'Arrow' returns with a vengeance: Scoop on Colton Haynes' character and 4 more things to expect in 2013

arrow-burned-fire.jpg"Arrow" is easily our favorite new show from the Fall 2012 crop, and it has only gotten better as the season soldiered on. After speaking with executive producer Marc Guggenheim this week, we're feeling more psyched than ever about what's to come in 2013. "Arrow" returns on January 16 at 8 p.m. with "Burned" -- get all the scoop you need about that episode here.

We've already given you the dish on a new love interest coming into Oliver's ( Stephen Amell) life, who is very different from both Laurel ( Katie Cassidy) and Helena ( Jessica De Gouw). Now, here are five more things to look forward to from the rest of "Arrow's" epic first season.

1. A six-week time-jump.
There are no super powers in the "Arrow" universe, which means that Oliver isn't going to magically heal from the injuries he sustained in his encounter with the Dark Archer. When we return in "Burned," six weeks have passed, and Oliver has had some time to rehabilitate and recover from the physical damage. Emotionally, though, the wounds are still fresh, and rebuilding his confidence is a major theme of the episode.

2. More Felicity!
Guggenheim promises more of what the writers call "Oliver's bulls*** excuses" as he and Diggle continue to use Felicity's expertise without letting her in on their secret. (She's got to stop pretending to believe them eventually, right?) It's also important to remember that Felicity is currently in possession of one of only two copies of Robert Queen's list -- and that's going to come into play in a major way in upcoming episodes.

3. Colton Haynes as Roy Harper. We're going to miss Haynes on "Teen Wolf" this season, but we couldn't be more excited to see him pop up on "Arrow." He'll be playing Roy Harper, a familiar character for DC Comics fans and a love interest for Thea ( Willa Holland). "In the comics, Roy Harper is known for two things -- his heroin addiction, and being 'Speedy,' Arrow's sidekick," Guggenheim says. "Thea's definitely not known for hanging out with upstanding citizens, but the thing is, she really only hangs out with rich kids. They're trouble, but they're wealthy, like the Queens. The key thing about Colton's character is that he's from The Glades, which we've established is really the worst part of Starling City. It's the first time Thea's ever dated or spent time with someone who is definitely from the wrong side of the tracks."

4. Less complaining for Thea. Oliver's little sis has become a rather polarizing character. Some critics find her to be the most irritating TV teenager since Dana Brody on "Homeland." We happen to love her sarcastic attitude and the way she refuses to let Oliver off the hook, ever. The writers have made a conscious decision to shift Thea in a less-talk-more-action direction in the second half of the season. She'll be less whiny and more active.

5. Some insight into Malcolm Merlyn's motives. We're obsessed with John Barrowman as the dastardly Merlyn patriarch, so we obviously had to ask Guggenheim whether he's strictly a Season 1 bad guy or someone who we can expect to recur throughout the duration of the series. "Listen, the fans love John Barrowman, we love John Barrowman," says Guggenheim. "We're definitely in tune with what the audience wants. That said, there's an arc for Malcolm in this first season. I'd say -- well, watch all the episodes, but specifically, if you're looking for great John Barrowman, you can look forward to Episode 11 and Episode 16. We'll really get into who he is and where he's coming from."
Photo/Video credit: The CW