WARNING: This story contains major spoilers from the season 6 premiere of Arrow. Read at your own risk!
Arrow wasted no time in revealing who survived the island explosion from the season finale — and the results probably won’t surprise you.
During Thursday’s premiere, viewers found out pretty quickly that basically everyone survived, including Rene (Rick Gonzalez), Curtis (Echo Kellum), Diggle (David Ramsey), Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). But Samantha (Anna Hopkins) died, hence Oliver (Stephen Amell) needing to step up as a father to William. And in a bid to save Samantha’s life, Thea (Willa Holland) got caught in the explosion and has since been in a coma. Below, the members of Original Team Arrow — Amell, Ramsey, and Rickards — react to those premiere twists, including the fact that Oliver has been unmasked!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Diggle and Felicity survived the island explosion! How long had you known? And were you relieved once you found out?
EMILY BETT RICKARDS: I knew that Felicity was going to be alive. We weren’t sure who was sticking around, but in terms of story, we had a pretty good idea once we were at Comic-Con — and before that. We all talk, so we knew who was coming back. We didn’t really know the story lines of each other’s characters, but we knew we were coming back.
DAVID RAMSEY: It wasn’t quite like the Canary [Katie Cassidy] death. The Canary death, they announced at the beginning of the season that someone was going to die. There was a great scene they shot with the tombstone, we didn’t know whose name was on it. So they said at the beginning of the season that someone would be dead. That was the best behaved cast ever. We were all so f—ing cool. I don’t know how many gift baskets Marc [Guggenheim] got. But this wasn’t like that. It wasn’t quite as ominous. They let us know pretty early on what they planned on doing in terms of who was going, who wasn’t.
What kind of guilt is Oliver dealing with because of Samantha’s death?
STEPHEN AMELL: Obviously he’s feeling guilt because he sees it in the way that William is having to deal with it, but at the same time, she made him promise her that Oliver would take care of William, because she thought it was important for him to have a parent, so he’s looking at the positive of the whole thing, he’s looking at the fact that, in life, especially in a place like Star City and in the DC Universe, there are people like Adrian Chase who just literally blow everything up. You can dwell on it, or you can do the best that you can to move forward. That’s a good way to encapsulate his mindset right now. I think people will have an easier time with Oliver being content when they find out that, aside from Thea being comatose and Samantha being gone, everyone survived.
Does he have guilt over Thea’s coma?
AMELL: Interestingly enough, I don’t know a ton about that story line. When we see her in the premiere, she’s not unconscious, because if she was unconscious or if she looked as though she was clinging to life, Oliver’s reaction would’ve been very different, and Slade’s reaction would’ve been very different. In actuality, when they happen upon her, it just appears that she’s dead, like dead dead, like been dead for a minute. So her being in a coma, I don’t know where Oliver’s head is with that. In my mind, something miraculous happened on the island and Oliver having seen what he’s seen over the course of his time away and his time back, be it aliens or super speed or people flying or what have you and people resurrected, I think that whatever state she’s in, Oliver just effectively expects a miracle of some type.
What kind of PTSD will people be suffering in the wake of the events on the island?
RAMSEY: Right after Oliver and his son, probably of the team, easily Diggle is the most affected. There’s a major physical deficit that he has that we play out for a good portion of the beginning part of the season. It affects him, it affects the team and his relationship with Oliver and his wife. He gets injured, he’s injured in this whole catastrophe and he’s hiding it.
RICKARDS: In terms of affecting her, she just goes right back into the team and is hopefully trying to find her purpose in starting a company and maybe doing some good in the world again.
The Green Arrow became Public Enemy No. 1 last season, so how does that make the team’s job more difficult this season?
RICKARDS: Superheroes can wear a mask for only so long. They’re undercover already, but they have to go into super lockdown in a way. They have to try new tactics and operate missions in different ways and not everyone is going to be playing the same role.
A photo of Oliver as Green Arrow leaks in the premiere. What can you tease of how Oliver will handle that this time around versus when he got caught in season 1?
AMELL: I love the way that he handles it. We end the first episode with people being like, “Oh God, look at this, this is a photo,” and I was so pleasantly surprised to see the next episode. I come in and talk with the reporters, and one of the things that I’m enjoying doing as mayor this year, and Oliver as a character to a certain extent, is I’ve tried to up the charm factor a little bit. He should be a little more comfortable in his shoes as a public figure. He steps in and deals with the press in a very, very relaxed way. Quentin says to him, “You seem pretty good with this,” and Oliver’s like, “I’ve been here before.” In that scene, we get to do the coolest name drop that we’ve ever done not the show, which I was really fired up about. What he hasn’t counted on is the one FBI agent that will just stop at nothing to prove — Special Agent Watson [Sydelle Noel] just thinks I’m full of sh—. She is 100 percent sure. If Lance in season 1 was 100 percent sure, Special Agent Watson is like 400 percent sure that he is totally f—ing lying and that he is the Green Arrow and she doesn’t care.
RAMSEY: She makes it very difficult. She’s on it. She reminds me of this show I used to do called Dexter and this guy named Doakes was on Dexter’s cases. He eventually got killed because he was so close. I mean, no one knew it like he knew it. He pieced it all together. She’s like that; she’s really, really sharp. Does she make it difficult for the team? Very difficult.
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.