Last night's episode of "Arrow" was less like an episode, and more like a roller coaster ride. There were lows, there were highs, there were feels — and, ultimately, a bittersweet ending.
In case you missed it, the episode, "Broken Arrow," was the swan song for one of the show's main characters: Roy Harper. Long story short, the man beneath the red hood took credit for being the Arrow, faked his own death in prison, and ran off for greener (redder?) pastures by the episode's end. The result: Oliver Queen's identity as the Arrow is protected, the world believes the vigilante is dead, and Roy Harper is no longer in Starling City… and no longer on "Arrow."
Executive producers Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim confirmed in an interview with Buzzfeed that Colton Haynes has left the "Arrow" cast, and will only show up for one more episode later this season, with the opportunity to reemerge in the future. But for all intents and purposes, Roy's time on "Arrow" is at an end — or, at the very least, will never be what it was. Team Arrow is down one archer.
With Roy off the board, heading toward new adventures far away from Oliver Queen's city, we're sending him off with one final salute for all the times the red-and-ready hero stole our attention, and our hearts.
Back in the day, he was a thief...The CW
Think back to the first time we met Roy, doing little more than snatching purses...
...but he had a whole lot of potential.The CW
He ended his first scene with an incredible feat of athleticism, proving immediately that he had what it takes to become part of Oliver Queen's entourage.
He was always a skeptic.The CW
Roy had a long way to go before becoming Ollie's pal, including the times he tossed out way-harsh judgments at Thea Queen and the rest of the Starling City elite. Even at his most heroic, Roy's skepticism remained, making him one of the most honest heroes in the world of "Arrow."
He had your back.
Even if he didn't always agree with Oliver — even if he thought his methods could use improvement — he rarely disagreed to the point of backing down from a fight. If Team Arrow needed to handle a tough task, Roy was the man for the job.
He loved being a hero.The CW
It wasn't an easy transformation, but once he had a red hood and codename of his own, Roy "Arsenal" Harper was the man he was born to be. Unlike Oliver, there was an element of joy in Roy's time patrolling the streets of Starling.
He put himself in harm's way.
Because he came from a world without anything to lose, Roy was always among the first in line to step into a dangerous situation. Look no further than his (for now) final appearance, faking his own death so that Oliver can keep fighting the good fight.
He worked well with others.
Whether it was hooding out with Oliver, buddying up with Diggle, shooting the breeze with Felicity, or even teaming up with an unlikely ally in Laurel Lance, Roy was always open and flexible when it came time to partner up against the bad guys.
He knew how lucky he was.
Coming from a world where he had to steal to survive, to becoming best buddies with the wealthiest man in Starling City and even dating his BFF's sister for a while, Roy never took his good fortune for granted.
He was a good friend.The CW
Whether it was serving as a shoulder for Thea to cry on, or as someone who could come to Felicity in a crisis, Roy approached his friendships with an open heart, ready to give and receive in equal measure, pretty much from the moment he first set foot in the Arrow Cave.
He IS a good friend!The CW
We keep talking about Roy like he's dead, but he's not! He's FAKE dead! Even if he's off the show, Roy Harper exists in the universe of "Arrow," and can come back at any time — assuming the writers have a story, and Colton Haynes has the interest and availability. He's already set for one more episode this season, and you can bank on seeing him again down the line. This isn't goodbye; he'll be in touch.
Thank you, Roy Harper.The CW
We'll see you soon.
(Okay, are they gone?)The CW
(Yeah, I think everyone's gone. Totally safe to cry forever now!)