The Arrow-cave is going to be very crowded next season! It has just been announced that recurring Arrow stars Juliana Harkavy and Rick Gonzalez have been promoted to series regulars for Season 6.
Gonzalez portrays the tough Rene Ramirez — a.k.a. Wild Dog — and was one of the first new team members recruited this season. Meanwhile, Harkavy debuted midway through Season 5 as Dinah "Tina" Drake and ended up donning the Black Canary mantle, after Oliver Queen promised to honor the memory of the original Black Canary, Laurel Lance.
The fact that Arrow has chosen to promote both characters is definitely an interesting one — especially since Season 6 just might have the biggest cast yet. But their presence next season raises interesting questions about the direction of the show.
Team Arrow Lives
After a lone first season, Oliver Queen opened his vigilante-loving heart up to a team and — together with Diggle and Felicity — Team Arrow eventually welcomed the likes of Arsenal, The Canary, Black Canary and Speedy. Thus, sidekicks and partners have been a running element of Arrow since its early days.
However, Season 4 ended with Oliver and Felicity all alone, and just when fans thought they'd get a different fifth season, the Green Arrow began to hunt for new recruits. He eventually added Wild Dog, Artemis, Ragman and Mr. Terrific to the team, and the new lineup was complete. And while they did a great job differentiating themselves from any other iterations of Team Arrow, it wasn't long until things fell apart — Artemis betrayed them while Ragman left after his rags were destroyed.
Moreover, the quest to honor Laurel's memory resulted in Oliver tracking down Dinah Drake, who eventually donned the mantle of Black Canary and joined him, Wild Dog, Spartan, Ragman and Felicity. And with that, the new Team Arrow was complete.
Despite recent tribulations with Prometheus forcing Oliver to once again turn his back on his allies, Gonzalez and Harkavy's promotions prove that they are remaining by his side. Furthermore, this new status will allow Ramirez and Drake to have their own storylines, and perhaps give us more backstory — some of which was only touched on this season.
With Season 6 on the horizon, it seems that the staple of Team Arrow will be remaining with the show for yet another year.
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Clash Of The Sirens
Undoubtedly the most interesting thing about Juliana Harkavy's promotion is that former series regular Katie Cassidy is returning to the show in her original capacity — but this time she will be portraying Laurel Lance's Earth-2 doppelgänger Black Siren. When Siren initially appeared on the show earlier this year, fans hoped that she would become the next Black Canary — and despite her desire to remain evil, Cassidy's return seemed to confirm this.
But Juliana Harkavy's promotion suggests that her Black Canary will be sticking around too. So the question is — who will be the last Canary standing?
It seems unusual to have two characters who possess the same abilities on the same side as the rest of the #superheroes. Thus, this seems to suggest that one of the two ladies might end up as the season's big bad — or at the very least, an enemy. While you might suggest that it will clearly be Black Siren — let's not forget that she is on Lian Yu in the finale while Oliver will be getting help from some unlikely allies. So, this will probably set up Black Siren's arc into Season 6, which should rightfully culminate with her becoming the next Black Canary.
But no matter what roles each of these characters end up playing, a showdown between the two is inevitable. And more than that, it's a must. When both of the shriking ladies face off, all hell will break loose. And it's going to be epic. Just cover your ears!
Will We Lose A Character Next Season?
With Harkavy and Gonzalez joining the returning Katie Cassidy, Season 6 is shaping up to have one huge cast. They will likely join Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Paul Blackthorne, Emily Bett Rickards, Echo Kellum and Josh Segarra. So the question is — will we lose another regular or two to make up for this?
While the likely option is actor Josh Segarra as he portrays this season's big bad Prometheus, it's also worth noting that characters like Thea and Quentin Lance haven't had quite as much to do this season.
Thea went from being a troubled teen to a bloodlust-ridden assassin to a heroic vigilante. But this season, she turned things around and became Oliver's Chief of Staff.
While this makes great character development, she just hasn't been an active part of this season's main storyline. And it makes us wonder if she will be leaving Star City to make up for the crowded bunker of vigilantes? I certainly hope not!
While Rick Gonzalez and Juliana Harkavy's promotions to series regulars will certainly make for plenty of interesting storylines in Season 6 of Arrow, it will be interesting to see if the show cuts any characters to make room for the new recruits. The show already has one of the largest casts on TV.
Wild Dog and the new Black Canary have already been through a lot on the show, but it looks like their ride in Star City has only just begun.
Who do you want to see become the next official Black Canary?
[Source: Hollywood Reporter; Poll Image Credit: The CW]