Season 7 of Arrow will "push the limits" of what can be shown on network television. A scene in an episode of the upcoming season was so intense that censors needed to be called in. Arrow has always been the most violent of all four Arrowverse shows, as the series is known for its dark tone and brutal fight scenes. Season 7 is expected to be even grittier than usual.
The show's sixth season ended with Oliver Queen publicly outing himself as the Green Arrow and turning himself over to the FBI in exchange for their help in taking down Ricardo Diaz. As a part of his deal with the FBI, the rest of Team Arrow was left alone so that only Oliver would be incarcerated. Oliver was sent to a supermax prison and may remain there for quite some time.
In an interview with Newsarama, longtime Arrow stunt coordinator James Bamford, who will be directing the season 7 premiere, talks about how a certain scene led to a meeting with the network's censors. Bamford explains that their goal is to "push the limits on the show in the gritty factor," and discusses the challenges of doing a show like Arrow on network television:
We are trying to go as far as you can go within the confines of our network and what is expected of us and what we can and can’t do. We are not on Netflix so we will never be able to X, Y, and Z, but we are damn sure going to try.
It's certainly true that Arrow has a lot more restrictions in terms of what it can do with violence on The CW than shows on Netflix, like Daredevil. However, this has never stopped the series from pushing the boundaries in the past. Previous episodes have shown plenty of vicious, bloody battles and other intense sequences that are incredibly rare on network television. The season 5 premiere featured a particularly violent scene where Oliver ruthlessly killed all of his enemies to protect his secret identity. This was the beginning of a new era for Arrow, as it was the moment when Oliver abandoned his strict no-killing policy that he took up in the beginning of season 2.
Considering everything that Arrow has shown over the course of six seasons, it's worth wondering what more the series can do to "push the limits" that hasn't already been done on the show. Chances are, it has something to do with Oliver's current situation. While in prison, Oliver will encounter familiar faces who he helped put behind bars, which will most certainly cause problems for Oliver in the near future. Stephen Amell has already talked about taking a beating during filming. Living in a supermax may prove to be a constant, brutal fight for survival for Oliver Queen in season 7.
Arrow season 7 premieres Monday, October 15 on The CW.