Roy Harper has reached maximum Mirakuru levels and he’s about to go on a warpath on Arrow.
“Seeing Red,” airing Wednesday, finds the infected Roy tearing Starling City apart in a fit of uncontrollable rage. At one point, he faces off against his former mentor Oliver Queen (as Arrow) and Sara Lance (as Black Canary) in a crackling battle. The cracks in Team Arrow start to deepen, as a divide begins to form over how to approach the Roy situation and bringing to question whether it’s worth terminating or saving him. Roy, in the mean time, commits an irreversible crime during his rampage, and puts his ex-girlfriend Thea in danger at Moira’s mayoral campaign event.
“That’s been the hardest thing in the writers’ room to manage — [to figure out] what happens to you when you get Mirakuru’d,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said. “Some people in the writers’ room have tried to be like, ‘Well, if it’s two months, it’s this level and three months, you’re at this level. What’s Slade at if you’re at five years?’ We tended to err on the side of what was right for the episode.”
Kreisberg compared Roy’s season-long Mirakuru arc to Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s Angelus run. “When Angel became Angelus, all the things he was saying hurt Fred and Gunn and Wesley because he was telling them the truth. It’s just all the things we don’t normally say,” he said. “Roy was right in episode 18, when he’s like, ‘You’re all blindly following [Oliver] and doing what he says. Well, he’s making all the wrong choices.’ ”
While the latest installment is a Roy-centric hour, there were several scenes left on the cutting-room floor over the run of episodes “where it might have felt like he disappeared,” Kreisberg said.
One such example was a battle in episode 13, “Heir to the Demon.” “He actually takes on Nyssa and her minion and that was where we discovered the pit-viper venom that she darts him after they fight and he passes out,” he shared. “She says, ‘Wow, you’re strong. Most people would be dead from that.’ ” There was another scene where Roy was integrated into the group, but ultimately cut for time.
“We were going to have him disappear for a couple of episodes and really feel his absence and have this Magnificent Seven [moment] — have everybody show up at the end,” Kreisberg said of the original plan. In last week’s episode, “The Man Under the Hood,” Roy was discovered in Slade’s machine, but Kreisberg indicated that that wasn’t always the case. “We were going to have Slade in the machine and have Ravager step out and she was going to save him.”
Slade Wilson has added several new members to his army in his battle against Oliver Queen.
The latest Arrow episode, “The Man Under the Hood,” moved several arcs along and also introduced two characters from The Flash spinoff. There was the discovery that a Mirakuru cure, a serum STAR Labs’ Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) were later recruited to help create, may reverse the effects for Slade and Roy. Then there was Laurel’s decision to keep her knowledge that Oliver was the Arrow under wraps. And just when Oliver and Co. thought they pulled one over on Isabel, who was thought to be dead, Slade resurrected her by adding Isabel to his growing Mirakuru army.
Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg broke down the episode’s biggest moments and the ramifications that will follow.
Arrow‘s big return kicked off with Felicity trying to line up the eyeholes in her ski mask. Yep, Team Arrow was dressed in black and on the move. They knew that Slade needed an industrial centrifuge to create his army, so they decided to sneak into the Robert Queen Applied Sciences Center and blow some stuff up. And by stuff, I mean the entire building.
And with that technology off the market, the team was finally fighting back against Slade. It was a great idea, but their success was short-lived when Deathstroke himself showed up in their cave. Cue stairwell flip! By the end of the fight, Slade had taken down Sara, Diggle, and Oliver, in that order. Although I will give Sara props for going after him first. Also, him catching her by her throat midair? Damn, that was cool. On another note, does Deathstroke just have really bad aim? How did he not hit anyone with those bullets?
Across town, Laurel was busy doing some detective work of her own, bulletin board-style. She was putting together the pieces of the “Oliver is The Arrow” puzzle. And when she wasn’t doing that, she was visiting Quentin, who was facing up to 18 months in jail for helping the vigilante. But Quentin promised he didn’t know the name of the vigilante. Now the woman in black? Yeah, that’s a bit more complicated.
Speaking of the woman in black, Laurel finally started to figure out that puzzle as well. After Slade’s attack, Sara had to go to the hospital for a hairline fracture in her wrist. And when Laurel went to check on her, the doctor informed Laurel that her sister’s entire body was covered in scar tissue. You know who else has scars like that? Oliver. Come on, Laurel! You’ve got this!
With Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) determined to ruin Oliver Queen’s (Stephen Amell) life, the last thing Arrow’s billionaire playboy-turned-vigilante needs is more people learning the truth about his extra-curricular activities. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what Slade had in mind when he showed up at Laurel’s (Katie Cassidy) door to tell Ollie’s former love the truth about the emerald archer. But that doesn’t mean Laurel will believe Slade.
Naturally, the inquisitive ADA will set out to uncover the truth for herself in Wednesday’s episode (8/7c, The CW), which finds her slowly putting the puzzle pieces together in more ways than one. The truth, of course, could also set her father free since Det. Lance (Paul Blackthorne) was thrown in jail for working with the vigilante and refusing to give up his name. But would Laurel be as kind if placed in the same position?
“When Slade told Laurel, he thought that was going to be yet another devastating death charge into Oliver’s life,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg says. “She’s not just taking it at face value, but being smart about it, and then her emotional reaction to the news is surprising. Most people assume she’s going to react one way and that she reacts a different way is great.”
One more person is in the know of Oliver Queen’s secret life as the hood, a fact executive producer Andrew Kreisberg says shifts Laurel’s world view immensely.
The ball is in Laurel Lance’s (Katie Cassidy) court.
Last we left off on The CW comic-book drama, Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) dropped an Arrow bombshell, revealing to Laurel that her former lover/friend Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is actually the Arrow — a calculated move on his part to weaken Oliver’s world.
“Laurel obviously has had a very rough year. When Slade told Laurel, he thought that that was going to be yet another devastating death charge into Oliver’s life,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said.
But life is more complicated than that and Laurel’s reaction to the news isn’t as simple as Slade may have hoped.
“I think that Laurel’s reaction to finding out the news — for one, not just taking it at face value, but being smart about it — her emotional reaction to the news is surprising. I think most people assume she’s going to react one way,” Kreisberg said, alluding to her past days spent popping pills and drinking excessively. “That she reacts in a different way is great.”
Kreisberg compared Laurel’s entry into Oliver’s Arrow universe to that of Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell), who found out about his best friend’s vigilante life in season one.
“Once he knew, it changed his character so much,” Kreisberg said. “There was so much more you could write for him and the way he looked at everything in the world. Every scene suddenly became supercharged with him, even if it was a small scene that didn’t really have anything to do with the main plot.”
“With Laurel, now that she knows, whatever she’s doing, whenever she’s in a scene with somebody, her world view has shifted and it’s different. Katie has really risen to it and it’s really exciting to see how it plays out,” he added.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
So Slade’s plan is officially underway, and the first three steps seem to be as follows: 1) Tell Thea that Malcolm Merlyn is her biological father. 2) Hijack a bus full of prisoners in order to expand his army. And 3) Tell Laurel that Oliver is the mother freakin’ Arrow. Yep, that just happened. Let’s get into it!
We started right where we left off last week, in the car with Slade and Thea. Things seemed fine at first, as they discussed heartbreak and how it’s something Slade knows “all too well.” But Slade was quick not to bury the punch line: “You’re not going home, Thea.” And cut to her running away, straight into the arms of Skull Mask/Sebastian Blood.
At headquarters, Roy was really sucking at archery when Felicity informed Oliver that he couldn’t avoid being a CEO forever. Ollie had to attend a board meeting, which quickly evolved into him attending his mother’s mayoral debate, where things really got going. When the first “video question” of the debate came from a kidnapped Thea Queen, Oliver put two and two together. He needed to find Slade. Step one of that plan meant he couldn’t be bothered with stupid work stuff. Therefore, Oliver appointed Isabel Rochev temporary CEO of Queen Consolidated so that he could find his baby sister. Yes, it was dumb. And step two involved a League of Assassins poison that Sara had concocted. That? Not so dumb. Team Arrow shot Slade with it in order to get him arrested.
Although Stephen Amell was cast as a superhero, it wasn’t necessarily the one he would’ve picked. Asked Saturday at Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon which superhero he’d play if it were entirely his choice, the “Arrow” star name-dropped the Main Man.
“I’m gonna go with Lobo,” the Toronto-born Amell told a packed convention hall at the noon panel. “Lobo was my favorite comic as a kid. I loved Lobo. I was way too young to read it.”
In its first season, which began in 2012, “Arrow” returned Oliver Queen (Amell) to his native Starling City after five years on a Pacific island. He reappeared with a cut physique, deadly skills with a bow and a list of upper-crust ne’er-do-wells that needed killing. In the current, second season, Oliver has attempted to renounce deadly force, squaring him more with the nonlethal stunt archer of comics history.
The show’s success precedes several new DC Comics TV adaptations, which had threatened to go dormant with the end of “Smallville” in 2011. Now the CW action-drama has wedged open the door for “The Flash,” to air this fall on The CW, and “Gotham,” slated for Fox.
The return of The Huntress to The CW’s Arrow coincided with an uptick in the ratings Wednesday night for its “Birds of Prey” episode. Arrow was up 12 percent in the adults 18-49 demo and beat NBC’s Prince Harry special. But The CW’s newest drama, The 100, dipped 22 percent in the demo for its second episode. (Hang in there: I’m told the freshman sci-drama picks up considerably with some game-changing twists in the next couple weeks.)
The episode started with a police raid, in which Quentin got shot — but was wearing a vest! — and Sara gave us our first glimpse at her dark side when she threw her father’s shooter out a window. But more importantly, Oliver tackled Mr. Frank Bertinelli, the father of Oliver’s psycho ex-girlfriend bent on killing her father because he murdered her fiancé, as Felicity put it. Just like that, Team Arrow was after Helena.
Attempt number one was a fail: The team got distracted by a decoy, but it did give us an amazing moment when Ollie, in an attempt to keep Roy from killing a man who had just shot him through the hand, called Roy “Speedy!” At least that’s what it seemed like. We later discovered that Ollie called him Speedy in order to snap him out of his rage. The interaction went like this:
Ollie: The only thing that snapped you out of it was when I brought up Thea.
Roy: That’s why you called me Speedy. I thought you were trying to give me a nickname, but for the record, don’t call me Speedy.
“This is the episode where Laurel gets her groove back,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim said of Wednesday’s “Birds of Prey” installment.
Helena is back on Arrow and that usually spells trouble.
In Wednesday’s “Birds of Prey” episode, Helena is lured back to Starling City to exact her revenge after her father is arrested. Laurel is handpicked to serve as lead prosecutor on the case, putting her in the middle of the crossfire at the city courthouse after Helena discovers there is more to her father’s arrest than meets the eye. Meanwhile, Sara risks her Canary identity to keep Laurel from harm’s way.
“We had been talking throughout the year about bringing Helena back under a variety of different scenarios,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim said of Helena’s return. “This is the episode where Laurel gets her groove back. We knew that we wanted to return Laurel to the D.A.’s office and we knew that Laurel by the end of the episode had to be in a good emotional place.”
“When you’re talking about bringing her back to the D.A.’s office, you naturally start thinking about, ‘Well, what case is she prosecuting?’ ” Guggenheim added. That led to Guggenheim, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg and the other writers pitching different elements of the episode. One of those elements features Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Sara (as Canary) spending a significant amount of time together after Laurel is taken hostage.