It’s no secret that Arrow has largely dealt with Oliver’s past as a killer. It’s not only driven past seasons and many of Oliver’s character arcs, but has also driven the Prometheus storyline and Artemis’ eventual betrayal this season. Oliver’s killing is a topic that continues to come up, and for good reason.
Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim says that Oliver’s morals and his use of lethal force are central to the show and will continue to impact season 5 in a big way.
“I think one of the things you’ll see in the second half of Season 5 is the gray area becomes a lot more gray. We’re really delving into the complexities of Oliver being a killer in a way that we’ve never done on the show before. Like, I think, a lot more nuance and a lot more – in the past, it was like ‘I’m a killer or I’m not a killer.’ It was very binary. This year is – like you said, it’s super gray, and it’s really messy, and this is a component of it. This is a piece of it for sure. On the walk over here, Wendy and I were just talking about a storyline that, again, continues to make those waters muddier because it is a complex, moral decision, and in many ways, Oliver killing is the seminal moral quandary of the show. That was something I think that spoke to us as writers and spoke to the audience back in Season 1. Like ‘This guy kills people.’ There’s a big part of the original pitch. We said ‘at the end of Act Two, he’s going to break someone’s neck.’”
Arrow has always been a show of gray areas, but as part of season 5’s attempt to return the show to its season 1 and 2 glory days, the showrunners haven’t shied away from returning to storylines related to Oliver’s old ways. But, as the season continues, Guggenheim teases that there’s still more to learn about Oliver’s killing.
“One of the things we are doing in the back half of Season 5 is really getting underneath that and what that means, not just in terms of morality but in terms of psychology — specifically Oliver’s psychology. There’s things about Oliver’s killing that you have yet to learn.”
Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8/7c on The CW.