(This article contains potential spoilers for season 4 of Arrow, read at your own risk)
CW's [Arrow](tag:720988) has been a huge hit these last three years, sparking two spin offs in [The Flash](tag:1068303) and the upcoming [DC's Legends of Tomorrow](tag:2937021). Season 3 somewhat stalled as the story and the characters (Felicity) failed to live up to the previous two seasons. Hopefully this next season will change that and come back kicking.
For season 4 we know that the "Big Bad" will be Damian Dhark and H.I.V.E. a former friend of the former Rah's al Ghoul. However, some new characters have been confirmed in the Red Hood villain Anarky, who will be working for Dhark. Also, Mr. Terrific, a genius working under Felicity at Palmer Industries. Now, one of the worst points in the entire third season was Felicity. As an actress, Emily Bett Rickards, she is fantastic but her character took a dive.
The problem with Felicity
So, in seasons 1 and 2 Felicity was possibly one of the best and funniest characters. She made actual contributions to the team and served as the Oracle of the Arrow team. But starting in season 3 she more or less became a fan girl of Oliver. Sure she still was the eyes and ears of the team but she pretty much took the main role of fan girl. She was the girl that always worried about, first Ray, then Oliver. This ruined her character in one season! Hopefully she goes back to the strong character she was before.
The character of Felicity can relate a lot to Lana Lang from Smallville. In the beginning she was a strong character who often helped Clark out of tough situations. Then she started on the path of only being a love interest, she had no other plot driving elements. After that she disappeared and it turns out she went and got military training and became a superhero of sorts. Now I do not think that Felicity will become a superhero anytime soon but she could take on the "Oracle" role again. Hacking and information gathering, the things she excels at.
How to get her back there?
I think a good way to do it would be to have some enemies of Oliver's come and attack the two of them on vacation. Felicity would get injured (Oracle) and Oliver would feel massive guilt and blame himself. He would end the relationship with her and she would use that anger and put it into being a hero in her own regard. With the way the show has been going, and the cues it has taken from Batman it would not be surprising if a H.I.V.E. agent puts her in a wheelchair and she is forced to stay in the Arrow cave as the intelligence person.
Now this is some fan art depicting John Diggle as The Guardian. This is a large possibility because some things line up very well between the two characters. For example, both are former military, both had brothers who died. In The Guardian's case his brother became a villain. Those are a few similarities but are very possible. If you look at Diggle's new suit as revealed at Comic Con, it could be taken to be an earlier version of the Guardian suit.
As you can see he has the helmet and gun, like Guardian. I think that what they will do is similar to how they only revealed Oliver as Green Arrow in season 4. Up until next season, Oliver has always been The Vigilante, or something similar to that. He had a costume that differed from his Comic costume. However Oliver's new costume was also revealed as being much truer to the comics.