Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of Arrow. Read at your own risk!
Oliver’s true nature came out during Wednesday’s episode of Arrow.
Tortured by Chase (Josh Segarra), Oliver (Stephen Amell) was forced to finally admit a deep truth, both to himself and to the audience: He doesn’t suit up to reconcile the darkest parts of himself; he does so because he truly does enjoy killing.
In flashback, after Oliver brutally murdered Gregor (David Meunier), he is confronted by Anatoly (David Nykl), who worries about Oliver’s troubling violent tendencies. Though Oliver assures Anatoly that he’s controlling his inner monster by channeling those dark urges into the Hood persona, once Oliver aims to kill Kovar (Dolph Lundgren), it’s clear that suiting up is really a way for Oliver to conceal his growing passion for killing. And though Oliver denies this in the past, he is forced to confront the truth in the present by Chase.
“I like examining this stuff because one of the truths that we reveal in season 5 — via our flashbacks and in present day — is there was an element of Oliver that we met in season 1 that took a little bit of pleasure in snapping somebody’s neck,” Amell tells EW. “I don’t think that negates the transformation that he’s made, but it happened and we have to examine it and Oliver has to deal with the ramifications of that realization.”
Though Oliver is not necessarily killing baddies left and right these days, this truth will certainly haunt him as season 5 charges toward the ultimate confrontation between Oliver and Chase. “He’s become a much more three-dimensional person in so far as, ‘Look, if you bring lethal force against me, I will bring lethal force against you,‘” Amell says. “But he’s also not out on a killing spree, right? So how does Oliver deal with that realization? is a huge, huge question that we try to resolve through the latter part of season 5, because ultimately — if thematically we’re dealing with legacy — he has to recognize everything that he’s been party to since coming back to Star City at the start of our series.”
While Oliver seems to indicate he’s done being a vigilante by episode’s end, he’s still determined to take Chase down. “He has to die,” Amell says. “Killing Chase becomes the only thing that matters to him. We really see his world fall apart.”
Suffice it to say, not everyone on Team Arrow will be happy with Oliver’s plans for this season’s big bad, despite all the pain Chase has caused. “Everyone’s conflicted,” Amell says. “One of the things that we’re doing, which I think we tend to do a relatively decent job of, is we are laying some elements in place in how crazy his decisions are that really could lay the basis for a huge source of conflict next year. But yeah, [Oliver’s] going off the deep end a little bit, which is the hallmark of a good villain.”
Even so, Amell believes Oliver can come back from this darkness. “I actually do think so,” the actor says. “I think that ultimately, if Oliver comes out on the winning side this year, he will have gone through some very important realizations that hopefully will help him grow as a person, as a friend, as a leader, as a teammate, as a hero, and as the mayor. I do think it’s important that there is a sense of victory and accomplishment because otherwise, we’re just destroying the city every year.”