There are two certainties when watching Arrow: you'll see more six packs than the inside of a frat boy's minifridge, and someone will die and die spectacularly, right when you least suspect it.
At the end of season one, Tommy Merlyn ate it during his father's (Malcolm Merlyn) siege on Starling City. The next season, Moira Queen got up close and personal with the cold steel of Deathstroke's blade. And last year, Sara Lance, the first Black Canary, became a human quiver, courtesy of a hypnotized Thea Queen.
So we've established that death has taken a liking to Team Arrow, and there's still an entire roster of young, gorgeous CW stars ripe for the reaper, so the question isn't if one of them will die, but when.
Remember, death is good for ratings, and since Arrow shockingly began a new season with Sara's death last year, it might be time to get your funeral clothes pressed, because there's a possibility the cast won't be in one piece by the midseason break.
But who is most likely to go? Well, as the saying goes, there's a death pool for that. Check out the odds of your favorite character going the way of the buffalo below:
Not going to happen. If you want to see Oliver Queen croak, write some fan-fic; otherwise, just move along. The dude's got a million-dollar smile and abs that look like a pack of Dentyne Ice – plus, he's the show's namesake. Stephen Amell is the personification of CW gorgeousness and won't be going anywhere anytime soon.
Again: Nope. Felicity is arguably the show's most popular character: she has a cult following, she moves merchandise and she's slowly being brought into the world of the comics because her popularity has bordered on fever. You're not going to kill a breakout star just so you can light up social media for a night. Plus, it would be PAINFULLY predictable to kill the hero's girlfriend … right?
There was a time when Laurel seemed tailor-made for the morgue. She had become a directionless shell of her former self, and the show's writers seemed to run out of ideas for her by season two—remember the alcoholic storyline from last year that just screamed "This Week, On A Very Special Episode Of Arrow"?
However, now Laurel has renewed life in her full-on Black Canary mode, kicking ass, taking names and being 35 percent less irritating than ever before. When there were the two Lance sisters gunning for a spot in Ollie's bedroom heart, she was the disposable one; now, Laurel is a key cog in the Arrow machine and a character that needs to grow.
Diggle is the sexy pick to get killed every year, and every year it becomes more and more obvious that he's likely going to be around for the long haul. Diggle's more than just Oliver's bodyguard now; he's become a hero in his own right, with his own set of morals and development, earning himself a rightful place on Team Arrow.
Oddly enough, the only reason why I think there's even an outside chance that Diggle bites it this year is just because of that: we've all grown to like him too much. If he was still just Ollie's monosyllabic bodyguard, sure, go ahead and waste him. It wouldn't have mattered. But now there's a lot to like in Diggle, and killing him would be a huge blow to fans. Still, I have a feeling the only thing dead about Diggle in season four will be his fashion sense.
It's possible, but not probable. Thea has just taken over the reins as the new Speedy/Arsenal/Red Arrow/Lady Roy, and much of the season is being built around her ascension to superhero stardom. While knocking Thea off would pack some shock value—which is why it's still in the realm of possibility—it's more likely that Thea will come out of season four just fine. Plus, the show really can't keep killing off Queens like they're Kennedys.
Malcolm went from being a shoe-in to die in seasons one and three, to becoming one of those characters that's simply gotten too interesting to lose. Of course, my newfound fondness for ol' Merl means that his odds of being offed just went up.
As the new Ra's al Ghul, it's still not clear what Merlyn's role will be in this season, but let's face it: he'll probably try to destroy Star City again at some point, right? Maybe this time there won't be a chance to fight another day. Remember, controlling the Lazarus Pitts doesn't mean a Get Out Of Jail Free card for every and any injury, and when you have someone always hell-bent on world domination, sometimes death is the only way to stop them once and for all.
Played by Neal McDonough, Damien Darhke is the new big bad for season four of Arrow, which means that he'll probably only be memory when I do this same article for season five (unless the odds aren't in my favor, either). The only way Darhke doesn't get offed is if the show really does lighten its tone as the producers have said. With Arrow becoming less dark and depressing in response to the somber plod of season three, there's a chance that death won't be lurking around every corner, which could be good news for Darhke. However, someone's got to go, right?
Captain Quentin Lance
Arrow is running out of Lances to kill, but if Laurel is safe, that means dear old dad ain't. The big question is this: how is Quentin Lance even alive in the first place? I thought the siege in season one would get him. Then I was convinced it would be Deathstroke. Then I was certain Ra's al Ghul would do him in. Somehow Captain Lance is the man that death forgot … until now.
With Oliver enjoying domestic life, Quentin and Dopey Helmet Diggle will likely team up to help keep Star City safe. However, something needs to bring Oliver back into action, and that's why Quentin is the obvious redshirt of season four. He's an older police captain just a couple years away from retirement—c'mon, there's no way this ends in anything but tragedy.
Arrow returns to The CW on Oct. 7.