Arrow brought to life an iconic comic-book character on Wednesday night as Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter Nyssa came to Starling City in search of Sara — and planted a kiss on her!
Below, executive producers Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim reveal the story behind the surprise twist and what Sara being home means for her romantic future.
The EPs also preview Team Arrow’s changing dynamics, Oliver and Moira’s cold war and Felicity’s “massive” backstory payoff.
LOCKING LIPS | The decision to have a romantic relationship between Nyssa and the younger Ms. Lance “was really more about Sara than anything else,” explains Kreisberg. “We thought about this at the beginning of the season. If you watch [Episode] 205, there’s a reference to ‘the beloved’ and ‘you think that’s going to keep you safe.’ We talked about, ‘Does Ra’s al Ghul have a son?’ Then we were like, ‘Could it be Talia?’ We felt like Talia had just been done in the movies.” Ultimately, one of the writers suggested Nyssa, which “felt like something new and different.”
Kreisberg maintains that the pairing isn’t meant to be “salacious.” Rather, “It’s a pretty chaste relationship from what you see on screen,” he continues. “For us, it just touched on a couple of interesting things like the idea that Sara found herself in this terrible world and found this one person who treated her with love and kindness.” And although Sara ends the episode reuniting with Oliver, “We actually specifically avoid using the term ‘bisexual,'” points out Guggenheim. “We didn’t want to label her at all.”
But her past will come back to haunt her: Katrina Law will reprise her role as Nyssa later this season. As for whether Sara and Oliver are a couple now, “That’s actually part of the journey of these next five episodes,” reveals Kreisberg. “Oliver has not had many successful relationships, and part of him and Sara moving forward is [the question of], ‘Is this something that can work given both of our [pasts]?'”
NOT-SO-WELCOME HOME | Sara’s readjustment to life in Starling City won’t be entirely smooth, as evidenced by Laurel’s violent reaction to her sis’ return. “Part of the reason we did this episode was to free Sara, at least for the time being, from the threat of the League of Assassins, to allow her to fully be the Black Canary and come home and all the delicious implications that that brought,” says Kreisberg. “You’re really going to see how Sara’s return affects everybody.”
SMOAK SECRETS | Felicity fans finally got some much-wanted backstory about the IT gal this week – and there’s more to come! Make sure to remember the tidbits Ms. Smoak dropped about her parents, because “There are two massive things that are going to happen towards the end of the season that you heard in that speech that will payoff,” teases Kreisberg.
‘OLICITY’ BONDED | It seems Mama Queen’s threats were empty: Felicity and Oliver’s relationship is “actually going to be strengthened” following her decision to spill Moira’s secret, assures Kreisberg. Adds Guggenheim: “I don’t even think Moira necessarily believed what she was saying to Felicity. Moira was trying to manipulate Felicity into staying silent. It would never even occur to Oliver to be angry at Felicity.”
A FAMILY DIVIDED | “The cold war between Oliver and Moira is not going to go unnoticed by anyone,” previews Kreisberg. Meanwhile, despite her stint in prison and the collapse of her relationship with her son, Moira “still really hasn’t had her come-to-Jesus moment… and that’s coming,” teases the EP. Her lie “is going to have far-reaching implications for the characters.” Guggenheim adds that there’s even more deception to come. “There’s just lies all over the place in this whole family… Can you have a family, even, based on lies?” And Oliver, often a liar himself, is going to realize “that as much as he despises his mother, he’s actually a lot more like her than he wants to admit,” says Kreisberg.
TEAM ARROW EXPANDED | With Roy and Sara’s additions to the group, “The cave’s getting full,” says Kreisberg with a laugh. “It used to be a place where Oliver said, ‘Everybody jump,’ and everybody else said, ‘How high?’ What you’re going to start to see is that other people have differing opinions.” Guggenheim says the next episode also will explore “Felicity’s reaction to Sara, the new member of Team Arrow,” as well as what her addition means for the team, Felicity — and Oliver and Felicity.