Arrow EP Talks of Oliver's Obsession, Slade's Revenge, Laurel's Downfall and Juggling 'Olicity'

Arrow Season 2 SpoilersThe CW’s Arrow, having spent the first half of Season 2 putting assorted exciting pieces in place, is now poised to let the action and agendas fly, not much unlike a projective from Oliver’s bow. Among the big dramatic triggers: Oliver is out for Blood, while onetime compadre Slade Wilson has surfaced in Starling City with one good eye and a very bad disposition. TVLine invited executive producer Andrew Kreisberg to preview the new run of episodes to come, kicking off Wednesday at 8/7.

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TVLINE | Over the first run of Season 2 episodes, it felt as if you were setting up pieces on a chessboard….
That was definitely the plan.

TVLINE | So as the show comes back, will we see these different elements coalesce and take shape?
Absolutely. One of the things we learned from last season was we built up to Episode 9, where we revealed that Malcolm Merlyn was the Dark Archer, then we kind of put things on simmer — and this year we’re coming back [from the break] with a bang. Oliver is obsessed with finding the man in the skull mask, Brother Blood, who he finally got eyes on in Episode 9, and we’ll be seeing Blind SpotSlade in the present and his machinations with Sebastian to bring about Oliver’s downfall.

These next four episodes are also, in a way, a big Laurel chapter because we really get to see Laurel’s drug use come back to bite her. She hits rock bottom and Katie Cassidy is just delivering the most amazing performance. She’s really kicked it up a notch and we’re so proud of her.

TVLINE | That’s good to hear, because one of my questions was how you planned to make Laurel relevant to this next wave of storytelling, beyond possibly dating Sebastian.
You know, it’s been somewhat hard, I think, for Katie and us to hear some of the criticisms of her character because we don’t do anything without thinking about it. And one of the great things about having as much success as we had in Season 1 was the freedom to allow things to unfold the way that they should. We’ve always had a fantastic plan for Laurel’s character, and I know that there’s impatience out there in the world to see her “strap on the fish nets” [as Black Canary] but everything we’re doing is all about leading up to that in a the way that we feel keeps it the most realistic and grounded. To take somebody who is a public interest lawyer and turned her into a super hero… you have to go through the paces. So this season we’ve really been putting her through her paces. We always think of these things as chapters, and these next four episodes are really about Laurel. She’s taking center stage as she begins to suspect that Sebastian is not exactly who he seems.

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TVLINE | Is Alex Kingston’s return as Dinah Lance also a part of that?
Absolutely. We’re such huge fans of Alex and she’s quite the busy this year — she’s performing Macbeth with Kenneth Branagh — so we were so glad that she was available for a few episodes to come back, because we have some great stuff with the Lance family.

TVLINE | When she shows up, is Quentin going to be torn about whether to tell her everything he knows about Sara? He did promise to keep hush.
I think Episode 14 is probably the most Brothers and Sisters, as in the ABC show [produced by Arrow EP Greg Berlanti], episode we’ve done. Everyone in the Lance family has big secrets and it’s all going to get blown wide open — but in a good way.

TVLINE | Slade seems really angry Blind Spothere in Starling City, but when we last saw him on the island he was devastated that Shado was dead but he wasn’t really assigning any blame to Oliver. Are we going to get flashbacks to fill in those gaps?
I think the audience now understands that what the stakes are on the island and what is fueling Slade’s rage in the present day to destroy Oliver. It’s sad and hard to write because we spent such a long time building up the brotherhood and the bond between these two men to struggle to survive this horrible place, and now we see that Slade is his enemy. We’ll be charting that downfall in the back half of this season, but it was hard to write because we’ve come to love this Slade on the island, and to watch him slowly go insane and turn his anger and his hatred on Oliver… hopefully it will be difficult for people to watch. But the best villains are not the mustache-twirling kind. The best villains are people who are doing what they’re doing out of a sense of loss and love and regret. That was certainly true for Malcolm last season, and it’s doubly true for Slade now.

TVLINE | When we first saw Slade sitting at that desk, talking to Sebastian, repeatedly the camera showed him clenching his fist over and over again. Is there any significance to that…?
There actually is significance to that — and funnily enough, it was thought up by Manu [Bennett] himself. That will be explained later on.

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TVLINE | While it’s fun and all to assemble an army of super-soldiers – Roy possibly included — are we going to get a sense of Slade’s greater end game? Or is it purely to punish Oliver?
Slade has a very specific goal in the back half of the season, and I think people will be surprised to discover both what it is and what it means to Oliver. Like last season, we really do know what’s going to happen in the season finale and everything we do is going to be writing towards that. So hopefully it’s going to be another roller coaster ride.

TVLINE | One thing that has been so sensational about this season is the pacing. Like, the Canary storyline proceeded at a much faster clip than I’d ever imagined, with her unmasking, the backstory….
We act as if these are the only stories we’ll ever get to tell. I mean, any idea that we have where we’re like, “Oh, we could do that in Season 3,” we’ve moved into Season 2. We feel like that level of velocity — no pun intended with the Flash joining – is the way television is being produced now, especially when you look at shows like Scandal. You just can’t tell the story fast enough, and one of the great things about both the world that we’ve created for Arrow and also the greater DC Universe is there are always more stories to tell. There’s always more characters, there’s always more villains so we’re not ever really worried about where do we go from here.

TVLINE | I liked how in a recent episode Dig took the initiative to scout out a dangerous situation. Will there be new Dig-centric episodes coming up?
We actually are going to have an episode where we flash back to Dig’s time in Afghanistan, so that’s going to be a huge David Ramsey episode. Last season when we flashed back to the week before the Queen’s Gambit left and we left the chronological narrative of Oliver’s time on the island, the success of that episode allowed us to start playing with the flashback structure a bit, and people are able to follow it. So just as this year in City of HeroesEpisode 5 we had the flashbacks from Sara’s point of view, we have an episode in the back half of the season where the flashbacks are from Laurel’s point of view, and we have this other episode where the flashbacks are from Dig’s [Afghanistan] days.

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TVLINE | Along those lines, do you think you’ll have time to tell us anything more about Felicity as a person — where she came from, who she was before all this?
There are hints at that, and we have another story we’re toying with — one that, given everything that we are doing, might get pushed off. We actually have known for a long time what Felicity’s background is — where she came from and who her parents are – but it could be such a big story that it’s something we might hold off on. Emily is the best — I know she is certainly a fan favorite, and a favorite of ours as well.

TVLINE | Well, that brings me to one of my last questions. I know the whole Felicity thing surprised you in Season 1 — how that character took off, how Emily [Bett Rickards] took off. And you’ve obviously got viewers out there who want something to happen between her and Oliver. Is it a balancing act for you, to touch on “Olicity” now and again but not make this show about that?
One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned from working with Greg Berlanti, whose obviously had such amazing success in television, is to always have a really great plan, and then always know when to let the plan go. We are very cognizant of what makes people excited, and certainly seeing the fans respond to Emily last season helped cement her as a regular this season. We have a plan, but we also kind of go where the story takes us. So while it is a juggling act, we just do what we feel is right — and up until this point we’ve been lucky that most of the audience has agreed, and this is a show that we would love to watch. We really do make it for ourselves, and as long as we’re happy and excited, we feel like the fans will be happy and excited too.

TVLINE | I think this is a case where what ‘shippers are seeing is actually on the screen. Lord knows there are fan bases that are like, “Oh, put this couple together,” and you’re like, “They have no reason to be together.” But here you’ve got two non-unattractive people who work together under incredibly intense situations and balance each other out tonally, so I feel it. I buy it. I guess it’s a rich man’s problem to have.
Yes. Our lead has chemistry with multiple actresses. It’s nothing we’re going to be upset about.

TVLINE | You teased what happened to Barry Allen in the midseason finale. Are we going to get any hints in upcoming Arrow episodes about what has become of him, off camera? I mean, you’ve had a lot of fun with the Starling City TV news coverage of the STAR Labs particle accelerator.
Right? You’d think they were reporting on no other story. [Laughs] I will say this: Barry Allen had a very strong impact on both our show and our characters’ lives, and that impact will not be forgotten on Arrow this season. What happened in Central City at the end of Episode 9 was certainly big news, and the effects of that will be mentioned. Right now we’re focusing hard on writing the Flash pilot and breaking for the rest of the season of Arrow, and hopefully there will be some synchronicity between the two, hopefully in anticipation of getting to see Grant [Gustin] and the Flash [in a fall 2014 spin-off series].

Want more scoop on Arrow, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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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116 Comments
  1. Mike says:

    “and these next four episodes are really about Laurel.”

    And ratings plummet.

    • Siren says:

      I’m sure the ratings will plummet regardless because they won’t have any DC comics cameo gimmicks like the Flash and the Black Canary in these following episodes, Im sure by now they are plotting their way to get Bruce Wayne even though its a very slim chance, eager for anything to bump the ratings except focusing on character development and good plots.

      Remember when they has a Felicity/Olicity heavily promoted season premiere and it only did a 0.8 and very low viewership of the season so far, yeah me too.

  2. I wanted to comment about Black Canary. In the comics, Laurel was the second Black Canary, her mother was the first, so the idea of there being two Black Canaries and Laurel being the second is not that different on the TV show. All they did was make her sister the first instead of her mother, so it works.

    • Soulfire says:

      Well put. It’s adjusting the canon so it works with the televised medium–which I think is one of Arrow’s strongest elements.

    • M3rc Nate says:

      However the question is on the TV show, how will they create the Laurel Black Canary? It seems like her “tribulation” that she will go through is her drug abuse (and eventual assumed loss of her sister), but the Black Canary is supposed to be an amazing fighting, maybe even better than Oliver. Where does she learn? How fast does she learn? Oliver was perfect because he had the Island, lost of his father, years of training, etc to be his crucible/tribulation and training. But i dont think the fans will be happy if it ends up being Oliver who trains her. Maybe it will be her sister but i cant imagine it being believable for her to learn to be so proficient in 1-2 years (1-2 seasons)…and it sure doesnt seem like the current BC (Caity Lotz) will be on the show that long. Maybe she will i dont know but the vibe iv read between the lines from interviews and such is she is not a main character being added to the show, she has a set role and most likely she will die considering her sister becomes BC.

      • Imagine that Laurel’s turning point may be something along the lines of watching Nyssa Al Ghul kill her sister Sarah. As for who might be her teacher, how about Richard Dragon? According to the Wikipedia, in the comics he trained The Question, Huntress, Oracle, Renee Montoya, and Lady Shiva., and “In the 2004 series, flashbacks indicated that Richard had trained several others, including Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne, and Green Arrow (Connor Hawke)”.

  3. GildedRose says:

    I can’t wait to see what Slade’s plan for revenge is on Arrow. Since he’s got a soldier/warrior background, you’d think his plan should be of epic scale for Oliver to deal with. I love watching Team Arrow — Oliver, Felicity, Diggle — in action and I definitely love hearing we’ll be learning more about their backstories. It’ll be interesting to see Diggle as a soldier and yes, please and thank you, SOMETHING about Felicity’s backstory. I know she’s only just joined the show in a full time capacity this season so I can be patient, but a little something would be nice. Really looking forward to that. Arrow is such a great show that it should never be “about” the romance. I love Oliver and Felicity together. They’re amazing and sexy and fun, but I’m not looking for them to be shoved together of overtake the show or for Arrow to be “all about that.” Not at all. I think how they’re handling it (the team, the friendship, the teasing of will there be more) is perfect. I’m having a lot of fun with it but more importantly that pair makes me LIKE Oliver more. It gives Felicity opportunity to grow and show herself to be “more” than “just” the IT girl — she’s strong, smart, funny, capable… and getting her onto Oliver’s team and into his life has really let her come into her own to. That’s how I know a couple is good… The characters are pretty darn good on their own but when you put them together they become brilliant. That’s Oliver/Felicity for me. Can’t wait for Arrow to return this week!

    • Soulfire says:

      You pointed out a very true thing — Oliver with Felicity is a much more likeable character. And the pairing is so much more organic. We get to see their story unfold rather than, as with Laurel, being told about it.

    • poindexter says:

      agreed!

    • morgan says:

      I agree! Felicity makes me like EVERY character more! My one comment is that her wardrobe this season seems a little off. On most CW shows women are all styled exactly the same but at first Felicity was different. She had her own style. I can see it starting to look like all the other girls on all the other CW shows. No thanks! You can really tell the writers are walking a very thin line with Olicity scenes. I love all of them but sometimes it’s confusing! I’m like, what is going on here?! They’re talking about Barry and then staring at each other with puppy dog eyes!?

  4. Soulfire says:

    Thank you so much for doing this interview, Matt, and for pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of the show without necessarily spelling them out.

    Hope the writers know they’re sitting on gold with Oliver and Felicity. So glad to hear they allow enough playing room with the canon to utilize what actually works onscreen–Oliver and Felicity’s, as well as Team Arrow’s, dynamic being one of the strongest elements.

  5. Kira says:

    No offense to Katie Cassidy, who I actually like as an actress, but most fans don’t like her character and do NOT want to see her become Black Canary. They’ve had a season and a half to make me care about her and to be honest she just falls flat. IMO, Sara Lance is the one and only BC. She already has the fighting skills, hello League of Assassins training, and fits into the show better than Laurel. I just don’t see Laurel ever being able to fill BC shoes in a way I can actually believe especially considering how skilled her sister is. This show has nailed everything else except this one character.

    • Patrick says:

      Regardless of what the EP says, there are persistent internet rumors (from some fairly credible sites), that Katie Cassidy is not beloved amongst the cast and crew in the Couve. We may see a rewrite wherein Sara becomes the BC. Wouldn’t shock me.

      • K says:

        What do you mean?? PLEASE tell me MORE! What is Couve? Is what you say true??

        Why even bother with ‘laurel’ BECOMING BC when you have SARA already?? She’s fantastic as BC! I really like her character and honestly, SHE IS BC!!!

      • Dominator of destruction says:

        Fairly credible sites lmao

    • Kate says:

      I agree with ALL of this. Every last word. In the few Sara scenes we’ve had, I already care 100% more about that character than I do about Laurel. I can’t imagine a scenario that would make Laurel becoming BC “realistic”. I liked Katie on Supernatural, but she just doesn’t seem to be working on this show. When I re-watch episodes, I always skip her scenes. They bring the pace of the show to a grinding halt for me.

    • Kristina says:

      Very much agree. I really do like Katie Cassidy, and would love to see her in other things; I’ve liked her in everything else I’ve seen her in. But I still feel she was terribly miscast–she just doesn’t fit this role. So far neither she nor the show have done anything to change my opinion–if anything I feel more strongly about it. I really, really hope they figure out a different direction to take the Black Canary storyline in.

      • Claire says:

        I am leaning towards “more strongly” as well. I am hoping, but at the same time … I didn’t mention Sara as one of the strong characters in my comment — oversight on my part because I really like her!

    • Ella says:

      I personally love Katie, and started watching the show FOR her. If they remove her, I would probably stop. I genuinely believe that they need to change it up and write her differently, make her darker, more badass. She has EXCELLED at roles like that (Supernatural, Melrose Place) and the way they write Laurel is boring, lifeless and a grave injustice to the actress. Meanwhile Felicity, who I love, don’t get me wrong, gets to be quirky and witty and hilarious, which appeals to viewers. When you sum up the comparisons in writing, it’s no wonder EBR comes out on top. KC deserves it too, just give her the right material and she will be awesome. I also don’t know where these rumours of her being disliked by the cast and crew come from, she happens to be BFFs with Stephen Amell and the writers are clearly very fond of her, though goodness knows you wouldn’t be able to tell by the way they write her character.

      • Jay says:

        Have you ever considered that the actress might not be suitable for the role. Instead of asking the writers to do the impossible. Don’t you think that Katie Cassidy should have gone after those snarky, bratty bad/ rich girls she usually plays and what her fans like you enjoy so much. Don’t ask the writers to make the character fit into the actress, the actress should have been cast to fit into the character.

        And if Cassidy is as good as you say she is and even if you say the character is dull, shouldn’t Cassidy be trying to inject some life and fire into the role. I’m pretty sure the writers and showrunners also do take into account what an actor can do and their opinions to make the character better.

        EBR get to be on top of KC (ok that came out funny lol) even in serious scenes. She just has this strong charisma, presence and sparkling chemistry with people. Its something the actress brings to the character that cannot be written in a script or bought with money.

  6. Michelle says:

    Very much looking forward to the rest of this season and what it has in store for Team Arrow, Roy and Black Canary vs Slade, Blood and the other baddies.
    You can also never have enough Diggle, so YAY!

    I’m going to trust the writers on Felicity’s backstory and be patient. As much as I want to know more about her, I don’t want it to be rushed in a season that is already jam-packed. Little pieces of info will have to suffice, for now.

    In terms of Laurel, give her something interesting to do that makes her relevant to the rest of the story. If it still doesn’t work, cut your losses Arrow Execs. I’m trying to like you Laurel, help me!

  7. Samantha says:

    Really excited to know more about Felicity, to have Olicity happen *fingers crossed* and to see more of Slade and Roy!!!

  8. JC says:

    Were there bits of this interview posted before? Because there’s several lines in here that sound very familiar. Aside from that…it’s very discouraging to hear that they’re still planning to make Laurel the Black Canary. I’ve been really hoping they’d abandoned that idea with Sara on the scene now. :(

  9. jonesing says:

    Ugh, not looking forward to these Laurel episodes. I used to like Katie Cassidy before this but she just grates in the role and I just don’t care about Laurel anymore. I don’t care if she lives or if she dies, I barely listen to anything she says, I tune out all her scenes………..I just don’t care.

    I like Sara as Black Canary, they better not kill her off.

    • K says:

      I actually CAN’T STAND seeing her on-screen at all..I mean, my first thoughts are, ‘Oh god, her!’ and I MUTE her scenes..She’s just so AGONIZING to WATCH really..It’s sucks that CW/ARROW EX will STILL make her BC when they KILL of Sara and WE all know they’ll do that..I really, really like her character, so, it’s NOT BC being with Oliver etc that is my problem, it’s the character/actress that is GOING to BE BC that’s the problem and it’s KC!! URGHBLAH!!

  10. I’m very excited for Arrow return and the second half of the season. I would love for Laurel to become more involved in the show’s actual storylines rather than being reduced to a clueless love interest (of Oliver or Sebastian). I know the people behind the show don’t want to publicly favor one pairing over another, but I hope they realize (like, I think, most of the viewers have), that Oliver and Felicity are the more compelling couple. I adore Laurel, but I don’t think she and Oliver are good for each other romantically, and I would prefer them to move forward as friends. I also can’t wait for more Felicity backstory. I understand them having a lot on their plate, but I’d love to get some information fairly soon. She’s too much a blank slate for such a prominent character.

    • Siren says:

      Wow, some of you Olicity fans are really self absorbed and self centred. The people behind the show haven’t been favoring one pairing over the other? or heck one character over the many others, do you live under a rock or you just one of those people who like to have a lions’ share and scraps for everyone, and think things are equal. Olicity receives the most media attention, the show people even encourages and promotes that.

      Yes they have a lot on their plate right now, like cooking up Oliver/Felicity scenes in 3/4 of the script. And making Felicity a toy of obsession and possession for Oliver. Backstory and character development who needs that, when you can be an object of desire and desire back a handsome billionare superhero.

      • Trish says:

        I’m so completely taken aback by your comment that I don’t even know where to start. “Olicity” has not been pushed or publicized anywhere near the lengths than Laurel and Oliver where in the full YEAR that was Arrow Season one. Yet fans that didn’t care for season one managed to find aspects of the show to like. And guess what? It took off. Felicity took off. Yep, a bit part, one episoder, basically an EXTRA, is now doing the job that your “lead actress” was hired to do. So what are you asking, that fans of Felicity or Olicity shouldn’t enjoy the same perks that others enjoyed last season? Really? Are you really condemning a pairing as being favored on a show that was FAVORED and written for Arrow with a preordained love interest in Laurel Lance? Seriously? It wasn’t working. I don’t know how else to say it. If in fact it did work, people would not have clung to Felicity like a freaking lifeline. Why the heck should her fans feel sorry about her popularity? Did you when Laurel was on the receiving end? This is ridiculous. Who the heck was developed last season during the age of Tommy/Laurel/Oliver triangle from hell other than the three of them. Did I mention that Felicity fans are still waiting on her back-story but yet another half of the season must be spent on once again developing Laurel more. I can tell you what food Laurel likes and how she takes her coffee but I couldn’t tell you for the life of me if Felicity is a homeless person that wonders the streets at night when she’s not apart of team Arrow. So let’s not talk about scraps with such indignation. Because all of last year apparently wasn’t enough to know all about Laurel. You know what, I’m going to walk away now.

        • JC says:

          “If in fact it did work, people would not have clung to Felicity like a freaking lifeline.” Yes, that’s I’ve been saying all along. People keep blaming Felicity and Olicity for Laurel being unpopular, but it’s the other way around.

        • Siren says:

          I feel so sorry for you for not get much personal development on Felicity *Sarcasm*

          Maybe if you had spend more time, you and your shipper group, on caring about Felicity as an individual and asking for her backstory/story arc it would be a thing but no you were content with her whole life on the show being about servicing Oliver, demanding and gushing over the Olicity moments. But now you dare to scream that Laurel is getting some centric episodes for her, (which btw don’t worry I’m sure she will have 2 minutes of screen-time for every 10 minutes Felicity is on screen gushing and fanning over Oliver). You are greedy, you can’t take it someone gets to be the focus of attention even for a little bit. Yes we know other parts of Laurel’s life, thank you for admitting and appreciating that, there is that double standards where she is hated for being nothing but a love interest while Felicity gets the props for having so much development, the irony.

          You seriously want to have your cake and eat it too. You want most of the episodes screen-time dedicated to Olicity fan-servicing, yet whine about Felicity not getting arcs/development. Confront that which has stopped Felicity from getting further personal development, yours and the show’s Olicity obsession. The reason is YOU (as a group), since this show loves to fanservice so much. Stop blaming other characters and something else that doesnt exist, now that you suddenly got your feminist cap on and realized a woman’s life is more than serving a man, especially one man. When you can admit and want the show to change its priorities, then Felicity will be a well round character.

          • Trish says:

            Wow, you just took it to a whole other level. LOL.

            Now you’re taking shots at me AND my feminist stance in defense of Katie Cassidy? Dammit, I knew I should have opted for that chair and popcorn moment instead.

            Since we (I’m supposing that group consists of Olicity fans) have so much power, you’re right we should keep requesting more BACKGROUND on Felicity. Because that is all that she is lacking. Yep you’re right, shame on us. And by the way, just so we’re clear you need to understand the difference between “character development” and “background” two separate issues. No one ever said Felicity lacked character development, that’s a Laurel issue, dear. Laurel has crappy character development. Felicity has plenty of character development, she’s simply missing the background as to why she’s so damn awesome. Which her fans will make sure that she will get, you know, since we’ve been asking for it since season one. But since we yield this unlimited power, as many have claimed, you shouldn’t worry about that. I’m sure they’ll get to it after they fix, reinvent, or I don’t know, make Laurel relevant again. Have a great day.

          • Dominator of destruction says:

            I second your post Siren your spot on

      • Mikaylah says:

        I’m sorry, you must have misunderstood my comment. I was referring to the part of the interview where it was stated that their lead has great chemistry with many actresses and they aren’t complaining about that (‘m paraphrasing). I interpreted that to be a runaround as to not confirm their preference of one pairing over the other; to not upset any one faction. I wasn’t claiming that they prefer either Olicity or Oliver x Laurel, or that they’ve been promoted accordingly through the press. Not sure what inspired your level of vitriol, but I wasn’t attacking anyone or anything. :))

        • Mary says:

          I took it to mean that they have many options. Laurel/Oliver seems to be the only pairing that’s dull, because the other ladies have been great scene partners with Oliver. I may root for Felicity and Oliver, but I can also recognize that Sara/Oliver have chemistry.

  11. spindae2 says:

    The show is currently so good, and as it seems they aren’t holding back. i’m one of the fans who really love Katie and hope they give her proper feature and future. Can’t wait for wednesday evening.

  12. Eridapo says:

    Love what I read…. Good for Arrow

  13. RichieS says:

    Does anyone think it may be possible that Ivo somehow was able to (unbeknownst to Oliver and Sara) save Shado? Would be a great cliffhanger for her to show up just as Slade and Arrow are about to kill each other,and like the showrunner said Stephen has chemistry with alot of the female characters.

    • MagicThings says:

      It sounds like a pipe dream but boy oh boy would I love for it to be true. Shado is the only female character I connected with and I think her and Oliver had the best chemistry. I absolutely adore Celina Jade and would love to see her return as a series regular.

      • LPala says:

        Since there’s no “like” button here, I reply in total agreement with you about Shado and Celina Jade. Love her and want her back. Lazarus pit anybody?

        • Vincent Ventrevski says:

          Once you start resurrecting people (unless you’re a zombie show), it’s a quick tumble down to ridiculous city: see Charmed and Heroes (or rather don’t).

        • MagicThings says:

          Yes! I was holding out hope for that as well because I get the sneaking suspicion that the LoA used it to bring back Sara Lance. When SL/Canary shows up, Oliver is genuinely surprised to see her suggesting that maybe he thought she died but here she is alive and well so perhaps the same will be true for Shado? I know I’m reaching but man if I don’t want it desperately haha.

  14. jane says:

    I love this show! I really hope we’ll see felicity backstory this season, but after I think about it, arrow already have too much arc, so I’m fine if we have to wait another season, but please give us a hint. I’m dying to know anything about her

  15. Dominique says:

    “I know that there’s impatience out there in the world to see her “strap on the fish nets” [as Black Canary]” well, somebody’s been drinking the kool-aid. while i agree that people might get a bit nasty towards katie cassidy, fact remains that most fans just aren’t interested to see laurel in tights, becoming the black canary. the writers really have to let this one go. like Kreisberg said; sometimes you have got to have a really great plan, and then know when to let go. this is one of those things.

    • morgan says:

      Yes, lets hope he was hinting at something there, like Laurel WON’T be the Black Canary. I agree, there’s no need to get nasty but Laurel just isn’t working.

  16. sasha says:

    I’m so sick of the Katie and Laurel bashing. Laurel has been a more developed character than your precious Felicity!

    I can’t wait to see her become BC. And Matt you could have at least asked a Laurel/Oliver question.

    • Lena says:

      Opinions. You believe Laurel is a well developed character and I don’t. I would love nothing more than for Laurel to officially disappear from the series, but it is not up to me. Just like people who choose to give their opinions (like you) about Laurel is not something you can control. Our precious Felicity is definitely more interesting than that cardboard cookie-cutter character Laurel any day. Just MY OPINION though.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Hi! Stephen Amell covered Oliver/Laurel in the story we ran last week: http://tvline.com/2014/01/09/arrow-season-2-preview-stephen-amell-slade-wilson-mirakuru-laurel/

    • Sarah says:

      Sure, Laurel’s more developed, yet a good portion of people still don’t really care for her character, (and it’s not just the fans, it’s also media, critics, etc. I read a lot of Arrow episode reviews and the consensus is generally the same). And I actually don’t hate her either; I just don’t care about her because Laurel the character isn’t as compelling for me. That’s it. Idk why. I try to be interested in her (for the last season and a half), but I’m not, and I don’t know if it’s because of the writing or something else. Whatever it is, I hope they fix it and make me interested in her character and care about her character.

      Also, if people like Felicity then that’s great. The writers and producers are doing something right. EBR really brought life into a small guest role and ended up becoming a series regular. No need to insult Felicity’s character (the slight sarcasm that came off in “than your precious Felicity”) in defense of Laurel.

      But the KC bashing needs to stop. It’s getting out of hand. Not liking Laurel is no reason to insult Katie Cassidy.

      • Keton says:

        [But the KC bashing needs to stop. It’s getting out of hand. Not liking Laurel is no reason to insult Katie Cassidy.]

        Unless you dislike Katie Cassidy as an actress, and i wouldn’t even call her that. So yes its fair game if she is bashed at for her performance. Note I did NOT say her looks or her as a person, unless of course if she has a crappy attitude and personality.

        Why, its not fair for the character of laurel to get bashed at if someone dislikes Katie Cassidy’s bad acting for e.g, why would you take it out on a fictional character for something the actress is doing. They are people who hate laurel, then they are people who hate Katie Cassidy, then they are people who hate both. You dislike laurel because of Laurel, doesn’t mean everyone else does, some don’t even dislike the character just the actress or dislike Laurel because of the bad acting.

        They/we have as much right to have the actress accountable for her performance and how its affecting the character/show. You can’t expect all the blame to be shifted to the writing and character alone, if you do fair enough for you, not everyone.

        • Sarah says:

          Oh I’m not referring to critiquing Katie Cassidy’s performance. Obviously that’s fair game because if she’s not doing a good job acting wise, then people have a right to say that. People have a right to dislike her or dislike her character or both.

          I’m referring to the people who constantly insult her looks, her face, her body, her as a person etc. It’s just uncalled for. That’s not critiquing an actor’s portrayal of a character; that’s just insulting someone who happens to act. :)

          I personally don’t love some of the acting choices she’s made in Arrow. I would have preferred it if she played some scenes slightly differently because I think it might have come off better on TV. But what do I know haha. I haven’t seen her in anything else so I can’t judge her about her past performances in other shows. Supposedly she plays the “bitchy/mean” role really well, so if that IS true then maybe she just has limited range as an actress. Idk. I do think she was miscast, plus a few other factors with writing. That’s all.

    • I understand that’s it’s hard to take the high road when you see a character you like being attacked, but there’s no reason for you to put down Felicity to prop up Laurel. They are both wonderful, amazing, smart women who deserve good things. Talk about what you love about Laurel, rather than the negative about other fans and characters, and you’ll hopefully spread that love. :))

      • Dominator of destruction says:

        It goes both ways sweetheart

        • Mikaylah says:

          I would never put down Laurel or fans of Laurel. I think she’s an amazing women, like I stated. I’m not sure what I could have said to encourage your comment, but if it’s a condemnation of Felicity fans in general, I agree: It does go both ways. I would never encourage or condone hating on any character. (And although my first instinct is to think that you added sweetheart to sound condescending, and I’m not a fan of people calling other people sweetheart when they aren’t acquainted, I’m going to say thanks, anyways! I hope we can continue this kind of positive discourse as a fandom. Have a great day!)

    • Ella says:

      I don’t agree with you that Laurel has been better developed than Felicity AT ALL. That is the major problem here for Katie Cassidy fans. I will agree that I’m rather sick of the Laurel/Katie bashing and the constant screams of Olicity. What started as a gritty, well told comic book series has turned into a teeny bopper, Gossip Girl-esque screech fest.

      • Trish says:

        LOL,Are you serious when you say last year was a gritty, well told comic book series compared to this year? *blinks* :-O

        • Gail says:

          It the was the first season in which two friends fought over the affections of one girl just like in the Gossip Girl. It was the first season in which Thea had Serena like breakdowns. I’m sure I am missing a few other examples – so gotta agree with Trish. This season is much closer to comic book.

  17. JB says:

    The interview is interesting because it does seem to be a defense of Katie Cassidy. Beyond the romantic angle it just seems like she is the weakest link on the show or the character that least fits in the narrative of the show (not commenting on the comic). I just feel like there is a lot of overemoting going on with Cassidy. Having her descend into some drug spiral just plays into that.

  18. MagicThings says:

    I truly, truly hope the writers don’t decide to push the “Olicity” angle. Season 1 Felicity was all sorts of awesome with her IT/nerd girl persona and her constant inappropriate word vomit but season 2 Felicity is two lines away from becoming that pining, lovesick not-girlfriend who frets and nags over the hero’s health. Her line in the last episode about Lian Yu being Oliver’s “Fantasy Island” grated me so hard because it was like she was making light of all the death and pain and misery he and the women on that island went through; particularly because Shado ended up dying on that Island because Oliver couldn’t decide whom to save.

    As for Laurel, I do feel for the actress. She gets a lot of unnecessary hate perhaps because she has huge shoes to fill. I don’t dislike her or the Laurel character. I’ve been mostly apathetic towards but I’m looking forward to these future episodes if only so she can really have the room to stretch and grow. I think KC’s gotten a bad rap but with the right string of episodes I believe she can win people over.

  19. CandyCurses says:

    “Katie Cassidy is just delivering the most amazing performance. She’s really kicked it up a notch and we’re so proud of her.”

    Maybe I’m just nasty but this sounds like KC is actingly challenged and has to be celebrated for the same teary-eyed expression she has regardless of emotion. Maybe she can now squint with just one eye at the time?

    • Vincent Ventrevski says:

      Maybe she got over her diva attitude on set and actually realised that she shouldn’t take her job or cast members foregranted.

  20. kath says:

    To be honest, I was hoping that the grand plan had been changed and that Caity Lotz would remain the Canary. She’s done such a good job in the role, both in terms of fight scenes and emotional damage, that I can’t see Laurel taking over without losing more than the show gains.

    If there have been criticisms of Laurel, it’s because the character (and the actress) feels like it’s on a different CW show, one more soapy drama than action comic. Every new female character that comes on the show, Thea, Felicity, Sara, just reinforces how out of sync Laurel is with everyone else.

    I have never really cared about Laurel’s storyline and when I heard that there was a big Laurel arc, I thought I could go stick with it if it were setting up Laurel leaving the show. Hearing that it’s setting her up to be BC, I’m disappointed.

    • JC says:

      I’ve been the same – the only reason I’ve been at all interested in this Laurel arc is because I hoped and believed it was leading up to her exit. If it’s not…then I’m sorry, but there’s a lot about this season that just doesn’t make sense, unless you’re reading from the Smallville writers’ play book. :(

    • zathe says:

      I’m hoping a certain blind item from some site has some truth to it,that the show has set up to write off Katie Cassidy/Laurel.

      Because really nothing make sense, why did they marginalize the character/actor if they want her as part of the show. Thea gets more love, storylines and screentime and thats saying something.Why did they demote Katie Cassidy from leading lady to guest star status.and gave that to Emily/Felicity, Why did they spend so much time writing Sara’s backstory and giving her lots of screentime in just about all the episodes so far, if she really was that important. It doesn’t show.

      Just change your plants Sara fit more in the show now and she has a really good actress, who can take up the physical demands of the job. Saves a lot of money for stunts.

      • JC says:

        I don’t think that blind item site has a lot of credibility, from what I can tell anyway. But I agree with the rest of your comment. What they’ve done with Laurel/Sara/Felicity so far this season doesn’t make any sense if Katie Cassidy isn’t getting written out. As you say, Felicity has basically been promoted to leading lady while Laurel stands on the sidelines (until now anyway). And Sara…I don’t even know what to think anymore. It never ever made sense to resurrect Sara only to kill her off again a few episodes later. Tommy’s death could have been a motivator for Laurel to turn vigilante just as much as Sara’s, and without running the risk of unflattering comparisons, or once again accidentally creating a character more popular than your supposed leading lady.

  21. Gary says:

    Unless they do some type of time jump from season 2 to season 3, I don’t know how you could ever explain Laurel becoming the Canary. The Black Canary is an expert fighter and that takes years of training. It works for Sara the same way it works for Oliver.

    It would make more sense for Laurel to die and have Sara assume HER identity somehow. So then you technically would have “Laurel” as the Black Canary.

    • Vincent Ventrevski says:

      Sara would have to get one heck of a boob suppressor and etch her face with constipation to pass for Laurel.

      • Trish says:

        You know, for a moment there, my disdain for the Laurel character was begging me to pull up and chair and pop a bag of popcorn while I revel in others shared dislike of the character. I’m not proud of that. However I find my inner feminist voice screaming at me to be better than this comment. So I’m going to call foul. Not cool. And I would like the record to reflect that this is when we should all find our line in the sand.

        Here it is folks. Katie Cassidy is an actor. Bottom line, she gets to be criticized on her “art” or “professional abilities”, it’s the bad that happens to go along with all the good that follows the life of an actor. Having said that, I think she’s pretty bad on this show. Loved her on Supernatural as Ruby, but on THIS show, she’s not working for me. And to be honest, I get really confused by the blame game. Is it her fault, is it the writer’s fault…at the end of the day, the writers are doing a bang up job on the show overall, so I feel like it’s a bit of a moot point, because I just don’t care whose fault it is, it doesn’t change the fact that this is not working.

        What I do not think is appropriate are the comments of physical appearance, family ties in hollywood, her BOOBS, her FEET, alleged crappy unconfirmed behavior on set, etc. I really hate that women have to endure crap like this. It’s not appropriate. But that’s just me. My intent was to acknowledge that not every fan that despises Laurel and on shaky ground with Katie’s “range” on the series, are willing to stoop to these levels. It’s like kicking a puppy after it’s been hit by a car.

        The fans have spoken, they clearly know that people are not happy with this character, they’re trying to fix it. At this point, what’s done is done. Why kick the woman while she’s down. Let’s give her these four entire episodes of our show (bringing it to a complete halt during a spectacular time) to see if she can be salvaged. At least no one can claim the Arrow writers and powers that be didn’t “try”. It’s all on her now.

        P.S. – I’m embarrassed that Matt Webb Mitovich and his team have to read some of this stuff. Talk about interesting water cooler conversations.

        But again, this is all in my opinion and I’d like to just leave it at that. Please carry on.

        • JC says:

          I completely 100% agree. She’s an actress, and her acting is as much open for criticism as the writers’ writing skills. But leave the rest of it out. No need to attack her as a person – that’s uncalled for.

  22. Meg says:

    Matt, good questions! I am crazy invested in this show and appreciate you doing these interviews.

    Like so many people before me have said, I really want to like Laurel’s character. Pill popping and woe is me for 9 episodes, isn’t helping things. I truly feel bad for Katie because it must suck having the internet and the majority of the arrow fandom hate your character. I don’t think I would take that well.

    Regardless, the writers still have a chance to turn it around. Make us like her. (This is coming from someone who likes Felicity’s character so much, she is my second favorite to Oliver). Either way Laurel’s story goes good or bad, Arrow writers you will have the fans reactions all over twitter etc.

  23. amy says:

    So is it mean we are going to have more dramatic laurel? You said at beginning of season 2, katie performance are amazing because of her grief
    All I saw is her whining, please stop with the over dramatic, it’s dragging the whole show down, sara has been through hell and she didn’t as dramatic as laurel, can we please let sara become the real black canary

  24. Claire says:

    Good Article Matt and tough question to ask regarding the elephant in the room.

    This show has such strong characters in Oliver, Diggle, Felicity, Lance, Moira, Slade and the up and comers Roy, Thea and now Sin (whose solution to dulling pain I like). There is just the one character that I haven’t been able to grasp … ever and I have tried. I want what it best for the show in it’s entirety so now rather than pull a Chuck Cunningham, it’s time to look at Laurel.

    I don’t doubt Katie’s acting abilities, and I am hopeful that they can turn something around, but at the same time they talk of the natural flow of stories and characters. I just hope that with this particular arc, it doesn’t feel like a forced move made to salvage a weak character — correction, the weakest character.

    I am definitely curious to see how it all plays out. The writers have thus far done a brilliant job this season, but the question is will this particular line mesh with rest of the show, or will it stand out like in a not-so-good way. Let me just say that I personally am happy to be sitting here armchair style writing this, and not having to “live it”.

    On to Slade, I love Slade and am looking forward these two story lines — his revenge in Starling City and his descent on the island. The island will in truth be difficult to watch because I enjoyed the camaraderie he on Oliver shared. But at the same time, it will make the present story line even more compelling. And good Question about the hand clenching! I wondered that myself.

    Felicity! I am so glad we’ll be getting a story here, and I am quite all right with the writers taking their time — shear perfection it should be. I am very intrigued by this because we know that Oliver did his homework on her and Dig, but he probably used his main resource — Online. We also know that if it’s online, Felicity can find it and that she can ‘oops’ take care of it. So did Oliver find only that which she allowed? I’m not thinking anything evil or sinister, but it has intrigued me. THAT is a story arc I am anticipating. Can we at least get some sprinklings of hints …?

    In regards to Oliver /Felicity, I so far like they way it is being balanced. I like the pairing, but I equally like Team Arrow and I LOVE the stunts they are doing. I wouldn’t want the F/O story to become THE dominant story in any way, now Team Arrow on the other hand — have at it.

    The dynamic that is Oliver and Felicity has so much potential to really be stellar, not that it isn’t already, but they are just at the beginning. they balance each other so so well and like gildedrose said she makes Oliver likable. I like that their relationship is strong enough and so well connected that they can have these confrontations (like we’ll get tomorrow night) and they come off in a very true and organic manner. EBR has a very strong and resolute voice that belies her physical presence. I think it really goes to the rock solid inner strength that is Felicity. These two are the caramel and salt drizzle on a caramel frappuccino — just right.

  25. Trish says:

    Claire, I was going to make a comment but you touched on everything just beautifully. And thanks for the interview, Matt. Great job.

  26. Patrick Maloney says:

    This sounds like another interview Andrew did, and please don’t put Felicity and Oliver together! P.S. Gorilla Grodd as the first big bad of Flash’s show

  27. Milo says:

    Someone please tell these writers to get a brain, or better just donate it to them. They cant throw away Caity Lotz for Katie Cassidy. What are they thinking, are they sleeping with her or something because nothing about this actress warrants her to still be in this show.

    She is an atrocious actress, has very bad line delivery and no emotions like a block of wood, no chemistry with anyone, not even herself, zero charisma and likability. They cant do this to Black Canary and her fans, they cant do this to Arrow fans, dont even do this to your own show and source of livelihood. What happened to meritocracy and fair play, Caity Lotz has earned the role. She came out of nowhere, won the hearts and souls of many fans and media, even the show producers, network and Dc comics love her. She did in one episode what Katie Cassidy could not do in 20 plus episodes, its clear who is the better Black Canary. Please leave a real actress, in the show not a fhm model.

  28. Some interesting and nasty comments about the character of Laurel. I do think the character as she has been portrayed so far seems like a square in a round hole. She just don’t fit into the world of Arrow. Not necessarily or because of a bad portrayal, but maybe it’s more because of the soap opera-like material she’s saddled with. Her plots just don’t connect to the superhero stuff as well as they should. They sort of started to when the season began, but not enough.

    I do hope they do a revamp. Tear her down and then build her up again from the ground up. The actress can do action stuff (she kicked ass on Supernatural). They need to remove the Melrose Place grimm off her and bring that to the forefront.

    They need to give her a motivation to become more hands-off. To learn to fight, etc.

    Look at it like this, it took Oliver one year on the island to become a decent fighter, five years to become Arrow. Were the show to last that long, that would give the character of Laurel enough time to become a decent Black Canary. Whereas we heard about Sara’s training with the League of Shadows but didn’t actually see it (or haven’t yet), we could see Laurel’s training happen on screen, which would be cool.

    They also need to give her the power of sonic cry. Make her a metahuman, the first in the show.

  29. Autumn says:

    I can’t be the only one hoping that Laurel gets killed off posing as Black Canary to protect her sister, or something along those lines. I like Katie Cassidy, I really do, but for whatever reason I can’t stand her as Laurel. I much prefer Sara and I hope she stays as BC over Laurel.

    • MMPTomms says:

      That would be brilliant if Laurel becomes Black Canary *once* and dies to save Sara while at it.

    • CM says:

      You’re not. I would love to see that too, but I’m not holding my breath for it to happen.

      • K says:

        We can ALL agree that Sara IS BC and should STAY and NOT just be GIVEN to “larel” URGH!!

        But I too know that, SARA will DIE and “larueL” will be BC..DISGUSTING but that will be what CW will do! It’s just a matter of time..

        URGH! 4/5 future ep of ‘larel’ is going to KILL ME!! I have to endure HER just becuz CW WANTS to MAKE HER LOVABLE and WATCHABLE!! God, that’s just stupid writing. Also, so NOT the writers fault..It’s the ACTRESS and she just doesn’t have what it TAKES for THIS PARTICULAR ROLE! END OF STORY!

        She just doesn’t FIT the character/role of BC..MOST to all see it but CW and I don’t get why? ‘Shakes-head’.. It’s not BASHING when it’s the TRUTH..IT hurts for “HER” fans but honestly, she is EVERYTHING that is SAID here and elsewhere. No-body wants to bash or be “MEAN” about her but she’s just HORRIBLE as the FUTURE whatever/BC or as herself/laurel!!

        • Michael says:

          no we can’t all agree on that. Laurel is destined to become BC. Do you morons even get in the comics she is number 2 BC it would be the same here

          • Trish says:

            Wow…who knew having an opinion warranted moronic name calling? I will say this, take a look at the most recent ratings for the show and let them speak to how well the show is fairing by writing for the comic demographic instead of writing a well balanced, character driven show with spectacular action. But you know, what does that matter in the end when we’ll all lose a show that we love, because people can’t seem to get that you can’t have one side of the fandom without also respecting the other. Why am I bothering with being rational with you? My mistake.

  30. Geneva says:

    These writers/EPs shouldn’t go around looking for sympathy, they are so full of crap. .

    Katie Cassidy/Laurel getting hate is partly your fault, most of their fault actually, in fact they have condoned and fueled this behavior.by the fandom. Their actions have led to were things are now, extremely messy. Take some responsibility, not just blame everything on the fandom like you were doing your jobs as far as this character is concerned.

    Maybe if they had respected their leading female, giving her proper screentime, story arcs and making her fulfil the lead role she is contracted on and off the show, fans wouldn’t have lost faith nor love for her. But you don’t seem to have either for her either. The actress wouldn’t be taking it so hard if she felt she was at least appreciated by you, don’t you think so Mr AK & co.

    But instead we have the joke were Katie Cassidy has second billing but Emily Bett Rickards is given the acting position of leading female unofficially in and out of the show. You could have had the deceny to change the credits, so the actress won’t face more mockery for being a lead that doesn’t show in many episodes and when she does she does nothing. If you don’t respect your own actor and character, how can you expect the fandom to.

    How have they shown Laurel’s journey, by pushing her in the backburner? by bringing cutsy Olicity moments to the forefront and bring Sara as the Black Canary. How do you expect fans to care when you show you obviously don’t.

    And you still don’t in whats supposed to be Laurel centric episodes, you go around talking about Olicity and showing everything else in sneek peeks and previews from Roy, Slade, Barry, Sara, dead Tommy etc. Could it be that if you show a minute Laurel clip then there would be nothing to show onscreen when the episode airs. You even admitted it to yourself that you isolated the character last season, and what was your solution. To isolate her some more and treat her even worse than before. Are you really surprised and wondering why the fan reaction is how it is. I can’t decide if you are trolling or not.

    • Kate says:

      I definitely agree with you. They haven’t taken any responsibility for what they have done. Them saying that they put thought in Laurel is a laugh. Not only have they barely talked about Laurel and her future in the show, all they ever do is feed into the Olicity stuff. All the pointless Olicity moments that went nowhere could have easily been removed and used to further explain Laurel or any other character that has been on the back burner plotwise (i.e. Diggle, Thea and Moira). The whole Queen vs. State trial was such a joke. I expected more Moira and more court proceedings but they cut that down just to make room for Olicity moments. They’ve been using Laurel as a romantic prop last season and for Tommy and Oliver’s man pain and now that Tommy’s dead and Oliver barely even thinks about Tommy, Laurel has nothing anymore.

      Unlike the Breaking Bad EPs who have defended Skyler and Anna Gunn over and over, the Arrow EPs have done nothing to defend Katie or Laurel. In fact, all they do is feed into all the hate, constantly talking about Olicity more than the show sometimes and then all they can say about Laurel when asked about her is “she has a drug problem that’s going to get worse” it’s really hard to feel sorry for Laurel or hard to really feel any sympathy for her because it doesn’t feel like the writers themselves even care about her. At this point, it’s hard to even have faith in the writers when it comes to Laurel and all they’ll do is push Olicity and Felicity to the point where Felicity’s character is unbelievable. Like she’s in places where she shouldn’t be and hacks into things so easily on a windows 8 tablet.

      Tbh, bringing back Sara and then Malcolm, it doesn’t feel like death is final on this show anymore and any further deaths will be less sympathetic to me because there’s always a chance that they’ll be brought back next season or later on in the future. With them being brought back, I don’t feel as sad about Tommy’s death anymore because, hey they’ll do some harebrained explanation about how Oliver thought he saw Tommy die (just like how he thought he saw Sara die twice in fact and how he thought he saw Malcolm die) but he’s not actually dead.

    • K says:

      Umm..I don’t understand WHAT you mean by second-billing..She’s second only AFTER OLIVER/SA and Felicity/EBR is LAST in billing? So, I’m confused..She’s still is the leading female in this show and it’s NOT EVERYONE/THE OTHER A/A fault that KC just doesn’t have it..YOU CAN’T lay blame on the other Actors/Actress for “MAKING” her “LOOK” bad or whatever..

  31. Dominator of destruction says:

    I think I’m in the rare breed in that i actually like every character in this show yes even Laurel.The only thing I’m afraid of is them killing Sara off writers please,please don’t kill Sara

  32. Maryann says:

    I was very surprised that the show is still planning to have Laurel become the Black Canary after talking about respecting what organically happens on the show and not just going with what is in the comics, or what they planned in the beginning. The biggest issue for me here is how could Laurel possibly make as good a Black Canary as her sister when her sister spent five years of almost superhuman training, being honed by an experience as extreme and as brutal as the one Oliver went through?

    Wanting revenge isn’t enough. The role has to be believable, and there is just no way for that to happen with Laurel unless her development toward being Canary takes place over the next five years as she becomes as hardened both emotionally and physically as Oliver and the current Black Canary. And I’m talking story line here, specifically the writing, and nothing to do with either actress’s portrayal.

  33. sophia7470 says:

    Hmm, I feel rather torn after reading this interview. I don’t find much in there very reassuring. I was hoping that when they said that ‘have a plan, but know when to change it’ they were talking about moving away from Katie Cassidy being Black Canary and having her more in a supporting role.

    To be clear, I don’t dislike the actress, and I find the constant criticism I read of her personal attributes round the web distasteful – everything from her weight, boobs, ‘chin implants’ etc has been dissected and it’s unnecessary and unkind in my opinion.

    I’ve heard she’s very good in other things, but for some reason on Arrow it doesn’t seem to be working, especially this season. They’ve given her very little to do this season, she’s so far removed from all the action and main storylines, which are moving at a fast pace, that when she does show up on screen, I think, ‘Oh yeah, Laurel. Forgot about her’. She was good in the doll maker episode, playing the damsel in distress, and her breakthrough realising her guilt was about being responsible for Tommy’s death was very moving – but since then, what has she actually had to do?

    I’m not excited about the ‘Laurel-centric’ stories in the next 4 episodes because of all the other many many stories being told in the series right now, her ‘rock bottom’ doesn’t interest me – I don’t really care about her character enough to care that she’s hit ‘rock bottom’. Perhaps it’s because other people on the show, Oliver and her sister particularly, have come through much worse things than Laurel without (dare I say it) moaning so much. She’s not a bad person by any means, but she’s not overly engaging either.

    So, I’ll be impressed if they manage to make me care about Laurel again in these up-coming episodes, but I do trust the writers to put on enjoyable episodes so I’ll withhold judgement until I’ve seen them.

    However – I’m concerned that they’re going to go down the Laurel/Oliver romance route again, which just doesn’t work for me. There’s too much history there that drags them down in my view – first of all to go back to a man who cheated on you, with your own sister for goodness sake, isn’t really something I can root for. Secondly, scenes between Oliver and Laurel are so guilt laden and heavy, they’re not fun to watch. Oliver needs the levity that makes him more likeable and crucially, more human, that his friends in the Arrow cave provide.

    Which brings me on to Felicity. Now, I’m not a rabid ‘Oliciter’ before anyone dives in with that accusation – but I am a viewer who saw the chemistry between them from the beginning and has always enjoyed their sparky interactions. I did feel the writer’s got a tiny bit heavy handed with it in the last episode – it felt out of character for Felicity to be all ‘promise me you’ll come back’ and huggy with Oliver, because that kind of came from nowhere. I enjoyed it on a shipper level, but there were other moments between them I’ve loved more this season.

    I loved their interaction in Russia when Felicity was so bewildered that he slept with Isabel and his honesty about how he can’t be with anyone he cares about etc. My absolute favourite Olicity moment of this season was when Oliver killed the count for her, and told her it wasn’t even a choice. Those are the sort of telling moments I hope to see more of. I’m not rooting for them to start a relationship any time soon, it would be far too fast, but I do enjoy watching them get closer and hope they start to spend time together outside of their work. I’d love a scene where Oliver shows up at Felicity’s apartment with a take away Big Belly Burger for instance – strong friendship with a side order of sparky chemistry and underlying romantic feelings, for me please
    .
    This is longer than anticipated, forgive me!

    • morgan says:

      YES this explains everything perfectly. They are getting a bit heavy handed with Olicity, and it’s not needed at all! Like you mentioned their moments happen organically.

  34. JC says:

    I think the problem for me with Katie Cassidy is that, as far as I can tell, she plays one type of character well, and most of her characters up until now have been that type of character. Unfortunately she doesn’t seem to have a lot of range, and Laurel as a character was completely outside her skill set (not to say that making the character a Rachel Dawes type was a good idea anyway). The rare few times that she has been able to play close to that, like going after the vigilante, I think she’s actually not bad. But I know part of the criticism is that the writers haven’t given her enough to do, and while I think that’s a valid complaint if they really are planning on keeping her, my problem is that in the scenes where they have given her something, I just am not buying it. Compare the scene between Laurel and her father at the end of Broken Dolls to the scene between Sara and her father at the end of League of Assassins. Laurel’s scene left me completely unmoved, Sara’s had me in tears. It was the same in season one when we had the scene with the Lance family and Dinah confesses that she knew Sara was going on the boat, and everyone’s in tears. Paul Blackthorne and Alex Kingston were fantastic, but Laurel….just no. It was actually a little jarring having her in that scene. So I don’t think this is completely on the writers.

  35. Jon says:

    You didn’t ask when Roy will learn the Arrow’s identity and finally come into his own as the official sidekick.

  36. guest says:

    I love this show for so many reasons and I think everyone is doing a wonderful job. Of course my favorite parts are the great action scenes, the Arrow team, and Oliver/Felicity. I have nothing against Laurel and do not mind seeing she and Oliver as friends. I just cannot see them as being more than friends. They have a terrible backstory and I can’t really believe in them having a relationship. We as fans want something amazing, and it’s too late for them. It suits me that the emphasis for this show is on action/adventure with the romance being the icing and sprinkles.

  37. kreshb, sweden says:

    any idea that we have where we’re like, “Oh, we could do that in Season 3,” we’ve moved into Season 2. ……….

    THIS MADE ME LOVE THE WRITERS!! so freaking boring when shows wait to begin a storyline just because.. even worse when i as a viewer think of a perfect moment to implant a great storyline and alomst everytime I have to wait like 10 episodes for it to happen ^^

  38. K says:

    Matt Webb Mitovich

    I just wondered; could you or will you EVER ask in another interview if the PPL at ARROW have ever decided or thought about GETTING RID of the character “luarel” and have SARA as BC instead?? Have you ever asked them that ? before and if NO, can YOU???

  39. lame says:

    Get used to watching Katie Cassidy’s character evolve. That story has already been written and is being filmed as this discussion takes place. Andrew Kriesburg and his stable of writers are waaaay beyond this topic. This is ancient history in their environment. Enjoy the story as it unfolds, remember, it is their story to tell.

  40. If Kreisberg, Guggenheim and company don’t follow an Olicity long-term plan, I’ll probably stop watching Arrow–and I’m not an Oliticy shipper. I’d never heard the term until I watched “The Scientist” and was struck by how forced and contrived the Barry-Felicity attraction was. So I did some research and found I wasn’t alone. As others have mentioned, –the writers themselves- seem to be supporting Olicity; here’s an example: Slade says he’s going to corrupt those Oliver loves, and we see a clip of Felicity. That may be Slade’s interpretation, but it dovetails directly with the whole Olicity phenomenon. Read Jennifer Crusie’s “The Problem of Felicity Smoak,” and the comments, and you’ll see what I mean. I can see Oliver and Felicity becoming involved and breaking up, but to not go there at all is dishonest. And that’s why I’d stop watching Arrow.

  41. Cee says:

    I hope Sara Lance isn’t killed off on the show. I find her fascinating. They’ve already killed off two very compelling characters I quite liked: Tommy and Shado. If they need to make some room, they can chuck Isabel Rochev, she’s useless and uninteresting.

    • anne says:

      sara is so great at playing bc that its beyond me really. i so want her not to die, but that is going to happen because laurel will take her place. that seems so forced but we will have to go with it…

  42. A says:

    Really wish they would just let Katie Cassidy go and do another project because she is a really great actress but for some reason her character is not very likable to fans. I want to see her do great things but I really don’t think she will get to if she is stuck on Arrow.
    I must admit that I LOVE Felicity on Arrow and want to see a lot more of her. She makes the show better every time her character is on the screen.

  43. Mars says:

    Great show. Love Katie Cassidy but her character Laurel is not blending with everyone on the show. Can’t put my finger on it. Tommy was good for her though. Absolutely enjoying Felicity’s character, Diggle and Team Arrow!

  44. treble says:

    Honestly to weigh in on the whole Laurel/Oliver and Felicity/Oliver situation, I am a completely new viewer, I binge-watched from the beginning to S02 episode 9 when I got caught up to the new episodes. I like Katie Cassidy, I’m fine with her staying on the show and I’m fine with her becoming the Black Canary ( although I would prefer Sara stay because I like her too) . I am not however, fine with anyone assuming that just because she is becoming the Black Canary that she will end up with Oliver ( I realize it’s cannon, I also realize the writers occasionally stray from that) . For me Felicity is it, and given some of the scenes that I’ve seen in season 2 I’d have to say I think the writers are going there eventually.
    I’ve seen a lot of people say that the issue with Laurel is not a writing issue, it’s an acting issue, and I think that’s because those same people LOVE some of the other choices the writers have made. But for me, my problems with Laurel are solely a writing issue. The biggest problem is that Laurel doesn’t know who Oliver is anymore. at all. I can’t ship a character that has no idea who the real Oliver is, that is definitely a writing issue. She doesn’t know anything about what happened for the 5 years Oliver was that island other than the fact that he was scarred. She doesn’t know that he’s the Arrow, she doesn’t know about Sara. She’s not part of his inner circle (she doesn’t even spend much time with him as Oliver these days) and even if she eventually ends up as Black Canary, there will have to be a lot of “catch up” to even get her in a position where she could rival Felicity as shipable love interest.

  45. john beach says:

    Big green arrow fan here and his sidekick big green arrow fan jr,
    I just finish reading what the producers said about whats left of season two. I look forward to it. I am glad that he is defending Katie Cassidy and her character and I am glad someone besides me is doing it, and its about time. I know a lot of you are olicity fans and everybody is entitled to their own opinion but keep in mind first and foremost that this is a tv show.
    Every actor and actress on the show has a right to work and support their families. Stop slamming Laurel just because you want to see oliver with Felicity its not right and its not fair and I am getting tired of it. Felicity is awesome and I like the chemistry she has with Oliver but I also like the chemistry that Oliver has with Laurel too. I reiterate that its not right to slam one to promote the other. I believe that the reason Mr. web commented on the second half of the Arrow season is not just to tell us what to expect but to also warn us. That number one we need to be patient and number two we are not the ones writing and producing the show. I have followed Arrow since season one and I like the way its going so far; sit down and be patient even if you have to glue your but to a chair. They might listen to more of your comments if you were more polite about them. As for episode twelve I give it a seven out of ten. Reasons I give it a seven out of ten is for the most part it was a good show. you have your characters and you have the plot but I just don’t think that Roy will be a good sidekick for Oliver. Roy is to impulsive and that can be dangerous. I also did not think it was a good idea that Oliver told Roy who he was. Even though I understand why he divulge that info which is to get Roy to calm down so he would not beat the guy to death. Will Roys love for Thea be enough to save him in the end I am just not sure? I know from the comic books that Arsenal eventually left Green Arrow because they had difference of opinions on how to dispense justice. I see Roy eventually leaving Oliver to do his own thing. the fact that Oliver allowed Roy into his Arrow cave not only was it a bad idea but it was to soon. Stupid move on Olivers part! I think Olivers trust in Roy was to much to fast. Roy is unpredictable and very violatile. Oliver saw what the Marakur did to Slade on the Island that’s a potential warning for Roys future. Its like Oliver said Roy was angry with the world before he was injected and now he is a hundred times worst. Enough about Roy! I want to talk about Walter,s return It was such a delight to see Walter back. I miss Walter and seeing him again was a treat. Welcome back! Walters return to Arrow was very surprising to say the least not the fact that he returned but the reason why he returned. He returned to ask Moira to be Mayor of Starling City and to ask her to run against Sebastian Blood . Why would
    Walter ask Moira to run for Mayor of Starling city”? No one in their right mind would vote for the woman who helped Malcolm Merylin destroy the Glades. Even though Walter wants her to restore her image why would anyone vote for her? I know I am repeating myself but it is a very crucial question. Thea told her to do it to prove to everyone that she cares about the city and that she is not the monster s that everyone thinks her to be. It,s a little hard to prove that when you help destroyed the city. Moira better be very careful that the truth about Thea,s true paternity will not surface. Last but certainly not least I am extremely happy and looking forward to the next few episodes being centered around Laurel and her family. I am eager to see where Laurel goes from here. Well done writers and producers of
    Arrow keep up the good work. Thank You PS: I would like to see more of Walter in the future please!

  46. AnnieM says:

    For me, I was convinced that breaking comic book canon for TV was okay (if done believably) by Smallville. So, I don’t really have a problem with Arrow doing that, either. That said… I like Sara very much – she has been more compelling in a handful of episodes than Laurel has been in a season & a half. I hope she stays. Part of the Laurel Problem is that she’s been written to be just a plain old b%&$h this season, probably a big part of why so many can’t stand her now, myself included. She is really unnecessary to the show at this point, IMHO. As far as Felicity – yes, I think she’s great, but I really don’t care if she and Oliver become a couple or not. ::shrug::

  47. Susan Bewley says:

    Personally, I think they have done a great job with Laurrel. She isn’t suppose to be as likeable as Felicity. Think about it. In the past 6 years she was the man she loved, found out her sister died cheating with her boyfriend, and has to pull herself together. After that she graduated law school, built a career. And found out Oliver was back. From there we have seen her trying to put together the pieces. Let’s not forget Tommy’s death, rejection from Oliver, drugs, losing her job, Sebastian’s lies, and now Sarah’s. I think the acting has been amazing and ver real. I want to see her pull herself together and become the BC I grew up loving in from the late 80s on. I can’t wait for this roller coaster ride. I am more curious hoe she is going to get her canary cry since Sarah is more like BC number 1 in comics.

    Personally, I feel the chemistry with Ollicity is forced and won’t end well if it happens. I thought the chemistry was much much better with her and Barry. I think the two of them are destined to be a one sided love. Sorry guys.

    BTW, anyone else remember that Slade had a daughter? I am having a sneaking position that a certain ‘partner’ with Queen consolidated’ May be his daughter ;)

  48. Fawkes says:

    When I first found Arrow, it was on Netflix and it sat on my account for like three months before I even watched the entire first season over this years Christmas break. I fell in love with the show. First with Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen), then David Ramsey (Diggle), and finally Emily Bett Rickards. By the end of season one Felicity Smoak was my favorite character. I loved her shy, socially awkward, sometimes snarky, genius, geeky/nerdy, independent nature and attitude. Being a bookworm and geek myself, I felt like I could relate to her. She seems like a very “real” kind of girl with a natural beauty and spunk.

    Relating to the characters we watch/read about is one of the most important things in a story because it helps humanize them and make them seem even more real. Someone earlier made a comment about how Felicity makes every character seem more likable and I agree. Whenever Felicity (EBR) comes on screen I’m immediately drawn in and she can make someone like Moira seem amazing and awesome. Although, I think that has more to do with the actress than it does with the character. The best actress/actor will simply enhance the acting of those around them and I feel that EBR does that. She is similar to Stephen Amell where she pretty much has a bit of chemistry with everyone. Plus, he and Felicity seem to have the best chemistry out of all the girls he’s been with. It was what drew me to the Olicity shipper fan-base. Simply because they seem like they’d work well as a couple. Then of course there is the fact that Felicity would, IMO, help balance Oliver out. She’s his light to his darkness — could bring humanity and warmth back into his dark cold world and she is already slowly doing that.

    I cannot, however, say the same for the Laurel Lance character. We’ve had almost 2 seasons and she seems to just get worse with time. I’ll try not to be too harsh when it comes to her, but there is only so much of her that I can sit through. In the first season I disliked her mainly because of the Love Triangle (Oliver/Laurel/Tommy) — Love Triangles are so cliché and they can only be part of a storyline for so long before they become tedious. Then it was her attitude between Oliver and Tommy. She kept telling Oliver that they were over and that she loved Tommy, but the moment that Oliver says he truly wants her she jumps into his pants without thinking about fixing things with Tommy. Then Tommy died and she went all guilty about it and about sleeping with Oliver. When season 2 came around I was hoping that Oliver and Laurel would begin to take their separate ways and move on and do something more meaningful with their love lives. Not the case I guess, considering Oliver is still all worried and touchy-feely with her, especially since her drug addiction became public knowledge. In the “Blind Spot” episode Oliver made it known that he was going to try and break free from his ‘Laurel obsession’ but that doesn’t seem to be the case. While at the beginning of season 2 I did enjoy and appreciate Katie Cassidy’s emotional turmoil in the first few episodes (it was some great acting on her part); however, that soon changed when she was becoming overly emotional in every single episode so far. There is only so much that I can take before it just becomes annoying. Plus, if you overdue anything it loses it’s credibility and believability. Sort of like constantly bringing certain characters back from the dead. After a while, you stop believing their dead in the first place and just expect to see them in the next season.

    When I heard that the writers of Arrow were going to make the next few episodes very Laurel centered, I was very worried. But, if they do happen to bring the character back to life so to speak, then bravo. However, if it doesn’t work, then the writers should seriously consider finding a way to make Laurel either simply be a guest star on the show that comes in every few episodes, or simply take her off the show. Its wrong for the writers (not just in Laurel’s sense, but with anything that fans dislike about the show) to force the audience to wait and watch for a character that clearly seems to be disliked and throw her at us all the time. The show will simply loose viewers that way and then the show it self with end. So, if they can’t fix the Laurel character then they need to do what is best for the fans considering we are the ones watching the show.

    As for the big controversy about Laurel and Sara and which one will in the end be the true Black Canary: Have any of you noticed how Laurel is named after her mother? That’s why she goes by her middle name because they both are name Dinah Laurel Lance. I know enough of the comic books to know that it was originally Dinah (the mother) who was the first Canary, and then her daughter (Dinah Laurel) who was the Black Canary. Personally, I cannot picture sad, depressing, emotional Laurel finding the strength to become the Black Canary. However, based on rumors and interviews, I don’t think Clotz is going to remain on the show much longer as Canary (I think the writers are going to kill her off). So, I was thinking instead of Laurel becoming the Black Canary when Sara dies, how about their mother? Get it? Instead of going from mother to daughter in the comic books, in the show it could go from daughter to mother? It would make sense for Dinah to become the Black Canary in order to honor her daughter’s life!! Plus, make things very interesting between her and Quentin Lance. This is something I’d much more prefer to see on the show instead of Laurel becoming the BC.

    Finally, the big Olicity Question: I think Olicity are meant to be and was very disappointed in both Oliver and Sara’s characters when they slept together at the end of 2×13. I felt like Oliver had been making such good progress of breaking free from his playboy past, but he always seems to get thrown back into it when it comes the Lance sisters. I think Sara is awesome and deserves to find someone to be a force of light like Felicity is to Oliver. If Oliver and Sara stay together they will just drown each other in their own darkness. Same with Laurel. I always feel like she is trying to drag Oliver back into the past instead of letting him live his future. Oliver just has too much history with the Lance sisters and he needs to break free. I think Olicity needs to happen over a long period of time that way they can know each other as much as possible before getting together. They could have a truly deep and meaningful love story as a backdrop for all the action/adventure on this show. Instead of just having Oliver sleeping with a bunch of random women, b/c like I said that just makes him seem like his playboy old self and less of a hero. And having Olivier jump around with so many different women gives the show and Soap Opera feel to it that just insults the comic book aspect of it.

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