'Arrow' Bosses on Oliver Surprise: It "Changes the World Forever"

Arrow Midseason Premiere Diggle - H 2015
Photo: Ed Araquel/The CW

[Warning: spoilers ahead for Wednesday's episode of Arrow, "Left Behind."]

Arrow is back in a big way.

Team Arrow learned the sad truth about Oliver's (Stephen Amell) demise at the hands of Ra's Al Ghul (Matt Nable). To add insult to injury, the bringer of the bad news was the man who orchestrated the whole thing, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman). Unbeknownst to them, Oliver is alive (if not well).

That fateful meeting will have ramifications that will play out throughout the rest of the season, says executive Andrew Kreisberg.

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"We sat down and said 'what can we do to make these episodes epic?' " Kreisberg tells The Hollywood Reporter. "These three episodes are a trilogy essentially of what happens in Starling City when the world thinks Oliver Queen is dead, and it allows every character on the show to rise or fall, depending on the circumstances they find themselves in."

Key word: "thinks" he is dead. And so far, the heroes have done plenty of falling. Diggle (David Ramsey) and Roy (Colton Haynes) found plenty of trouble trying to take down new bad guy Danny "Brick" Brickwell (Vinnie Jones).

As for Oliver, fans were divided on what Oliver's death meant for the future of the show. Some were pessimistic Oliver was dead for good, while others simply point to Ra's Al Ghul's comic book history as evidence that Oliver will return from the dead.

But the episode teased viewers from the beginning. A shot of a mysterious figure approaching Oliver's body, followed by the revelation that Maseo (Karl Yune) and Katana (Rila Fukushima) had orchestrated Oliver returning to life will certainly send fans into a frenzy, just as when Oliver died.

"My Facebook page blew up. And it's busy to begin with. So when I saw it blew up, I mean it blew up," says Amell of what happened when he died onscreen in December. "I was getting posts on my page — long notes on my page every eight seconds from people.

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Whatever new equilibrium the show falls into, the issue of Oliver's death won't be resolved right away.

"You can't do an ending like we did in episode nine and resolve it in one episode. Even beyond this sort of trilogy, the repercussions of Oliver's actions are felt throughout the rest of the season," says Kreisberg. "It's that moment that really changes the world of Arrow forever. One of the things that characters discover along the way is there is no going back."

Executive producer Marc Guggenheim promises Wednesday's episode is just the start of big things to come.

"The best ideas in the life of the show have always come when it's Greg [Berlanti], Andrew and I in a room together, and we're throwing out crazy shit to each other, and we stop and go "wait a minute, that's crazy — but it does this, this, this and this," and suddenly you see all the dominoes start to fall," says Guggenheim. "That's when we get really excited. It's not just about the idea — it's about the 50 ideas it leads to."

Check out next week's promo:

Email: Aaron.Couch@THR.com
Twitter: @AaronCouch