In the mid-season finale of The CW series Arrow, Team Arrow fractured and Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), Rene (Rick Gonzalez) and Curtis (Echo Kellum) felt betrayed, prompting them to give saving Star City a shot on their own. Now, while that trio forms a new and hopefully more democratic team, Oliver (Stephen Amell) remains confident that he, Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) can stop Cayden James (Michael Emerson) and Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) without any help.
During this 1-on-1 phone interview with Collider, actor Echo Kellum talked about how sad it was to see Team Arrow break up, what a difficult decision it was for Curtis to make, the new team dynamic and name, what he thinks it will take to bring everyone back together, how this might all affect Curtis and Felicity’s working relationship, what he enjoys about the type of villain Cayden James is, and how awesome it is to get into the Mr. Terrific superhero suit, every time.
Collider: I have to say that I was a little bit sad over the mid-season finale, to see the team break up, just when they seemed like they were finally getting it together.
ECHO KELLUM: Yeah, I was, too!
In the last episode, when Curtis left the team, how hard do you think that night was for him and what do you think he did, after that moment?
KELLUM: I definitely think he had a meeting with Jack Daniels, at least, just to clear his head. It was a really big decision. They’ve been like a second family to him. He lost his husband. They were the only things that were left, especially his friendship with Felicity. Just looking at Oliver’s mentorship and really going out and making a difference, it was definitely a decision that was tough, but it’s that thing where, if you can’t trust somebody, you don’t have anything, really. For him, it was about knowing that he can strike out on his own or get to a place where he feels like he can at least have that trust. So, it would have done him a disservice to stay on Team Arrow, after they violated some clear boundaries.
After growing into a much more cohesive unit, the betrayal among the team was that much more difficult to watch. What was it like to shoot those moments?
KELLUM: Those moments are always a little tough ‘cause we all do genuinely have such a high affinity for each other and really love working with each other and being around each other. Even pretending to be mad or disconnected or that our friendship has been ruined, it pulls on you a little bit. Emily and I are all frown-faced after those scenes. I really do love their dynamic, but I also see how it’s important for the writers to constantly have things in flux to keep things interesting and new, and to have there actually be repercussions to people’s actions. Sometimes best friends fight and I think that really is pulled from real life. As an audience, those moments can be very disheartening, but I think it can also strengthen them, in the long run, if they do get back together.
We see Curtis suggest to Rene and Dinah that they just should form their own team. What will that look like and what will that do to their dynamic? Won’t somebody have to be in charge?
KELLUM: Yeah. For them and their dynamic, it’s gonna be more about trying to do things a little bit different than Team Arrow. I feel like there’s gonna be a more democratic approach to how they handle things, as a team.
Will they get a new team name?
KELLUM: Yeah. We didn’t coin it, but I think the name that’s really been sticking, right now, is that our new bunker is called NTA Bunker, which means New Team Arrow. We don’t have Arrow on our team, per se, but we all have a lot of what he embodies and taught us, within ourselves. We all still have the same goal of saving Star City and protecting the denizens against anyone trying to bring them harm, but we just want to try to have a different approach to it?
Is the new team confident that they can succeed at saving the city without Oliver, Diggle and Felicity, or does that become a concern, very quickly?
KELLUM: Look, Rene would be confident in any situation. He just exudes confidence. No matter what, he’d be like, “I can go and get 17 people by myself and feel good.” Even though he might lose, his confidence is always on peak mode. I definitely think that coupled with Curtis embracing more tech and doing stuff specifically for the team, and still working on his company with Felicity and trying to help Diggle figure out what’s going on with his issue with his arm, they’re definitely going to go through it in a confident way. Whether they’re going to be successful every time is something you’re going to have to tune in to see, but I think they’ll definitely feel good about the decisions they’re making and confident about executing them.