Now under new management with showrunner Beth Schwartz at the helm, The CW’s first superhero drama is undergoing some massive changes in season seven. How will that affect the characters and story?
Welcome back to The Hollywood Reporter‘s weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on the small screen. Every Saturday, we round up the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries and anything else that goes down on The CW’s Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Black Lightning, and Fox’s Gotham. Note: The Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Gotham, Legends of Tomorrow and Black Lightning have wrapped for the season.
Burning questions for Arrow season seven
Will the series take on a new tone or feel this season? | With executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle stepping down at the end of season six and new showrunner Beth Schwartz taking the helm of Arrow, things are changing behind-the-scenes in a big way. But what does that mean for the actual series onscreen? Will Schwartz’s transition be seamless, or will she make a big splash and change or refresh things right away? Seven years in, a little reset wouldn’t be a bad idea.
How much longer will Arrow run? | With Guggenheim’s exit, along with original series regulars Paul Blackthorne and Willa Holland leaving the series this season, the only remaining players left from the series premiere are Amell and David Ramsey (Emily Bett Rickards’ Felicity joined in episode two). Is Arrow reaching the end of the line, or is this season going to serve as a new beginning for the show? An influx of new characters was attempted before with the new recruits to a mixed response, so what other ways will the show try to reinvent itself moving forward?
Oliver’s officially come out as the Green Arrow. What’s next? | In a surprise twist, exiting executive producer Guggenheim dropped the mic on his way out by introducing the storyline he’s always envisioned for the series since the very beginning. Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) publicly confessed to being the Green Arrow, was arrested by the FBI and locked up in prison with all the criminals he helped put in there. And now that he doesn’t have his secret identity to hide behind, it’s going to be open season on the vigilante. How long will Oliver remain behind bars? How much danger is he in, presuming that the series doesn’t want to kill off its star in the first few episodes of season seven?
How will Oliver’s decision to confess change the lives of his family? | Oliver didn’t think things through before making his decision to come out as the Green Arrow. He only thought about how it would affect him, but what about his wife Felicity and son William (Jack Moore)? How will their lives change now that everyone knows her husband and his father is the Green Arrow? Will they grow to resent Oliver for making this unilateral decision without their input?
What long-term effects will Lance’s death have on everyone? | By the end of the season six finale, Blackthorne’s exit from Arrow was explained away by killing off Quentin Lance. He was given a heroic death, shot by the season’s big bad Ricardo Diaz aka The Dragon (Kirk Acevedo). Obviously this will have huge ramifications for his “daughter” Earth-2 Laurel (Katie Cassidy) since she flip-flopped all season working for the good guys and the bad, and definitely had more than a little to do with Lance’s death. Will this be the catalyst Laurel needed to finally become one of the good guys? Or will she break bad permanently due to the guilt of what happened to Lance, and knowing that she accidentally helped her father’s murderer escape custody?
Will Diaz return to fight another day? | In a major departure from the usual state of affairs for Arrow finales, this season’s big bad actually survived his final showdown with the heroes. Diaz is still alive as of now, and his mention of the Longbow Hunters indicate that Team Arrow hasn’t seen the last of him. In the comic book “The Outsiders War, Book 6: Spoils of War,” the Longbow Hunters were created and led by Diaz, which is likely how Arrow will adapt it for the small screen rather than the original comic book miniseries from the ’80s. In the comics, the Longbow Hunters included Count Vertigo, Clock King, Brick, Red Dart and Killer Moth, but expect Arrow to change up the roster as most of those characters have already been introduced on the series.
With Colton Haynes’ returning as a series regular, what does that mean for Roy and Thea? | On the heels of losing so many series regulars, Arrow is repopulating the ranks by bringing Roy Harper back. But since he just left Star City (and the series) for good only a few episodes ago to help tell the story of Willa Holland’s exit as Thea, what does that mean moving forward? How will Arrow explain Roy’s sudden reappearance in town? Since Roy left with Thea with the mission to destroy all the remaining Lazarus Pits in the world, did something go wrong? Why is he returning without Thea?
Who will take up the Green Arrow mantle? | With Roy’s name finally being cleared now that Oliver has outed himself as the real Green Arrow, will Roy don the hood once more? Or will Diggle finally get to live out his dream as the Green Arrow after Oliver gifted him a new GA suit? Or will Arrow go the extremely surprising route and retire the hood once and for all now that Oliver has destroyed his secret identity? It’s not like Diggle or Roy could safely roam the streets at night wearing the hood anymore thanks to Oliver’s decision to come out. What would Arrow even look like without any appearances from the actual Green Arrow?
Will Sara return for more weird “sister” scenes with Laurel? | When Lance died, luckily someone remembered that it would be a good idea to send Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) a message letting her know what was happening. She arrived at the hospital just in time to share an incredibly weird but fascinating meeting with her “sister” from another Earth, Laurel. They’re not actually sisters, but they both clearly felt something seeing the other standing in front of them. Despite Sara leading her own series on Legends of Tomorrow, it would be incredible to see more scenes of the Lance women together on either show, so hopefully this is one dynamic that gets explored further next season.
Gotham will return for season five on Fox. Supergirl will return for season four, The Flash will return for season five, Arrow will return for season seven, Legends of Tomorrow will return for season four and Black Lightning will return for season two, all on The CW.