First things first: Arrow‘s Oliver did not bed reporter Susan Williams in the immediate wake of accidentally killing Felicity’s boyfriend. So, whew on that one.
As the CW series brought its fall run to a close, Susan (played by Carly Pope) offered a sounding board to distraught, increasingly despondent Oliver, before urging him to not shut people out — and then pulling him in for a warm kiss. Some time later, Oliver would return to the Arrowcave, where he bumped into Laurel (!). But in the time between, he and Susan had not consummated their nascent relationship.
“I understand that some on Twitter have a radically different opinion…,” co-showrunner Wendy Mericle noted with a laugh during TVLine’s in-depth midseason preview Q&A. “But in my mind, they did not [have sex]. The intention was that they did not.”
Mericle’s opinion echoes that of series lead Stephen Amell, who soon after the fall finale aired assured a fan via his Facebook page that Oliver and Susan had not done the deed.
That said, “They had that kiss,” Mericle reminds. And after Season 5 resumes on Wednesday, Jan. 25, “They’re going to go ‘all in’ [on the relationship] at some point, for sure. But one of the things that’s interesting about [Susan] is that they do have a genuine relationship — she really does care about Oliver, and vice versa — and yet she has been on this track of trying to find out who he is and what he’s up to. And not just as the mayor, but beyond that.”
In exploring the man behind Mayor Handsome (including his apparent side trip to Russia while “stranded” for five years on Lian Yu), Susan “is going to be asking some hard questions,” Mericle previews, “and that’s going to put both of them into physically and emotionally dangerous territory.”
As for what we should make of the camera conspicuously lingering on the Russian vodka label in Susan’s apartment during the aforementioned clinch, “Were we too obvious with that?” Mericle asks with a chuckle. “I would call that foreshadowing, more than anything else.”