Fans of Arrow can expect a much darker show in season 7, which will be similar in tone to its first season. Such is the word from executive producer Beth Schwartz, who recently took over showrunner duties on the popular superhero series.
The continually shifting tone of Arrow has long been a source of concern. The show started out as an intense action-drama, which focused on shipwreck survivor Oliver Queen as he struggled to return to his old life while fulfilling his father Robert Queen's dying wish that he save their city from the evil that Robert had helped facilitate. The series brought in more elements from the original comics as time passed, such as Ra's Al Ghul and his League of Assassins. By the end of season 4, the show had Team Arrow fighting super-powered criminals and magic-wielding villains on a weekly basis, prompting a demand to return to more grounded territory. Apart from the annual crossovers with the other shows making up the Arrowverse, the show has remained relatively realistic since season 5, though much more light-hearted than the first season.
Related: Arrow Season 7 Comic-Con Trailer
Schwartz spoke about the upcoming season in an interview with EW. When asked to sum up the new season with a single word, Schwartz said "dark." Schwartz then elaborated: "It's tonally similar to season one. We're going back to our roots. And there's a lot of demons that are going to come out."
Said demons were apparent in the trailer for the upcoming season, which is largely focused on Oliver Queen's new life in prison, having had his secret identity as Green Arrow exposed to the world in the Arrow season 6 finale. Ignoring the problems Oliver faces being locked up with the same criminals he helped to put away, Star City itself is suffering from a crime wave in the wake of a new zero-tolerance anti-vigilante policy, that has apparently hamstrung most of Star City's other superheroes. Worst of all, the supervillain Black Siren has apparently assumed a position of authority while still posing as Laurel Lance and crime-boss Ricardo Diaz is still at large.
All that said, the biggest point of concern for Arrow-heads in season 7 is the identity of the new Green Arrow, who has apparently taken up Oliver Queen's mantle in his absence. The smart money would be on John Diggle, Oliver Queen's right-hand man, whom Oliver asked once before to take up his bow when he tried to retire from superheroism. Another likely guess is Roy Harper, Oliver Queen's protege, who is scheduled to return to the series as a regular character. Whoever the man in the hood turns out to be, he's sure to have his work cut out for him, as Arrow's seventh season opens.
Arrow season 7 premieres on Monday, October 15, on The CW.