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‘Arrow’: Echo Kellum Teases the New Team Arrow in Midseason Premiere

Team Arrow took quite a hit in Season 6’s midseason finale, and it didn’t even come at the hands of one of the villains.

After learning that someone on his team became a witness in the case to prove he is the Green Arrow, Oliver (Stephen Amell) grew suspicious of his newest team members — Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), Curtis (Echo Kellum), and Rene (Rick Gonzalez). After wrongly accusing Dinah of betraying him it was revealed that it was actually Rene who had flipped on Oliver after there were threats to take his daughter away.

Tensions rose, trust was lost, and when the team learned Oliver had begun spying on the three of them, Dinah, Curtis, and Rene walked out on the team.

“It was a begrudging decision for him to come to,” Kellum tells Variety. “They’ve been the closest thing he’s had to a family since his divorce, and he doesn’t take his decision lightly.”

There are now two teams protecting Star City: the OG Team Arrow consisting of Oliver, Diggle (David Ramsey), and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and the new team of Dinah, Curtis, and Rene. Variety spoke to Kellum about how Curtis is handling the split, if he’ll emerge as a new leader, and which team has the upper hand.

Where is Curtis’ head when we pick back up after having walked out on Oliver, Diggle, and Felicity?

It weighs on him, but it’s a decision he feels firm about. In a relationship you have to have trust, and if one partner is incapable or showing that you have to make the decision of whether or not you’re going to stick around. It also felt a little personal to him because — all though he’s looked at as a new recruit — he was there before Rene and Dinah came into the scene. That history is what really hurt him.

So his anger toward Oliver has cooled?

I wouldn’t say that it’s anger so much [as] that it’s feeling kind of betrayed and disappointed. It doesn’t mean that it can’t boil over to anger at some point, but I think he’s just dismayed that they would go behind his back or not give him the benefit of the doubt that he wouldn’t roll over on Oliver. He’s hurt, but I don’t think it’s anger.

He has just as much reason to be upset with Felicity as he does Oliver. She’s been making a lot of decisions regarding their new company Helix without having any discussion with him. How is their relationship?

It’s pretty rocky right now. They love their friendship, and pat each other’s back in a lot of ways, but a lot of lines have been crossed for both of them. There was her with the company things; there was Curtis injecting Diggle with their proprietary prototype. You need to have better communication and a better execution with friendship, and they both can learn from that.

How is the new team fairing out on their own? Are they working well together?

Yeah, I think they are working well together but that doesn’t mean they don’t have hiccups. They still have struggles, but I feel like they’re doing a good job.

Has Curtis taken on more of a leadership role or is this new team more of a democracy?

They want to kind of have a different spin to a team than the original Team Arrow. They want a more democratic approach rather than having one person lead. It’s more of a shared leadership between them.

How do you think fans will feel about who to root for — the OG Team Arrow or this new team?

I think that the material we’re doing, the storylines we’re doing, we will have a pull for people pulling for New Team Arrow. I’m hopeful that our team can pick up some type of following. I’m sure fans will be torn, but it should make for good TV.

At Oliver and Felicity’s wedding, Curtis got a little angsty for some love in his life. Will we get to see any more on that?

I can’t talk to much in detail, but I can say you’ll definitely see Curtis stepping out into the field in a different sense.

“Arrow” returns Jan. 18 at 9 p.m. on the CW.

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