Arrow has changed dramatically since its debut in 2012. Originally meant to be a grounded, Dark Knight trilogy-style take on Green Arrow, the show has since spawned spinoffs The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, and is one piece of a world littered with superpowered people. Season 3 expanded on its comic book roots by introducing mysticism through Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Assassins, and when the show returns in October, fans will see magic playing a more important role.
During the press round tables at San Diego Comic-Con, Arrow star Stephen Amell was asked about challenges his character will be facing in Season 4, and he said it will delve more into magic both in the present day and the flashbacks. According to Amell:
So, what we are dealing with this year, and I wouldn’t say it’s as concrete a theme as we had last year, when it’s like, what’s the theme? Identity. An element that we are introducing this year is magic, mysticism, and Oliver alludes very early on this season that this is something that he has seen before, so clearly that will play into this year’s flashbacks for him, but it’s an interesting wrinkle.
Amell also added that he suspects these magical developments will affects the other major characters as well. The biggest display of magic shown during Season 3 was the Lazarus Pit, which can heal wounds, revive the dead and extend the lifespan of those who bathe in it regularly. Now it looks like mysticism will being playing a key role in the next season, which means fans will be seeing a lot of other weird happenings. The new players being introduced in Season 4 include Anarky, Mr. Terrific and the organization H.I.V.E., led by Damien Darhk. Aside from Darhk stealing some of the Pit’s water for himself, none of these characters are “magical” in the comics, so it remains to be seen just how the show will expose Team Arrow, though Malcolm Merlyn’s nickname “The Magician” seems more apt now.
As for the comments about Oliver Queen seeing magic before, the only hint we’ve gotten so far about the eponyomus protagonist being familiar with the unusual phenomena is him being knowing about the League during Season 2. When we left flashback Oliver in the Season 3 finale, he chose not to return to Starling City in fear of his family and friends seeing his dad side, and instead got on a boat departing for Coast City. Whether he makes it to that destination or ends up somewhere else, evidently the subsequent events will introduce Oliver to aspects of our world that can’t be explained by science.
It’s worth noting that shortly after the NBC series Constantine was cancelled, Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim mentioned that there were discussions about including John Constantine on the show. Even though Constantine is now officially dead, maybe they could take another look at these ideas and bring on the chain-smoking conman in some capacity. If anyone would be of invaluable assistance helping Oliver and the gang deal with otherworldly forces, it’s him.
Arrow Season 4 will debut on Wednesday, October 7 in its normal timeslot on The CW.