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Who Is Dead in the Arrow Season 4 Premiere Flash Forward?!

This season was supposed to be "lighter"...

Have you started breathing again yet after watching that "Arrow" season 4 premiere ending?! Yeah, me neither. ?

Though the superhero drama was (mostly) successful at launching its much-talked-about "lighter tone" in "Green Arrow," it certainly piled on the angst in its final moments, revealing that — seven months from now — Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) will be left crying over the freshly-dug grave of a loved one.

Who might the deceased in question be? And is there any chance he or she might avoid their fate? Here is some ABSOLUTELY necessary speculation. Let's talk this through...

  1. Felicity
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    OK, don't freak out, but that direct cut from the engagement ring Oliver intends to give Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) to the shot of the gravestone was very ominous. Other clues that make Felicity the most plausible candidate at this point?: The fact that she wasn't there, holding Oliver's hand. The fact that Barry Allen showed up. (He and Felicity are BFFs.) The fact that Oliver was clearly completely devastated by this turn of events.

    To be clear, it is highly unlikely that "Arrow" would kill off one of its most popular characters (right?!), but that doesn't mean that isn't Felicity's gravestone. The theme of this season is "mysticism," which means that, whoever is in that grave, could potentially be brought back to life. This show is also known for its Fake Death Plots. As in: there have been numerous ones.

    If it is Felicity's grave, though, how could this have happened? Well, we do know that the other main theme of this season is "family," and that we might be getting clues about Felicity's dear old dad. Could he be the time of man to inexplicably come after his own daughter — or, perhaps, more likely, to come after Oliver only to see Felicity sacrifice her life for him? Could he be Damien Dahrk? #SupervillainMelodrama

    Another possible candidate for the "he" Oliver mentions in the flash forward scene is Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). The "Arrow" showrunners have spoken before about how, like season 1 and 2, seasons 3 and 4 serve as two parts to the same larger story. Oliver left Malcolm in charge of The League in exchange for his help saving Thea. There is no love lost between Malcolm and Felicity, the latter of who always campaigned against Team Arrow allying with the former. Could this be the ultimate price Oliver pays for teaming up with Malcolm Merlyn over his own friends?

    One last theory: Could Slade finally be fulfilling his "promise" that he take from Oliver the person he loves most? Though this explanation seems less likely given that, as far as we know, Slade isn't going to be a major part of this season, but you never know. "Arrow" checked in with the supervillain currently stuck on Lian Yu only last season, and Slade inquired about Felicity.

    In the flash forward scene, Oliver tells Barry: "There was a time I would have thought this was my fault. That I brought this darkness upon us. Now I know it’s not my fault. It’s my responsibility. To end it. I’m gonna kill him." Could Oliver be talking about Slade here?

  2. Diggle

    Another obviously heartbreaking choice would be the third member of the original Team Arrow: John Diggle (David Ramsey). Diggle has said that he still thinks of himself as Oliver's bodyguard. Will he die protecting his best friend?

    Thematically, Diggle's death makes some sense. He is a major player elsewhere in the season 4 premiere as the person who doubts Oliver's transformation. ("You don’t trust. You don’t love. You were able to fool the league because, inside, you are every bit as dark as they are.") He withholds important information from Oliver about H.I.V.E. Will the person who has the least amount of faith in Oliver's ability to love right now also be the person whose death breaks Oliver's heart?

  3. Thea
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    If there's any character besides Felicity whose death would thoroughly break Oliver, it's Thea (Willa Holland). We've seen it before. She is his last surviving family member. He has risked and sacrificed absolutely everything to keep her alive. He loves her unconditionally. If Damien Dahrk or anyone else is looking for someone to take from Oliver, Thea is a good option.

    It doesn't help that, post-Lazarus Pit, Thea has become unstable. Perhaps, the death in question isn't a direct murder, but the result of the chaos one of Star City's many villains has created. Perhaps, it is the result of Thea's own recklessness. Perhaps, it is the result of her being Malcolm Merlyn's daughter. It is that last point that most intrigues. Because Malcolm is still very much a player in this story, and the fact that Thea is arguably the only thing he truly cares about (other than power) makes her a target.

    On the other hand, it might feel kind of redundant to kill Thea off again. Sure, she was brought back to life the first time, but still. We'd much rather see Thea's character taken in a different direction this season, and we're guessing the "Arrow" writers room feels similarly.

  4. OK, who do you think might be dead in the final scene of the "Arrow" season 4 premiere? We need theories, people! We're kind of freaking out here. ?