Arrow's sixth season resumes tonight -- and it sounds like it could bring the show's lead into a dark place.
Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim was recently asked about the disagreement between Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and John Diggle (David Ramsey), and if the two would get past their differences as the season develops. But as Guggenheim hinted, that might not be the case, considering how Oliver's arc has gone this season.
"This season has been very much about removing all of the support structures from Oliver," Guggenheim told Entertainment Weekly's Spoiler Room. "One of the challenges we placed for ourselves in season 6 was we got Oliver to the end of his emotional journey in season 5. He finally moved on from the past, he was a much more emotionally complete human being."
"So the challenge for season 6 was: How — in a show that really, for the first five years, gained a lot of its story from the bad choices Oliver made — do we continue to make Oliver's life difficult, but have it come from something that he's enduring rather than the dark machinations of the soul?" Guggenheim explained. "One of the things we hit upon is the idea of we spent basically season 5 building up this team and this whole support structure, bringing him closer to Felicity again, bringing his son into his life. And in season 6 what you've basically seen, and will continue to see, is the slow degradation of all those structures."
Some fans have wondered if Oliver would be headed towards the darkness again, after synopsises hinted at him making major decisions with regards to Diggle, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and William (Jack Moore). But even if that ends up being the case, Guggenheim argued that it will ultimately be to bring Oliver back to a more heroic place.
"Because it's all in service of what is probably one of the driving philosophies of this show, which is that the worse Oliver has it, the more heroic he has to be in order to overcome all of the crap that we throw at him." Guggenheim added. "So that's kind of where season 6 is headed."
But even with Oliver being immersed in that darkness, Arrow fans can still expect some fun. The Arrow trend of having penultimate episodes be named after Bruce Springsteen songs will continue, with this season's episode adopting the title of "The Ties that Bind". And in the season finale, fans will get a sort of mini-Arrowverse crossover, with the return of Legends of Tomorrow's Sara Lance/White Canary (Caity Lotz).
Arrow returns tonight at 9/8c on The CW, with the episode "The Thanatos Guild".