To say that the current season of Arrow has yielded a rough year for Oliver Queen is putting it mildly. Sure, he may have married Felicity Smoak and built a relationship with his son, William, but that doesn’t change the fact that his team fractured down the center, his sister, Thea, split town for good, or that he’ll come to blows with John Diggle in next week’s episode, as evidenced by the trailer above.
So, we already know that dark days are ahead for the Emerald Archer, but according to a recent discussion that executive producer Marc Guggenheim had with Entertainment Weekly, things will get a whole lot worse before they get better:
“This season has been very much about removing all of the support structures from Oliver. One of the challenges we placed for ourselves in season 6 was we got Oliver to the end of his emotional journey in season 5. He finally moved on from the past, he was a much more emotionally complete human being. So the challenge for season 6 was: How — in a show that really, for the first five years, gained a lot of its story from the bad choices Oliver made — do we continue to make Oliver’s life difficult, but have it come from something that he’s enduring rather than the dark machinations of the soul?”
Aside from the fact that the series is no longer relying on flashbacks, that statement rings doubly true because you have one bad dude in Ricardo Diaz who’s been plotting against Oliver for at least a year, seemingly without any sort of provocation. That’s in stark contrast to guys like Deathstroke and Prometheus, both of whom had a clear beef with our hero.
As he continued, Guggenheim spoke of some of the points we touched on earlier, further hinting at the rug being pulled out from under Oliver:
“One of the things we hit upon is the idea of we spent basically season 5 building up this team and this whole support structure bringing him closer to Felicity again, bringing his son into his life, and in season 6 what you’ve basically seen, and will continue to see, is the slow degradation of all those structures. Because it’s all in service of what is probably one of the driving philosophies of this show, which is that the worse Oliver has it, the more heroic he has to be in order to overcome all of the crap that we throw at him. So that’s kind of where season 6 is headed.”
While it remains to be seen if the latest iteration of Team Arrow will ever be whole again, it wouldn’t be a bad thing if it were pared down to the original members. But, again, Thea just bounced, so the squad will still be in need of at least a few more helping hands. That said, we expect some shifting allegiances before season 6 is in the books.
Arrow airs on Thursday nights on The CW.