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We had the opportunity to sit down with the cast and executive producers of Arrow at Comic-Con to talk about Season 3, and we’re grateful to report that there was a lot to talk about ahead of the third season of this excellent CW superhero drama. In fact, the roundtable interviews allowed us to compile a list of 31 things you might want to know about Arrow Season 3.
As you may have surmised already, this list does include varying degrees of Arrow spoilers, but it’s all information doled out to us by executive producers Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim, and cast members Stephen Amell, Willa Holland, David Ramsay and Colton Haynes, so most of what you find teases more than spoils. Regardless, consider yourself warned. If you don't want to know anything about what's ahead on Arrow turn back now.
1. Season 3 is all about identity. - Apparently, a number of characters will be questioning their identity. Guggenheim broke it down with each of the main characters and their identity questions:
Oliver - Can I be both Oliver and Arrow?
Laurel - Am I Laurel, or Am I my sister?
Thea Queen - Am I Thea Queen or Am I Thea Merlyn? Am I Malcolm Merlyn’s daughter or am I Moira Queen’s daughter.
Diggle - Am I a sidekick or am I my own man? Am I a crime fighter or am I a father?
Felicity - Am I Oliver’s crush object or do I have my own identity outside of that. Do I exist outside the lair?
2. ”Oliver has one woman in his life this season, and that is Felicity.”Stephen Amell said those exact words when talking about the “big things” that are going on between his character and Felicity. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re together,” he elaborated. But it sounds like all of the stuff that went down between Felicity and Oliver in the Season 2 finale (him telling her he loved her, was that real, etc?) will be addressed in the premiere. We will get “an abundantly clear picture of how they both feel about one another.”
3. Merlyn will be around a lot. - John Barrowman’s a series regular and Marc Guggenheim says he’ll appear in at least 18 episodes. But he’s not the big bad this season. “The fun of Season 3 and Malcolm’s presence in it is the unexpected ways that he’s injected into the story.”
4. The big bad of Season 3 will have a self-righteous agenda. - Marc Guggenheim talked about how their villains don’t think they’re evil. They think they’re doing what’s necessary. That applies to Slade and Merlyn, and it sounds like it applies to the big bad of Season 3, who has been revealed to be Ra's al Ghul.
5. The villain will put the whole team’s philosophy to the test. - David Ramsay told us that “In terms of this whole, we’re not going to kill, we’re going to do it the right way. All of that will be challenged this season.”
6. There will be tension between Oliver and Diggle over Diggle’s priorities - “I don’t think that Diggle is going to have a problem,” David Ramsay told us. “I think Oliver is going to have a problem with the idea that this guy’s a father and he’s risking his life every day for his crusade, which Diggle does take great offense to. You’ll see that in the first episode. Yeah, there will be some tension.” Ramsay says Oliver sees Diggle as having too much to risk.
7. Oliver and Diggle find themselves in a “spot of conflict,” Stephen Amell says, which likely builds onto the above point. Amell says it’s “Because of how much Oliver cares about Diggle.”
8. Diggle may be setting a big example for Oliver in his personal life. - “Some of the things that Oliver wants to do, you’re going to see that happen with Diggle this season. Some of those balances of his personal life and this crusade, Diggle’s going to start doing this season. I think Oliver’s going to see some of what Diggle goes through and have to make some choices as well. It’s interesting. Both these men have problems forming these relationships."
9. We’ll find a happy Oliver in the premiere - The trailer suggests that this won’t last long, but Stephen Amell talked a bit about having to smile a lot in the opening episode of Season 3. But that happiness comes at a price. Amell says in the premiere episode, “he literally sees a vision of himself that scares the shit out of him, and that colors the entire season.”
10. Oliver’s team will be using A.R.G.U.S.’s resources.”“In the second episode, the team immediately begins using A.R.G.U.S. resources,” David Ramsay revealed.
11. Lyla may not be the head of A.R.G.U.S. for long. - “Lyla is now the head of A.R.G.U.S., we’re going to see how long that lasts,” David Ramsay said. “Somebody else might be the head of A.R.G.U.S.”
12. Caity Lotz will be around in a recurring role. - “We’ve made a recurring deal for three episodes,” Marc Guggenheim explained, referring to Lotz’s Season 3 presence on the show. “But we’ve got ideas and sort of a need certainly beyond three.”
13. We’ll learn more of Roy’s back-story. - Colton Haynes said we’ll see some characters from Roy’s past come in somewhere around mid-season.
14. They want to do a flashback story that reveals how Sarah met Nyssa al Ghul and became a member of the League of assassins. From what Marc Guggenheim said, the idea would be to take Sarah from the shores of Lian Yu after the Amazo went down to when she becomes a member of the League of Assassins. “All of that is something we are absolutely determined to do, we just don’t know what episode it’s going to go in yet,” Guggenheim said.
15. Big Felicity flashback coming in Episode 5! - Greg Berlanti says we’ll be getting to know Felicity better in Season 3. And there’s another character we’ll be getting to know better as well this season.
16. More Thea and more Felicity - From what Stephen Amell says, it sounds like both women will be featured a bit more prominently this season, possibly each with their own centric episode at some point.
17. We’ll learn more about Diggle’s brother, Andy and the situation with Deadshot. - “Last year, it was revealed to Diggle that through Deadshot, H.I.V.E. was the clandestine organization that hired Deadshot to kill his brother,” David Ramsay told us. “And his brother was the mark. So whatever wonderful ideas that Diggle had of who Andy Diggle was, his brother, he was not who he thought he was. So, that will be explored. They talked about a flashback of the Diggle-Andy story. Diggle will be very fleshed out, going forward and going backwards. We’re going to see more Diggle this season.”
18. We find a changed dynamic between Oliver and Roy.Stephen Amell says Oliver and Roy are in a good spot when things pick up in Season 3. But that might not be as good as it seems because…
19. Roy will be embarking on some solo missions to “see if he’s being told the truth.”- From what Colton Haynes told us about Roy, it sounds like he’s not trusting Oliver’s team so much this season, and they might not want to trust him either.
20. We’ll get to see the rest of the scene in the limo with Thea and Merlyn. - Marc Guggenheim says we’ll get to see what Thea and Malcolm say to one another in the limo. And there’s more where that came from. According to Marc Guggenheim, “A big part of the fun of Season 3 is the mystery of where is Malcolm? What’s Malcolm up to? What’s Malcolm up to specifically vis-a-vis Thea. That’s going to be something that will roll out slowly over the course of at least the first ten episodes.”
21. Thea will be very different when Season 3 picks up - Willa Holland told us that the Thea Queen that we saw at the end of Season 2 is not the Thea Queen we see enter back in Season 3. “There is a tectonic shift in herself, pretty much,” Holland said.
22. Willa Holland is doing some serious physical training for Season 3. - Holland hasn’t trained to shoot an arrow (yet) but she is hitting the gym every day for Thea.
23. Thea and Roy will cross paths “quite a few times” in Season 3 - Willa Holland says that Thea and Roy are “obviously not in a good place. And she is obviously very mad at him.” And it doesn’t sound like Thea will be forgiving Roy right away.
24. Ray Palmer is interested in understanding how Felicity went from an I.T. person to Oliver’s assistant at Queen Industries. - “He’s particularly interested in her rise, and has some questions for her,” Greg Berlanti told us, adding that Brandon Routh’s character has a lot of chemistry with Felicity.
25. Brandon Routh will be the Cary Grant to Stephen Amell’s John Wayne. - Greg Berlanti used that analogy when talking about how tall and strapping Brandon Routh is, and how Ray Palmer can go toe to toe with Oliver.
26. Oliver finds a new home. - Greg Berlanti says Oliver will find a new place to live “soon after” the first episode.
27. Roy has an arsenal of a million weapons.Colton Haynes is doing some archery training, and it sounds like Roy has a ton of weapons to work with this season.
28. There’s going to be correspondence between Roy and Thea. — “And Malcolm’s going to find out about it,” Colton Haynes told us. Haynes was vague, but I get the sense that Merlyn’s not supportive of Thea’s relationship (or potential reconciliation with) Roy.
29. Oliver and Laurel pick up in an “incredibly good place.” - They’ll have a “you catch ’em, I cook ’em dynamic. I asked for elaboration on that, theorizing that this season, Oliver will be “catching” the bad guys, and Laurel will be making sure they’re put away. Amell said that would be a good deduction of that sentence.
30. There will be different kinds of Arrow/Flash crossovers. - Greg Berlanti said the crossovers between Arrow and its spinoff series The Flash. That might include a phone call between two characters on opposite shows, or something bigger, “where there’s villains that go across.”
31. Merlyn won’t kill Thea. - Willa Holland was telling us about Thea goes to Merlyn because he’s someone she knows she can’t trust. There’s no letdown there. He’s already let her down so much that if anything, Merlyn could make things a little bit better for Thea. “I think she trusts not trusting him,” Holland said. “It’s a nice refresher for her to not have room for heartbreak in there. She’s not going to get her heart broken from Malcolm, I think. Unless he actually kills her.” There was a pause there, and then Holland quickly said, “That’s not happening! Did not put that out there. That’s not happening!” So yeah, Thea’s not going to be killed by Malcolm.
Arrow returns for Season 3 on Wednesday, October 8 at 9:00 p.m. ET on CW.