This Wednesday on The CW’s Arrow, we not only learned of Felicity’s post-gunshot fate, we also were able to rule out one possibility for the Mystery Grave. The latest flash-forward, however, dropped a whole other bombshell on us.
Because although it has now been revealed that Felicity is very much alive four months down the road, it appears her engagement to Oliver may be pushing up daisies, judging by her bare ring finger.
Here, executive producer Wendy Mericle fields some of our burning questions about limousine tension, the cursed “him” and more midseason premiere topics.
TVLINE | As hinted, we got a new flash-forward. Now, I know you didn’t know at the beginning of the season, but do you know now who’s in the grave?
I would say that we have a pretty good idea, but that episode is not written yet. We always leave things open to change, but yeah. I think we have a pretty good idea.
TVLINE | Can you at least confirm that the “him” that everybody keeps referring to with gritted teeth in the flash-forwards is Damien Darhk? Or is that another of the mysteries?
No. I can’t confirm that, actually. That’s another mystery I’m going to leave to be unfolded at a later date.
TVLINE | Did I sense some tension in the limo there, between Oliver and Felicity? Are things maybe not going well for them four months down the road?
I definitely think there is some tension and we’re actually very intrigued to see if fans pick up on a very big clue about where they are at that point in their relationship. It’s in the scene, and it’s a visual clue. [Spoiler alert: Someone’s ring finger is bare!]
TVLINE | Are you going to revisit the William/Sandra storyline any time soon?
I cannot tell you anything about that.
TVLINE | What was Emily Bett Rickards’ reaction to the paralysis storyline when she learned about it?
She was intrigued, and she was totally game. She was excited because it’s a new challenge, obviously, to be dealing with this kind of permanent disability. I think most actors get excited about any sort of real “left turn” like that, and she was no exception.
TVLINE | It has to be a bit scary for an actor, though. Because for one, you want to do it justice. You want to properly depict the experience. But also, on such an action-heavy show, you almost hate for that agility to be taken from your character.
It’s true, and we’ve had discussions about that, obviously, just to talk about it and see where the character is going. We definitely do want to do it justice and we do want to be very sensitive to the reality of people in that situation.
TVLINE | Was Anarky introduced at the start of the season for the purpose of later serving this week’s story point — rooting out Darhk and setting Oliver up to save his enemy’s family — or did it just wonderfully work out that way?
We always had the intention, actually, of having Anarky be somebody that could come back in and out of our storylines. Not when we needed him to, but hopefully in a way that was organic and would most mess up our characters’ plans, and that’s really what happens in 410. He started out as one kind of villain and he’s gotten darker and more twisted in the aftermath of the events of 402, and now he is literally anarchy, whereas Damien and Oliver provide a counterbalance to each other in the traditional kind of good/evil paradigm. Anarky’s a wildcard that can come in and upend both of their plans with absolutely no remorse and no mercy, and we love that.
TVLINE | You didn’t have to have Anarky go after Damien’s family. You didn’t have to have Oliver save Damien’s family. What did you gain by having Oliver “earn” this few-week respite?
What we really wanted to do this season was follow a supervillain, Damien Darhk, from the beginning of the season and get more deeply into not just his psyche but what his life is day to day — and I think what we really like about having his family there is that it complicates things in a big way for Oliver. I mean, he’s bent on revenge based on what happened to his own family in [the fall finale], and yet, there he is saving Damien’s family. It creates a very interesting moral dilemma for him. He actually stayed on the ethical side, but it raises significant questions. To see Oliver actually make the decision not to go whole hog and take out everybody… we consider that growth for this character.
TVLINE | I kind of liked how, even though one might see Damien giving Oliver this “vacation from peril” as a tiny chink in his armor, his wife then shows up to make clear, no, this is in fact a ruthless power couple.
Exactly — and she’s the one who wouldn’t have shown him mercy had she had her way.
TVLINE | Apparently not!
She’s like, “No. You should have killed him. What were you doing out there?!”
TVLINE | So, how is Oliver going to use his “few weeks” off?
He’s going to have some Villains of the Week to deal with going forward, and he’s also going to be focused on helping Felicity. I mean, that relationship is key to him, it is key to his character this season, so he’s going to be there for her. He learned his lesson after 410.
TVLINE | Laurel, obviously, is not as “The end justifies the means” as Oliver is, as we saw in this episode. Will they continue to butt heads on this topic?
I think so. I mean, she has really come into her own as Black Canary, and we really like that she and Oliver are on a completely new footing this season. She’s become a superhero in her own right on the team, someone with an equal voice and someone with power — and Oliver respects her. She has the ability, just like Dig had in previous seasons, to really put the brakes on things and make him think about his decisions. We really love that dynamic.
TVLINE | What plans do you have for Laurel moving forward?
Oh, we have some big plans for her. She’s going to be key to taking on Darhk in a very kind of new and surprising way. We’re going to see her in a role we haven’t seen her in in a while and it’s really going to put a big crimp in Damien’s plans!