It's bittersweet knowing that every step closer we get to the premiere of Arrow's final season is one step closer to the end of the show. Saying goodbye will no doubt be heartbreaking, but star Stephen Amell is excited and pleased with how the final season came together.
"I think that the writers, along with certainly me this year — we've been having a lot of fun," Amell told TV Guide of Season 8, which not only has a shortened episode order but will also incorporate some pretty crazy "event episodes" that will throw fans for a total loop. "I am happy with the number of ... loose ends we tied up ... [and] the amount of closure that Oliver gets."
This has been a tough season to film though. "We've effectively been like a traveling road show this year," explained Amell. "One episode we're here, then the next episodes we're here, and the next episode we're there, and everyone's worked so hard. I feel like we are finishing ... stronger than we've ever been on the show. That's been my favorite part."
Showrunner Beth Schwartz echoed Amell's "traveling road show" comparison at a recent press screening of the Season 8 premiere, telling reporters, "In our upcoming episodes, we visit places that we've gone to in our previous season. So they'll take place in different locations. I think we only have, like, maybe one or two episodes actually in Star City."
That's fine though, because according to Amell, one of the season's most exciting episodes actually happens to be one of the episodes that takes place in Oliver's hometown. "I'm looking forward to the audience reaction to Episode 804. [It's] really cool, really emotional, and it's actually the only episode this year where I feel like the team doesn't go anywhere," Amell said. "I feel like in every other episode we go somewhere, but Episode 804, we are parked in Star City."
Watching an entire season of Oliver bopping back and forth will no doubt be fun for the audience, especially when it comes to guessing where the storyline will take him and the team next. It's safe to say we'll return to Hong Kong since "Welcome to Hong Kong" is the title of Season 8's second episode, but we're guessing that trips to Nanda Parbat, Russia, and hopefully even Central City will be on the agenda.
But one place you probably shouldn't expect Oliver to visit, however, is that little log cabin where Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and baby Mia are camped out. There's still no confirmation that Rickards will be back for a cameo (though hope springs eternal of course), so the writers had a difficult time figuring out how to keep her out of sight but not out of mind.
"I wouldn't say it's easy. It was very weird... especially writing the first script without her. It was sad," Schwartz said of Felicity's absence. "I love writing her character and always miss writing for her. We just had to creatively come up with a way of keeping her still there without seeing her, and that's sort of what we've done all season."
Arrow Season 8 premieres Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 9/8c on The CW.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)