Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Wednesday’s episode of Arrow. Read at your own risk!
Oliver Queen saved the day once again — this time as mayor.
After a shooter targeted City Hall during Wednesday’s episode of Arrow, Oliver (Stephen Amell) needed to use his power as the mayor, not as the Green Arrow, to save his city. Oliver was successful in pleading with the shooter, who had taken his anger out on Star City’s government for failing to pass a gun safety law after his family was killed in a shooting. Ironic, yes, but will the shooter’s actions impact Oliver’s opinion on killing moving forward?
“One of the things you’ll see in the second half of season 5 is the gray area becomes a lot more gray,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim says. “We’re really delving into the complexities of Oliver being a killer in a way that we’ve never done on the show before.”
Whereas past seasons have been very black-and-white when it comes to Oliver’s decision to kill his enemies — it’s been his modus operandi to take no prisoners for most of the series — this season will explore the reasons why. “In many ways, Oliver killing is the seminal moral quandary of the show,” Guggenheim says. “One of the things we are doing in the back half of season 5 is really getting underneath that and what that means, not just in terms of morality, but in terms of psychology — specifically Oliver’s psychology. There’s things about Oliver’s killing that you have yet to learn.”
By hour’s end, Oliver enacted a gun safety law — the details of which aren’t expressly revealed — but don’t expect those new regulations to necessarily change Team Arrow’s operations moving forward. “Oliver’s decision to kill or not to kill has huge moral implications not just for him, but for the team and the people who work for him,” executive producer Wendy Mericle says. “But for the rest of the season, we’ll definitely be exploring the ramifications of that decision — not necessarily with regards to the gun control laws now that they exist, and what does that mean for the team when they’re out in the field, but definitely in respect to Felicity [Emily Bett Rickards] and to some extent Curtis [Echo Kellum] as well, with what they’re going through. How do they square their own circles morally with the actions that they’ve taken?”
Regardless of the new laws, Oliver & Co. will face opposition very soon. “In the very next episode, Team Arrow is going to come up against the police for a very different kind of reason,” Guggenheim teases. The logline for next week’s episode reveals that the SCPD targets the Green Arrow for the murder of Detective Malone, which should make things very interesting considering Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy) has just joined the police department.
“Dinah offers this fresh perspective to the team,” Guggenheim says. “In many ways, she’s kind of acting like our Greek chorus. She comes to the team without the burden of having been trained by Oliver and without the burden of dealing with all of Oliver’s secrets — and in some cases, in previous seasons, lies and mishegoss. So she just has a nice, clean perspective that isn’t so much about where she’s living as it is about what she’s been through and her backstory. But her backstory also is not being someone who was a member of Team Arrow, who comes to the team without the baggage of the past four seasons.”
Little does Oliver know, being targeted by the SCPD may be the least of his worries. After all, his girlfriend Susan (Carly Pope) not only uncovered Ollie’s connection to the Bratva but now suspects that Oliver could actually be the Green Arrow. What she’ll do with that information, however, remains to be seen. “It seems like the general prevailing theories about how we’re going to pay that subplot off are wrong,” Guggenheim says. “Everyone’s expecting something we’re not doing, for better or for worse.”
Oliver also has to contend with the growing threat that is Prometheus, with Arrow planning to explore more of the Big Bad in next week’s hour. “Episode 14 is this fulcrum where a lot of the little seeds that had been planted in the first half of the season start to come to fruition, and you start to realize that, ‘Oh, Prometheus has been setting up a chess board,'” Guggenheim says. “The episode ends with the next key move in Prometheus’ grand plan.”
As for when viewers will find out who’s actually under that mask, Guggenheim notes the reveal will come “later than we typically do,” though declined to be more specific about Prometheus’ identity. “Anytime we do a reveal on the show, it’s always with the intention of not just surprising the audience, but also of resetting the board and resetting the characters’ perspectives, and the characters having a profound reaction to things,” he continues. “Hopefully, we’ll do that again. … I feel good about what our game plan is.”
And that game plan has been in place since the start of the season — at least as it pertains to knowing Prometheus’ identity. “Yes, we knew from the beginning,” Guggenheim says. “No, it hasn’t changed. I think I’ve said this in a bunch of different ways over the last five years, but we always go in with a plan. We do tend to call audibles as we get inspired and get new ideas. A year is a long time. But generally speaking, something that major, like the mystery of the identity of the Big Bad, we’re pretty dialed into it from the jump.”
Despite whatever Prometheus has planned for Oliver, the producers seem relatively positive that, in his new position as mayor, Oliver may actually not fail this city. “Thea’s [Willa Holland] gonna make a good case to Oliver, of all people, for all the things he’s accomplished as mayor, and you start to see like, ‘Oh wait, in the first 13 episodes, he actually kind of did some stuff.’ And he’s not done yet. Obviously, the season’s not done yet, but we definitely went into the season with the goal of showing that Oliver is actually much better at this job than you might expect.”
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.