'Arrow' finale first look: Stephen Amell and John Barrowman face off
We've got an early look at these photos from the opening scene of the episode, in which Oliver and Malcolm ( John Barrowman) come face-to-face... without their faces obscured by their usual vigilante get-ups.
"I start the season finale chained up and left for dead," Stephen Amell confirms. "I'm chained up to the ceiling ... I'm chained up by Mr. Barrowman. Now, in the photos, he is not wearing a mask, and neither am I. Everything is out in the open between us."
The revelation that Malcolm is the Dark Archer that nearly took Oliver out early in the season comes as a brutal shock to our hero.
"The neat thing about the finale is that so much of this season ... has just been [about] people with facades," Amell says. "The one that Oliver puts up for his family, the one that Moira puts up for her family, the one that [Malcolm] puts up for Tommy. All of those, toward the last two episodes, just melt away, because danger is so perilously close. We get to see characters interacting in a way that they haven't all season."
With Oliver incapacitated by Malcolm, the rest of Team Arrow is going to be put to work. That means Diggle and Felicity have to step up. "By the time we get to the finale we get to see [Diggle, Felicity, and Oliver] as a fully-functioning, no hierarchy, all in it for each other team," Amell says.
Of course, Diggle and Felicity have been training, but they're not quite as sharp as Oliver at this point, so they're in for a tough ride when Oliver gets... detained. "It took Oliver 5 years to turn into what he was when he showed up in the pilot episode," says Amell. "As much as fans want to see Katie put on fishnets and immediately turn into Black Canary, that would disservice what we tried to prove with Oliver's storyline, which is that it takes time. So we're getting to see these characters evolve. With Diggle and Felicity being privy to this world, we're going to continue to see them become more and more capable."
So the question remains: How does Oliver end up tied up without his shirt? (Not that we don't appreciate it.) Tune in Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST to find out.