Stephen Amell talks 'Arrow': 'The Odyssey' expands the circle of trust, plus - romance and villains don't mix

arrow-amell-115.jpgLast week's "Arrow" episode ended with a chilling cliffhanger as Oliver finally took his mother to task for her involvement in... something bad that he doesn't know the details of yet. In the opening sequence of tonight's episode, "The Odyssey," we relive those final harrowing moments.

Oliver is still grappling with his desire to believe in his mother's innocence, and her apparent lack thereof. "The way he rationalizes it or attempts to deal with it is not really in keeping with how he would deal with anyone else in this situation. If that notebook belonged to Bad Guy X, the next show would open with that person at arrow-point, but that's not so much what happens with Moira," Stephen Amell told us when we visited him on set last week.

Oliver's affection for his mother leads him to a moment of weakness, and she gets the upper hand on him, inflicting one of his worst injuries yet. As you've already seen from some very revealing photos, back at the warehouse -- spoiler alert! -- our favorite, Felicity, will learn Oliver's secret. As for whether she'll become a member of the team full time? Actress Emily Bett Rickards was officially promoted to series regular for Season 2, which was announced yesterday.

arrow-the-odysseydiggle-felicity-oliver.jpg"[Felicity] is certainly circling the Diggle-Oliver team, if unknowingly so far," Amell says. "I like working with her ... I remember shooting my first scene with Emily, which was Guy Bee's first episode way back in early August. I just remember right off the hop talking with our producers after just being like, 'I really enjoyed that scene, not only is she a great character, but it's just a totally different speed for me. I like her dynamic. Hopefully she's involved more."

With present-time Oliver out of commission, this week's episode is far more flashback-heavy than any we've seen before. It centers around Oliver's extraordinary experience on the island after meeting Manu Bennett's character, Deathstroke. The island scenes show us a different side of Oliver -- at least, a side we're not really used to seeing in the flashbacks. In his time with Deathstroke, Oliver's integrity and fierce sense of honor takes priority over self-preservation, and we get our first true glimpse of the hero he would ultimately become. We also see that somewhere under that playboy partier, Oliver had some serious book smarts lying dormant.

Romance takes a backseat for Oliver in the episode, though if you watched our preview last week, you may have seen a telling moment between Oliver and Laurel. It serves as a reminder that despite his various love interests -- including McKenna ( Janina Gavankar), whose role in Oliver's life is about to increase significantly -- it's Laurel who seems to be his destiny. Despite that, Amell says that Oliver's genuinely interested in McKenna and not just stringing her along while he's waiting for Laurel. Unfortunately, though, love isn't exactly in the air for the Arrow. In fact, the episode they were shooting when we visited, Episode 18, will reinforce that theme.

arrow-janina-gavankar.jpg"We come to an interesting realization at the end of this episode, which is to say that every time Oliver attempts to be romantic, be it with Laurel ... with Jessica [De Gouw]'s character, the Huntress, or with Janina's character, McKenna Hall, it tends not to work out. It usually ends up, or they end up, worse off than when things started. That takes Oliver to an interesting place at the end of the episode we're shooting now, where he comes to a realization that maybe these two things can't be balanced."

Yes -- the Huntress will be making a return, and she's not coming back to make nice with Oliver. In fact, we can bet that no returning character is coming back to make Oliver's day any better.

"If there is somebody, and that person is a villain, and I don't kill that person, they come back to haunt me. I could have put an arrow in Helena Bertinelli ... because now she's back. Should I have let the Count live? Probably not. We've announced that Deadshot is coming back, though I think I thought that I offed him, and I had a chance with Chyna White, and she's back too. The moral of the story is that maybe I shouldn't have as high morals."

Tune in to our video below for (much) more from Amell, including his favorite scene so far this season -- and don't miss "The Odyssey," obviously, airing Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.
Photo/Video credit: The CW