Since the show's inception, Arrow has frequently raised the question of the duality of a superhero's life, and the ability for that superhero to have a steady romantic relationship. The character who has remained at the center of that the most is the Green Arrow himself, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). As the show has evolved, Oliver has shifted from a notorious party boy in early season one flashbacks, to someone in search of a more serious relationship in the show's later seasons.
Arrow's executive producer, Marc Guggenheim, addressed Oliver's recent journey with that dilemma, particularly with regards to the show's fourth season.
While Oliver began the season in a bubble of domesticity with Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards), with Oliver ready to propose to her, their romantic relationship was broken off over the course of the season. "I think the thing that season four really showed," Guggenheim explains, "was [that Oliver] went into Season Four thinking you can have everything and then by the end, he realized that maybe he was wrong."
Guggenheim tied that storyline to the recent separation between Curtis Holt/Mr. Terrific (Echo Kellum) and his husband, Paul (Chenier Hundal), in the mid-season finale. "I would say that certainly, the break-up with Felicity and Paul's break-up Curtis would prove that idea or it would prove that point, that maybe it's not possible to have this life and also be with someone."
However, Arrow's treatment of this question does not universally apply to the other superheroes of the DCTV universe. "At the same time, Barry Allen is able to have a very good relationship with Iris. And Diggle has a great relationship with Lyla," Guggenheim pointed out. "So I don't know if it's a binary thing."
With regards to Oliver, however, that balance between his vigilantism and his personal life is not entirely out of the question. As Guggenheim explained, the question is "something that we obviously deal with on the show and we always dealt with on the show. And depending upon what's going in that season, the answer is different."
This has particularly been true in season five. In the first half of this season, Oliver has sparked a relationship with reporter Susan Williams (Carly Pope), one that Guggenheim says the show will further address. "Oliver's trying to make things work with Susan, as we saw in the big midseason finale."
The other way this question has been addressed was in the show's 100th episode, 'Invasion!' which placed Oliver in a dream universe where he was hours away from marrying Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy). While Oliver ultimately accepted the fact that he would not be able to be with this dream version of Laurel, the episode revealed that he still has romantic feelings for her, even though her Earth 1 counterpart is currently dead.
This only complicates the return of Laurel - or really, her Earth 2 counterpart, Black Siren - in tonight's episode, 'Who Are You?' Throughout the episode, Oliver tries to help redeem Black Siren, even placing her into ARGUS custody, with the hope that she will start to show signs of Earth 1 Laurel. And Black Siren briefly mentions that she was in love with Earth 2 Oliver, who died on the Gambit ten years ago instead of his father Robert. Many fans - particularly fans of the Green Arrow/Black Canary relationship in the comics - are hoping that this leaves the door open for a further dynamic between the two in the future.
In the show's upcoming episodes, though, it sounds like the focus of Oliver's love life might be Susan - whether that relationship takes a positive or negative turn. In the midseason finale, a small Easter egg revealed that Susan is continuing to investigate Oliver's ties to the Bratva.
Is there a chance that that secret could lead to further revelations that could cost Oliver his double life with Susan? According to Guggenheim, fans will have to wait and see. "[The question] will inevitably come up, is it possible for Oliver to continue with Susan while he leads this double life. To which I say, stay tuned."
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OLIVER WANTS JUSTICE; FELICITY WANTS REVENGE — Worried that Prometheus is right and he is truly a killer at heart, Oliver (Stephen Amell) looks for any ray of hope and finds it in what seems to be the miraculous return of Laurel Lance (guest star Katie Cassidy).
However, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), still reeling from Detective Malone’s murder, is bent on revenge – she wants to stop Prometheus at any cost. While in prison, Diggle (David Ramsey) fights for his life.
Gregory Smith directed the episode written by Ben Sokolowski & Brian Ford Sullivan.