It goes without saying that Season 3 of Arrow was clearly the darkest season so far. If someone wasn’t just being killed they were being killed and then resurrected. And the fans response to this was mixed. While some embraced the show’s darker tones, other thought that they were over the top and pined for the lighter, brighter episodes of Seasons 1 and 2.
Recently, TV Line spoke with co-showrunner Marc Guggenheim at the CBS/Showtime/The CW TCA press tour party, where Guggenheim spoke candidly about last season’s hits and misses and the upcoming changes for Season 4.
While the on-again off-again romance between Oliver and Felicity remained one of the stronger sub-plots throughout the season, Guggenheim states that since the romance will be five months old already when we catch up with the couple, what we’ll be seeing on screen will be more “organic” and “incidental” to the main story line. “The show is still the show,” he stated, and that subtle “body language” will be the romantic indicators rather than the typical romantic scene. “Like, when Oliver and Felicity are together at her workstation, now he’s got his hand on her shoulder,” Guggenheim went on to explain. “It’s a difference of degrees. Basically, we’re treating them like two coworkers who started dating.”
The flashback sequences of Season 3 were another story altogether. While the sequences in earlier seasons were compelling and held a direct correlation to the present day story arc, the flashback sequences of Season 3 did not quite hit the mark. “I’ll be honest: The episodic connection, week to week… that cart started to drag the horse for me a bit,” Guggenheim confessed. “So toward the end of last year I said to the writers, ‘What we really need to do is not worry so much about the connection between present and past and just tell a really amazing story in the past.’” With the new writing direction in place, Guggenheim adamantly confided to TV Line that the Season 4 flashbacks will be “ our best flashback story ever.”
Even Felicity is back to her quirky, funny self to lighten the tone. Guggenheim admits, “The show got really, really dark last year, and I think she reacted accordingly.” It had been too long since we saw the “strong, capable, funny Felicity… we know and love.” With all of the doom and gloom Felicity(Emily Bett Richards) shared more scenes with a Kleenex than anything else. “Certainly no one was more tired of the crying than Emily [Bett Rickards], but right behind Emily was the rest of us.” Guggenheim stated and went on to assure us that “with love now in her life, viewers can count on reuniting with the “strong, capable, funny Felicity… we know and love.”
Season 4 of Arrow returns on October 7th at 8PM on The CW.