This week on The CW’s Arrow (tonight at 8/7c), no sooner does Oliver return to his secret persona does he come face-to-face with ongoing adversary China White (returning guest star Kelly Hu). Only this time, the badass femme has brought a new friend — Bronze Tiger, played by Spawn’s Michael Jai White. (I suggest foregoing a handshake, boys.)
Sicced by the Triad on the vigilante, Bronze Tiger “just wants to prove himself, to test himself against the best,” White tells TVLine. “China White even basically says to him, ‘Heres a guy who will give you a challenge.’ So it’s one of those things where he’s trying to focus on facing this guy.”
Part of what pointed White at Arrow is the superhero drama’s rep for impressive weekly stunt work. Through his past action-oriented projects, “I happen to be very connected in the stunt world, and the fight coordinator on Arrow, [James] ‘Bam-Bam’ [Bamford], has an amazing reputation. They have a great stunt presence there, and then you’ve got a great lead [Stephen Amell) who’s really committed, both mentally and physically.”
Amell returns the compliment, saying: “Michael Jai White is just the consummate professional. He came in and worked his butt off, and the scenes we shot together were really cool.”
Also looming ever-large in this week’s episode is Alderman Sebastian Blood, played by True Blood’s Kevin Alejandro. The rising political star, in representing the Glades’ oft-dismissed interest, will butt (figurative) heads with Oliver Queen before agreeing to a tentative, if fleeting, truce.
“One of the most interesting relationships [Oliver] has is with Sebastian Blood — who, if you’re into the comics, you can probably guess where that’s going,” teases EP Andrew Kreisberg. “They start out as antagonists and then start to form this relationship as friends. And those are always the best villains to spring up, the ones who start as friends. There’s a lot of that this season — betrayal amongst people, a lot of things that aren’t what they seem.”
Bronze Tiger. A Blood brother. That bad penny China White. And at least one ominous return (or two?). It all adds up to a plethora of targets for he who will be known as Arrow. “We’re starting to build our repertoire of villains,” Amell notes. “So why have one when we can have two, or three or four? As important as it is to build our superhero world” — weaving in the likes of Black Canary, a would-be Speedy and a fast-approaching Flash — “what good is it if there aren’t supervillains along the way?
“What are the superheroes going to do, just high-five and congratulate each other for being awesome?” the actor adds with a laugh. “No. You have to have adversaries.”