When you’ve been a superhero with a secret identity for as long as Oliver Queen has been on Arrow, it was only a matter of when that secret identity was going to be outed. But while other heroes’ real identities being revealed might garner a more positive public response – for example, Barry Allen on The Flash – when Oliver Queen admitted to the world that he was the Green Arrow, he was locked away.
Now, Oliver finds himself torn away from the people he loves and the city he loves. And you could say that his fellow inmates aren’t exactly throwing him a welcome party.
“Oliver’s in prison with a bunch of people he put in prison,” Stephen Amell told us during a roundtable interview at San Diego Comic-Con.
Suffice to say, things aren’t ideal for Oliver. Not only does he have to contend with the baddies that he locked away looking for some payback, he’s also been away from his family and his team, which presents a different kind of pain: emotional pain.
So when we find Oliver again – some six months after he was locked away in a Supermax – naturally we’re going to meet someone that has had to deal with his circumstances and has been forced to change in order to survive another hell.
“In the (season premiere), there’s nothing about him that’s heroic,” Amell said. “It’s kind of the opposite of that. And that’s been really fun for me to play because he’s always been this take charge, solve the problem, save people. And that’s not what he’s doing in the premiere.”
This is nothing new for Oliver, who’s had to deal with hell after hell and found himself staring down the darkest part of himself to find a way to survive. Only now, he’s not just fighting to survive for himself and Star City. Now, he has a family. He was a wife. He has a son. And their livelihood both emotionally and physically – especially with Ricardo Diaz still on the loose – depends upon him.
It’s only a matter of time before Team Arrow finds a way to clear his name or break him out. And when they do, it’ll be interesting to see how Oliver adapts, yet again, to a rapid switch between two completely different environments.
Watch our interview with Amell below, where he also discusses the introduction of Batwoman into the Arrowverse and teases shirtless workout scenes in prison.
Arrow season 7 premieres Monday, Oct. 15 at 8/7c on The CW.