As we inch closer and closer to Arrow‘s season 4 premiere, the more we get and learn about what’s already beginning to feel will be the show’s best season yet!
TVLine has unveiled some new spoilers courtesy of Arrow executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle for each of the show’s central characters, including Oliver, Felicity, Diggle, and Thea among others.
While the past five months have been domestic bliss for Oliver with girlfriend Felicity Smoak, season 4 will also find Oliver working on rebuilding his strained relationship with Diggle. But it won’t be an easy and it won’t be quick.
“One of the things we’re really excited about in the first half of the season is, how does Oliver win [Diggle] back?” Mericle said. “When they meet again at the top of Season 4, it is frosty. It is not good. In the past, Oliver would have been very defensive and maybe written Dig off or really defended his position. What’s interesting now is that he’s in a different place. He’s happy with Felicity. He’s more willing to say, ‘Maybe I made some mistakes.’ Their reconciliation, how they get there, is going to be a bumpy ride. It’s not going to be fully resolved.”
One of the things we’ve been dying to know following the and of season 3 was regarding Felicity’s stance in Palmer Technologies. We saw Ray Palmer sign the company over to her, and now we have confirmation that Felicity is not the CEO and will be running the company, which will provide its own set of challenges for our beloved IT girl.
“She’s no longer just the IT girl or Vice President under Palmer,” Mericle said. “She’s the full-blown CEO, and it’s an opportunity to really see that character grow up and be challenged in ways we haven’t seen before.”
While John Diggle was sidelined last season, it’s finally going to be Diggle’s year in season 4 (#YearoftheDiggle). We’ve gotten teases about Diggle’s involvement in the H.I.V.E. storyline that will feature prominently this season, as H.I.V.E. was the organization that had Diggle’s brother Andy killed.
There’s definitely a connection between Andy and H.I.V.E. that “is going to be a huge piece of Dig’s story and will really take up most of his emotional arc for the season,” Mericle said. “He wants answers. He’s up against some pretty bad guys. But he’s going to get them.”
It sounds like Thea is going to have a similar dilemma that her brother Oliver had to go through last season, which is how to be a hero and have a normal life. Thea has a new love interest, where Thea “is going to have the challenge that Oliver had in the first season of, she’s now a superhero and she wants to have a normal life. She’s got this guy. How does she balance both of those things?”
Said Mericle of Parker Young, “It’s still going to be dark and gritty, but he’s one of those places [where] we’re bringing [humor] in.”
Season 4 will find Laurel “fully arrived as Black Canary” as she focuses on both her day and night jobs. But don’t expect too much from he personal life, as Mericle revealed that there aren’t plans to bring on a love interest for Laurel.
“I think there’s some virtue in having a female character on the show who’s not necessarily involved with a man,” she said. “She has a lot of business to deal with in terms of her sister [Sara] and also finding a new relationship with Oliver now that Felicity is in the picture…. It’s more [about] her finding her place on the team.”
Let us not forget that Malcolm Merlyn is now the new Ra’s al Ghul and leader of the League of Assassins, and season 4 will find him heavily involved in that. But EP Marc Guggenheim said that he’ll “get back into the hood for Episode 3.”
It’s no secret that Quentin Lance’s distaste for costumed crime fighters was a huge part of his arc in the latter half of last season. That’s something that will continue in season 4 as he’s still “very opposed” to those costumed heroes, as “he still traces back every bad thing in Starling City to Oliver’s arrival and the arrival of the masks.”
But with Damien Darhk’s arrival, Lance will see “how dire the straits are for the city, he’s going to start to see them as a necessary evil, something that he doesn’t love or embrace but recognizes might be the only answer to saving his home.”
From everything that we’ve learned so far about Damien Darhk, one thing has been clear: he is not like the villains of Arrow seasons past. Unlike those villains, Darhk will not be “hiding in the shadows,” Guggenheim said. “He truly enjoys being evil, he enjoys the power that he wields.”
But where does Darhk rank on the physical combat front? “He can definitely kick your ass, but he can do it in a different way than” those other villains, Malcolm, Slade or Ra’s al Ghul.
Thanks to a little show called DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, we knew months ago that Sara Lance would be returning to the land of the living. We later found out that her resurrection would happen on Arrow — and with the help of a certain Hellblazer, one John Constantine. “He is somebody who has the ability to go into that other world and more or less find her,” Mericle said.
But seeing as Sara’s been dead for a year, what prompts this resurrection? It’s actually a who?
“You probably don’t have to work too hard to do the math on who’s closest to her, who loves her the most and who would be the most invested in having her [return],” Mericle said. “Obviously, her family is first and foremost in that. What’s going to be interesting about it is that even when she comes back,” her sister Laurel and father Quentin “will have very different reactions to [her] presence.”
If there’s one character we want to see more of it’s Diggle’s other badass half, Lyla. When we begin season 4, Lyla will “have a new place of employment,” Mericle said. “There are going to be things that happen that motivate her to maybe not return to A.R.G.U.S., but certainly to take up the mantle and come back into the fight.”
On the relationship front, Lyla and Diggle are “solid,” Mericle said. “Oliver and Felicity might go through some ups and downs this season, but Lyla and Dig, they’ve seen it all.”
Arrow season 4 premieres Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 8/7c on the CW.