As Deadshot so appropriately says during “Suicidal Tendencies”: “The Suicide Squad rides again.”
Well… a significantly pared down Squad, but a Squad none the less.
The team has lost a couple of its members since its eponymous episode in season 2, leaving Diggle and Lyla to team up with Deadshot and the newest member of the Squad, the lovesick Cupid on a new mission.
“Tendencies” splits its time between the team’s mission in the fictional Republic of Kasnia and Oliver’s search for his new League of Assassin imposters. Oddly, pervading both story lines is love. Love is in the air from the episode’s opening and through nearly every major character interaction. For some, that means heartbreak, and for others, love brings the promise of a new phase in their lives.
But before Diggle and Oliver part ways and grapple with their respective relationships, the episode begins on what the happiest moment the show has enjoyed in recent memory. Diggle and Lyla are getting married—again—and not even late best man Oliver Queen and a missing officiate can delay that.
Ray Palmer, Felicity’s date, steps in to wed the two, and while I half-expected an enemy of someone in the room to come barging in, Diggle and Lyla’s ceremony goes off without a hitch. The good mood is only broken when everyone receives a phone notification with a news headline, ”Arrow Returns to Killing.” (Does everyone has an “Arrow” Google alert?)
Question: Arrow‘s Oliver and Felicity got a little flirt going last week… I’m so glad to finally see them interacting again. Can you tease anything about their future scenes together? —Jewel
Ausiello: We asked Stephen Amell to ID his favorite moment from this Wednesday’s wedded hour, and he offered this: “I have a great scene with Emily [Bett Rickards] in the latter part of that episode where we’re really at odds with one another,” he previews. “I thought it was one of our more interesting Arrowcave scenes.” Could it have something to do with the discovery that her new beau is super-suiting up? “Oliver’s fine with Ray and Felicity, until Oliver discovers that he’s the Atom,” Amell says. “Because the whole reason that he can’t be with Felicity is because he has this other thing that he has to do. So if it’s just Ray Palmer, ‘Good, great. Enjoy.’ But if it’s Palmer as the Atom, then Oliver’s going to have a problem.” As for Rickards’ favorite moment — don’t shoot the messenger, Olicity ‘shippers — she tells us it’s when Felicity “walks in with Ray” at the start of the ceremony.
While Diggle (David Ramsey) is planning to tie the knot, Oliver (Stephen Amell) sets his sights on confronting Starling’s new hero: Ray Palmer, aka The Atom (Brandon Routh).
“We’re not super happy about it only because the vigilantism that’s going on in Starling City, they aren’t well-trained,” Ramsey tells EW. “It’s more that issue than it is anything else. The intentions are good, but these people aren’t trained and they have their reservations about that.”
However, even if Palmer had more training, Oliver still wouldn’t be his No. 1 fan. “He’s good with all the help that he can get, but if he’s going to be romantically involved with Felicity, [that’s different],” Amell says. “Oliver being someone else other than just himself is the precise reason why he doesn’t want to be involved with Felicity. He’s fine with Ray being involved with her, except if he’s The Atom, it creates the exact same set of problems.”
But going toe-to-toe with Ray could put Oliver at odds with Felicity, who you may be surprised to hear actually sides with Ray. “She does end up supporting it because we need it, but she’s nervous and anxious because he’s out in the field and he’s in danger,” Emily Bett Rickards says. “It’s a friend and it’s someone she knows and is growing to love. You’re putting your teammate in danger, so she doesn’t necessarily feel gung-ho.”
As for what’s supposed to be the joyous occasion of Diggle and Lyla getting married, the big day won’t go off without a hitch. “Suicide Squad interrupts our wedding,” says Ramsey, who teases that there’s a surprise wedding officiant. (Scoop on that here.) “Michael Rowe is just fantastic in the episode. It’s a big episode for him. We learn a lot about Deadshot. We’re actually going to see some of his life in that.”
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
In a way, tonight’s Arrow was a return to basics. It’s been awhile since we’ve had a simple “Arrow and company stop low-level bad guy from committing a non-destroy the city crime” episode. It was a refreshing change of pace to take a step back from the League of Assassin antics we’ve been dealing with, and at times “The Offer” was reminiscent of some of the first season’s better episodes. The return of Quentin Lance’s animosity toward the vigilante definitely added to that effect.
As the episode title suggests, tonight was all about Oliver considering Ra’s al Ghul’s offer. Arrow takes advantage of the slowed-down pace to turn its thematic dial up to 100 as the proverbial offer forces Oliver to revisit his identity crisis. Elsewhere in the episode, Thea also deals with her identity crisis; however, Arrow takes this a step further and subtly (very surprising) connects her Malcolm-caused issues with Nyssa and Laurel, who are also trying to pick up the pieces of their fractured relationships with their fathers. Basically, it was a thematically heavy episode—and let’s get to it…
Now that Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) has declined Ra’s al Ghul’s (Matt Nable) offer, Team Arrow is definitely in danger—remember, it isn’t so much an offer as it is a demand.
Rumors that not everyone would make it out of this season alive were, surprisingly, first sparked by the cast, who detailed on Twitter that they had just shot a very emotionally draining scene. “Goodbyes are tough,” Amell tweeted. So, is someone really getting killed off?
In avoiding the question, executive producer Marc Guggenheim may have all but confirmed that someone really will be saying goodbye. “I can’t confirm anything,” he told EW at the recent PaleyFest panel. “In all honesty, there are so many surprises coming. I was on my way here and I was thinking about episodes 16-23 and the truth of the matter is, every episode contains a massive spoiler. It’s one spoiler after the other after the other and it’s really hard to talk about. I can’t even talk about who is doing what because, yes, there is the strong possibility that someone will not finish the season with us.”
“Every year characters come and go on all these shows,” executive producer Greg Berlanti added. “It’s just the nature. We always try and do it in the right away, I guess.”
Adding more fuel to the fire that the potential departing character won’t be leaving willingly is Emily Bett Rickard’s reaction to the same question. “Yeah, who dies this season? Season 3, who dies?” she taunted. “You guys will be heartbroken again. I think that’s why you guys keep watching the show because you like to hurt inside. Everyone you know and love you can see in season 2 and the beginning of season 3.”
Who do you think may be leaving Arrow? Find out as Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.
Arrow viewers won’t have to wait long to find out if Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is going to become the new Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) since the Emerald Archer will make his decision by the end of Wednesday’s episode.
“The first act of our 16th episode is essentially the sales pitch,” Amell tells EW. “I even say to Ra’s, ‘Is all of this supposed to impress me?’ and he says, ‘No, this is supposed to inform you.’ He lays everything out and Oliver is a little more taken with it than some people might expect.”
The leader of the League of Assassins will do everything in his power to convince Ollie that saving Starling City is small potatoes when he really could be saving the world. “Ra’s is going to entice him by making a pretty good case for the League of Assassins,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim says. “We’ve only seen the League of Assassins from Oliver’s perspective and a little bit from Sara’s perspective, but Ra’s is going to make a very compelling sales pitch. Ra’s has a view and a vision of the League of Assassins that is at odds with Oliver’s.”
Arrow returns next week as Oliver (Stephen Amell) has a big choice.
A Paleyfest panel featuring the cast and executive producers kicked off with a sizzle reel teasing the rest of the season. Among the revelations: Oliver’s secret identity is no longer so secret, with Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) and Det. Lance (Paul Blackthorne) both learning he is the vigilante.
Wednesday’s episode picks up after Ra’s Al Ghul (Matt Nable) has offered him the opportunity to take over his mantle and lead the League of Assassins. Part of the footage showed Merlyn (John Barrowman) telling Oliver, who survived a duel with Ra’s in the midseason finale, that legend has it that the man who survives Ra’s’ blade will become Ra’s Al Ghul.
“It’s an offer in name only. It’s not really an offer,” Amell said. “It’s a demand. If Oliver says no, there will be incredibly dire consequences.”
In mulling the offer, Oliver will take stock in what he’s accomplished in the time he’s been back in Starling City — and he will determine that what he’s accomplished isn’t that impressive.
“That makes being the idea of being the person who commands the League of Assassins in any way that he sees fit really appealing,” said Amell.
We will see a more “introspective” and “defeated” version of the character going forward, he said.
Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), who has been Oliver’s love interest but is now romantically entangled with Ray Palmer, returns in Wednesday’s episode unsure of if she is even wanting to continue to support Oliver’s mission.
“She needs the time to go and explore other options,” said Rickards.
There were plenty of digressions and fake storylines tossed around. Willa Holland (Thea) teased that Thea and Roy (Colton Haynes) would reignite their romance, and brought the house down when she pantomimed licking his face.
Executive producer Marc Guggenheim joked there will be a romantic relationship between Malcolm Merlyn and Felicity’s mom (Charlotte Ross).
“That would be awesome!” said Barrowman.
When Arrow returns (Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET on The CW), Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) will be facing a very tough decision after Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) extended the Emerald Archer an offer to become the new Ra’s al Ghul and leader of the League of Assassins.
Ahead of Saturday’s PaleyFest panel honoring the series, a new—and very spoilery—trailer revealed that there’s a prophecy stating that the man who doesn’t perish at the blade of Ra’s al Ghul will become the new Ra’s al Ghul. However, Oliver may not actually have a choice in the matter. “It’s very interesting to have a big bad this year who is now very invested in Oliver staying alive,” Amell says. “If you know Ra’s al Ghul and you know his tactics…you realize that it’s an offer in name only. It’s not really an offer. It’s a demand. If Oliver says no, there are going to be incredibly dire consequences.”
As Ra’s al Ghul makes his pitch for why Oliver could help save not just Starling City, but the world, “It really actually does force him to really look within himself,” Amell says. “We see a very different Oliver, a more introspective, a more vulnerable and, in a lot of ways, defeated version of the character as we move towards the last portion of our episodes.” But it could push Oliver to open up to those around him. “You can only push people away for so long,” Amell teases.
Fans hoping for big spoilers about upcoming The Flash and Arrow episodes during this afternoon’s PaleyFest panels might have been disappointed, as cast and producers on both shows were adamant – often excruciatingly so – about keeping mum on future developments. But hints and innuendos during both panels suggested huge twists and more crossovers between the two shows, and in the case of The Flash, the adaptation of one of DC Entertainment‘s biggest comic events for the small screen.
First up, the Arrow panel, where moderator Aisha Tyler kept the conversation focused on character and generally hilarious during the Arrow panel. That was thanks in part to Malcolm Merlyn actor John Barrowman, who alternated between trenchant observation and zings. He confirmed, for instance, that his character would have preferred to have Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) as a son rather than Tommy Merlyn, (who died during the season 1 finale but returns in periodic flashbacks). Shortly after, he joked that he’d love to see his character paired off with the cocktail waitress mother of Arrow ally Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards).
As for what to expect when Arrow returns this week, after a two-week hiatus, Oliver Queen had just been asked by Season 3 villain Ra’s al Ghul to take over leadership of the League of Assassins. According to star Stephen Amell, Oliver may be accepting that offer. When the show returns, Arrow will take stock of what he’s accomplished in the two and half years since returning to Starling City, and realize he’s disappointed by the results. “That makes being the idea of being the person who commands the League of Assassins in any way that he sees fit really appealing,” he said. Not that there might be a choice in the matter. “It’s an offer in name only,” Amell said, adding that “If Oliver says no, there will be dire consequences.”
I have added episode stills from 3×16 – The Offer. Arrow will be back on March 18.
– Episode Stills 3×16 – The Offer