SPOILER ALERT! This article contains SPOILERS for the Season Five finale of ‘Arrow’. If you are behind, you may wish to avoid reading any further!
Since Season One of ‘Arrow’, John Barrowman’s Malcolm Merlyn has been a constant presence/menace, not just on The CW’s first DC superhero hit, but on spin-off ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ on which he appeared as a member of the “Legion of Doom.”
But that all seemed to come to an end at the end of ‘Arrow’ S5, when Merlyn sacrificed his life to save his daughter Thea Queen from a landmine. Merlyn, being an ordinary mortal, was seemingly gone for good, but of course other ordinary humans have come back from death in the past– Sarah Lance to name just one.
Fans held out hope that Merlyn would likewise return somehow, but Barrowman declared that he believed that Merlyn was gone for good.
At the time, Barrowman stated:
“I am very sad to be leaving the Arrowverse. I love playing Malcolm Merlyn, and you know – that’s it really. As sad as it may be, I understand how shows must change and also characters must change and develop. But that doesn’t mean I’m not very sad and upset about it. I appreciate your support and love you all.”
However, shortly afterward, when asked about a possible return for Malcolm Merlyn, executive producer Marc Guggenheim responded:
“That’s up to John. We told John when we called him to tell him about the events of the finale, every single person on all the shows has come back in some shape or form. We’ve got flashbacks, we’ve got time travel, we’ve got parallel universes. Goodbye is never goodbye. He has an open invitation to return to the show any time he wants.”
This came as news to Barrowman… happy news, but news nonetheless. He has since replied:
“I am surprised and very happy to hear Marc Guggenheim’s comments about Merlyn’s future in the Arrowverse, because in a very decisive phone conversation we had with [producer] Wendy Mericle, I was led to believe that there were no plans to bring Merlyn back.”
Well, maybe nothing decisive yet. But all of the Arrowverse shows take all kinds of twists, some of which work for the better, some not so much.
Barrowman went on to add:
“If they have changed their mind, awesome! I have LOVED playing Malcom Merlyn and was SO disappointed to be told the news of his death and to no longer be part of a fantastic team and show. If they want me back, they just have to ask! The ball is back in their court. Write Merlyn an amazing storyline and I will be there.”
This upcoming sixth season sees ‘Arrow’ shifting from its Wednesday time slot to Thursday nights at 9pm Eastern/Pacific Standard Time. The first new episode, entitled ‘Fallout’ will air on October 12, 2017.
Would you like to see Malcolm Merlyn back in the Arrowverse? Or should they give that character a rest and bring in some new threats?