The second season of "Arrow" left a lot of loose threads for the third season to follow up -- and there's certainly quite a few familiar faces involved. The return of John Barrowman as Malcolm Merlyn was a huge reveal, as was the fact that John Diggle, played by David Ramsey, is about to be a father.
With so many story points to follow up, Barrowman and Ramsey, along with executive producer Marc Guggenheim, joined CBR executive producer Jonah Weiland on the CBR Yacht at Comic-Con International 2014 to discuss the direction of the third season and following those loose threads to some very interesting places.
On the return of Malcolm Merlyn: "Because Malcom Merlyn over the past two series has been someone who has used his power, his money, his joy of destruction to control people," said Barrowman, "and the one thing he hasn't dealt with is emotion. That's how he lost his son, that's how he lost his friend Moira, all of them were doing something out of love for somebody else. He doesn't want to lose his daughter Thea that way, so he gets her in the right positioning -- if we want to say that -- it's probably going to be the most dysfunctional, spectacular, awesome father/daughter relationship on television. You're just going to be like, 'OMG, what is going on?'"
On Diggle's journey in season three and his possibly tumultuous relationship with Oliver: "That happens, right? Big brother, little brother," said Ramsey. "I think this has all been about the hero's journey, and that first scene that you see is really more about Oliver, even though I'm the one that's screaming. Oliver instigated the whole situation, and a part of that is how we begin the show. Everything is going well and Oliver thinks he can have everything -- he can still be a regular person and also the Green Arrow. He realizes that maybe he can't, and maybe Diggle should actually be that person who goes off and has the family that doesn't sacrifice himself for the team. Diggle doesn't take that very well because he sees the crusade as just as important to him now as it does to Oliver. ... That type of theme will be repeated throughout the first few episodes."
On the theme of season three: "Who is he? Is he Oliver Queen is he the Arrow? Is he both? Can he be both?" said Guggenheim. "That's the log line. ... It's a different kind of torture. Like David was saying, everything starts off really great. As I was writing my scenes for the premiere, I was typing 'Oliver smiles' a whole lot more than I ever have in three years! Things are really good, but things get complicated and they get dark, but they're dark in a different way. I don't know if he's a brooding guy in season three, but he's definitely very, very focused. I think the season premiere is about many things, but one of the things it's about -- Oliver really regains his focus."