By Natalie Abrams
March 28, 2017 at 12:12 PM EDT
Katie Yu/The CW
  • TV Show

When Arrow returns for its fourth season, the emerald archer has been living a peaceful, vigilante-free lifestyle — until an inciting incident in Star City forces Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) to not only return, but to also suit up as the Green Arrow. Here’s everything you need to know before watching season 2: (Spoilers ahead!)

How did last season end?

With Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) planning to annihilate Starling City with a bio-weapon, Oliver sabotaged their transport plane with an aim toward killing all the passengers — including himself. Fortunately, Ollie didn’t die. Unfortunately, Ra’s was lying about his plans. His real goal in releasing the weapon was to kill his nemesis Damien Darhk, who fled town before the onslaught. Even so, the virus is released, and Ra’s and Oliver face off in a fatal deathmatch that sees Ra’s on the wrong end of Oliver’s sword. Malcolm (John Barrowman) becomes the new Ra’s al Ghul and Oliver gives up being the Arrow to find his happy ending with Felicity (Emil Bett Rickards) outside of Starling City. Read more about that here.

What’s next for Oliver?

We basically break down the entire new season here, but in short: Oliver and Felicity are enjoying domesticity until Thea (Willa Holland) and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) arrive — seemingly interrupting what looks like Ollie’s plan to propose — and beg him to return to face new nemesis Damien Darhk (the recently cast Neal McDonough). Oliver will also be sporting a new suit in his new Arrow bunker.

Who else is coming to Star City?

New Arrow additions include Rutina Wesley as Liza Warner, Echo Kellum as Mr. Terrific, Jeri Ryan as Jessica Danforth and Elysia Rotaru as Oliver’s love interest in the flashbacks. Also, Parker Young plays Alex Davis, a new love interest for Thea. Speedy also has an unexpected connection to Lonnie Machin, a.k.a. Anarky (Alexander Calvert). In the flashbacks, Oliver will be facing off against shadowy organization Shadowspire, led by Baron Reiter (Jimmy Akingbola) — who is not a Nazi in the Arrow ‘verse.

What can fans expect for everyone else?

While Oliver has been away, Diggle (David Ramsey) has been leading Team Arrow — in his new super suit — and he’s not particularly happy when his former best friend returns. Diggle will also be itching to face-off against Damien Darhk since he’s the leader of H.I.V.E., the organization that put the hit out on his brother all those years prior.  

If you’ve seen the trailer, it’s obvious that Thea is suffering from the side effects of the Lazarus Pits — and some daddy issues. Those same pits will be used to help resurrect Sara (Caity Lotz) at the behest of Laurel, now a full-fledged hero desperate to bring her sister back to life. She’ll achieve that via the Lazarus Pits with the help of Constantine‘s titular anti-hero (Matt Ryan) — thus setting up the events of The Flash and Arrow’s annual crossover episode, which will introduce the characters from midseason spin-off Legends of Tomorrow. Get your first look at Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée) and Hawkman (Falk Hentschel) here.

Arrow returns Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Want more? EW’s Fall TV Preview mega-issue has the scoop on 115 shows! Pick up your copy on newsstands now, or buy it here.

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Episode Recaps

Billionaire Oliver Queen — under the vigilante persona of Arrow — tries to right the wrongs of his family and fight the ills of society.
  • TV Show
  • 8
  • TV-14
  • 10/10/12
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