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Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle on ‘Olicity,’ new team members, and more

With a little more than a month and a half to go before Arrow Season 5 premieres, more and more details are starting to be made public. We learned quite a bit at San Diego Comic-Con in July, and even more at the Television Critics Association panel earlier this month. Now, the two Arrow showrunners are speaking out to tease fans even more with what’s to come.

IGN caught up with executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle to discuss the upcoming season and managed to glean a few nuggets of new information. First, here’s how Guggenheim describes the overall theme of Season 5:

“[Season 5] deals with legacy, it deals with the past, and the dramatic irony, the dramatic tension, that we get from it is Oliver’s always been a guy — admittedly, not the most self aware dude ever — but he’s always been someone who is trying to move forward. He’s always trying to evolve. The challenge for Oliver this year is how do you evolve and move forward when the past keeps grabbing at you, trying to pull you back.”

As we know from the season finale and the Comic-Con trailer, there’s a lot of change afoot when the new season begins. Oliver is taking on a whole new set of responsibilities as mayor of Star City, while Team Arrow has mostly disbanded. Of course, we’ve also seen Oliver training new recruits like Curtis Holt, Evelyn Sharp, and Wild Dog. Here’s Mericle on how handling the newbies:

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“He’s going to have a team, so we have talked about having a team of villains, and how would Oliver get his new guys who are really rough around the edges — totally wet around the ears, not ready for this — how does he get them ready to take on really trained [enemies]? He’s very cognizant of the fact that Laurel died in this line of work and he doesn’t want that for them.”

The subject of Oliver and Felicity’s relationship (or “Olicity”) is always a controversial one, and this season will seemingly see them come full circle. For starters, we won’t immediately see any real details on the status of their relationship, but only because we’ve already missed them, says Guggenheim:

“We’ve talked a lot about how to deal with that. We always play the true five month gap between the season finale and season premiere. And every time we’ve talked about Oliver and Felicity should talk about their feelings, we realized, wow, that feels really wrong because they’ve had five months to talk about their feelings. Any mature couple, they’ve had that conversation.”

Guggenheim says the relationship between the two is basically back to where it was in Season 1. “Felicity was Oliver’s sort of light and voice of reason, and voice of positivity, and she’s still trying to be that,” while Oliver is “again torn between that aspiration and his own nature and his past.”

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As previously reported, the fifth episode this season will be the first to really explore the relationship and address where it stands. Here’s Guggenheim again:

“There’s a very Olicity-heavy scene in [episode] 5. They’re adults. At the same time, it feels a little like Season 1. I honestly don’t know how many shows have done this where you’ve gotten two characters engage, broke them up, but still kept them together on the show as partners.”

For more details, including news on Diggle, Thea, Curtis, and Quentin Lance, be sure to check out the full interview at IGN.

Arrow‘s fifth season premieres on Wednesday, October 5 at 8/7c on The CW.

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