Of course it will be sad to see Oliver locked away from everyone he loves, but on the other hand, it does present a lot of new possibilities for other characters' storylines. Diggle (David Ramsey) will obviously have to contemplate putting the hood on again and taking up Oliver's mantle. New Team Arrow could (and probably should) finish reconciling with Original Team Arrow to fight crime together again. Even Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) will have a new storyline to explore given he'll return full time for Arrow Season 7.
The character whose story we're most excited to see develop in the wake up this change is Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). Now that her hubby is locked away and she's a single parent, there's an endless number of directions her life could take. One storyline fans are hoping to see happen next year is an Olicity baby, but Emily Bett Rickards is on the fence about it.
"I don't know if I would be interested in exploring that storyline right now with Felicity," Bett Rickards tells TV Guide. "I feel like she deserves a little something more than that, and I don't want that to be taken the wrong way. I'd just be interested in seeing her, I don't know, like, deal with a villain face-to-face for a consistent number of episodes?"
In truth, giving Felicity a big villain to deal with would probably be heaven for Felicity fans, given how great the response was to a storyline back in Season 3 that explored her backstory via an old flame turned villain. Plus, a villain who doesn't have beef with Oliver but a totally different team member might be refreshing.
Another option, of course, is the much-anticipated Smoak Technologies storyline that Arrow has yet to pay off.
In an episode of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, the Legends traveled into the future where Palmer Technologies had been renamed Smoak Technologies by Felicity, who had taken over his company after his "death." Some fans have taken that as an indication that Smoak Tech will eventually make its way into Felicity's story on Arrow.
"Because it's been teased in a future world in one of our universes, it's definitely a possibility," Bett Rickards said of the storyline's eventual inclusion. "But it also is one of those things where we don't have to do it. I think it would be extremely enjoyable to see what's next there. Like is Helix Dynamics going to spur Smoak Tech? What are they going to do with it? What would be their goal, what would be their journey, what would be their purpose? I think that would be an interesting conversation, and it's what Curtis (Echo Kellum) and Felicity are sort of trying to do with Helix Dynamics."
While Curtis probably might not be on board with giving Felicity's name to their shared company, he might be on board with Holt & Smoak Tech instead? And given how much fans adore Curtis and Felicity's adorable friendship, we doubt they'd mind it either.
Whatever course Felicity's story takes, Bett Rickards assured us that the writers will do it "brilliantly," and that's good enough for us!
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.
(Full Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)