Arrow Post-Mortem: Marc Guggenheim Explains Shocking Death, Missing Thea & More

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[Spoiler Alert: Do not read ahead if you have not watched Arrow Season 3 Episode 1. Big spoilers ahead]

Well, now we know why next week’s Arrow Season 3 Episode 2 is called Sara.

The sister to Laurel Lance, former lover to Oliver Queen and The League of Assassins’ Nyssa as well as the very capable crimefighter who we’ve come to know as The Black Canary is dead.

It happened right after Sara returned to help Oliver in his latest fight and following a genuine heart to heart talk with her sister. Then, she took a few arrows in the stomach and fell from the rooftop where Laurel found her dead.

Why did Sara have to die? Will we see Nyssa show up to avenge her lover’s death? Is Diggle out of the Arrow Team for good? What of the fallout from that hospital scene between Ollie and Felicity? And where the hell was Thea in the season premirere?

After he gave us some good teases to last night’s episode, Executive Producer Marc Guggenheim also answered the many questions we have that will undoubtedly lead us well into the new season.

I Got Your Back - Arrow Season 3 Episode 1

Why the end of Sara?: Ever since Caity Lotz showed up Arrow, she’s been a fan favorite so the death of Sara hurts much in the same way we felt when Tommy died in Arrow Season 1 and Moira Queen in Arrow Season 2. Every time we kill off a character on the show, it's always incredibly hard. We're not Game of Thrones. We're not Sons of Anarchy. It's really, really, really difficult,” Guggenheim said.

The short answer, basically, is her death opens up a lot of story for those left behind. “As with Tommy's death, as with Moira's death, the story implications for this development are so far-reaching for the show and affect all of the characters,” he said. “It kicks off, obviously, a mystery that will drive us for at least the first half of the year. It will set Laurel on a trajectory that she's never had before on the show."

It will create all these other complications and dynamics that I can't talk about because it would spoil stuff. It buys us a lot of story, and it speaks to all the things that we wanted to do this year in terms of Laurel's character, in terms of Oliver's character, in terms of Felicity's character. It's always a hard thing to do, but it is really the engine that's driving the whole third season.”

Arrow Season 3 Episode 2: As stated earlier, next week’s episode is called ‘Sara’ and Guggenheim admitted, the episode is “probably our most emotionally gut-wrenching episode – as it needs to be, as it should be because this character's death affects all of the characters on the show. It's kind of brutal.”

He added that Laurel will be a big part of the episode as is a suspect in Sara’s murder. “It's really, really powerful stuff. It's a hard episode to watch.” One thing that’s different from past deaths on the show, Guggenheim explained, is time. “This episode is sort of the first time we've actually really taken our time and really spent time with these characters in the wake of a major character's death,” he said. “As a result, I wouldn't call it a departure episode, but it's definitely an episode with a different spin to it, for sure.”

Nyssa’s Return: It’s already out there that Katrina Law will be popping back up on Arrow and we won’t have to wait long. “The whole reason to bring Nyssa back is her finding out that Sara's dead,” Guggenheim said, adding that this is going to be a “big deal” on the show. “We love Katrina, and we love the character of Nyssa, and I actually feel like with Sara's death, Nyssa becomes so much more important because one thing I do think that Sara did was provide us a cool ass-kicking female character on the show and Nyssa definitely fits that bill quite well. I think it's Katrina Law's finest episode, actually. She’s absolutely spectacular.”

Olicity – done before it began?: We took one step forward and two steps back with the romance between Oliver and Felicity but should Olicity fans give up the dream? “The end of that hospital scene didn't just take Oliver and Felicity and put them back in a box,” Guggenheim promised. “The repercussions of that scene and that storyline in episode 1, that's going to follow them over the course of [Arrow Season 3]. It's not over. We didn't just hit pause or reset on their relationship. This is just a development in an ongoing relationship.”

Controlling the Meeting - Arrow Season 3 Episode 1

Ray Palmer = The Atom?: DC Comics fans know that Ray Palmer is The Atom in the comics but what are the chances we might see Palmer shrink down in the near future? Guggenheim explained, “My instinct is if Ray Palmer is going to shrink he’ll probably shrink on another show. With The Flash in existence there’s no real compelling reason for us to do super powers on Arrow because we can bring characters to Flash to have super powers. We have plans for Ray that don’t involve shrinking but our plans for Ray are actually really cool.”

Diggle’s Future with the Team: We may have seen Diggle agree that taking a backseat for the good of his new baby was the right thing to do but don’t expect that to stick. “In episode 2, let's say the circumstances of Sara's death change up a lot of things for all of our characters,” Guggenheim teased.

Where is Thea?: Don't expect to see much (or any) of the youngest Queen in the premiere episode. "This was a lesson we learned throughout season 2, which is to not try and pack everyone into a given episode. And as we were breaking this episode out, we sort of discovered, you know, it could be more interesting if Thea, who left town at the end of season 2, wasn't around. And it's part of the mystery. Where is she? She's not in Starling City. That question will be answered in episode 2. 

Arrow Season 3 airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW. 

Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of Follow him on Twitter.

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Arrow Season 3 Episode 1 Quotes

Diggle: You love her. You even told her so.
Oliver: I was trying to fool Slade.
Diggle: Yes. Except now the only person you're fooling is yourself.

Keep this up and there will be two kinds of criminals left in Starling City. The ones we put away and the ones running scared.