Though Oliver fell to his supposed death in Arrow’s midseason finale, Stephen Amell was on hand for The CW’s “The Heroes and Villains of Arrow and The Flash” panel at the Television Critics Association’s winter TV previews. Does this signal that Ollie actually survived his fall after being brutally stabbed by Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable)?
“[He has] fallen,” Amell tells EW. “I can give fans hope that they like the show because of the actors in it but also because of the people that are creating it. They would do well to be patient and have faith in that team.”
During the panel, Amell added that he learned the outcome of Ollie vs. Ra’s before season 3 commenced. “I personally love when there’s adversity for the protagonist and we give other characters on the show the opportunity to … come more into leading roles,” he said. “If we don’t give other characters the opportunity to shoulder the load, then we give viewers nothing to attach them to. I’m excited for everyone’s opportunity.”
Black Canary (Katie Cassidy), in particular, will be stepping up in a huge way as she fills the void. “I’ve been waiting for this to happen,” Cassidy said of suiting up, though noting that Laurel really had to earn it. “She goes from avenging her sister to honoring her sister to becoming her sister.”
With that being said, Laurel isn’t the only one suiting up when the show returns. Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) will be joining the fray, though he’s “on a slightly different track than the other members of Team Arrow,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim says. “One of the things that has always been part of the design of season 3 is that there would be more and more costumed characters populating Starling City. Oliver started off as just one man and he never envisioned all these other people being part of that plan. He thought he would be a solo act. Part of what he experienced this year was seeing the crusade grow beyond him.”
Before the panel, David Ramsey also revealed to EW that Diggle will be suiting up in the Arrow costume in Oliver’s absence—likely in a bid to keep Starling City safe. “Blarrow returns!” he jokes. “Don’t call it a comeback.”
Arrow returns Wednesday, Jan. 21 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.