When we last left Oliver Queen, he was locked away in prison after he confessed to Star City – and the world – that he was the Green Arrow. It felt like the close of one chapter – as Oliver’s secret identity was no more – and the beginning of a new chapter both on the show and for the show. Beth Schwartz is taking over showrunning duties, and it feels like the fresh start that this show needs to get back on track.
With Arrow set to return to Comic-Con this month, we’ve got a ton of questions following that season finale that left us wondering where this show goes from here. Now that Oliver’s identity as the Green Arrow has been revealed, what happens now? How has Oliver’s imprisonment affected those around him?
Here are five – of many – questions we want answered at San Diego Comic-Con 2018:
1. What is Beth Schwartz’s new vision for this show?
As Arrow heads into its seventh season, it’s going to get a much-needed redirection with new showrunner Beth Schwartz at the helm. One of the problems that Arrow has suffered over the past couple of seasons is that it’s lost focus when it comes to what made this show the success it was. Sure, Arrow is a superhero show. But it’s more about the man underneath the hood, Oliver Queen. And the thing that anchored Arrow at its highest point – which was season 2 – was Original Team Arrow, the dynamic between Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle. There hasn’t been nearly enough focus on that dynamic. With Schwartz having worked as a writer on Arrow in the past – and been a part of some great character-centered episodes – we want to know what her vision of this show is now. We’ll get a good sense in the first half of the season. Hopefully we can expect more character-driven stories instead of forcing characters into plot points that they want to hit.
2. How many episodes will Oliver be in prison?
The first rule when a television show puts a character – the main character – in a position where it doesn’t appear they’re coming back – be it prison or death – is that usually they’re not going to remain there for long. So while last season’s finale ended with Oliver’s imprisonment, fans know that he’s not going to remain in prison for long. This is one area in which real-time time jumps are beneficial. Because while the last time we saw Oliver was in May, the next time we see him he’ll have been in prison for a good six months. It’s not an overnight arrest here. While it’s smart and obvious to not house Oliver in prison for too long, I do hope that Arrow isn’t going to bail him out in the season premiere. Oliver needs to be in prison for a few episodes to succeed in a genuine payoff to the storyline.
3. Will Felicity get a storyline outside of Team Arrow?
Felicity Smoak is a godsend. Not only did she singlehandedly save Arrow – because this show would’ve been a dark hole without her – but she’s the complete package. She’s intelligent, gorgeous, funny, inspiring, and the perfect partner for Oliver Queen. But Arrow has been taking her for granted, as evidenced by these past couple of seasons. As an Olicity fan, yes, I love the storyline involving Oliver and Felicity’s romance. But as a Felicity Smoak fan, I yearn for a personal character arc for her that’s not related to romance. And we’ve been promised that for a couple of seasons now. Last year was supposed to be about her starting Smoak Technologies. Instead, they forced Curtis into her storyline and then did barely anything to develop that storyline. All we ask is that Felicity be treated like the female lead she is. She needs her own personal storyline to match her storylines involving Oliver and Team Arrow. There’s just so much potential and so much story to explore.
4. What does Roy Harper’s grand return mean?
Perhaps the upcoming season’s biggest news is that Roy Harper – and Colton Haynes – is making his grand return to Arrow. While my initial reaction was excitement beyond belief – because Roy was such an incredible character and his dynamic with Oliver was beautiful – I can’t help but be nervous about what this show is going to do with him. Last we left Roy, he was with the love of his life, Thea Queen, and helping her with her mission. It appeared they had their happy ending. So what does Roy’s return mean? What happened with him and Thea? Why – after four years – is Roy returning to Star City? I think the easy answer here is that Oliver has been outed as the Green Arrow, so Roy can “return from the dead.” But why is he here? Is it to help out in Oliver’s absence? Is it something else entirely? We need answers.
5. Who’s the new big bad? And please tell us Diaz is gone.
This is always a question we have headed into new seasons of every superhero show, but I believe this year more than ever it’s important given the epic failure that was Arrow’s season 6 villain. Ricardo Diaz was a complete and utter joke that the show couldn’t even kill in the finale. While I trust Beth Schwartz to be more intelligent than Diaz as a viable villain, I’m still nervous with how Arrow left Diaz alive and tried to tease that he wasn’t done. Please. Fans never deserved the atrocity that was Diaz. And please kill him before the season. Signed, Sensible Arrow fans.
Arrow will appear at San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday at 4:15pm in Ballroom 20. Arrow season 7 premieres Monday, Oct. 15 at 8/7c on The CW.