heroes on occasion, but he never attempts to make the sort of connections we've seen in the #Arrowverse — because every time he gets someone else involved in his vigilante crusade, they get hurt. We've seen that aspect of his origin relayed in Arrow, just not to the degree of his comic book counterpart.
But if that factor of his comic origin becomes more heavily emphasized in Season 6, the deaths of Oliver Queen's friends could very well be the final act that transforms him into a comic-loyal adaptation of the Green Arrow.
Arrow returns for Season 6 most likely in October 2017.
Do you think Team Arrow survived the massive explosion on Lian Yu? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.