While there is still another two weeks to go before we get a new episode of “Arrow,” that doesn’t mean we can’t make the wait less painful with juicy scoop straight from the “Arrow” bosses themselves.
Now that Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Sara (Caity Lotz) are hooking up again, Oliver severed ties with his mother Moira (Susanna Thompson) over the truth about Thea’s (Willa Holland) real father, and Slade (Manu Bennett) ominously vowed to “take care” of Moira, our favorite residents of Starling City have enough on their plates already without adding more vigilantes to the mix. Too bad, because Oliver’s about to have his hands full of vigilantes.
“We’ve announced that we’re doing a ‘Birds of Prey’ episode with the return of Helena Bertinelli [Jessica De Gouw],” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg tells a small group of reporters after a screening of “Arrow’s” most recent episode. “It’s more the ‘Arrow’ version of Birds of Prey than it is a direct adaptation.”
Kreisberg’s fellow executive producer Marc Guggenheim agrees. “We gave ourselves room to grow and evolve that. The whole show is about evolutions,” Guggenheim says. “It’s about the evolution of the Arrow to the Green Arrow, we talked about it in terms of Black Canary, Death Stroke, and Birds of Prey is very much the same thing. You’re not going to end up with the holy trinity of Oracle, Black Canary and Huntress right out of the gate. But the hope is we’re doing a multi-year, multi-season epic, and we’ll get there.”
So what can fans expect to see from the Birds of Prey episode, airing March 26?
“Helena comes back to town and Helena is gone. All that’s left is the Huntress,” Kreisberg reveals. “She’s become consumed by this vengeance she has for her father and when we see her she’s in a very haggard and worn out state. It’s this big final confrontation with her father and Laurel gets caught in the crossfire, and the Canary has to go in to the rescue. It’s this fun episode because you get a lot of Laurel with the Canary, not realizing that it’s Sara. You get a great sister episode in that sense. The Canary is all too eager to kill the Huntress to protect Laurel.”
While we didn’t see Roy (Colton Haynes) in the most recent episode, Kreisberg teases that his journey to control his mirakuru-enhanced anger is not over yet. “He’s still struggling,” Kreisberg says. “The next five episodes, in addition to everything else that’s going on, it charts Oliver’s attempts to keep Roy on the straight and narrow.”
And now that Roy is on “Team Arrow,” Kreisberg promises we’ll see more of Roy’s dynamic with Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). “The cave’s getting full,” Kreisberg says. “It used to be a place where Oliver said, ‘Jump,’ and everyone else said, ‘How high?’ And what you’re going to start to see is that other people have differing opinions.”
Guggenheim teases that the addition of Roy isn’t the only thing shaking up “Team Arrow,” since Sara is now back in Starling City for good having been released from the League of Assassins. “[Episodes] 14, 17 and 18 deal a lot with different ramifications of not just Roy but Team Arrow,” Guggenheim says. “14 really deals with what is Felicity’s reaction to Sara, the new member of Team Arrow now that Sara’s back in town. What does that mean for Team Arrow and what does that mean for Felicity? What does it mean for Oliver and Felicity? It’s a very Felicity-centric episode.”
In addition to the return of Helena and Sara, Guggenheim warns that Oliver’s co-CEO and past-fling Isobel Rochev (Summer Glau) will be back also. “Isobel will return in episode 18 and we’ll find out what she’s been up to,” Guggenheim teases.
One of the coolest things that “Arrow” does as a series is drop easter egg hints to huge DC comics lore, like when Amanda Waller approached the Bronze Tiger in prison to tell him she’s forming a “squad,” and Kreisberg reveals that wasn’t just a throwaway line.
“Episode 16 is called ‘Suicide Squad.’ And it’s about the Suicide Squad,” Kreisberg says. “Dig was our way into Amanda Waller and in this episode Amanda comes to Dig and Lyla and she basically recruits Dig for a mission and tells him he’s going to need a team. She saddles him with the Suicide Squad including Floyd Lawton.”
The episode is going to be Diggle-centric, right down to the flashbacks. “In episode 16, the flashbacks will be told from Diggle’s perspective in Afghanistan,” says Guggenheim, adding that we will see him save the life of a warlord named Golam Kadir, the story he referenced last season. “I was completely bowled over by how excited people were [by the Suicide Squad mention].”
And as for Oliver’s home life, things took a turn for the downright icy when Oliver told his mother that besides keeping up appearances for Thea’s sake, he no longer had a mother. “The cold war between Oliver and Moira is not going to go unnoticed by anyone,” Kreisberg says.
Does that mean Thea will come to know the truth — i.e. that her father is actually Malcolm Merlyn? “There is a great scene between Oliver and Thea about this in episode 17,” says Guggenheim. “There is so much in the Queen family that is affected by the amount of lies. There is just lies all over the place in this whole family. Almost every episode post this one deals with the ramifications of all those lies. How do you have a family, even, when it’s based on lies?”
At least Oliver’s love life is stress-free, right? Wrong. “That’s actually part of the journey of these next five episodes,” Kreisberg says of Oliver and Sara’s rekindled relationship. “Oliver has not had many successful relationships and part of he and Sara moving forward is, is this something that can work given that my last relationship was with an international assassin and Oliver’s last relationships were with the Huntress and McKenna who got shot by the Huntress and Laurel, and that didn’t work out so well.”
“Arrow” returns with new episodes on Wednesday, February 26 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.