Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Future of ARROW After Season 2's Big Death

Another season, another character death.

Although nowhere near the body count of Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, the CW series Arrow featured its second major character death in last night's episode, "Seeing Red."  The slackers among you who haven't watched the episode yet should probably consider a SPOILERY SPOILER WARNING, even though you clicked on a post with "Season 2's Big Death" in the headline.

Okay, so the regular cast of Arrow was reduced by one with the death of Moira Queen, played by Susanna Thompson.  Finally enacting his twisted sense of revenge of the death of Shado, this season's big bad Slade Wilson/Deathstroke put Oliver Queen in the dilemma of either watching his mother or his sister Thea die.  When it appeared as though Slade was going to kill Thea, Moira stepped up and took a rather fatal sword to the chest.  And since last season's major death, Tommy Merlyn, became the game-changer for Oliver ending his murder of Starling City criminals, how will Moira's death affect Oliver, Thea and everyone else?

The Hollywood Reporter has some details on that, as well as the decision to kill off Moira, provided by Arrow executive producer Andrew Kreisberg.  "It wasn't something we were talking about last year," said Kreisberg.  "I don't want to give the impression that [it was like] 'Welp!  Somebody has to die, let's spin the wheel and bad luck, Moira.'  Susanna has been with the show since the beginning and she was one of our big gets early on that really signaled to the audience and to reviewers that this wasn't your average CW show, it wasn't your average superhero show.  Like with Colin Donnell [Tommy Merlyn], these last episodes are her pinnacle."

"When we were talking about the future," he continued, "knowing that it was only going to be powerful if Slade was going to change the game by doing something truly monstrous -- if Moira wins the mayorship, if she makes up with her kids, what is Moira without a giant secret?  If they all forgive her and then there's some other giant secret, for us it felt like we were becoming a soap opera."

"[Moira] could die a hero's death," said Kreisberg, but seconds before the car accident, Moira was going to reveal yet another secret.  "You can't change her.  She literally goes to the grave despite the fact that she sacrifices herself for her children."  He then hinted that Moira's final secret plays out "sooner than you think."

The next episode, "City of Blood," begins with Moira's funeral but Oliver is missing.  "There's a line in the next episode where Walter says to Thea, 'Your mother showed you how much she loved you in ways few parents can,' and yet she was still lying," said Kreisberg. "Ending it at this time left you with that great feeling of what a great character she was rather then let her become a caricature."

Moira's death continues to have an impact on Oliver and Thea for this season as well as Season 3.  "That was the math -- it was horrible math, it was tearful math, but her death has a profound impact on everyone on the series," remarked Kreisberg.  "It's certainly what's going to drive Oliver in these last three episodes.  It's going to drive Thea, not only in these last three episodes, but also into [season] three.  Sometimes the worst thing you can do personally is the best thing you can do professionally."

And don't think the revelation that Oliver had fathered a child before his time on the island is going to be glossed over.  "The seeds for season two were planted in season one and again, the best part of the success that the show has had is knowing that we were going to make more and knowing that we could drop these things in and pay them off later," said Kreisberg.  "This is something that will be paid off in season three."

As for Thea, she's going to be reunited with her birth father, Malcolm Merlyn, in the May 7th episode, "Streets of Fire."  "All hell is going to break loose in the city and Thea will find herself in a precarious predicament and she will be saved by her father," revealed Kreisberg.  "Malcolm is going to offer her what she doesn't have anymore."

Some other tidbits from Kreisberg for the rest of Season 2 and Season 3...

After breaking up with Oliver, Sara Lance left at the end of the episode to parts unknown, but it won't be the last we'll see of her.  "Sara will be back.".

Roy Harper won't be in play until the Season 2 finale.  "He's in a coma for a couple of episodes," said Kreisberg.  As for the man Roy murdered during his Mirakuru-induced rage, "that’s going to play out in Season 3."

Without Moira as his challenger, Sebastian Blood apparently has an easy road to becoming Starling City's mayor.  "The politics of Starling City are probably less important than there are going to be supervillains running around the city.  Maybe Slade didn't just kill Moira to piss Oliver off -- and maybe somebody realizes that."

Oliver and Thea's financial problems will continue to be a factor.  "We’re going to start Season 3 in very different circumstances than [Oliver’s] been before," said Kreisberg. "Which, obviously, him being in different circumstances changes the circumstances of his paid bodyguard and his paid assistant, since he can no longer pay them.

"It’s like any long-running show you turn on in reruns," he continued.  "You can watch the episode for about four seconds and know, ‘Oh, that’s Season 3.  Or that’s Season 4.  And it’s not just the haircuts.  The show has a different feel."  This means some sets will be completely retired "for reasons that will become apparent as you see these last episodes.  We’ve already seen designs for some of the new sets for Season 3, which are amazing."

Arrow airs Wednesdays on The CW at 8 p.m. EST.

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