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[WARNING: Spoilers from Wednesday’s Arrow episode, “The Man Under the Hood”]
Slade Wilson has added several new members to his army in his battle against Oliver Queen.
The latest Arrow episode, “The Man Under the Hood,” moved several arcs along and also introduced two characters from The Flash spinoff. There was the discovery that a Mirakuru cure, a serum STAR Labs’ Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) were later recruited to help create, may reverse the effects for Slade and Roy. Then there was Laurel’s decision to keep her knowledge that Oliver was the Arrow under wraps. And just when Oliver and Co. thought they pulled one over on Isabel, who was thought to be dead, Slade resurrected her by adding Isabel to his growing Mirakuru army.
Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg broke down the episode’s biggest moments and the ramifications that will follow.
Laurel’s decision to keep Oliver’s secret
In Wednesday’s episode, Laurel decides to keep her knowledge of Oliver’s Arrow secret under wraps, even after discovering that her sister Sara may have something to do with it. “Laurel makes the very classy decision to keep Oliver’s secret in this episode because she knows that what he needs right now is not knowing that she knows,” Kreisberg said. “She will discover later on that there is a time when he does need to know.”
Isabel Rochev 2.0
“Isabel was the one thing we weren’t entirely sure about as we were developing the season. Truthfully, there was an early version of the series where Sara started the season as Ravager and then we switched over, so we always had that paradigm of Slade having that in the back of the mind. Obviously we didn’t want her to be [Slade’s daughter] Rose from the comics and have that trajectory,” Kreisberg explained.
Writers debated for much of the season whether Isabel should be an ally or a nemesis, partially why the character wasn’t seen for a span of time. “We had written it so it could turn out either way,” he admitted. But it was the scene between Isabel, Blood and Slade in Oliver’s Queen Consolidated office [in episode 18] that cemented Isabel’s villainous route. “Now that she’s got the evil juice, as I call it, she’s going to be Ravager. It’s amazing,” Kreisberg promised.
Behind The Flash crossover
“We knew a lot of the fans had been interested in seeing a little bit of Flash in the season and we felt obliged to fulfill that promise,” Kreisberg said. “When we were talking about the idea of the cure, what if STAR Labs is the one who starts to figure out the cure?”
Though the original plan was to have a backdoor pilot for The Flash, Kreisberg and Co. felt it important to keep that Barry Allen thread going. “It felt like a fun way to bring up Barry, remember where he’s at and give a little taste of the show. Even Doctor Light’s gun — it’s not something we typically do on Arrow, it’s a little bit more sci-fi-y — but for us, it felt a little bit more like you got a glimpse into what kinds of things the Flash would be up against more than what was coming into our world.”
Real-time action to end of season
Without getting into too much detail, the stakes presented in the final episodes of season two are going to be at another level. “It’s a race against the clock, these last episodes. Act five of 2×21, the show pretty runs in real time from that point on through the last episodes,” Kreisberg said.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
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