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Welcome back to The Hollywood Reporter‘s weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on the small screen. Every Saturday, we round up the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries and anything else that goes down on The CW’s Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl and Black Lightning, and Fox’s Gotham. There have been a lot of news, castings and announcements all summer long about the new seasons premiering this fall, so this week we’re rounding up everything there is to know about Arrow season seven…
Under new management | As Arrow forges ahead into season seven, the series has new leadership in Beth Schwartz. Executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle exited as showrunners at the end of season six, with Guggenheim staying on to serve as an executive consultant. Schwartz definitely has the experience to be Arrow’s lone showrunner — she started on the series as a writer’s assistant and has worked her way up through the ranks each season, most recently as a co-executive producer last season. With a new boss intent on keeping spoilers under lock and key, the series heads into a new era refreshed and ready for the next chapter.
Casting shake-up | Arrow is gaining back a fan-favorite character as it says goodbye to another. As fans saw in the season six finale, Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) was shot and killed. Taking his place among the good guys is returning hero Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), back in a series regular capacity. There’s no word yet on what his return means for Thea (Willa Holland), who had just exited the series back in season six to much fanfare, leaving Star City with Roy to find and destroy Lazarus Pits. They had a romantic, epic send-off, but Thea isn’t returning with Roy. Did something go wrong on their trip? Has he returned to become the new Green Arrow now that his name has been cleared?
Behind bars | Whatever the impetus is for Roy’s return, it’s going to be very much appreciated by what remains of Team Arrow. Not only has Oliver (Stephen Amell) been arrested and put in jail for his actions as the Green Arrow by the end of the season six finale, but Diggle (David Ramsey) has left Team Arrow for ARGUS and the new recruits still haven’t rejoined after the mistrust fallout last season. With the team (and original members) so fractured, there’s no telling what the structure of the series will look like this season. The main character/vigilante can no longer suit up as Green Arrow and Arrow isn’t reversing that anytime soon. Expect Oliver’s stint behind bars to last a good long while as the show enters a new chapter.
Awkward reunion | With Oliver in jail in Slabside Prison (what a name), he’s going to come up against some old foes like Ben Turner/Bronze Tiger (Michael Jai White), Derek Sampson (Cody Runnels) and Danny “Brick” Brickwell (Vinnie Jones) … which will be more than a little awkward since he helped put them there in the first place in previous seasons. With Arrow‘s Comic-Con trailer teasing one of the most brutal fights on this series to date between Oliver and the inmates, it’s clear that bygones definitely aren’t bygones. Also: Oliver fights naked! What?!
Legends come to life | But Bronze Tiger, Sampson and Brick are just short-term issues. The season-long big bad is actually a group of people that have been teased only in a mythical, cryptic way so far on the series in passing last season. Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) is back, and this time he’s brought backup in the Longbow Hunters including Red Dart (Holly Elissa), a ruthless and precise killer, Kodiak (Michael Jonsson), a beast of a man with brute force and Silencer (Miranda Edwards), a master of stealth. These villains were first introduced in Mike Grell’s three-issue run Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters, in which the aftermath marked a darker turn for Oliver as a result of his actions to save his love. Will The CW’s version have an equally lasting effect?
Fast forward | Warning: when season seven begins, things won’t be picking up right where season six ended. There will be a five month time jump meaning that all the characters will be in wildly different places when the new Arrow premiere starts.
Arrow returns for season seven on Monday, Oct. 15 on The CW.
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