After one huge episode after another, Arrow is going all out for its Season 2 finale this Wednesday (The CW, 8/7c) with a potential death, a Felicity/Oliver moment that will surprise, anger and make fans weep, and one majorly complicated moral dilemma for the masked vigilante.
With Slade going after the ones Oliver loves, our hero will be severely tested — and possibly forced to make a difficult decision between the two women in his heart, previews executive producer Marc Guggenheim.
The EP also reveals that the season closer is the end of a chapter that sets up a different Season 3 (with one familiar face MIA).
TVLINE | You’ve had a string of episodes that could have easily served as the season finale. How will the actual finale top them?
We’re always trying to top ourselves. We always have said we’re never going to take our foot off the gas, we’re never going to hold back stuff at the beginning of the year just to save it for the end and we’re not going to hold back stuff for a [later] season when we could do it this season. We’re always about pushing as much story as we can, as fast as we can. Worrying about timing and worrying about topping ourselves, that’s what we call a “future us” problem. Our best episodes always find a new gear for the show, and I do think the finale finds a new gear. It’s exciting because we’re trying some very emotionally complex stuff along with some stunts and sequences that are the biggest we’ve ever done on the show.
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TVLINE | Slade has been going after Oliver in a very personal way, but now it’s of a bigger scope. What will the emotional toll be like for Oliver in the finale?
For Oliver, it all comes down to [the fact that] he made this vow for himself at the beginning of the season that he would not kill anymore. That vow is going to be sorely tested. It was always part of our design of the season that we would basically place Oliver in a situation where he has every reason, tactically and vengeance-wise and necessity-wise, to kill again. At least one character during the finale will make this argument that if Oliver had not been so reluctant to kill, perhaps everything that’s been happening for the last couple episodes would not have happened. That only further complicates his moral dilemma.
TVLINE | In the promo pics, Slade has Felicity and Laurel. Does that give Oliver a moment where he has an emotional epiphany about either of one of those characters?
As Oliver learned, Slade is determined to kill the person he loves the most. Obviously, those images suggest that it could be Laurel or it could be Felicity. And I would be very foolish if I were to share the answer with you.
TVLINE | You’ve done a nice job of layering in these little Oliver/Felicity moments and hints. Is that something we can expect more of in the finale and going into next season?
Those moments are one of the core elements of the show. We saw that even when Felicity was flirting with Barry, there was still this connection with Oliver. There will be a couple moments between Oliver and Felicity that I think will surprise people, anger others, make people weep. If you’re a fan of those moments, you’re definitely going to want to see the finale, and you’re going to want to stick around all the way to the end.
TVLINE | Speaking of the women in Oliver’s life, Sara is back in town. How are they working side-by-side now?
We’re going to learn where Sara went after she left Starling City in Episode 20. We’re going to learn a little bit more of what was behind her comments to Laurel that she made in that alleyway during Episode 22. And we’re going to learn what her future trajectory is. It’s quite a bit to take in for Oliver. We’re throwing a lot of different things at Oliver. This season finale has Oliver, literally, fighting wars on several fronts.
TVLINE | One of the big cliffhangers from last week was that Amanda Waller and her men are invading Starling City. How will the tension between Amanda Waller and Oliver and Diggle factor into the finale?
It will actually factor in in a couple ways. You’ll get a really good sense as to where Diggle is and the role that Diggle and Layla play in the finale. And also, there’s a big piece of information to be learned about Oliver’s history with Amanda.
TVLINE | Looking ahead at Season 3, how will the landscape be altered?
The way we’ve been approaching Season 3 is [with the] recognition that the season finale of Season 2 doesn’t feel like just a conclusion of Season 2, but rather a conclusion of Seasons 1 and 2 — that we were telling one, big 46-episode story. The season finale really gives you a strong sense of closure and that a chapter really, truly is finished. My hope is that it’ll do so in a way that will make people go, “Wow, this story may be over, but I’m really interested in seeing what the next story they tell with these characters is.”
TVLINE | There’s a lot of destruction going on in Starling City, and we’ve lost a lot of residents. But are we going to lose any of our main players?
The thing about Arrow is, we’ve shown a willingness to lose characters when a lot of other shows might keep them around. Let me put it this way… There’s one character who you will not be seeing at the start of Season 3.