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[Warning: Major spoilers ahead from Wednesday’s episode.]
Arrow dropped big revelations during Wednesday’s episode, “Heir to the Demon.” With several weeks off for the Winter Olympics, the residents of Starling City will have some major issues to deal with when The CW comic-book drama returns in late February.
One of the biggest reveals came in the form of Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law) and Sara Lance’s (Caity Lotz) surprise relationship. That particular arc was plotted out “at the beginning of the season,” said executive producer Andrew Kreisberg, citing the fifth episode when the show referenced the Beloved. (Kreisberg and the writers toyed around with introducing Ra’s al Ghul’s son and Talia before settling on Nyssa.)
And though the romance gave insight into Nyssa’s character, “it was really more about Sara,” Kreisberg said. “It felt like something new and different.”
The romance between Nyssa and Sara, however, wasn’t done “to be salacious,” he reassured. “It’s a pretty chaste relationship from what you see on screen. For us, it touched on a couple of interesting things: the idea that Sara found herself in this terrible world [of the League of Assassins] and found this one person who treated her with love and kindness. And even the way it bounced back off [Quentin] Lance, this hardened, tough cop who’s probably not the most progressive guy — the fact that he was like, ‘I’m just glad you had somebody who loved you and took care of you during those nightmare years,’ those moments felt like they would be special and play for us.”
Fellow executive producer Marc Guggenheim expressed that the writers “were very anxious” over Sara’s romantic developments over the course of the episode, adding that they wanted to “be sensitive and be realistic.” By the end of the hour, Sara gets in bed again with former flame Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell).
“We specifically avoid using the term bisexual; we didn’t want to label her at all,” Guggenheim said. “Let her be her own person and if the audience wants to label, fine. And by the way, maybe Sara’s had other female relationships in her past, but we’ll get to that in due course when it’s right — if it’s right.”
The Hollywood Reporter highlights the biggest reveals from Wednesday’s episode, with teases on what’s to come from Kreisberg and Guggenheim.
Ramifications of freeing Sara: Expect repercussions to come following Nyssa’s decision to free Sara from the League. “Part of the reason we did this episode was to free Sara, at least for the time being, from the threat of the League of Assassins, which will allow her to fully be the Black Canary and come home,” Kreisberg said. It was crucial for Sara’s return to have a profound impact on “everybody’s lives.” “You got a glimpse of how some people are very happy and some people are very upset,” he added. “You’re really going to see how Sara’s return affects everybody. Hopefully people will be surprised by the reaction.”
Not the last of Nyssa: The Ra’s al Ghul thread continues to linger past this episode. “As far as the Ra’s al Ghul of it is concerned, this was not Katrina’s only appearance this season,” Kreisberg said, hinting that her reappearance comes after the episode 18 (post-“villains a go-go,” if you will).
Felicity’s backstory comes to forefront: Before Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) spilled the beans to Oliver about who Thea’s biological father was, she offered some insight into her past. “There are two massive things that are going to happen toward the end of the season that you heard in that speech that will pay off,” Kreisberg hinted. One of those references dealt with Felicity’s father leaving their family when she was younger.
Felicity and Oliver stronger than ever: Though Moira (Susanna Thompson) warned Felicity that Oliver would “hate” her for revealing her Malcolm Merlyn secret, Kreisberg and Guggenheim revealed that that won’t be the case. “It’s actually going to be strengthened,” Kreisberg said. “She’s the rock.” Guggenheim added: “I don’t even think Moira necessarily believed what she was saying to Felicity. Moira was manipulating Felicity into staying silent. It would never even occur to Oliver to be angry at Felicity; all Felicity is is the messenger here. I think his anger is correctly directed at Moira.”
A fractured Queen family: When Oliver declared his relationship with Moira was over, it has huge implications for the Queen family. “For her arc this season, it’s really about redemption. She went to jail and kind of got away with it. She still hasn’t really paid for what she did and in this episode, again she’s paying off doctors, she’s threatening Felicity, she still hasn’t had her ‘come to Jesus’ moment despite what you think would be rock bottom — and that’s coming,” Kreisberg said. “This is a fracture to her relationship with Oliver that is not going to be mended in an episode.”
Oliver and Moira’s Cold War doesn’t go unnoticed: “There’s a great scene between Oliver and Thea about this territory in episode 17, where both Stephen [Amell] and Willa [Holland] are absolutely phenomenal together,” Guggenheim said. “There’s so much in the Queen family that is impacted by just the amount of lies — not just Moira’s lies, just lies all over the place in this family. Almost every episode [after] this one really deals with the ramifications and different dimensions of all those lies. Can you have a family, even, based on lies — with so many lies present?”
Oliver’s power starts to diminish: With Team Arrow growing by the week, and Sara joining the fray, Oliver’s power among Team Arrow will be addressed. “Oliver’s swift hand will be met with more resistance,” Kreisberg said. “With Sara, you’ve got somebody who in a way is Oliver. She went through everything Oliver did. She’s the female him and sometimes the two of them have conflict because it’s like he’s talking to himself.” With Sara roaming around the Arrow cave, episodes 14, 17 and 18 deal with the addition from “different vantage points.” Episode 14, for instance, deals heavily with Felicity’s reaction to Sara.
Sara and Oliver’s romance unclear: Are the former lovers back together? That’s a question that remains unanswered — at least for the next few episodes. “That’s part of the journey of the next five episodes is Oliver has not had many successful relationships and part of he and Sara moving forward is, is this something that could work?” Kreisberg said.
Slade’s threat to Moira: Near the end of Wednesday’s episode, Slade (Manu Bennett) threatened to take care of the Moira problem. (She is running against his minion, Sebastian Blood, for Starling City mayor.) “That’s a long-tail thing that will pay off,” Guggenheim promised.
Arrow returns Feb. 26 on The CW.
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