In Episode 20 of The CW series Arrow, entitled “Seeing Red,” the Mirakuru is sending Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) into an uncontrollable rage that he unleashes on the city. When Oliver Queen, aka The Arrow (Stephen Amell), realizes the Mirakuru has taken over Roy completely, he must figure out a way to stop him, and do so before Sara (Caity Lotz) kills him.
During this recent interview to talk about the events of this episode and what’s still to come this season, executive producer/writer Andrew Kreisberg talked about managing what happens to those who get injected with Mirakuru, why some of the Roy Harper scenes have gotten cut, the challenge of juggling so many storylines, why Slade Wilson’s revenge is about more than just the Mirakuru, how Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau) evolved into Ravager, and how once you start down the dark path, it consumes your destiny. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
ANDREW KREISBERG: The hardest thing to manage in the writers’ room is what happens to you when you get Mirakuru’d. Some people are like, “If it’s been two months, you’re at this level. If it’s been three months, you’re at this level. What’s Slade at, after five years?” We’ve done our best. We tend to go with what’s right for the episode. At the end of the day, they’ve both been injected with sci-fi magic super-evil juice. I don’t know how that works.
Unfortunately, there were actually a couple more scenes with Roy, in that stretch where it felt like he disappeared. In Episode 13, “Heir to the Demon,” he actually took on Nyssa and her minion. That’s where we actually discovered the pit viper venom. She actually darts him and, after they fight, he passes out and she says, “Wow, you’re strong. Most people would be dead from that.” But time wise, with that episode, it had to come out. And there was another scene where Roy was part of things. I know there was some time where it felt like he came in and out. We were actually going to have him disappear for a couple of episodes and really feel his absence. When you have a big cast and you’re juggling all of these storylines, some things have to get put on the backburner for a couple of episodes.
So, what guidelines do you use for the Mirakuru then?
KREISBERG: The interesting thing about the Mirakuru is that we always talk about it like Angelus. When Angel became Angelus, all the things he was saying hurt Fred and Gunn and Wesley because he was telling them the truth. It was all the things we don’t normally say. And Roy was right in Episode 18 when he said, “You’re all just blindly following him and doing what he says, while he’s making all the wrong choices.” Roy was right, even though he was on psycho evil sci-fi juice.
In the finale, there’s a line where Slade says, “You think it’s the Mirakuru, why I hate you. I hate you because Shado is dead because of what you did.” And he’s not wrong. It’s not necessarily Oliver’s fault. I don’t think Oliver chose Sara over Shado. I think, if he’d put the gun to Shado and was about to pull the trigger, Oliver would have dived in front of Shado. He was about to kill one of them, and Oliver dove in front. He didn’t pick one over the other. But, everyone is the hero of their own story. From Slade’s POV, he loved a girl, and this other guy failed to save her life. And sci-fi evil juice isn’t what’s fueling that.
What can you say about this new version of Isabel Rochev, now that she’s been given Mirakuru?
KREISBERG: Isabel is the one thing that we weren’t entirely sure about, as we were developing the season. Truthfully, there was a very early iteration of the series where Sara started the season as Ravager, and then we switched over. We always had that paradigm of Slade having that, in the back of his mind. We didn’t want to make her Rose from the comics, and have that trajectory. Part of the reason Isabel disappeared for awhile was because we still weren’t quite sure which way to go, and whether she should be an ally or a villain. We had written it so that it could turn out either way. As we were coming down to it, the scene that I was picturing was Isabel, Slade and Sebastian in Oliver’s office, as the triumvirate of evil. Once that happened, there was no way that she was not going to be Ravager.
KREISBERG: It’s funny because when Summer [Glau] took the part, she was like, “I’ve never done anything like this. I feel much better if I’m kicking somebody.” And I was like, “You’re so good, you should give yourself more credit. We wanted you because you’re a good actress and you feel amazing in this part, and not because you can kick ass.” And then, I got to call her and say, “Hey, we changed our minds. You get to kick ass.” So, in Episode 18 when she does kick ass, it’s like, “Oh, yeah!”
One of the things we’re most proud of, with the show, is the casting. Obviously, the regulars are amazing, but I feel like our guest cast, with Caity Lotz, Katrina Law, Kevin Alejandro and Summer Glau, is amazing, too. This show is constantly populated with these great people who are also bringing with them their baggage. And I don’t mean that in a bad way. I mean that in a good way. As soon as you see Katrina Law, you think, “Oh, yeah, I should be afraid of her,” ‘cause she’s from Spartacus. With Summer, some of the writers were like, “When she just starts kicking ass, aren’t people going to be like, ‘What the fuck?’,” and I was like, “No. They’re gonna be like, ‘Why wasn’t she doing this sooner?’ It’s Summer Glau. That’s what she does.” I think it worked out really well. Now that she’s got the evil juice in her, she’s Ravager.
We’ve heard Sara talk about how, once you let the darkness in, it takes over. Will that be something she continues to struggle with?
KREISBERG: As Yoda taught us, once you start down the dark path, forever it will consume your destiny, and that goes for all these people. “Once you let the darkness is, it never comes out,” could almost be the subtitle for Season 3.
Arrow airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.