Arrow's Charlotte Ross Teases Smoak Family Secret, 'Intense' Finale to Come

Family ties will be put to the test tonight on Arrow (The CW, 8/7), as Charlotte Ross‘ Donna Smoak shares her first scenes with ex-husband Noah Kuttler aka The Calculator (played by Tom Amandes).

“Donna has a lot of feelings that she’s been wanting to share with Noah for many years, that have been bottled up,” Ross tells TVLine. And she will get the chance to do so, as Season 4’s penultimate hour unfolds. “Felicity has asked for her father’s help in dealing with a crisis in Star City — she kept it a secret from Donna because she knew how I would feel — and obviously, when Donna finds out that he’s anywhere Arrownear my daughter, a lot of suppressed emotions come spewing out.”

Indeed, while Ross was delighted to finally work with opposite her TV ex (“From the moment Tom was cast, I’ve been looking forward to having scenes with him! He is lovely and we relished working together”), the dynamic between Donna and Noah is probably icy at best. “Donna has said that he left when Felicity was very young, and Donna hard a hard time financially, working three jobs to put food on the table,” Ross reminds. “So while we’ve alluded to the fact that Noah was very bad, to what degree and what he did specifically will be revealed a bit this week.”

And that is not all that will be revealed as mother, father and daughter interact.

“There is something that Donna has kept hidden for many, many years and she decides to, finally, come clean to Felicity about it — even though she knows she may risk losing her by doing so,” Ross previews. “Being a single mother myself, many things Donna feels and the choices she has had to make really resonate with me. And because Em [Emily Bett Rickards] and I have grown so close, it just felt so deep, honest and intimate when we were shooting the scenes in this episode. [Our on- and off-screen bonds] really have become intertwined in a way that has made our work together much richer than I could’ve hoped.”

Turning to the main man Arrowin Donna’s orbit. Ross says that as hinted last week, Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) is being kept from crumbling in the wake of Laurel’s death in part due to his girlfriend’s support.

“Donna is thrilled that Lance decided to be up front and honest and amend his affidavit [about Laurel’s Black Canary persona]” even at risk of losing his badge, she says. “Paul and I have had many discussions about how Donna has potentially become his moral compass, as Laurel was, along with helping him deal with losing her. The question they both have now is: ‘Where do we go from here?'”

As for where Arrow itself is going with next week’s Season 4 finale, Ross uses the words “intense, painful, shocking and scary” to sum up the season ender, adding: “It’s very open-ended for many characters — to such a degree that you will have no idea how Season 5 will resume, and which characters may be returning or which characters will be gone for good.”

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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  1. George says:

    I really enjoy the character of Donna and how she has fit into the show. I was worried at first she’d be a one dimensional dingbat, but Charlotte has shown her, and the writers have written her as deeper and tougher than that. With Moira gone, I like having a parental figure around for that protective spirit of their children. And she is a nice fit for Quentin, to give him different scenes other than always being with his daughter. I’ve enjoyed seeing Lance in the lair and more of a team member this season too. Good use of a variety of character types, ages, and backgrounds. Not everyone has to be a mask to be interesting.

    • MZ says:

      What show are you watching? She is a one note terrible character

      • Liz says:

        People can have different opinions of the characters. You might think she’s one note but others enjoy her and think the opposite. It’s not that difficult to understand.

      • George says:

        I watch Arrow. It’s on Wednesday nights at 8pm where I live. I enjoy it! (And also apparently don’t take it as seriously as you seem to). Cheers!

        • George, I agree … Donna fills a void on the show Moira left in terms of that parental voice. Two vastly different women but they both have that fierce protectiveness when it comes to their children. Yes, the role could have been one note but Charlotte Ross has added so many intriguing layers to this woman. I really enjoy Felicity and Donna, and feel their relationship has been written pretty realistically. Looking forward to the episode tonight!

      • Lex says:

        Wow, someone complaining about Arrow without bitching about Felicity! Refreshing! But, like mother like daughter, am I rite??! (I hope the sarcasm translated well; you never can tell on the Internet).

    • sarah t says:

      I like Donna’s character too. I don’t care as much about her relationship with Quentin but I don’t mind it and it is nice to see him interact with someone besides the team or his family (when they were around). Hmmm…interested now how S4 is going to wrap up after that last comment too…

    • Murica! says:

      All her scenes are cringe worthy. She is one of the worst characters on Arrow. She is just as bad as Felicity. All they do is whine, cry and nag. Nagging is their superpower.

  2. Let go says:

    This show is such actual garbage, I’m not sure how it could possibly still be going. I implore the runners to put it out of its misery.

    • bbussey says:

      No one is twisting your arm to watch it, or comment. It’s CW’s #2 show. It’s not going anywhere.

      • Liz says:

        This. Also Arrow does really well in Live plus ratings. There is absolutely no worries with this show at all. It’s here to stay until Stephen Amell is no longer interested.

      • Murica! says:

        What is number 1?

        • suzyque says:

          The Flash is number one, but Arrow has maintained steady ratings in season 4, which is quite a feat (especially considering it doesn’t get much promotion anymore).

  3. CT says:

    Hey tvlne! Do you know your video ads are causing delays and freezes on Safari ? It’s been driving me crazy for a few days. I hope the glitch is fixed soon bc it makes it hard to enjoy or even rad your site.

  4. Liz says:

    I really like Donna but I have to admit I’m not interested in her relationship with Quentin. I hope they keep that minimal going forward. I do love Donna and Felicity’s relationship, that has been so good to watch unfold, but I wonder if this secret will tear them apart for a while? Sounds like maybe Donna took Felicity away rather than Noah actually abandoning them.

    Can’t wait for tonight’s episode and the fallout of the nuke drop. Still can’t believe they did that.

  5. Ninjak says:

    I really hope they bring back or introduce a new black canary for the Arrrow. I just once want to hear him call her his pretty bird.

  6. pem says:

    Definitely looking forward to this episode and the next. Pretty curious to see how they beat DD and HIVE, and really curious to see if the “flood” is literal or metaphorical.

  7. Looking forward to this confrontation between Noah and Donna, and findout whatever it is that Donna kept from Felicity.
    And obviously the fallout from last week’s episode. Bring it, Arrow!

  8. Ray says:

    Is it just me or are all the superhero shows just turning into Soap Operas? I am tired of the angst and tension. I want to be entertained, not, depressed. I am beginning to think the writers never even bothered to read a Green Arrow comic before writing for this show. Unfortunately, the Flash also seems to be following this show’s lead – more drama, less entertainment. When I say entertainment I do not means another 10 to 15 person fight seen lasting 5 minutes or more with everyone’s moves perfectly worked out in advance.

  9. Luis says:

    I love how well this show uses “real” adults, veteran actors like Paul Blackthorne, Charlotte Ross and, now, Tom Amandes to bring gravitas to the storytelling and depth that might be lacking in some of the primary characters. It’s been a pleasure watching Quentin and Donna’s unlikely relationship grow in depth and feeling and I’m looking forward to the first scenes between Donna and Noah.

  10. Joey Padron says:

    Good preview from Charlotte about tonight’s new episode. She is great as Donna on the show. Excited to watch new episode tonight!

  11. The Flash promos life or death situation featuring its title character. Error promos Smoak fam secrets that have nothing to do with the title character.


  12. Oh goodie, more Smoak family drama. These writers sure know what we want.