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Arrow: Will Oliver turn dark after Felicity's shooting?

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Katie Yu/The CW

In the wake of Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) being shot in the Arrow midseason finale, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is determined to put a stop to Damien Darhk’s (Neal McDonough) nefarious plans — but will Ollie revert to his old ways of killing criminals in the process?

“He’s going to pull out all the stops,” executive producer Wendy Mericle tells EW. “We’ll see him in real fire and brimstone. The gloves are off. It’s eye for an eye. He’ll stop at nothing.”

While the team will attempt to rein him in — “I don’t think any of them are going to let him fully revert to the darkest of dark places that he’s been,” Mericle says — Oliver will struggle with falling back into old habits. “We haven’t seen Oliver really fall in love on the show before,” Mericle says. “He really is in love with her, so this is a huge event that’s happened in the midseason finale. He’s definitely made big steps toward changing and becoming a new kind of hero, but the fact is, he’s still got those years of living on the island in the darkness and those tendencies inside him. We’re really going to explore the question: Can people change? We’re excited to explore that through the prism of Oliver.”

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Speaking of the island, the Oliver of the past faces a new challenge after Conklin (Ryan Robbins) discovered that Taiana (Elysia Rotaru) is actually still alive in the fall finale. “Oliver’s cover has been blown,” Mericle says. “The most fun part of the flashbacks is the dynamic between him and Conklin. We’re really going to be seeing those chickens come home to roost. Oliver’s going to make enemies, not just with the guards, but with the prisoners as well. He’s going to find himself without a lot of friends going forward in the flashbacks.”

As for the big question of the hour — what’s Felicity’s fate?! — Mericle teases, “She’s obviously been through a hugely traumatic event. She’s faced with a lot of challenges, not just physical, but emotional as well. She’s got the team rallying around her.”

Arrow returns Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.