If not for Stephen Amell's disturbingly charming looks, Arrow fans might have run out of reasons to keep watching the long-running CW series. Spanning over six seasons, the adaptation of DC's vigilante comics has featured almost everything that one can probably expect from a superhero series. From ousting Oliver Queen's alter identity to the city to introducing one catastrophe after another - the plot twists have been endless.
And yet I am excited and actually anticipating the premiere of 'Arrow' season 7.
One of the main reason being the removal of Amell's superhero from the active narrative. Following the events of the last season, after Oliver's vigilantism was exposed and he was forced to cut a deal with the FBI, the real Green Arrow has been safely locked away in prison - leaving Star City to the mercy of the remaining team and crime boss Ricardo Diaz.
Now the reason why this rather unfortunate piece of news seems exciting is because of Oliver's absence from the main action. Not only does this leave more room for the others in Team Arrow - including Dinah, Curtis, and Rene - to evolve and take charge, but also provides ample opportunity to a certain Felicity Smoak to get out of the shadows of her overbearing boyfriend.
Let's get this straight. 'Arrow' never got the Olicity storyline correct. In addition, the series - one of DC's most riveting and engaging superhero shows - wasted precious time on explaining Oliver and Felicity's will they/won't they dynamics. At the end of the day, the one thing that attracts fans about 'Arrow' is its vigilante-centric storyline, outright savagery, and the lack of mercy the playboy-turned-superhero Mr. Queen showcased initially while delivering justice to the crooks and criminals of Star City.
With Oliver now tucked away behind the bars, this can actually be a brilliant opportunity for the showrunners to explore season 7 minus the distractions of romance. Here are five reasons that back this statement, why 'Arrow' is better off without Olicity.
1. Finally, we get to see Felicity in a new (darker) light
If the latest pictures from the seventh season of the CW series are any proof, pink-tipped, punk rock Felicity is no longer a picture of the innocent IT girl that was painted way back in season 1. Over the course of time, since her involvement with Oliver and his mission, Felicity has seasoned into this fine character worthy of being given solo screen space.
She is already donning some really scary bruises and a tough face in the new pictures as she visits Oliver in the prison - a look that has definitely grown on me. Also, it must be noted that while Oliver is locked up, there is still danger lurking in the woods in the form of Diaz, which means we are just a month away from a thrilling confrontation between Felicity and Diaz. Will she perish in the absence of the Green Arrow or come out as a stronger and darker character - it remains to be seen.
2. From Olicity to team newbies - a right shift of focus
As much as we love to see the holy trinity - Oliver, Felicity, and Diggle - the repetitive narrative has kind of taken the spotlight away from a couple of promising characters like Dinah aka Black Canary (Juliana Harkavy), Laurel aka Black Siren (Katie Cassidy), and René aka Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez).
Season 6, interestingly, added to this divide with the OG team going civil war on Dinah, Curtis and, Rene. Now that this trio is on their own, it tickles our imagination as to how 'Arrow' season 7 will take shape under the vigilantism of this new group.
3. Mystery surrounding the new Arrow
Having struck the deal with the govt, in no way is it possible that Oliver is sneaking out of the prison to resume his vigilante duties. Meaning, there is a new Arrow in town, and whoever this impersonator is, his target is certainly to make Oliver vulnerable.
It's either sink or swim for Amell's superhero, as he assumes an oddly righteous path to save Star City.
4. Oliver's resurrection in the face of adversity
It's not a pretty picture when a cop is locked in the same prison as his arrestees. In season 7, Oliver is sort of stuck in a similar situation, as he dons the prison garb along with a host of criminals that he himself put behind the bars. Rest assured, the fan-favorite vigilante will be tackling some challenging moments in the near future.
With the Olicity drama behind him and having been completely pushed to the curb, hopefully, Oliver will resurrect his inner superhero and take charge (from within the prison or outside) of his beloved city.
5. Finer shades of villainy
Behind every successful superhero is an equally terrifying supervillain. And with 'Arrow,' fans have seen plenty of antagonism as season after season the Green Arrow squares off with countless antagonists. From Josh Segarra's portrayal of the Prometheus to the more recent nemesis, drug kingpin Ricardo Diaz, played by Kirk M. Acevedo - the CW series has always packed on some supreme villainy.
Moving into season 7, though - where things have already taken a southward turn - 'Arrow' is sure to reveal an intense, dark narrative. Given the circumstances, it definitely looks like our dormant vigilante is better off minus the drama of his personal life.
'Arrow' season 7 premieres on The CW on Monday, October 15 at 8 pm PST.