If you're not caught up on "Arrow" (and haven't seen Season 3's game-changing mid-season finale), stop reading now!
After watching our favorite Starling City hero suffer the ultimate defeat at the skilled hands of shirtless Ra's al Ghul, Access Hollywood sat down with Stephen Amell to get info on the potential for Oliver's resurrection, Katie Cassidy's badass Black Canary coming out party, Olicity, Raylicity and more.
First things first: we're willing to bet that Oliver will not remain "dead" for the remainder of the show, especially since The CW hit was just renewed for a fourth season. So, will The Arrow (and his abs) return to us via The Lazarus Pit?
We tried to get a tight-lipped Stephen to hint at whether Oliver had been to the pit by asking if he's had any recent below-ground experiences, perhaps a mud bath-type deal... We failed, miserably.
"Nope. Too cold where he is," a straight-faced Stephen told Access at the Television Critics Association Winter Tour in Pasadena, Calif., sticking strictly to what we've seen in the preview for Episode 310. "He's been on a rickshaw of some type… being dragged through the wilderness. [It's] snowy, blankets. That's it so far."
The Ra's vs. Arrow sword fight was rather epic as TV battles go, thanks to fight coordinator James Bamford, and "two weeks" of preparation on Stephen's part.
"I learned it and then started working on the moves and probably did five or six sessions with our stunt coordinator James, and Matt [Nable, who plays Ra's] and Matt's double – that was a lot to learn," Stephen said. "Swords are – even though we're not using super sharp metal [that] could puncture your skin necessarily – they're still, if you miss, it will really hurt."
And the faux-fight brought about some real injuries, as the actors swung away in the bitter cold atop Vancouver's Grouse Mountain.
"I had a boot mark on my forearm, because I get kicked in my forearm and the only real way to do it was to just kick me," Stephen told Access. "I'm supposed to just be prepared to take my arm away, but I think I just caught it at the wrong momentum and I just took the kick full-force.
"I had a boot mark on my arm," he adding, laughing. "It was like going over, 'Hey, did you get that shot? You did? OK, no more kicking on the arm, please.'"
Stephen's not the only "Arrow" cast member who's kicking butt. In the mid-season premiere trailer, we see Katie Cassidy in full Black Canary garb for the first time.
Although Oliver hasn't interacted with BC, Stephen said he thinks Katie's new alter ego will be "great."
"I think Katie Cassidy looks fantastic in the suit, which is half the battle," he said. "It's probably, at this point, the eighth or ninth costume that … the entire wardrobe team behind 'Arrow' and 'The Flash' have just nailed. I think that it cannot be overstated how difficult it is to do superhero costumes, and the fact that we just keep cranking them out, and they keep just being sort of universally accepted by a very critical audience, should not go unsaid."
Now for Olicity (heads bowed in moment of silence for Felicity and Oliver's goodbye/ "I love you" scene that had us screaming): while Ollie will seemingly always love Laurel Lance, and – if the show follows the original DC lore – will end up with her, who would Oliver currently pick if he had to choose between Emily Bett Rickards' Felicity and Laurel?
Oliver kisses Felicity on ‘Arrow’ (CW)
"Like in a fight?" Stephen joked, before answering, "I normally shy away from this question, but right now, the answer is Felicity, clearly.
"Laurel is a love from a different part of his life. It's always gonna be there, but the person that he is now… in his mind, Felicity is the match," he continued. "It's just the match that he can't have, from his perspective."
Filming their goodbye scene was "really cool," Stephen said.
"That scene between Emily and I, I really enjoyed it," he shared. "I enjoyed the early part of it too with David [Ramsey] and Colton [Haynes]. You know, there was the scene in our first season finale when both David and Emily, their characters, really decide that they want to be there, and Emily has that great line, 'If you're not leaving, I'm not leaving.'
"And so I thought that that was a very similar scene for our [Season 3] mid-season finale, but 30-plus episodes later," he continued. "I thought it was a really nice barometer check on how far the team has come."
We know how Oliver would feel about Felicity romancing it up with newly-installed Queen Consolidated CEO Ray Palmer (played by Brandon Routh), but how does Stephen feel about Raylicity?
"I like it! I like Brandon Routh," he said. "It's ironic – I've had one scene with him, and it was on our third day of shooting in July. So, Brandon and I actually had a chance to go to dinner just before the Christmas break and catch up, because I never see his character."
Adding, "I think he's doing a fantastic job – great addition to the show. I think they've done a good job creating some good chemistry."
"Arrow" returns from its winter hiatus on Wednesday, January 21, at 8/7c on The CW.
-- Erin O'Sullivan