Oliver Queen will be locked away with the key thrown far when Arrow returns for Season 7, and his prison sentence is going to affect quite a few people. The various members of Team Arrow are going to have some problems of their own when the show returns in the midst of Star City's anti-vigilante push. During a press roundtable at San Diego Comic-Con, Arrow stunt coordinator and frequent director James Bamford clued CinemaBlend and other outlets in on what the team members are up to in the months following Oliver's big confession:
The rest of the team will be dealing with their lives with Oliver absent, and not having a team leader, per se, and dealing with the consequences of not only what's happened when he's admitted to the world that, 'Yes, I am the Green Arrow,' but the consequences that's had on the rest of the team. Because they've all been outed as well, so you'll see how the rest of the world sort of has to handle that, and how they go on with their lives accordingly...or not go on with their lives, what have you. It's a pretty dark space without Oliver being around in his original position, I think you'll find. We're taking the show to new levels of grit right off the bat in the premiere, and some things will happen that you'll be like, 'Holy shit, I can't believe they did that.'
A world without superheroes can be a dark place, especially one that has villains like we've seen in Arrow! James Bamford appeared to allude to an overall ultimatum being set up for Team Arrow in Season 7, where each member has to pick a direction to move forward in. Vigilante or regular citizen? For example, we already know Diggle is continuing the fight through legal arms of the law like A.R.G.U.S., so it's possible other members of the team can find ways to continue crimefighting while staying out of masks and legal trouble.
Of course, vigilantism was still illegal prior to Oliver's big reveal, so it's also completely possible some members will carry on the shadow-cloaked heroism like it's business as usual. Rick Gonzalez, who plays Rene, wouldn't say too much about his character in particular in Arrow Season 7, but did speak to the group as a whole, and confirmed each hero will have to make a decision about how they choose to move forward with their fearless leader duking it out with former villains behind bars.
I don't want to tease too much about that, because I feel like that's gonna be a nice reveal for the first episode, but I think mentally, the thing to keep in mind is: obviously, being a vigilante has been outlawed. In Season 6, we've established that. So there's that dilemma, and you know, the characters have to also take that into account. And that's what I love about the show, we try to ground it as much on a real level with all the jurisdiction on the show that the characters have to adhere to -- or not. There's a lot of decisions that have to be made, especially with Oliver in prison, telling us to keep fighting. But how do we do that? How do we interpret that? So right away, I think you'll see we start to see what fighting back means, for each character.
Rick Gonzalez dropped a tease that there's something going on with Wild Dog in Arrow's Season 7 premiere, so fans likely won't need to wait long to see how that emotionally driven character is moving forward. As fans remember, Rene almost flipped and ratted out Oliver as the Green Arrow as a way to protect his family, so one would imagine he's going to do his best to keep the FBI from revoking the immunity granted to him. There are plenty of ways to do that without suiting up, to be sure, although we'd like to think Rene would much rather hit the streets as Wild Dog that than go on with whatever he's into when Arrow returns.
Head to the next page to see what stars Emily Bett Rickards and Juliana Harkavy had to say.
While Oliver is in jail dealing with many of the bad elements of his past, other members of Team Arrow are also stuck in the past. When CinemaBlend's Nick Venable asked Juliana Harkavy whether Dinah would even want to see the team back together again after the events of Season 6, here's what she said:
I think despite her inclination to want to be a loner, to do things on her own and take care of business on her own, the team gave her a family. So I think she does want everybody back together, and I think she does feel bad and guilty about what happened to Oliver. And we're better as a unit, you know? That's the other thing about her this season, I really want her to keep understanding the meaning of the team and the family.
Juliana Harkavy's quote almost makes it sound like she'll contemplate going back to that lone wolf attitude with Oliver in the clink, but she probably won't be to hard to sell on rejoining a team once again, should someone step in and encourage her. Harkavy mentioned her wish is that Dinah continues to understand the importance of team and family as the season continues, which might happen pretty quickly should as Dinah find herself in a position where she quickly needs a team to back her up.
Speaking off family, Arrow producers have already shared a lot about Felicity's mindset when Season 7 picks up, and so far, it sounds like her main goal is to be there for William and to keep him safe. The trailer definitely has us questioning whether she can do the latter successfully, although Emily Bett Rickards didn't sound too worried, making it sound like Felicity's got this parenting thing locked down when asked about her evolution as a mother figure.
I do feel like she has stepped up to the role as a mother, but I think, too, as a friend. I mean, the kid isn't so much a kid. He's lost a lot, he's grown up a lot.
If Arrow stays on the air long enough, you just know William is going to become somebody's worst nightmare, having grown up the way he has. We're just hoping he stays on the right side of the law and stays out of prison, unlike his old man has.
Arrow fans will get to see how these characters and the rest of the team handle Oliver's incarceration when Season 7 begins on Monday, October 15, at 8:00 p.m. ET. For a look at what other superhero shows are approaching, head on over to our superhero premiere guide and see what's on the way. Those looking for a more general breakdown of upcoming television shows might be better suited visiting our summer premiere guide.