Oliver is all locked up at the start of Arrow Season 7, and his time in the clink will have a noticeable impact on the series. Star Stephen Amell is hoping the stint will have a similarly noteworthy impact on Oliver himself once he gets out. He spoke out about his hopes for the character once Oliver is back out in Star City proper, noting,
I think that not everything is black and white; there is a middle ground. Even at his best, he had a tendency to be very dictatorial. He hasn't really understood the psyche of a criminal. So hopefully he comes out with a better understanding of the types of people he's dealing with. And hopefully that helps him, if he gets out, be a better person, a better hero.
Oliver Queen has largely chilled out since his judge, jury, and executioner days in Arrow Season 1, but Stephen Amell still thinks his character could further improve his perspective. Understanding criminal psyches will help him understand their motivations, and will perhaps help him gain a bit of empathy for some of the lower-tiered villains he'll face.
That doesn't seem so likely, based on the prison brawls we've seen the hero getting in thus far,. However, Oliver could very well find at least one bad guy on the inside who had a rough break that changes his perspective.
In terms of becoming a better hero, Oliver could certainly benefit from examining how a criminal thinks and operates. Understanding each villain's motives and intentions will definitely help him improve his already sharp instincts. He'd also presumably be more efficient at staying one step ahead of those people wishing to inflict harm in Star City. Oliver's going to need whatever edge he can get when he finally gets out, especially since every bad guy in town now knows his secret identity.
Stephen Amell told Variety that he's been successfully pitching other ideas to the Arrow writing staff, so Oliver's post-prison stint could very well match the actor's hopes. Amell didn't go into specifics about any of the other pitches he brought up, but did mention they involved "the nature of the prison" and Oliver interacting with a specific character.
Arrow returns to The CW for its new night and time on Monday, October 15, at 8:00 p.m. ET. Keep up with every show returning and making a premiere over these next few months by visiting and bookmarking our fall premiere guide.