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Things are going to get worse for Arrow's Oliver before they get better in Season 7. The former playboy turned vigilante went to prison in the Season 6 finale after publicly acknowledging he is the Green Arrow. Now the day dawns on a new reality for Oliver Queen, as prison awaits him with further daunting truths. CinemaBlend's Nick Venable was present at Arrow's press interviews during 2018's San Diego Comic-Con where Arrow star Stephen Amell revealed how Oliver's experience in prison would affect Season 7, saying:
It's bad. Oliver's in prison with a bunch of people that he put in prison. So it's not great. We actually, you'll see in the trailer, we got some people to come back to the show that we haven't seen in quite some time. . . . The thing that I like about Oliver right now -- and if I was a viewer and I was a fan of it, it would make me mad, which is good -- in the [premiere], there's nothing about him that is heroic. And that has been really, really fun for me to play. Because he's always the "take charge, solve the problem, and save people" and that's not what he's doing in the premiere.
While Oliver deals with prison life on the inside, his wife Felicity is dealing with the repercussions of his incarceration on the outside. Arrow showrunner, Beth Schwartz, teased how Oliver's imprisonment will affect his relationship with his wife, as well as the toll it will take on Felicity, as she deals with the full impact of being married to an inmate. Schwartz said:
They're going to struggle. Because, you know, Felicity's husband is in prison, so I really want to play with the reality of that. What is it like for your husband now that his identity is outed, and her safety is in question? You know, everyone knows who she is and her son. So we're just playing with the real, and how hard that is, even without him being a superhero, but having her husband in prison. That's not gonna be great for her. Or him.
Oliver's loved ones will not be the only ones that feel the ripple effect of the Green Arrow's stint in prison. Along with the interpersonal complications, Arrow's showrunner also revealed the condition viewers would find Star City in the aftermath of the Green Arrow's absence, and the answer is not entirely surprising. Beth Schwartz said:
So, Star City is not doing well. It did not end in a great place, because Diaz basically corrupted the whole city. And then without the Green Arrow, there's a lot of crime, and [where] we start, it's not a good place to be without our hero.
Speaking of crime, Oliver will be surrounded by criminals in a completely different way than he is usually accustomed in Season 7. And he will not have access to weapons when he faces those he played a pivotal role in apprehending. So how will Oliver's prison life be explored? Arrow director James Bamford opened up on what fans could expect to see without giving away how long Oliver will actually remain behind bars. On Oliver having to hang around his opponents, Bamford teased:
The dynamics in that prison, depending on how long he stays in that prison, are very, very different from the Oliver and the dynamic that you've seen on the rest of the show previously. So it's a new element to this show that way, and it's something that you haven't seen before. And you're gonna find it really interesting. For instance, what would happen if Batman went to prison, and in the cell next to him, The Joker was just chilling, making hamburgers, or what have you. The possibilities are endless of trying to take advantage of all the situations that could and would probably arise within that sort of mythology.
From all accounts, it sounds like Arrow will be tackling some utterly different territory in its seventh season. With the veteran series venturing into prison life, there are bound to be a lot of compelling, character-driven conflicts for the season to sift through. And Oliver's incarceration could undoubtedly have long-term ramifications for many characters.
With Stephen Amell teasing some faces from the past making their return, fans will have to watch and see who ends up in the cells adjacent to Oliver's. Find out how it all plays out when the season premieres. A trailer is set to drop later today at the Arrow panel, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more coverage on the Arrow-verse as it continues to flow out of SDCC.