Warning: This story contains big spoilers from the season 6 finale of Arrow . Reading at your own risk.
The hero was arrested. The moral center of the show was killed. The villain escaped. All in all, it was a pretty tough season finale for Arrow .
During the episode, Team Arrow launched an attack on Ricardo Diaz, who threatened to kill Laurel (Katie Cassidy) unless Mayor Lance (Paul Blackthorne) ordered the FBI to leave Star City. After a meeting to fail a deal, an angry Diaz goes to shoot Laurel, but Lance steps in front of the gun instead and gets a bullet in the stomach.
Team Arrow arrives just in time to deter Diaz from killing a shot, with Oliver (Stephen Amell) finally getting the better of Diaz in a rooftop showdown. But a desperate Laurel throws Diaz off the roof with her canary and lets Diaz get away unintentionally. That's right, the big escape of the season, to live another day. His powers are decimated by the end of the season, but there's a mention he worked with the long bow hunters, so he's not all alone.
Back at the hospital, Oliver finally reveals how he got the FBI to help: He's going to admit publicly that he's the Green Arrow, and then goes into police custody. As everyone argues, the doctor concludes that Lance has died ̵
Now that Oliver is in jail and Diaz is in the wind, what's going to happen to Star City? EW turned to executive producer Marc Guggenheim to find out:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What came with the decision to kill Quentin?
MARC GUGGENHEIM: Well, it was a really hard decision whenever we kill the character on the show. But it's weird when I beat this special beat to Greg [Berlanti]he said, "Wow, I'll really miss him," but he has pointed out that the show always had some sort of Game of Thrones -like element in the sense that nobody is safe. That was always part of the show. We have not killed a character in a season finale since season 1. But basically, the reason we did it was twofold. We really had the feeling that we were at the end of Lance's story, but most of all, whenever we kill a character, it always comes out, what's in it for us? What are the consequences for us? The idea that Diaz is responsible for Lance's death has a big impact on Laurel's character and plot. That really intrigued us when we started talking about where Laurel would go in Season 7. As with any other death in the series, we begin to enjoy these consequences and look forward to the stories that death brings with it. It has its own momentum. It was hard. Paul was there from the beginning, working with him is an absolute joy. He is just a class number. I've really enjoyed working with Paul so much over the past six years. It was the right time and the right way and the right story that I could tell right now.
Oliver landed in jail. These consequences seem quite irreversible. What was your goal here? How dangerous will it be for him in prison?
Since the beginning of Season 6, we've talked a lot in the room about the show, which is in its sixth year, many shows going on six seasons, and what's necessary for the long-term vitality of the show. We were very determined to rock the show out of their comfort zone. I think you saw it intentionally at the end of season six. We started fiddling with the format, we had the episode "All Dragons", we had the episode where Oliver [has] was dizzy and hallucinating. We wanted to come out of our traditional way of telling stories. I mean, frankly, even the structure of the season finale is very unconventional for us. Usually the climax fight takes place with the "Big Bad" of the year with Act 5 and then Act 6 is all reworking. This year, the decisive fight between Oliver and Diaz took place in the fourth act. We're always looking for different ways to shake up the show and make things different.
Between the Development of Oliver into Prison and His Secret Identity These were very much designed to shake the show, so the show in Season 7 must be fundamentally different. There is no way to return to the status quo. That was very exciting for us, because there is probably a very safe conventional way Arrow where every episode is the villain of the week and each episode is somehow the same. This version may even be very successful, but that's not something the authors and cast are particularly interested in. We always keep the show moving and develop new boundaries. We are aware that we are not only in our sixth season, but in season seven, we are also aware that we are the first Arrowverse shows, so we feel like we have stuff on Arrow to do that the other shows have not done yet. The identity revelation is a good example of this. None of the other shows have revealed to the rest of the world the secret identity of their protagonist, so we wanted to do it first.
Oliver and Felicity finish the season on a rocky note. What's next for her marriage? Can you survive that?
I tell you this: I've been married for 14 years now, and when I make one-sided decisions, my wife is generally not happy about it – and that includes one-sided decisions that do not involve me. I go to jail. So I think it's unlikely that there will be any challenges that Felicity will have to overcome if Oliver takes this big, momentous step without consulting Felicity.
Ricardo Diaz escaped, something you do not usually do when you finish a season. Why he and what can you annoy, what happens next, after his empire was decimated?
Yeah, that was another thing we upset in the middle of season six, was the idea that we've never done anything else or that any of the other Arrowverse shows ever did was the "Big Bad" that was not held responsible. The idea that Diaz was out there as an antagonist, although he must operate differently because he no longer has his empire, was very intriguing to us. As I mentioned, when we talk about Lance's death, we're sure to make a pretty big collision between Laurel and Diaz, and that's very exciting. We talk about Laurel as a burning woman and I think this fireworks will be a lot of fun.
There was a mention of longbow hunters. Will we see her next season?
I do not feel like I can spoil this or not. I would say that we would be tails if we dropped that big name and never went into it.
Do you see that Oliver is forever finished as the Green Arrow?
Well, let's start with the first assumptions, that I can say for sure that Season 7 is unlikely to be in jail with Oliver, so I do not think it has revealed anything that he'll come out at some point , It never really occurred to me that, as soon as he comes out, he must absolutely stop being the Green Arrow. I think it probably all depends on the circumstances under which he finally comes out.
Do you expect a leap in time to the next season?
It will be the traditional leap in time. Each year, we always make the same time jump, which lasts five to six months, depending on when our season premiere is.
Arrow will return to The CW this fall.