'Arrow': EP Marc Guggenheim Talks Midseason Return

“Arrow’s” midseason finale dealt some tough blows to the team.

Prometheus tricked Oliver Queen into killing Det. Billy Malone, Felicity Smoak’s boyfriend. And, when the show returns to The CW on Wednesday night, Felicity will be seeking revenge, as hinted in the network’s episode description.

“It basically kicks off the storyline that we’ve been teasing at least in the press since the season premiere,” Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim told AccessHollywood.com. “We always said we had a storyline in mind for Felicity for the back half of the year, and we’re finally in the back half of the year. So, we always knew we were headed in this direction with Felicity. And I think, sort of the reason to tell the story is, you know, Felicity is the light in an otherwise very dark show and one of the themes this year, in addition to legacy, has been the effect of that darkness. In many ways it’s sort of the overall theme of the show. We sort of address it in different ways every season, which is, when you dabble in the darkness, how much of that clings to you? And what we’ve done with this story for Felicity is we’ve basically been spending now four-plus years of Felicity swimming in these dark waters — what happens when she starts letting it get to her? 

Guggenheim added that the show is doing the new storyline in a way that “honors the character of Felicity.”  

“We’re not turning her into a dark, brooding vigilante. We’re doing it in a way that honors  who the character is and honors the things that people like about the character,” he said. “But yeah, we’re going to have Felicity flirt with a darker storyline than we’ve typically done with her.”

And, just like Felicity was there during Oliver’s training sessions with the new recruits to pull him back when he needed it, her friends will be there for her.

“We’ve already sort of written scenes – we haven’t shot them yet … separate scenes, with Oliver, Diggle and Curtis specifically that they’re all trying to sort of reach her in their own way because they all really care about her,” he said.

Beyond the Malone twist, last year’s midseason finale also introduced a big shocker with the return of Laurel Lance, played by Katie Cassidy.

The character turned up in the Arrowcave just as Oliver was at a low after being tricked by Prometheus.

Katie, whose character was killed off in Season 4, now has a deal to appear across the Arrowverse, and bringing her back to the fold that way directly lead to more “Arrow” stories.

“She’s always been so embracing of the shows and this recurring sort of role that she has now among all four shows. And, I think one of the things quite frankly that took us all by surprise was, when we made this deal crossing her over, sort of made her untethered to all the shows, was how many stories we had for ‘Arrow’ that involved Katie. We came up with this one for the midseason finale and Katie was all in and it’s always great to have her back,” Guggenheim said. “I think she was fully embracing what we were asking her to do here.”

As for details on Laurel’s return, Guggenheim said, “time travel” (see this scene The CW released.)

Asked if seeing Laurel again could help improve Oliver’s spirits, Guggenheim said it just might.

“One of the fun little things about the episode was — and it really comes from Felicity and Diggle — is sort of commenting on how good stuff just doesn’t ever happen on ‘Arrow.’ Like Diggle says, ‘It seems to me like you’re due a win; you’re due something positive.’ So I think in many ways we sort of used it as a little meta-commentary on the often dark nature of the show.”

“Arrow” returns Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW.

Jolie Lash