The Guest Stars of ‘Arrow’

Just like Arrow’s conflicted protagonist Oliver Queen, I’ve also got my own list of names; that is, a pretty epic collection of guest stars who come into Starling City and completely chew up the scenery for an episode or two. I’ve struggled with my own investment in the show, but villains of the week are usually game enough, and committed to their roles, to keep my interest alive. With the CW just announcing Arrow’s renewal, I hope to see some of these characters return (those still alive…).

Kelly Hu as China White, recurring

China White is an assassin working for the Triads, who at one point is sent to kill Laurel.

John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn, recurring

The best of the best when it comes to Arrow’s stable of recurring characters, Malcolm Merlyn is the wealthy father of Oliver’s best friend Tommy. Malcolm is the closest link in a chain that viewers have to the mystery figure pulling the strings in Starling City. Malcolm passes along instructions/threats to Oliver’s mother, Moira. When a renegade archer shows up in “Year’s End” and bests Oliver in a fight, Oliver vows to take him down. It’s revealed to be Malcolm, who seems to be the closest the show is going to get to a Big Bad this season. He also just kidnapped Walter, Oliver’s stepfather, to end his meddling and to further strengthen his stranglehold on Moira.

Kyle Schmid as Kyle Reston in “Legacies”

The son of a Queen Industries worker laid off by Oliver’s father, along with the rest of the Reston family, decide to “get what’s theirs” by becoming bank robbers. Since Kyle is all over the place (Being Human, Copper) it’s not too surprising he wandered into the Arrow world.

Tahmoh Penikett as Nick Salvati in “Muse of Fire”

The right-hand man of Frank Bertinelli, Nick kidnaps Oliver and Bertinelli’s daughter Helena, when he discovers that Helena has been attacking her father’s business partners. Like Kyle Schmid (and other actors on this list) many of these guest stars are indicative of where Arrow shoots (Vancouver); naturally, many Canadian actors or actors currently living in Canada to film other shows are available for one-off appearances on this series.

Ben Browder as Ted Gaynor in “Trust But Verify”

Ted Gaynor is introduced as Diggle’s former commanding officer. Also, he’s on Oliver’s list. Oliver believes he is part of a gang of thieves robbing armored trucks. He turns out to be the mastermind of the operation, and Oliver narrowly saves Diggle by killing Gaynor first.

Seth Gabel as The Count in “Vertigo”

A new drug has hit the streets and its creator goes by the name The Count. He supposedly earned that moniker during the experimental phase of his drug when its test subjects were found dead on the street with two puncture wounds in their necks. At the conclusion of the episode, Oliver injects The Count with Vertigo, which we can assume will make him even more insane than he already was. This is my absolute favorite performance of the season and I really hope Seth Gabel gets to come back and throw his crazy around some more.

Janina Gavankar as McKenna Hall in “Vertigo”

An old friend of Oliver’s that works as a vice cop in the police department. I thought it was fairly random for her to play such a bit part but I think she will recur in future episodes. Unlike some of the main cast, she seamlessly fits into the show’s world. That, or she just has more acting talent…

David Anders as Cyrus Vanch in “Betrayal”

A recently released criminal, Vanch immediately sets to wreaking havoc. Oliver gathers evidence to put him back behind bars but Vanch realizes Laurel’s connection to the vigilante and kidnaps her.


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About Staciellyn Chapman

Grad student at the School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University. This blog is an attempt to condense the craziness that is my TV viewing habits (with the occasional aside into film, music, and general life).

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