After months of missing our favorite Starling City crime-fighters
, and watching the series' fantastic spinoff
, the highly anticipated third season of Arrow
premieres tonight, Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. on The CW. We’ve already seen the mind-blowing first episode back (subtle brag intended) and we nearly passed out from awesome-overload!
To help get you prepared for all the twists, turns, oohs and aaahs, we've jotted down eight things that you absolutely need to know before tuning in to the new season...
1. So Much Adrenaline-Pumping Action: There's only one way we can describe the season three premiere: HOLY $#%@! The opening scene is absolutely phenomenal and the highs-stakes action will sooth your Arrow-loving hearts. It's also incredible to see how fantastic our four crime-fighters — Oliver, Roy, Diggle and Felicity — work together.
"One of the fun things about season three is we really get to play with [this new team dynamic]." Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim revealed to ETonline and a small group of reporters. "You really feel like Roy (Colton Haynes) is a part of Team Arrow, that it's more than just wearing a costume, that he's really present and a member of this group, that the trio becomes a quartet."
2. Prepare to Feel ALL the Olicity Feels: "Oh god, I've been teasing [Olicity fans] mercilessly on Twitter," Guggenheim giggled. Now ETonline can confirm that those tortured Olicity fans will get a huge, kiss-filled payoff in tonight's season three premiere. Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) will take their relationship to the next step with a dinner date that is filled with everything that makes this couple so ship-worthy: Awkward oversharing, longing glances, sexual tension, and all-around perfection.
"I like to say it's an explosive first date," The EP revealed with a knowing smile. "I think it's so hard to tease it without spoiling it, but I'm very happy with the circumstances under which they have their first kiss. I hope it's unexpected. I hope it plays as emotional." Trust us—you'll laugh, you'll cry, and above all, you'll swoon.
4. It's A Fresh Start: If you know anyone who doesn't watch Arrow, you need to do two things immediately: 1) Question why the heck they are a part of your life because they clearly have terrible taste in television. 2) Get them to hop on the Arrow bandwagon ASAP because tonight's season three premiere is the perfect time to start.
"I feel like this episode's a really good jumping-off point for new viewers," Guggenheim said. "We sort of closed a chapter at the end of season two, and this is a brand new opening. I don't really think there's anything you really need to know coming into it. It's pretty new-viewer friendly. That wasn't necessarily by design, it just happened to work out that way because of the story we were telling."
3. Introducing Daddy Diggle: What's better than the Diggle/Oliver bromance scenes that we love oh-so much? How about seeing Diggle (David Ramsey) embrace his destiny as a dad. His relationship with Lyla (Audrey Anderson) has never been more adorable and as he prepares for his Diggle-to-Dad name change, Oliver will make a drastic decision that will forever alter the dynamics of the group.
5. Meet the New Charismatic Character: Comic book fans know and love Ray Palmer as The Atom, and tonight Arrow fans will finally be introduced to the ridiculously charming character, played by Superman Return's Brandon Routh. Although we hate to say it, Ray's scenes with Felicity are positively wonderful, and their witty banter creates some of the best lines in Arrow history. (Porcupine farts. That's all we'll say.) However if you're expecting Ray's size to shrink in Starling City—think again. "We have plans for Ray that don't involve shrinking, but our plans for Ray are actually really cool," Guggenheim teased.
6. The Flashbacks Are Awesome Again: Alright, who else is ready for a break from all those Island flashbacks? (You should all be feverishly raising your hands by now) Well you're in luck because it's time to explore a new chapter from Oliver's lost years—and they're ridiculously crazy! In the season two finale, fans discovered that Oliver was taken away from the island and delivered to Hong Kong, and now you'll get a deeper peak into how our hero eventually perfected his Mandarin.
7. Oliver Gets an Official Partner-in-Crime: For those who have been itching to see Roy fully embrace his destiny as Arsenal, get ready. "I think what you see in season three is much more a mentor/mentee, master/apprentice kind of relationship," the showrunner explained. "You really see how Oliver is training this kid to be a hero in his own right." However, keep in mind that Roy is most definitely not just a side-kick. In fact, there is a serious "Awww!" moment in tonight's premiere in which Oliver defines exactly what Roy should be known as.
8. A Jaw-Dropping, Can't-Miss Ending: We're about to be super vague about this one (and for good reason!) but we need to stress the importance of watching the entire episode. Something BIG will happen in the final minute of tonight's season three premiere, and it will shock Arrow fans to the core. After you stop hyperventilating, make sure check back to ETonline immediately after the episode to find out why this happens and what it means for our action-packed drama moving forward.
Season three of Arrow premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW.