Marc Guggenheim Talks Arrow Season Five and Offers Some Foreboding Advice For Fans
Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim chatted with Kyle Anderson and Natalie Abrams of Entertainment Weekly Radio to discuss season five and six of Arrow.
Guggenheim explains that the point of season five was to strip Oliver down. They needed to have a villain that could essentially deconstruct Oliver Queen and the Green Arrow. In the writer’s room, they were intrigued by the idea of Oliver having sown the seeds of his nemesis. This will all lead into season six as we see a new side to Oliver. He had finally gotten to a place where he accepted and moved beyond his past, though Adrian Chase did his best to draw Oliver back in during the season finale. In the season six opener, Oliver will have a different sense of himself and will draw upon his ten years of hellish experience in order to mentor others.
The subject then rolled around to Katie Cassidy, who plays Laurel Lance. Guggenheim says that it was fun to explore a different side of the same character that we knew for four seasons, especially since Black Siren is such an exciting iteration of the character. When Black Siren first appeared on Arrow, “Katie crushed it,” he said. When something is working on the show, they try to find a way to stick with it, which is why Black Siren reappeared and will return for season six. Guggenheim then says that they went back and forth on where Black Siren’s allegiance would lie in the finale. Would she be on Oliver’s side or would she remain aligned with Chase? In the end, they decided that it made more sense for her to stay with Chase because he released her from prison. I wonder how much different then finale would have been if she had been at Oliver’s side, but I think it would’ve been too radical a shift in character to be believable. Hopefully season six will find her working with Oliver now that Chase is out of the picture.
Then conversation rolled around to the finale. First, Anderson and Abrams applauded the flashback scene when Oliver speaks to his mother after being rescued. Guggenheim reveals that this was his favorite moment (mine too). Executive Producer Greg Berlanti made the suggestion to include something new that wasn’t originally shown in the series premier. And this scene really hit the nail on the head. There was so much emotion packed into the phone call. Stephen Amell and Susanna Thompson absolutely killed that scene.
During the conversation, it was mentioned that Katie Cassidy had already been announced as returning for season six as a series regular so the assumption is that she is safe, and that’s when Guggenheim said something terribly foreboding. He warns fans not to base who sticks around next season on contracts. He brings up Walking Dead and how just because certain characters were supposed to be series regulars doesn’t mean they make it through the season opener (uh-oh). He also adds that there is a lot of focus on who lives or dies when we should be looking at some of the other consequences associated with the finale catastrophe.
So what does this mean for season six? I think that there will be a major character death, but it is the lasting effects of this death and the explosion that will be a major part of next season. The fact that Oliver is going to act as a mentor to help others through hellish experiences could support this theory. He went through ten years of hardship, losing everything he had to Lian Yu, and now others might have just experienced the same thing. I think that this will mostly likely play toward William. He has been twice kidnapped and is now facing the possibility of his mother being dead. Oliver is likely going to have to step into the role of father. That would definitely give us a different side to Oliver that we haven’t seen before.
Who lives? Who dies? Who forever changes? Unfortunately, we still have a ways to go until season six kicks off on Thursday, October 12, on The CW.