Arrow‘s fifth season brought the series full circle. As the show moves into new territory with its sixth season, we look back at the events of season 5.
Recruiting a new team
With the loss of Laurel, Thea’s departure and Diggle’s reenlistment still hanging over the team, Felicity encouraged Oliver to recruit a new team to help him protect Star City. He eventually relented and brought in a batch of recruits: Curtis Holt, aka Mr. Terrific; Rene Ramirez, aka Wild Dog; Evelyn Sharp, aka Artemis; and Rory Regan, aka Ragman.
While Curtis and Rene remained loyal to Oliver, Evelyn — whose parents were murdered by Damien Darhk — defected to Prometheus’s side. Meanwhile Ragman’s mystical rags were damaged and he had to leave the team in order to repair them.
Later on, the team recruited Tina Boland, aka Dinah Drake, a former cop and meta who would become the next Black Canary. She also joined the SCPD, giving the team a member within the department since Lance’s departure.
Diggle is framed
While reenlisted in the military, Diggle found himself caught in the middle of a plot by rogue soldiers to steal a bomb. The soldiers killed all the men under Diggle’s command and left him to take the fall. Diggle was imprisoned, but Oliver broke him out. However, because he was a wanted man, he had to stay in hiding. He rejoined Team Arrow until he was set up and recaptured.
The efforts of Adrian Chase bought Diggle time from being tried for treason until Felicity could get proof that Diggle was innocent from Helix. After that, he was a free man once again.
Adrian Chase, aka Simon Morrison, lost his father to the Hood and swore revenge. After being trained by Talia al Ghul, he set out on a crusade of vengeance. Constantly ten steps ahead of Team Arrow, he insinuated himself into Oliver’s professional life as Star City District Attorney while also working as the Throwing Star Killer, who was murdering people whose names formed anagrams of individuals on the original List.
Once his identity was revealed, he kidnapped Oliver and tortured him until he admitted that he’d killed because he enjoyed it. It took Oliver time to recover from the ordeal, but once Chase kidnapped William, Oliver’s son, and the rest of Team Arrow the war was on. Chase had Evelyn, Black Siren and Talia al Ghul on his side — and Captain Boomerang defected. He’d also set Lian Yu, where he’d taken everyone, to explode should he die.
His final act was to shoot himself in front of Oliver, intending to take everything Oliver cared about away from him when the island exploded.
Black Siren arrives in Star City
After appearing in The Flash‘s third season, Black Siren made her way to Arrow when Prometheus freed her from the S.T.A.R. Labs pipeline. She initially pretended to be a resurrected Laurel, who was brought back because of Sara and the Legends, but she was there to serve as a mole for Chase. Her identity was quickly uncovered, and she revealed her loyalty to Chase was because he freed her.
Oliver, however, was determined to help rehabilitate Black Siren, hoping to save her the way he couldn’t save his Laurel. The relationship is complicated by the fact that on Earth-2, Oliver is dead. Black Siren’s appearance was also a huge blow for Quentin, who was coming off rehab for his relapsed drinking.
Felicity turns hacktivist
After Prometheus murdered her new boyfriend, Felicity took a bit of a dark turn as she became willing to cross lines with her hacking to catch Malone’s killer. This got her involved with the hacktivist group Helix.
Felicity did hacking work for Helix in exchange for data that was used to help free Diggle from prison and reveal Adrian Chase as Prometheus. However, Helix cut ties with Felicity due to her ties with Team Arrow.
Oliver fights Ivan Drago
The final season of flashbacks saw Oliver reunite with Anatoly and join the Bratva in order to fulfill Taiana’s last wish of freeing her village from the control of strongman Konstantin Kovar — played by Dolph Lundgren.
Oliver eventually fulfilled his goal when the two ended up on Lian Yu moments before Oliver’s rescue from the pilot. After yet another knock-down drag-out fight, Oliver permanently killed Kovar
Lian Yu explodes
In Arrow season 5 finale, Chase kidnapped Oliver’s son as well the various members of Team Arrow, luring Oliver — and the team he recruited of Nyssa, Malcolm Merlyn, Captain Boomerang and Slade — to Lian Yu for a final showdown.
The final moments of season 5 saw Chase fulfill his mission by shooting himself, triggering explosives all over Lian Yu. With Oliver and William out to sea, the fates of his remaining loved ones were left up in the air as the season faded to black.
Arrow season 6 premieres tonight at 9:00 p.m. ET on The CW.