Come Wednesday, Team Arrow will have some brand new faces.
After the former team members all but move on with their lives, Oliver (Stephen Amell) has finally relented to training some newcomers, including Curtis (Echo Kellum), Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez), and Evelyn Sharp (Madison McLaughlin). But Oliver’s never been one for great bedside manner, so his training methods won’t be conventional during Wednesday’s episode of Arrow.
“We have a lot of fun with his methods, which we already established as: He’s really, really, really hard on people,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim tells EW. “For what it’s worth, a lot of that made for some humorous moments, but also for some really kickass action. As far as how Oliver feels about [the new team], [episode] 502 is very much an episode about how Green Arrow and how Oliver Queen feels about it are two different things. 502 is very much about reconciling the difference.”
It’s all part of Oliver reflecting on his own legacy, especially after Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) death last season. “To a certain extent, [legacy is] an element of every episode,” Guggenheim says. “Sometimes that’s really overt and in your face, and other times it’s very subtle. In many ways, this season is about Oliver trying, as he always is, to evolve, but every time he takes a step forward in his development, there’s something in his past that pulls him back — to the point where his evolution as a person is constantly fighting his past. In many ways, it’s a question of: Can Oliver grow past his past? Oliver thinks every time he’s developed or moved forward, he just hasn’t been able to.”
The premiere revealed Laurel’s last words: She pleaded with Oliver to make sure that she wasn’t the last Black Canary — that way, a part of her will always be out there with him. So, will there be a new Black Canary? “Who knows? Totally possible,” Guggenheim hedges. “I can definitely say not in the short term, and not Felicity [Emily Bett Rickards]. Various people have asked me, ‘Would you make Felicity Black Canary?’ My answer is that I wouldn’t make Felicity a masked superhero of any stripe.”
Either way, Oliver will need all the help he can get as new villain Prometheus makes himself known in Star City. “I will say that Prometheus is basically all about taking down the Green Arrow,” Guggenheim says. “In fact, you’ll see in 502 a pretty strong statement to that affect. He’s not out for world domination or even to control the city, his target is the Green Arrow. He’ll make that pretty clear by the end of 502.”
But there is one villain who may be interested in control of Star City: Tobias Church (Chad L. Coleman). “Tobias is basically going to be our antagonist for the first chapter of season 5,” Guggenheim says. “We wanted to start the year off with another kind of villain, sort of in that Brickwell [Vinnie Jones] fashion that not every villain has to be a villain-of-the-week, and not every villain has to be a big bad. We can do a recurring type of villain. I would say Tobias is very much in that mold. He’s got a plan that you’ll find out a little bit more about each week. It’ll build to a climax that ends the first chapter of season 5.”
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.