The CW’s Arrow took a page from Captain America: Civil War this year when Season 6 saw Team Arrow splinter into two separate teams amidst a whole lot of inner conflict and drama. The storyline has been so polarizing that showrunner Marc Guggenheim has now admitted he may have miscalculated the effect it would have on the fans.
In a recent interview with TVLine, Guggenheim explained that he did not take into consideration the fact that “New Team Arrow” (Dinah, Rene and Curtis) would not have the same fan following as “Old Team Arrow” (Oliver, Felicity and Diggle).
“I think if I miscalculated anywhere, it’s probably on the order of not taking into full consideration the fact that while all the arguments may be equal and equally strong, there’s always going to be a love and affection for the original characters that the new characters don’t get a chance to enjoy,” Guggenheim admitted. “In crafting these arguments, we were being, I think, very evenhanded. At least we were trying to be. But we were not taking into account the familiarity factor.”
Meaning it’s easy for fans to be on Oliver, Diggle and Felicity’s side since we’ve followed them since the very first season. On the other hand, Dinah, Rene and Curtis are relatively new-ish characters whom we had less time to bond with. It's just too bad they did not take this into consideration while breaking down the show's Season 6 arc.
Team Arrow split up during the midseason finale after Rene admitted that he was the FBI’s key witness in identifying Oliver as Green Arrow; but only because they threatened him with taking his daughter away. The revelation came when Rene, Dinah and Curtis found out that Oliver had been spying on them in order to root out the FBI’s source. While Original Team Arrow argued their surveillance of the trio was justified, New Team Arrow saw Oliver’s spying as a massive breach of trust in them and decided to part ways and form their own team.
Things have only gone from bad to worse with the two teams fighting amongst each other, and with Diggle having also left Oliver’s team in last week’s episode.
While Guggenheim admits he may have miscalculated the fans’ reaction to splitting up Team Arrow this season, he went on to justify his decision by pointing to the grand-standing tradition of superheroes fighting among themselves in the comic book and cinematic worlds.
“Superheroes having a falling out and fighting amongst each other is one of the most longstanding comic book traditions,” Guggenheim said. “Again, this is maybe where we miscalculated, but I always assumed the fans would go along with us in this regard, because it is such a tried-and-true comic book [convention]. In the Marvel cinematic universe, very good movies have been made about [infighting].”
With a few episodes still left to air in the season, it’ll be interesting to see how they’ll go about resolving the divisive Old Team Arrow vs. New Team Arrow storyline, and the showrunner is asking fans to wait until the end before passing judgment. What do you think of Guggenheim's comments?
Arrow returns with a new episode titled “Fundamentals” on April 12.