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Hiatus Helper: The Arrow EPs talk the Mid-Season Finale and Beyond [INTERVIEW] 

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW

WARNING: Spoilers for Arrow “Three Ghosts” and Beyond

We warned you that Arrow “Three Ghosts” was going to be an epic winter finale on every level. So much happened. A quick and dirty recap:

  • Barry saves Ollie’s life by using rat poison.
  • Oliver starts having hallucinations: he’s visited by three ghosts from his past and in the process gives us insight into how his mind works.
  • Hallucination Shado urges Ollie to put down his arrows and stop fighting.
  • Hallucination Slade has it out for Oliver basically calling him a fraud — he wasn’t a hero or a friend. A fight ensues.
  • Hallucination Tommy (my Moment of Goodness for this episode by the way) forgives Oliver. Tells him to get up and fight because he is a hero. (For more analysis on those hallucinations go here.)
  • Shado died on the island and Oliver feels super guilty.
  • Roger Cross’ Lucas Hilton is killed when the cops go after Cyrus Gold. RIP Lucas Hilton.
  • Blood injects Roy and the kid goes through the Mirakuru transformation. Oliver makes sure Roy comes out of it alive. And Roy may or may not have seen the Arrow’s face.
  • Blood is working for Slade. And Slade really does have it out for Oliver. He loved Shado and Oliver let her die. (It’s such a great comic book-y moment when Slade tells Blood his agenda for Oliver.)
  • We get a bit of The Flash’s origin story.
  • Barry and Oliver get off to a shaky start. But by the end of “Three Ghosts” Barry has made the Arrow a mask. No more grease paint for him. Oliver dons the mask and he looks good.

TV Goodness got the chance to be part of a Q&A session with the Arrow EPs as well as Barry Allen himself, Grant Gustin. They talked about Colin Donnell’s appearance in “Three Ghosts,” whether more people will be finding out who Oliver really is and the second half of the season in terms of Roy and Slade:

On The Oliver/Felicity/Barry situation

ANDREW KREISBERG: I think for Oliver, Oliver isn’t quite sure what he feels. He knows he feels something for her [Felicity] but can’t quite define it. And I think he’s sort of surprised in this episode [“The Scientist”] when Dig points out to him that what you’re feeling right now might actually be termed jealousy. And for Felicity, I think she doesn’t want to like Oliver, in a way. You know, she finds him unattainable. And in a way, he is unattainable. Especially after you saw after episode six when he sort of said that it’s probably better that I’m not with someone I care about so…I think that while she really does like Barry she probably throws even more into it because he’s somebody that’s available and Barry being as smart as he is because, as we have some small allusion to, is familiar with liking somebody who doesn’t like you back, which is something that will probably be explored further down the road. So he sees that about her. I think that at the end of this episode and certainly something we pick up in episode ten, the fallout from episode nine carries over into the next episode as far as the Oliver and Felicity relationship is concerned. Barry has had a profound affect on them and that will carry through.

On Grant’s Moment of Goodness from “Three Ghosts”

GRANT GUSTIN: I think in 2×09 the whole beginning of the origin story, with the lightning is…I’ve watched my screener of that part of it and it’s not even finished yet and I’ve watched that part like ten times. I’m really excited about that.

On whether Oliver’s Shado hallucination will ever come into play again

ANDREW: They’re just elements of Oliver’s psyche and I think one Oliver probably always feels is just put down the bow. Just stop fighting. I mean that’s something part of him wants. And I think it’s sort of interesting for the audience to get to see that…when you really think about [it], all three of these things are elements of him. That’s something we’ve never really seen from him. You know, just to sort of give up and quit. And obviously the Slade part of it is the guilt that he’s been carrying around that blames him for the Shado…Shado’s death. I’m not sure that like him quitting… especially since we started this season with him sort of having given up, so I think that’s something we’ve probably moved past.

On Colin Donnell returning as (Hallucination) Tommy 

ANDREW: Well there’s always a chance given the flashback structure of the show — you know we were actually breaking this story and we [Greg Berlanti and him] literally had the same idea at the same time and we both felt each other gasp ’cause we were talking like, ‘Oh ghosts and there were gonna be three ghosts and who else could we see?’ We were talking about his dad. And then we were like, ‘Oh no. We think it should be Tommy.’ And, you know, Colin is such a friend to the show and obviously he was so important to the success of season one and so much of this season is based around that character and his loss and what a hole he left in the show so, you know, it really fit with the season’s arc of Oliver’s journey from going from vigilante to hero and the person that he feels like he failed. I mean, it’s in the opening titles, like we see Tommy’s grave. For Tommy to forgive him and tell him to get up and fight. It’s just like…just even talking about I get chills. I talked to Colin the other day and like I said the response has been so great. And he’s like ‘Anytime, dude.’

On Roy undergoing the Mirakuru transformation

ANDREW: In the back half of the year is kind of interesting because now in nine we’ll have seen Slade injected. And we obviously got a glimpse that he’s taken a very dark path. What’s fun for us as writers, is that we see what Roy’s potential is to go down that dark path too. One of the things you’ll find out as you go along is that it’s a deep-seeded anger inside of you that lets you survive the Mirakuru transformation — which is something Slade had which is why he lived and it’s why Roy lived too. One of the fun things that’ll be happening in the back half of the year is his relationship with the Arrow and how that changes and how the Arrow basically makes it his mission to not let Roy go down the Slade path. And that’s gonna take some interesting twists and turns that will probably hopefully surprise people and they’ll enjoy.

On Slade being alive and out for revenge

GREG BERLANTI: I would say it’s very much, obviously, the drive of the second half of the season.  This year, we’re doing something a bit different in that last year we had Malcolm which was a single bad guy and twisting and turning that. And this year, we’ve got a two-pronged approach to the bad guy. We probably shouldn’t say any more than that but that is the driving force for the back half of the year, also, because Oliver knows about the presence of one of the bad guys. It helps us change the rhythms of the back half of the year from what we may have done like something last year. So that everybody who enjoys the show, we don’t feel like we’re breaking the same story or the same show and people are enjoying a different show with more evolved characters.

ANDREW: Also, this year we tried to use the flashbacks much more…had the flashbacks much more integrally tied to the present-day storylines so with using the first half of the year and sort of like showing that Oliver and Shado had a relationship and then really seeing that Slade kind of loved her from afar. And now that you guys have seen nine, you see what happened to her. So that really is his motivation and he blames Oliver for what happened. And I think interesting for our hero, is that Oliver blames himself too.

GREG: Yeah. Things don’t get better for them on the island.

On more people finding out about Oliver’s alter ego, the Arrow

ANDREW: Everyone won’t find out. I think over the course of the season, a couple of more people will find out. I mean, for us, it’s not…him keeping his secret identity is sort of the least interesting thing. You know, part of the character. Like people knowing and letting him to talk to people and letting him share that experience we find to be much more interesting. Like with Tommy…the last episode last season once Tommy found out, their relationship became so much more interesting because they could talk about what was going on with them that week. While at the same time, there’s the superhero trope and we try to preserve that. We’re also open to…we don’t feel like our series is based on ‘Oh my god, we’ve got to push off people finding out for six or seven years.’

This should help make your Arrow winter hiatus a little less painful, right? We’ll have more from this Q&A as this break continues so keep checking back. Arrow returns Wednesday, Jan. 15 at 8/7c on the CW.

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