No time to waste in this post, so I'll be uncharacteristically brief here; full spoilers for Episode 19 of Season 3 of Arrow, "Broken Arrow," follow this small spoiler buffer. Which also is full of nostalgia and sadness and happiness at the same time...
So, you don't want spoilers (believe me, before someone complains, the title is not a spoiler), then leave now!
MY EMOTIONS. Guys, I'm seriously on an emotional roller coaster! First I was inspired, then pumped for Roy's fighting, then traumatized and screaming at the screen when he was stabbed, then cheering he was alive, then just about crying when he said goodbye to the team, and then when Thea died - I flipped out. In the Joker's words, "Oh, Bats! What a night!" In a way, it was tragic, because my favorite character left... and in another, it was amazing as he took a very forward and long deserved big role.
After avoiding social media until I could watch the episode, I finally came on, and, to my sadness, found that Colton Haynes has indeed exited the show as a series regular. Many of you know from following me that Roy Harper is my favorite character on Arrow, and his loss does deeply sadden me, but at the same time... Colton's a very talented guy who is definitely going places. He can't stay a sidekick forever.
Is Roy leaving Arrow forever?
The short answer? No! Of course not! While Colton's not a series regular anymore, he's already reportedly slated to appear in at least one more episode before the season is done, and beyond that, his character now has many distinct possibilities on [Arrow](series:720988), on The Flash, and on the new upcoming spinoff.
While many of us panicked that the writers would kill Roy, I think that deep down part of me clung to the knowledge that Roy is a major comic character, and accordingly he was safe. Executive producer Greg Berlanti himself explains their decision (and Colton's) in an interview with Deadline:
These characters are so young, they represent the next generation of superheroes, and we love the idea of having them just out there. And as a person we like Colton so much, we all would love to see him back. Such a talented, great guy.
But why did Colton leave? That's also explained in the same interview:
We made a two-season deal that had a clock on it, we always knew that. When he was coming off Teen Wolf, we described the role to him, and we agreed to do it for a couple of years. At that particular moment, he had a lot of opportunities to do things, and we’re lucky he chose us. He brought a lot of notoriety and viewership to Arrow when we were growing, and the show wouldn’t be the show it is without him. He is such a talent and such a nice guy, everybody from the crew to the writers were so enthusiastic to have him for the time we had him. We are sad to see him go but excited to see what he does next.
So, where to now?
In case you hadn't noticed, I am fairly shattered that my favorite character is leaving the show, but at least he's not, you know, dead. It leaves open a lot of possibilities. We know he's a major player in the Arrow/Flash universe, but he's not one that can be around full-time anymore. We can just hang on for his guest appearances every so often. Here were executive producer Marc Guggenheim's comments on Roy's future involvement:
The hope is that he’ll continue to be part of the universe we are building. We love working with his so much. We’ve talked to him about returning to one of the three shows, and if available, he has expressed interest. He is gone but definitely not forever.
This means you can hope to see Roy on Flash, Arrow and/or the spinoff. We still have a chance to see Roy do some occasional popping up to keep us satisfied. Now, the following is purely speculation, but it's also possible...
You remember Titans, being produced on TNT? It's been quiet for a long time now, though we know the lineup consists of Dick Grayson as Robin and later Nightwing, Barbara Gordon as Oracle or Batgirl, Hawk and Dove, Starfire, and Raven. That's a team that can grow. Colton Haynes is looking for bigger work, and the DC TV Universe is looking to expand. Crossovers here are a possibility, and that may just happen.
Roy Harper is one of the founding members of several Titans groups in the comics, and is an iconic member of the team. If the show chose to incorporate his character he could step up to be a lead, but again, that's speculation, and I wouldn't necessarily count on it happening. But don't despair! Don't think - by any means - that not being a regular means that he won't appear often, though! Sara Lance was never a series regular, and neither was Malcolm in Season 1, Nyssa al Ghul, Ra's, even Slade in Season 1 - there is far more room for his character to grow, and I trust we'll see him a lot in the future still.
It's late here now, and I thought I'd just pop in this article coherently while I could, but expect a full The Fallen trailer breakdown tomorrow while I try and salvage my emotion wreck of a self.