Last season saw Captain Lance depart the squad after it was revealed to authorities that he was being blackmailed into helping the season villain and the death of his daughter, Laurel Lance aka Black Canary. Paul Blackthorne’s Lance remains a series regular and will have a major role in season five.
Arrow received a great deal of criticism from fans in season four. Creators have noted that this is partly due to the flashbacks, which were utilized to show protagonist Oliver Queen’s emotional evolution but as they’ve gotten closer to catching up to the show, the difference between current Oliver and flashback-Oliver is almost non-existent. Another issue has been the villains. While Neal McDonough’s performance last season as Damien Darhk was strong, it didn’t carry the emotional resonance of Manu Bennett’s Slade Wilson in season two.
Another issue the show has been dealing with the past year is its female characters. Katie Cassidy’s Laurel Lance never hit home with viewers and even her final moments on the show were undermined with her declaration that Oliver was always the love of her life. Meanwhile, fan-favorite Felicity Smoak, played by Emily Bett Rickards spent the bulk of the season playing the role of Oliver’s girlfriend, and the will-they/won’t-they storylines that inevitably come out of that, instead of acting as the heart of “Team Arrow”.
Ritter is one of several characters joining the series in an effort to get the show back on track, including Josh Segarra as a new district attorney, Walking Dead‘s Chad L. Coleman as the season’s central villain, and a promotion for Echo Kellum to series regular.
With Arrow joining fellow CW series Supergirl, Flash, and Legends Of Tomorrow at Comicon in a few weeks, there will surely be more tidbits on plans for the new season.
Ritter has previously starred in the CBS comedy The McCarthys and recurred on NCIS and Freeform’s Young And Hungry.
This news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.