In the weeks leading up to San Diego Comic-Con, excitement surrounding The CW’s duo of superhero shows, Arrow and The Flash, has reached an all-time high. Arrow has cast Brandon Routh as Ray Palmer a.k.a. The Atom, and Devon Aoki as Katana; yesterday, Entertainment Weekly revealed the first look of Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) as Arsenal.
The Flash also cast two notable characters in recent weeks: Wentworth Miller as Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and Robbie Amell as Ronnie Raymond a.k.a. Firestorm. Ahead of Warner Bros’ three-hour DC television panel hosted by Arrow star Stephen Amell - where the pilot of Gotham and The Flash will screen as well as preview footage for Arrow and Constantine - the producers of The CW’s superhero shows revealed new details about both series’ upcoming seasons. Needless to say, Flash & Arrow SPOILERS FOLLOW!!!!
In an interview with THR, Arrow executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim talked about season 3 of the show, which would delve into the question of identity - but not just the identity of Oliver Queen (Amell). Oliver’s team (and the show’s ensemble) has grown over the first two seasons, so the overarching theme will relate to all the characters, not just the titular bowslinger.
The first episode of season 3 will pick up six months after Arrow’s second season finale and will see Oliver questioning his identity early on. The season 2 finale left Starling City’s premiere playboy floundering without a family, a trust fund, and a cause for which to fight. This will be explored in the premiere episode by means of a date between Oliver and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) that should make some fans happy. Read Kreisberg’s quote:
Oliver might be catching up to how some of the audience feels in that maybe there's a life with her... This season, particularly the premiere episode, is Oliver questioning whether there's a life beyond the hood. Can he be Oliver Queen and the Arrow at the same time? One of the things about being Oliver would be what kind of romantic life he could have.
Though Oliver has never found himself bereft of a love interest -- especially so long as Felicity has been around -- that’s not the only side of his identity Kreisberg and Guggenheim will be exploring in season 3. Viewers will be treated to a lighter side of the Arrow, Kreisberg said, specifically his sense of humor:
One of the things we are doing this season on ‘Arrow’ is injecting a little more humor. It's part of the reason why we brought Brandon Routh in [as Ray Palmer]... He'll be invading Oliver's life in every aspect, whether it's his business, his personal life and possibly down the road in his nighttime activities.
However, the producers said the show won’t only focus on Oliver, Felicity, and Ray; Guggenheim explained that both Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy) and Thea Queen (Willa Holland) will be given their strongest character arcs on the show to date as they deal with the aftermath of the season 2 finale. Although the season 3 premiere will pick up months later, there will be flashbacks to what happened when Thea got into a limo with her biological father, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman).
Read Kreisberg’s quotes on Laurel and Thea’s story arcs in season 3:
At some point, if all the characters are going to become their comic book selves, they have to go through their island... This year is going to be Thea's island. How that plays out and which side she lands on will be the fun of the season. [Laurel]’s an attorney with a nice, sweet jacket. We're going to see Laurel take a few big steps toward her comic book self this season. Let's just say that Katie Cassidy is pumping iron.
In terms of the other characters on Arrow, John Diggle (David Ramsey) will be dealing with his impending fatherhood; Roy’s guilt about Thea’s disappearance will affect his relationship with Oliver; and the Hong Kong flashbacks will provide insight into Oliver’s skills as well as his relationship with Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson) of A.R.G.U.S.
As Kreisberg and Guggenheim point out, the first two seasons of Arrow have followed Oliver as he evolved from playboy to vigilante to hero, but the third season will be when the show truly hits its stride. With the Arrow’s origin story if not fully played out, then at least a little tired, the show must weave in new characters (and new origin stories) to the already established world of Starling City.