Preview: Arrow Takes on The Huntress, One Well-Dressed Bombshell and… the Grinch?

Arrow Preview: Huntress, Well-Dressed Man, Winter FinaleArrow swings back into action tonight at 8/7c with the first of its three pre-holiday hiatus episodes. On tap for The CW’s freshman hit is the introduction of a lady friend every bit Oliver’s match, the revelation of who exactly the well-dressed John Barrowman is playing and a huge lump of coal that the Queen clan’s prodigal son aims to turn into holiday cheer. Exec producer Andrew Kreisberg shared with us a preview.

RELATED | Arrow Recruits Once Upon a Time‘s David Anders

TVLINE | Coming out of the Royal Flush Gang episode, do you consider Oliver’s ideology to have shifted?
Slightly, I would say. We always talk about the idea of the overall arc of the series is Oliver going from being the Arrow to being the Green Arrow. That when he comes back from the island, he’s got a very specific mission to cross the names off of this list, but with the addition of Diggle [as a partner], Laurel’s influence and all the experiences in his life, he’s going to start to become the “superhero” that the city needs, he’s going to learn that there is more than one way to save the city. So moving forward, you’re going to see snippets of that, of Oliver helping people in a more direct way than he had probably envisioned himself. Right now, he doesn’t think of himself as a superhero; hopefully, by the end of the series, he’ll begin to believe it.

TVLINE | But his becoming “the superhero that his city needs,” is that something that this show will ever be about or is that the endgame, like Smallville turning the Blur into Superman?
No. I think that’s what this show is about every week. The Arrow grows from being an urban legend to something that people count on and believe in and call out for. That’s going to be playing out over the course of the entire series.
TVLINE | Helena Bertinelli aka The Huntress (played by Jessica De Gouw) arrives this week, and there’s been talk about how this is someone with whom Oliver can, at long last, “be himself.” But since they at first keep their alter egos secret and engage as regular people, why is that?
When Oliver talks to most people, they say, “Oh, dear, poor you. You were trapped on that island for five years.” They feel sorry for him. The people who knew him previously feel like what’s come back is a damaged, somewhat disappointing version of himself.

TVLINE | Right, there are juxtapositions they can make.
But Helena doesn’t have any of those preconceptions. And because she herself has gone through, as she describes, “a crucible” — because her father murdered her fiancée — she’s the only person who’s ever said to him, “Do you miss the island?” For her, the thought of being alone on a deserted island actually holds some appeal. It’s her unique perspective on Oliver’s life experiences that make him look at her as a potential interest, because he doesn’t have to pretend to be the “Oliver Queen with the smile on his face,” saying everything is fine. He can actually let her know that it’s not fine and that there are times when he misses the island because there was a clarity, a purpose there.

TVLINE | Will the two of them get a “You show me your tricks, I’ll show you mine” sort of set piece like Arrow and China White did?
There are going to be both team-ups and face-offs.

RELATED | Ask Ausiello Has Fresh Scoop on Arrow‘s First Big Supervillain, Vertigo

TVLINE | We’re on the cusp of a new reveal about John Barrowman’s “Well-Dressed Man.” What more can you say about that?
In this week’s episode, “Muse of Fire,” we’re going to reveal John Barrowman’s identity, and we’re really excited because we feel like when people know that, the rest of the season is going to come into sharper focus.

TVLINE | Will just his identity be revealed, or also his agenda? Or do the two come part and parcel?
His agenda – or part of it — will be revealed in a few episodes. We love shows like this, as viewers, but we also know how we ourselves can get quickly frustrated with shows that ask a lot of questions but don’t provide a lot of answers. So, we’ve endeavored to pause at questions, then give answers and then ask new ones. Our goal really is to make the audience feel like they’ve gotten a complete meal but they’re still hungry for more.

PHOTOS | Arrow Meets The Huntress!

TVLINE | Looking ahead to the Christmas episode (“Year’s End,” airing Dec. 12), it would seem that the holiday has a particular — if rather dark – significance for Oliver’s family and friends.
Well, for Oliver, as he says, there was no Christmas on the island. There were no birthdays. There were no Wednesdays. And ever since he and his father disappeared, Moira and Thea got into the bad habit of not celebrating. When Oliver finds out that Christmas has become a non-holiday in his house, he sets out to set things right for his family.

TVLINE | But we’ll stop short of him bounding into the mansion with a bag of presents slung over his shoulder, right?
Yes. He will not be dressed up like Santa!

TVLINE | And Laurel has her own yuletide demons to deal with?
We’ll discover that her sister Sara’s birthday was on Christmas, so it holds a particularly dark place for her and her father. But as Laurel begins this burgeoning relationship with Tommy and as she becomes clearer in her feelings for Oliver, she’s going to realize that she has spent a lot of time “stuck” and that she needs to start moving on from some of her grief. So, the Christmas episode is going to turn out to be cathartic for all of our characters, in a really positive way. Even though it’s starting in a very dark place, it’s going to be a surprisingly hopeful, holiday episode.

TVLINE | But amidst that catharsis, are you going to have a moment to give us a cliffhanger going into the winter break?
There’ll be a bit of a cliffhanger, but also, in a lot of ways, what we really like about Episode 9 is it feels like a sequel to the previous eight episodes. Questions that have been raised in the previous eight episodes that haven’t been answered, they are going to be answered in 9. We’re going to get a fuller perspective of what Oliver is going to be up against in the back half of the season [starting Jan. 16].

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Oliver should go back to the island and turn it into a resort…

  2. Bit of trivia. In the comics, both Black Canary and Huntress originated on Earth 2. I’m glad that isn’t part of the show, it would undermine what makes it work.

    • Alan says:

      well technically versions of huntress and black canary exist on earth 2 and they came first but thats not the inspiration for the characters here. on earth 2 huntress is the daughter of batman and catwoman but thats not the version we are seeing here we are seeing helena betinelli, her earth 1 version, instead. nor are we seeing dinah drake, we are seeing dinah lance

      • “we are seeing helena betinelli, her earth 1 version” that’s what I like about it. I’m still worried that her apperance will end with some sort of cliffhanger reveal about her coming from Earth 2 (Johns, who wrote the episode, has said that he wants the representation of the characters in other media to mirror their apperance in the comics, and right now in the comics Huntress has gone back to being the daughter of the Earth 2 Batman).

        • Alan says:

          doing that would kill the show, introducing a multiverse at this time would be way too big an undertaking and would just confuse a lot of people who arent familiar with the comics. remember johns is a writer first and foremost and an executive second, he will want to make something people can follow and understand. just look at his smallville episodes, all three stories introduce big players from the comics who arent well known to the public and they dont get stuck trying to align directly with whats going on in the comics, they just tell a good story while giving you enough info about these people to get by on

          • be that as it may, he did make the statement that he wanted the characters in other media to be like they are in the comics. So far he has NOT suceeded in that, which is good, but until I see the episode I don’t take anything for granted, It would suck for them to introduce a multiverse after all the statements they made about wanting to keep the show grounded and nix the apperance of characters like Superman. If they’re going to do anything that has to do with super powers, Hal Jordan and his power ring takes precedent over the multiverse. #HARDTRAVELLINGHEROES.

          • Hard Travelling Heroes would turn Arrow into something like Supernatural, which for a single season could work. It would be a bit repetitive, but I’d really like to see done in the show around season three or something.

          • Alan says:

            i do think we will eventually see powers and stuff like that appear but not right now, and never as far as a multiverse goes. sure johns wants things to synch up but he also wants things to be watchable so people will have an interest in the comics.
            i do want to see hal and ollie fighting social injustices together in live action, that would be awesome

        • Jay says:

          Helena Bertinelli was the First Huntress. Selina Kyle named her daughter after her, and she became the second Huntress as a teenager.

          • Alan says:

            no. the huntress of earth 2 (helena wayne, the daughter of the batman and catwoman of earth 2) came first. the only reason helena bertinelli exists is because she needed a new backstory after the crisis on infinite earths and dc wanted to keep the character around but didnt want batman to be aged by having a grown up daughter

          • Alan, the Earth 2 Huntress died during Crisis. The Post Crisis Huntress, Helena Bertinelli, is an entirely new character. What they’re doing now with the “she uses the Bertinelli name as an alias” thing is crap. They’re just pandering to nostalgia for the past.

          • As far as Post Crisis continuity goes, you are 100% correct. It’s too bad that nostalgia for the past ruined what once was a great superhero universe.

          • Alan says:

            i wasnt saying they are the same character. i did say she had a completely different backstory, which to me is as good as saying its a new character

  3. Zak says:

    Out of all the new shows this and Elementary are the only two that I’ve actually stuck with. It’s become one of the top three shows I look forward to each week and the only show I actually watch live…not that it matters since I don’t have a Nilson’s box. I had my doubts about the show being separate from Smallville, but I’m so glad it is since I find it to be better than Smallville ever was (to much character drama on Smallville). Anyways just my long winded way of saying that I’m really enjoying the show and hope the rest of the season doesn’t lose the momentum it has going for it right now.

    • lll says:

      You’re right. Smallville focused too much relationships and supporting characters instead of the main character–Clark. Arrow focuses on Oliver Queen first and makes sure every other character is connected to him. Everything else is secondary. That’s the difference between the two.

    • rachelle says:

      literally the only two new shows I myself watch! both shows are amazing and I’m happy they’re doing well.

  4. sarah says:

    Love this show and can not wait until tonight!

  5. melissa says:

    I am so happy to see John Barrowman! Big fan of Torchwood. Can’t wait to find out what baddie he’s playing!

    • jules says:

      Same here.. I’ve missed Captain Jack Harkness and I’m so happy to see John on Arrow… excited to find out what his role is!!

  6. Alan says:

    that christmas episode sounds like it could be intriguing. i cant wait to find out who barrowman is actually playing, i was convinced he was vertigo until it was revealed vertigo had been cast, now im just lost

  7. Zorkel567 says:

    I am really ho[ing Barrowman is playing Maxwell Lord. Love the character and feel he could play into this show perfectly.