Last night’s episode of Arrow featured the climactic swan song for one of its main characters, a sudden departure for both actor and role and an important void that will galvanize the rest of the main cast going forward. It’s been a fairly uneven year for Arrow. With The Flash stealing some of its thunder and the difficulty in trying to top an excellent sophomore season, Arrow just hasn’t been up to snuff, and Ra’s al Ghul hasn’t been the big bad ass he’s been advertised to be. So now what? That was a heck of a cliffhanger the show left us with last night, so what comes next for Arrow and the Starling City gang? The executive producers have the answer, and warning, there be spoilers below.
Roy left town. After taking credit for being the Arrow, going to Iron Heights, and faking his prison shanking with help from Felicity and Diggle, in the end, Roy Harper left town, and his portrayer Colton Haynes left the show.
“When we made Colton’s deal, he was coming off of Teen Wolf where he was beloved, and he had a lot of opportunities,” executive produce Greg Berlanti told Buzzfeed. “So we did a trial thing where we said, for his sake and ours, ‘We’ll just do a bunch of episodes and see if you like it and if you enjoy it.’ And he did. Then pilot season came up that year and before another pilot could snatch him up, we made a two-year deal, so we always knew we were on a clock.”
Haynes’ first post-Arrow role will be appearing in the earthquake disaster movie San Andres opposite Dwayne Johnson, Alexandra Daddario and Paul Giamatti.
As for Roy and Hayne’s future prospects, Berlanti said that the door’s open for arsenal to pop up again on The Flash, the upcoming DC Comics hero team-up series, or even Arrow (Roy actually will appear once more before season’s end), but for now it’s so long and farewell to the man that did the red hoodie justice these last three years.
“We’re grateful that [Haynes], in the nascent stages of our show, really gave us the time and commitment to help get the show out there and get seen and talked about,” Berlanti explained. “He was such a wonderful element as a character and a person. It was super sad, but everybody kinda looked at each other and realized that he’s at the start of, what I’m sure will be, an incredibly incredibly impressive career. It’s great that he gets to go on and have that and we got to have him while we did.”
So what effect will Roy’s departure have on the remaining members of Team Arrow? And for that matter, what about Roy’s girlfriend, Thea (Willa Holland), who was last seen bleeding from a big old sword wound through the chest at the end of last night’s adventure?
“It’s going to be really challenging for Team Arrow,” said executive producer Marc Guggeinheim. “First the loss of Roy and there is more stuff coming for the remaining threesome of Oliver [Stephen Amell], Diggle [David Ramsey], and Felicity [Emily Bett Rickards] that is not going to get neatly resolved by the end of the year. We shot a scene last night where Diggle talks about the hurt feelings and broken trust. That will resonate not only through the remaining episodes of the season, but into Season Four.”
Now watch, if you dare, the preview of next week’s episode called “The Fallen.”
Arrow continues Wednesdays at 8 pm EST on the CW.