Fall TV Preview

Arrow Video: Stephen Amell Weighs In on Finale, the Big Season 4 Question

What did Arrow star Stephen Amell know, and when did he know it?

Speaking with TVLine at the CW Upfronts the morning after the superhero hit served up its Season 3 finale, Amell revealed just how (very!) long he has known that Oliver and Felicity would — literally — ride off into the sunset together. But as he notes in the video Q&A above, the Arrowverse is (sigh) seldom kind to the happy.

Amell also shares what all he knows about Season 4, including the biggest question at hand: If Oliver can’t be the Arrow again, what now? Also, will a certain namechecked baddie Darkhen the show’s doorstep again? Press play for those answers and more.

Want more scoop on Arrow, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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47 Comments
  1. Drew says:

    Wait… they had a plan for this season?
    I’m sitting here, trying to figure out how they can undo the damage caused by season 3’s horrible writing. I honestly can’t think of anything off the top of my head that doesn’t involve Barry or Rip altering the timeline.

  2. herman1959 says:

    Matt, I know you were pressed for time, but why didn’t you mention Green Lantern?

  3. Georgia Madman says:

    Not as good as Seasons 1 and 2 but better than Flash. And Season 4 has a ton of possibilities. I like Arrow dark and Flash light. I hope both shows stay that way.

    • ndixit says:

      You have gotta be kidding. Flash has been like a million times better than Arrow this season.

      • Ashley says:

        It’s season 1. They have plenty of time to go down hill. Don’t assume the quality will stay at Season 1 level. As for Arrow, I agree it wasn’t as good as previous seasons as far as the execution of the central plot and tone wise it was too dark. I’m an Olicity fan but most Olicity fans I know agree this season wasn’t as good overall, despite Oliver/Felicity. You don’t mess with what works and Season 2 worked because of the tighter structure and more focused format with how they approached the eps and arcs, and the original team arrow dynamic, and the lack of using Arrow as a long term spinoff seller. I know the show has to evolve as Oliver is now becoming Green Arrow. I just hope for a lighter and more focused Season 4 with Oliver/Felicity happy together. I’m excited about Damien Darhk, too.

        • swanjun0 says:

          I’m really excited about the potential for S4 to kind of… clear some of the S3 debris away but keep the good stuff. Keep Olicity. Keep Thea and Laurel as heroes. But maybe keep more of the action at home, instead of gloomy remote locales, and really focus on Diggle next year, since it’ll be about H.I.V.E..

        • Shivanee says:

          You are right. This season as an Olicity fan, I don’t have any issues. But with the storyline, it was the worst. Lets see, Malcolm wanted to lose the WANTED sign so he made Thea kill Sara under influence of a mind-controlling drug, which made Oliver go fight Ras. He survived, so Ras wants him to take his place.(In between threats to killing and Sara Malcolm Oliver- he keeps changing what he wants). And the season ends with Sara forgotten and Oliver giving promotion to Sara’s killer and Sara’s beloved Nyssa kneeling before said murderer. So yeah, definitely a huge setback from the incredible storyline of S2 with Slade.
          But I am very happy with Olicity. They both are opinionated, with their own journeys. What I like the most about them is that whatever happens, they are partners, they want each other to be happy. Its a mature relationship. So yeah…

      • derek117 says:

        I believe most viewers will agree with you, and I read lots of sites to see what is working and what isn’t for a few shows that I follow. Arrow was at the top of its game in Season 2, when Slade, Sara were the focal and thematic points of the show. The Season 2 finale fight between the Arrow and Slade (juxtaposed with a past fight from the island arc) was masterful–and deserved a ton of awards. Season 3 started off with a horrible idea–killing Sara–and then went on with meaningless story arc after meaningless story arc. Last night’s Season 3 finale was fulfilling mostly because it was a mercy killing of the show’s worst season to date. I still want to believe Arrow Season 4 can recover from 23 episodes of terrible writing. We’ll have to wait and see if I’m being too optimistic.

    • Drew says:

      I agree about the tones of the shows. Arrow needs to be a darker, more serious series. People say that this season was darker than usual. I don’t see that at all. It just seemed like they were constantly trying to twist and turn stories for shock value, but it didn’t work. Arrow’s mission is supposed to be very personal. He is trying to defend and rebuild his city. This season was so cold and detached from that mission that it felt like we never really saw Arrow this year.
      They just need to tell a good story and stop trying to shock us or push things to a grander level.

      • DJ Shotty says:

        Good points, but after the stupid inclusion of the Vinnie Jones character I’m happy a season-long tale of one Mega Villain played out the way it did. Just think of how much we all would have complained if the series came down to… New baddie in Starling, Team Arrow save the day, next week a new baddie…

    • jbj says:

      I might be one of the few who agrees that Arrow 3 was still better than Flash 1. Granted, I’m not a comic book reader, but I found it ironic that my original interest in Arrow stemmed from my fondness for the significantly lighter Smallville, yet I found The Flash to be painfully hokey. I am clearly getting old! The only reason I stick wwith

      • jbj says:

        The Flash is because I am dying to see Rick Cosnett’s Eddie go dark. He is so fun/hot when he is self-righteously evil.

        As for Arrow, I really enjoyed Thea’s, Laurel’s and Nyssa’s evolutions. I even came to like ole crazy-eyed Ray. I did feel that the flashbacks, which had been one of the stronger aspects of the series, felt tedious this season. But, I see it as more of a flaw dictated by the structure of previous seasons adversely impacted by the show’s increasing universe.

    • Shelley says:

      I agree with all of you. Season 3 was a growing, morphing year. The caterpillar is morphing into a butterfly. The Green Arrow. Oliver was broken and had PTSD, lots of baggage that he had to resolve. He went it alone for so long he had no clue how his decisions affected others. He’s finally grown and sees there is something better out there. He’s accepting and receiving it. The process of this molting was brutal and painful to the point of I don’t like seeing this. The show had a growth period season 3. Just like a football, basketball, baseball team has to rebuild its team to regenerate, mature and evolve into a more cohesive and powerful team. To become better. Most season 3’s are that way. Comedies have a forgiving nature to them that the regeneration process doesn’t hurt that badly. However, Arrow will become something else from here on. Arrow’s dark nature makes this regenerative process much more noticeable and makes us feel the change in a more definite way. It was hard to watch. It was not a favorite of mine either. But, for us to see a new kind of hero and his company of super heroes the show had to morph. Next season will be lighter hopefully. Not like Flash. That show I like a lot, but, it has a different tone to it. Not as dark. I’m just glad this season ended on a positive note. Excited for all the possibilities of season 4.

  4. Kat says:

    I think it’s obvious they had a plan. They plan for the beginning and the end and then fill the middle with really mediocre episodes! Last season was the same. Coincidently the middle episodes usually gravitate away from what makes the show work – original team arrow. Here’s hoping they get back to that TV gold. I do hope the happiness continues though. Loved seeing Oliver (and Felicity) finally have some happiness.

  5. Roger says:

    Season three was perfection. The writers and producers as well as Stephen Amell hammered home what this season was all about: Identity.

    Oliver definitely did and it will be awesome to see him become Green Arrow. We saw shades of that persona in the DC’s Legends of Tomorrow trailer. Laurel is firmly now Black Canary and Nyssa went through her period of transition as well. Everyone has a role to be played.

    Season 4 will be epic and it’s time that “Arrow” finally becomes Green Arrow to fit the rest of the Universe like Supergirl, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow. Their identity is already set.

  6. herman1959 says:

    OK comic book geniuses, what kind of costume/uniform do you think Diggle will be wearing?

    • Lysh says:

      As cool as it’d be for Digg to be Green Lantern, he’d probably have something original. Probably made out of leather.

      • Evan says:

        With all the Coast City and Ferris Air references this week, I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point in S4 we learn that Diggle’s full name is John Stewart Diggle!!

        • tyranthraxus says:

          I dont think so. I dont think they want to introduce any sort of ‘alien’ storyline into the show. Diggle is for all intents and purposes an Original character for Arrow. He should stay that way.

          We have all heard how much Diggle is behind getting any sort of costume type solution: he isnt!.

          I find it interesting that it seems ALL of the background scenes for the show have been mapped out. I dont find that at all controversial though. We know going forward that he is forcibly left on the island again, and that he also joins the Bratva (which Im guessing means Russia is his next port of call). Im actually looking forward to seeing what he has to do to join that group as they are known to be one of the more violent mafia style organisations.

  7. AW says:

    Seasons 1 and 2 are better than Season 3 but S3 wasn’t all that bad. As long as Arrow reaches syndication or over 100 episodes, I’ll be happy.

  8. Lysh says:

    I feel like Season 3 could have been so different if DC wasn’t doing a Suicide Squad movie and the actor for Ted Grant was more available. That’s nice to know they always planned for s3 to end happy. Hopefully they keep the dark tone but not start off with something as depressing as a death. I’m looking forward to season four!

    Great questions, Matt!

  9. Dude says:

    Was it just me or did Amell seem kind of touchy?

  10. Anon says:

    Love Arrow, huge fan of what they’re doing with the show. They have a goldmine of material and great charicters to work with. The threesome of Oliver, Felicity andndiggle is the best reason to keep watching my keep investing!

  11. ray says:

    I like that this season was darker the green arrow like Gotham are supposed to be dark but I’m hoping that season 4 will widen the universe abit more and c john become the green lantern

  12. Joey Padron says:

    good interview with Stephen. can’t wait to see what happens in next season. hope they’ll get a good actor to play new big bad villain for season 4.

  13. peanut james says:

    do amell and Emily bett have contracts for next season at all? I agree with Drew. If they had a plan for season 3, and no plan for season 4, all I can say is that they need to go back in time and replace whoever is the boss of this mess.

  14. DJ Shotty says:

    Great finish to an overall 7.5/10 season, made worse by Brandon Routh. I’m hoping RP/Atom appears less in S4, and I cheered when O. & F. hooked up cos just knowing FeliRay happened made me sick. I’m surprised O. didn’t let Diggle in on the plan to kill Ra’s until the very end. Couple of ways to go from here IMO – new supervillain Darhk, then O. comes to help Ra’s al Mal and Speedy, or Mal lets power go to his head and O. enlists Darhk to help stop him. Either way, what’s the bet Felicity dies?

  15. Anon says:

    The Felicity stuff needs to stop….she was much more entertaining as sidekick.
    Crying-Whining love interest Felicity is just horrible.

  16. Gee if they manage to stuff up a whole season with a plan from the outset, then what sort of damage could they do without one. Arrow season 3 was really average at best and the season finale was medicore. Worst season finale to date.

  17. hello says:

    Best thing that could happen is that Felicity is killed in the first episode cause that character is so bad at this point

    • Ellie says:

      Buzz buzz buzz! You keep trashing her and we’ll keep lovin her and it’s all buzz buzz buzz, so thanks!

    • Shelley says:

      Oh well, I love her. She grew as a character season 3. They all did. Laurel, Thea, Diggle, especially, Oliver. It was hard sometimes, but, it came together at the end. I love watching Arrow. It gets tiring to be negative all the time. Season 4 I hope will be great things.

  18. Lisa says:

    I was surprised to hear they had the ending of season 3 already planned last year! I thought he was joking at first.
    And what did he mean by ‘nothing bad ever happens when people are super happy.’ And he pulled a face after saying it. Was that sarcasm?

  19. Ellie says:

    This season of Arrow had so many ups and downs. The writers told a fantastic hero story. Most complaints seem to be about the emotional/ relationship aspects so maybe they need to go blow crap up somewhere. Oliver’s journey to becoming the Green Arrow is exactly on track. The characters have suffered so much loss and faced so much peril that it’s a wonder they were able to come out smiling at the end. It’s the heart of Arrow that focuses on the strength of love, character development and epic hero tales. Now we know what Oliver is fighting for and while there were tears and bloodshed, he deserves to be happy after all he has suffered. I can’t wait to see how Oliver’s relationships with Diggle and Felicity will evolve next season. It will be fun to see Thea masked up. I hope we delve into fAmily next year with Oliver’s child, Diggle’s brother and Felicity’s father. That’ll make for some great TV.

  20. James says:

    Maybe greed is good has taken over this show, there’s a whole bunch of character spin-offs to come to terms with next season and the proposed guest star gigs will be confusing if not handled a bit better than seen this season in both the The Flash and Arrow, it was difficult not to conclude that The Flash would have sorted out all Oliver’s problems in a flash if Oliver had cared to ask him. Next year may reveal whether this super hero expansion is a wise move for the shows producers and especially for the Arrow who has no super powers to speak of but plenty of competition. Maybe Stephen Amell wants to progress with his movie career.

  21. Barry gonna wreck stuff when he saves his mom. He’ll still become Flash, just not as soon as Thawne’s involvement.

  22. sandra says:

    Bring on the new season! Can’t wait!