Everything's changing on Arrow this year. Team Arrow has gained a few more members and allies, but Oliver (Stephen Amell) has also lost all his family (and his fortune). But with nothing left to lose, Oliver will finally make a play for Felicity's (Emily Bett Rickards) heart. However, the mysterious new head of Queen Consolidated Ray Palmer (which just so happens to be the real-world alias of the superhero The Atom) isn't going to make things easy for him.
Check out everything executive producer Marc Guggenheim revealed about Oliver and Felicity's relationship, what Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) really wants and whether we'll see Laurel (Katie Cassidy) become the Black Canary anytime soon.
Now that he's lost his company and his family, what's become of Oliver's non-Arrow persona?
Marc Guggenheim: That's really the thing that Oliver is struggling with at the start of the third season. He's lost his mother. Thea's (Willa Holland) left town. He's lost his home. He's lost his company. I think Oliver is sort of questioning, "What is life like for Oliver Queen? Is there even an Oliver Queen?" That's the thing that he's wrestling with and he's trying to locate that part of his identity in his relationship with Felicity.
What can you say about Oliver and Felicity's first date?
Guggenheim: They go for Italian. I believe he orders a scotch. Felicity wears a very beautiful dress. What else can I reveal? Oliver's going to tell Felicity something he's never told her before.
They also have their first kiss!
Guggenheim: I think people will be surprised by the circumstances under which they have their first kiss because that's basically how we do things onArrow. But I think the circumstances make the kiss so much more emotional than it otherwise would be.
Now that Oliver is pursuing a relationship with Felicity, are things really over between him and Laurel?
Guggenheim: I think ever since the beginning of Season 2 when Oliver and Laurel had their conversation about Tommy's death and Oliver being away for those five months after Tommy's death. I think Oliver and Laurel are sort of in a really good post-relationship place. That's not to say they'll never get back together again. We never say never on Arrow. But I think Season 3 shows that their relationship sort of evolves. I think some of the scenes we've had in Season 3 between Stephen and Katie Cassidy are actually among the closest Oliver and Laurel have had since Season 1.
How does the fact that she knows his secret change things?
Guggenheim: That's really the fun thing for us. We now get to have scenes between Oliver and Laurel that we never got to have on the show now that she's in the circle of trust. And I think what it's done is it's really deepened their relationship because now they can really be truthful with each other about what's going on in their lives. That said, Laurel is going to keep a secret from Oliver because that's our show. Our characters keep secrets from each other.
Will we see Laurel take more steps to becoming the Black Canary?
Guggenheim: I certainly don't want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say we definitely intended Laurel to be set on a path when Sara gave her that jacket. And you have not seen the last of that jacket. This so borders on spoiler, but I think people who love Laurel's character and love the idea of her being more active in fighting crime than just being a district attorney will be really happy this year.
How is the team dynamic affected now that Roy's (Colton Haynes) a part of it?
Guggenheim: He's finding his place in this dynamic. He came into a trio and now it's a quartet. He's sort of learning how to deal with that. At the same time he's going to be dealing with some pretty heavy baggage over the course of the first bunch of episodes. There's some things that happen in the premiere that are going to resonate and stick with him for the first half of the year. And there are some chickens from last season that are also going to come home to roost for Roy. Roy's got some pretty big issues to deal with this season that are related to, but also go far beyond, his relationship to Team Arrow.
How are Roy and Oliver handling Thea's disappearance?
Guggenheim: That's something that's actually going to come to a head in the first two episodes. Suffice it to say they're both dealing with it differently. And I would suggest that's because one has more information regarding Thea's whereabouts than the other.
When will we learn what Thea's been up to?
Guggenheim: Well, in the third episode you will find out very specifically what happened once Thea got into that car because we're going to pick that scene up were we left off and see what exactly Thea said to Malcolm and what Malcolm said to her.
Are we going to see a drastically different side of Thea this season?
Guggenheim: I would say that her new associations and her new relationship with Malcom are going to change her quite significantly. I don't want to say how.
Roy is pretty headstrong. How does he take to being Oliver's sidekick?
Guggenheim: I think at the beginning of the season it's actually going pretty well. They definitely develop a mentor-apprentice type relationship and that's not not say that Roy doesn't have a lot of baggage to deal with, but things are going to happen and things are going to come to light in Episode 6 that are really going to challenge his relationship with Oliver. And Oliver's relationship with him. Its going to be a two-way street.
Diggle (David Ramsey) just found out he's going to be a dad. How will being a parent change his role on the team?
Guggenheim: This year's all about identity for all of our characters. And Diggle will definitely be struggling with, "How do I be a member of Team Arrow and be a father at the same time?" And the way he resolves that dilemma may really surprise you.
What can you say about Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) and his motivations?
Guggenheim: Ray comes in and his agenda is something of a mystery. When we first met with Brandon we explained that Ray Palmer is the kind of guy who has multiple sides to him and multiple layers and what you see is not always what you're going to get. And he's definitely going to have an association with Felicity, which should be very interesting not just for Felicity but for Oliver. He'll have plans for Starling City. He definitely comes into the show with very interesting plans for Starling City. And some of those plans he's very upfront with and others are a closely guarded secret.
Is there anything more you can say about Ray's relationship with Felicity?
Guggenheim: It's impossible not to have chemistry with Emily Bett Rickards. It's funny, people on the Internet have been shouting down just the idea of Felicity having chemistry or an attraction to anyone but Oliver. But it's pretty undeniable when you see Emily and Brandon on screen together.
The flashbacks are now going to be taking place in Hong Kong. What will they teach us about Oliver?
Guggenheim: One of the things that we've only done occasionally with the flashbacks is learn how Oliver got a significant part of his arsenal or learned a specific type of skill. And one thing we'll be seeing is how Oliver learned how to interrogate people. And by interrogate people, I mean torture.
Arrow premieres Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW.
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