As seems to be the case every year with ‘Arrow,’ the creative forces behind the show are confident that they are going to reinvent the greatness of the show, and bring it back to its epic roots this season. And while I continue to root for them to do just that year after year, I cannot help but wonder if this year they may have bitten off more than they can chew. Already we have learned that Oliver is assembling a new Team Arrow with Artemis, Wild Dog, and Mr. Terrific, but now we also have learned that his new team may have to face off against more than one major villain for the season. And apparently Oliver will be single once more, and swirling through his brooding thoughts will be the idea of legacy, and what he will be leaving behind in Star City one day. While speaking recently to IGN, Executive Producer Mark Guggenheim stated that:
“[Season 5] deals with legacy, it deals with the past, and the dramatic irony, the dramatic tension, that we get from it is Oliver’s always been a guy — admittedly, not the most self aware dude ever — but he’s always been someone who is trying to move forward. He’s always trying to evolve. The challenge for Oliver this year is how do you evolve and move forward when the past keeps grabbing at you, trying to pull you back.”
To give us some more insight into where all the characters will stand as the season begins, we fortunately have a lot of quotes and statements from Executive Producers Wendy Mericles and Mark Guggenheim on the state of each of the main characters going into Season 5 of ‘Arrow:’
Fresh off the pain of Laurel’s death, and then having most of his team retire, Oliver is on the hunt for new allies, as he knows he cannot protect the city alone.
“He’s going to have a team, so we have talked about having a team of villains, and how would Oliver get his new guys who are really rough around the edges — totally wet around the ears, not ready for this — how does he get them ready to take on really trained [enemies]?” said Mericle. “He’s very cognizant of the fact that Laurel died in this line of work and he doesn’t want that for them.”
Now that some time has passed after the break-up, she and Oliver continue to work together to run Team Arrow and protect the city, and it seems that for now, the Olicity relationship is dead.
“We’ve talked a lot about how to deal with that. We always play the true five month gap between the season finale and season premiere. And every time we’ve talked about Oliver and Felicity should talk about their feelings, we realized, wow, that feels really wrong because they’ve had five months to talk about their feelings. Any mature couple, they’ve had that conversation.”
“There’s a very Olicity-heavy scene in [episode] 5. They’re adults. At the same time, it feels a little like Season 1. I honestly don’t know how many shows have done this where you’ve gotten two characters engage, broke them up, but still kept them together on the show as partners.”
Diggle will spend at least part of the season away from his teammates while in the army, but he is still a main character and will have ties back to the main story it seems.
“With Diggle, he’ll be in the army. We’ll have storylines with him. Just because he’s gone doesn’t mean [Team Arrow] don’t want him back, or that they’re not trying. There’s definitely contact, and he’s going to have his own story in the army where he realizes maybe this isn’t the place. Maybe he’s going to have to still keep looking for these answers about how to get his sense of mortality back.”
She’s out of being a vigilante (for now), but she still works with Oliver in his mayoral office, which is a new type of role for Thea.
“She’s going to be working as Oliver’s chief of staff — the youngest, least experienced, no college degree staff in the history of Star City,” Mericle said with a laugh. This will tie back to the season’s theme of legacy, as Thea proves to have a lot of her mother’s political prowess in her. She’s really good at it. And the fun part with her is that she’s Moira’s daughter, and Malcom’s daughter, and she’s trying to be normal. Can she ever really be normal? It’s a good question. With that DNA? Yeah, who knows? She might be a little — maybe, a little House of Cards, a little Moira-esque action going on. It might be really fun.”
The actor has become a series regular, and the character will officially be on Team Arrow and will become Mr. Terrific this season, though we have yet to see how the transition will happen.
“The show has always had these weird moments of… is this going to work? And if it doesn’t work, it’s really a disaster. I think Curtis in costume as Mister Terrific is one of those moments. But what I think is so great about Echo [Kellum] is he plays it correctly as it’s Curtis. He doesn’t deepen his voice and suddenly become this badass. He’s still true to his character. It doesn’t feel like this ridiculous reach.”
Laurel’s death will still weigh heavily on him, but here’s hoping he holds himself together knowing that he still has one daughter (Sara) alive out there.
“Quentin is going to break your heart this year. He’s still dealing with Laurel and he’s going to play a role in the mayor’s office, but he’s probably at his — he’s in a dark place.”
What are your thoughts about where we find our heroes as the new season begins? Are you worried, as I am, that ‘Arrow’ is introducing too many secondary characters (again) and will not be able to have a cohesive and focused story this season? Share your opinions in the comments below!
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter (@starfro67)