The twists flew as fast as the vigilante’s spears on Wednesday’s fall finale of Arrow.
While a captured Roy survived the hour (just barely), Oliver still lost someone back on the island when Ivo shot Shado.
And death kept coming as Tommy made a haunting appearance — and then Slade was revealed to be alive in Starling City and up to no good!
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Below, executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti preview the dark times ahead and discuss Barry’s “profound effect” on Oliver and Felicity. Plus: Who will learn Ollie’s secret next?
MATTERS OF THE HEART | Barry and Felicity may have sparked, but the future Flash also did a lot in terms of scratching at Oliver and Felicity’s maybe-not-so-platonic feelings for each other. “It’s certainly something we pick up in Episode 10, because the fallout… carries over into the next episodes as far as the Oliver/Felicity relationship is concerned,” reveals Kreisberg. “Barry has had a profound effect on them, and that will carry through.” But is Felicity crushing on someone who doesn’t reciprocate? Kreisberg admits that “Oliver isn’t quite sure what he feels. He knows he feels something for her, but can’t quite define it. He’s surprised in this episode when Dig points out to him that what [he’s] feeling right now might actually be termed jealousy.” Meanwhile, the IT gal-turned-Girl Friday “doesn’t want to like Oliver, in a way, because she finds him unattainable. And in a way, he is unattainable, especially after… he said, ‘It’s probably better if I’m not with somebody I care about.’”
BACK WITH A VENGEANCE | Whereas Season 1 featured one big foe in Malcolm Merlyn, “This year, we’ve got a two-pronged approach to the bad guy,” says Berlanti. “Also, because Oliver knows about the presence of one of the bad guys, it helps us change the rhythms of the back half of the year from what we may have done last year.” Driving the second chunk of the season is the surprise, non-island appearance of Oliver’s buddy, Slade, who is behind Brother Blood’s scheme. The newest Big Bad is hellbent on destroying the vigilante after watching the woman he loved from afar, Shado, die. “That really is his motivation. He blames Oliver for what happened,” explains Kreisberg. Needless to say, “Things don’t get better between them on the island,” adds Berlanti.
SHOT UP | For Roy, surviving Brother Blood’s injection is both a blessing – being alive: yay! – and a curse, as Slade’s troubling journey reveals. “What’s fun for us as writers is we see what Roy’s potential is to go down that dark path, too,” says Kreisberg. “It’s a deep-seated anger inside of you that lets you survive the transformation.” But it’s best not to let that rage get the better of you, so “One of the fun things that will be happening in the back half of the year is [Roy’s] relationship with the Arrow and how that changes and how the Arrow basically makes it his mission to not let Roy go down the Slade path. That takes some interesting twists and turns.”
THE VIGILANTE UNMASKED | Did Roy perhaps open his eyes and ID Oliver as the one who saved his life? We can’t say for sure, but Kreisberg does divulge that “Over the course of the season, a couple more people will find out” about the playboy’s other persona. “For us, him keeping his secret identity is the least interesting part of the character,” adds the EP. “People knowing, and letting him talk to people and letting him share that experience, we find to be much more interesting.”
DADDY ISSUES | Malcolm may have been MIA during the fall finale, but his reach will be felt in the episodes ahead. After all, Thea has been pretty well-adjusted this year, so you can “probably assume that she’s going to get hit with a whammy as the season progresses,” teases Kreisberg.
HONORING THE DEAD | If Tommy’s surprise return struck a chord in you, you’re not alone. When breaking the ghosts story, the EPs “literally had the same idea at the same time,” recalls Kreisberg. “We both felt each other gasp.” Initially, the two discussed having Oliver’s dad be the third vision before landing on his fallen friend. “So much of this season is based around that character and his loss and what a hole he left in the show,” explains Kreisberg. “So it really fit with this season’s arc of Oliver’s journey, going from vigilante to hero… For Tommy to forgive him and tell him to get up and fight — just even talking about it, I get chills.”