With only a few episodes left, The CW series Arrow is pulling out all the stops, with character relationships, action, big reveals and heartache. There is so much contained in each of the remaining episodes that the finale is sure to keep everyone on the edge of their seats. In Episode 19, “The Man Under the Hood,” Deathstroke brings the battle to Team Arrow’s secret lair, sending one member to the hospital, and Oliver Queen must choose between his battle with Slade Wilson or his family.
During this recent interview to discuss the remaining episodes this season, executive producer/writer Andrew Kreisberg talked about how Laurel Lance will be taking Slade Wilson’s news about Oliver Queen, why she reacts differently from what’s expected, where Oliver and Laurel are at romantically, how long-running the ramifications of the Queens’ financial problems are, why this was the right episode to bring two of the characters from The Flash into the story, that Felicity plays a major part in the season finale, just how insane the finale fill be, and how the show will be changing and evolving in Season 3. Check out what he had to say after the jump, and be aware that there are some spoilers.
ANDREW KREISBERG: Laurel has obviously 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. I think that Laurel’s reaction to finding out the news, and 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 act one way. That she reactions another way is great. It’s funny because it was the same experience with Tommy, where once he knew, it changed his character so much. There was so much more we could write for him. The way he looked at everything in the world, every scene with him suddenly became supercharged, even if it was a small scene that didn’t have much to do with the 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. I think Katie [Cassidy] has really risen to it, and it’s really exciting to see how that plays out, in the last three episodes. Laurel makes the very classy decision to keep Oliver’s secret because she knows that what he needs right now is not knowing that she knows. She will discover, later on, that there is a time when he does need to know.
Where are Oliver and Laurel at now, romantically?
KREISBERG: It’s Oliver and Laurel. It’s Lois and Clark. They can break up, get together, sleep together, break up, get married, get divorced, and she can forget him. The best part about the success of the show is that it’s always our desire to speed through story. The fans appreciate that. We just blow through things. We’re not like, “Well, we’ll do that in Season 4.” No, we’ll just do that now. On the other hand, success has enabled us to slow play some things. We’ve really adopted this mantra of, “We’ll give people what they need, even if that’s not what they want.” Having Oliver and Laurel get together in Season 1 is what people needed then. But then, they needed them to go on a break, so Oliver could have his storyline with Sara for this season. That’s what felt right to us. Oliver has women in his life. He has Laurel. He has Felicity. Helena is doing a 10 to 20 stretch. But Laurel will always be one of the closest people to him, whether that’s romantic or not. That’s why it’s so powerful to us that, in his darkest hour, Laurel is the one who pulls him out of it. There has been a subset of fans who have questioned our sanity and our talent, for making some of the decisions we’ve made, over the course of last year and this year, but somebody is always going to be upset. A lot of the things we have done have been leading up to what we’re doing in the finale, and then moving that forward to Season 3.
KREISBERG: We’re gonna make it a thing. That plays out in the last five episodes. We’re gonna start Season 3 with Oliver in very different circumstances than he’s been before. Obviously, him being in different circumstances changes the circumstances of his paid bodyguard and paid assistant, since he can no longer pay them. For Season 3, you’ll see that some of our familiar standing sets from Season 1 and 2, that you’ve come to know and love as being Arrow, are gonna be retired for reasons that will become apparent, as you see these last episodes. We have already seen designs for some of the new sets for Season 3, which are amazing. We want the show to feel like it’s constantly evolving, changing and growing. If this year is the sequel, then next year is Arrow 3. As different as 2 is from 1, in 3, they got Ewoks.
We did you decide to bring in some more characters from The Flash, with this episode?
KREISBERG: Originally, The Flash was going to be a backdoor pilot for Episode 20, but we were blessed with this very humbling success where those episodes were so well-received and came out so well that they said, “Make a full pilot.” We suddenly then had to make an Episode 20, which we’re always happy to do. We knew that a lot of the fans had been looking forward to seeing a little bit of The Flash in the season, and we felt obliged to fulfill that promise. And one of the fun things for the show, especially early in the season, we were constantly mentioning the particle accelerator. And then, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) coming to the show. It just felt like a fun way to bring up Barry and remember where he’s at, and give a little taste of the show. It’s a little more sci-fi than what we do on Arrow, but it felt a little bit more like you get a glimpse into what kinds of things The Flash will be up against, more than what is coming into our world. Growing up, Greg Berlanti’s favorite thing was that cross-overs between The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman. I loved all of the cross-overs between Buffy and Angel. One of my favorite cross-over moments is in Angel, when Angel is Angelus and he hears the Slayer is in town. He calls Dawn and says, “Hey, is your sister there? She is? Great!” And he hands up and goes, “Damns, it’s the other one.” It was just like, “Right, they’re all in the same world.” And this felt like that to me. It wasn’t like The Flash and Arrow were teaming up together. These people work at Star Labs and they know Felicity ‘cause she’s been there. I like that. It makes the show feel lived in.
KREISBERG: No, unfortunately. This is their one dip in the water.
Will Felicity take any steps forward into the superhero realm, or will she just stay where she’s at?
KREISBERG: No. But don’t worry, Felicity plays a major part in the season finale.
What can you say to tease the season finale?
KREISBERG: The finale is fucking insane! I saw dailies. You’re gonna die!
Arrow airs on Wednesday nights on The CW.