When "Arrow" returns for its fifth season this October, much of the original team will be gone. Diggle will have rejoined the military, Thea will have hung up her Speedy costume, and Laurel will still be dead. This will force Oliver to recruit a new batch of superheroes, and according to Executive Producer Wendy Mericle, Oliver will be a different kind of mentor to his new team.
Speaking recently with TVLine, Mericle said that, "The biggest difference [in Oliver this year] is he’s just more experienced. He’s older, and he’s been through more." Last season Oliver was challenged in ways he could never have imagined, as he lost one of the great loves and friends of his life, Laurel. "He appreciates more the significance of being a teacher and what that means. In terms of this universe of martial arts and fighting and training people and what that means, he’s learning there’s value in being a mentor."
In seasons past Oliver has trained both Laurel, Thea, and Roy out of necessity. Laurel began her training on her own, as did Thea. Roy needed to be trained after becoming a part of Slade's army. When they all joined Oliver's crusade, Oliver didn't have much of a choice in training them and had to grow into becoming their mentor. In season five, he and Felicity will recruit a team by choice, with the intention of raising up a new force of heroes in Star City. Those heroes will be Mr. Terrific, Artemis, Wild Dog, and Vigilante.
"Arrow" returns to The CW on Wednesday, October 5 at 8 p.m.