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Arrow - Mid-Season Finale - Post Mortem

MATTERS OF THE HEART | Barry and Felicity may have sparked, but the future Flash also did a lot in terms of scratching at Oliver and Felicity’s maybe-not-so-platonic feelings for each other. “It’s certainly something we pick up in Episode 10, because the fallout… carries over into the next episodes as far as the Oliver/Felicity relationship is concerned,” reveals Kreisberg. “Barry has had a profound effect on them, and that will carry through.” But is Felicity crushing on someone who doesn’t reciprocate? Kreisberg admits that “Oliver isn’t quite sure what he feels. He knows he feels something for her, but can’t quite define it. He’s surprised in this episode when Dig points out to him that what [he's] feeling right now might actually be termed jealousy.” Meanwhile, the IT gal-turned-Girl Friday “doesn’t want to like Oliver, in a way, because she finds him unattainable. And in a way, he is unattainable, especially after… he said, ‘It’s probably better if I’m not with somebody I care about.’”

BACK WITH A VENGEANCE |
Whereas Season 1 featured one big foe in Malcolm Merlyn, “This year, we’ve got a two-pronged approach to the bad guy,” says Berlanti. “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 last year.” Driving the second chunk of the season is the surprise, non-island appearance of Oliver’s buddy, Slade, who is behind Brother Blood’s scheme. The newest Big Bad is hellbent on destroying the vigilante after watching the woman he loved from afar, Shado, die. “That really is his motivation. He blames Oliver for what happened,” explains Kreisberg. Needless to say, “Things don’t get better between them on the island,” adds Berlanti.


Slade Wilson has an axe to grind!
Sure, Brother Blood has been trying to create super soldiers, but he's been doing so with the use of Slade Wilson's blood. That's right, Slade is alive and determined take Oliver down for his part in Shado's death. "Oliver and Shado had a relationship, and then really seeing that Slade kind of loved her from afar, and you see what happened to her, so that really is his motivation," Kreisberg said. "He blames Oliver for what happened and what's interesting for our hero is that Oliver blamed himself, too." Berlanti added that the driving force of the second half of the season will be whether they come face-to-face in the present, but their flashbacks will still be fraught with tension. "Things don't get better between them on the island," Berlanti said.

Barry Allen is getting flashy!
Upon his return to Central City, Barry Allen was stuck by lightning and thrown into a hodgepodge of different chemicals — in other words, he has become the Flash! With Episode 20 no longer serving as a backdoor pilot, the actual pilot will see the introduction of the Flash's suit. "Barry's love of the hero is going to play a part in the creation of his persona," Kreisberg said. Still, Barry Allen's presence will be felt for the rest of Season 2 on Arrow. "In the back half of the year, you hear about what happened to him in the way that you're hearing now about Star Labs and things like that, in the periphery and certainly in terms of Felicity since she has a connection with him," Berlanti said.


On Slade's entry to the dark side

Kreisberg: This year we tried to use the flashbacks much more integrally tied to the present-day story lines, with using the first half of the year and showing that Oliver and Shadow having a relationship and seeing that Slade loved her afar. You see what happened to her. That really is his motivation. He blames Oliver for what happened and I think interesting for our hero, Oliver blames himself too.

Berlanti: Things don't get better between [Oliver and Slade] on the island.

On what's next for Roy following his injection

Kreisberg:
The back-half of the year is interesting because you would have seen Slade injected. We obviously got a glimpse that he's taken a very dark path. What's fun for us as writers is we see what Roy's (Colton Haynes) potential is to go down that dark path too. One of the things you'll find out as you go along is it's a deep-seeded anger that's inside of you that lets you to survive the Mirakuru transformation, which something Slade had which is why he lived and which is why Roy lived too. One of the fun things that will be happening in the back-half of the year is [Roy's] relationship with the Arrow and how that changes and how the Arrow makes it his mission not go down the Slade path and that's going to take some interesting twists and turns that will hopefully surprise people and they'll enjoy.


ON WHAT’S NEXT FOR BARRY ALLEN:

…and just like that, Barry is the Flash.

But because producers recently nixed plans to make a backdoor pilot in the 20th episode of Arrow — opting instead to do a standalone Flash pilot — where does that leave the story of Barry Allen in the Arrow-verse? “In the back half of the year, you hear about what happened to him in the way that you’re hearing now about S.T.A.R. labs on the periphery,” assures Berlanti.

Meanwhile, he says, they’re still determining whether Allen will appear in episode 20 in some way but current plans have the episode not diverging from the action of the season. “In some ways making that the backdoor pilot made things a little harder because we had to make a right turn from our ongoing story to incorporate that. In some ways, this has freed us to take the Flash and just do the Flash separately,” Kreisberg says.

Another benefit? They have a little more time to introduce the Flash’s suit. “We knew that if we did episode 20 as its own standalone episode, we’d have to find a real reason for people to — in addition to the quality of the show — to come back in episode 1 [of Flash], ” said Berlanti. “When you make a standalone pilot , you sort of have to remake the pilot [in the first episode of the other show]. For notes on how difficult this is, ask [Vampire Diaries/Originals creator] Julie Plec. So we thought the suit would be a perfect way to introduce that in time span between [episode] 20 and [episode] 1 [of Flash]. That will be in the pilot episode now.”

ON ROY BEING INJECTED WITH MIRAKURU

“One of the things you’ll find as we 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,” teases Kreisberg of Roy’s upcoming troubles. “One of the fun things that will be happening 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 going to take some twists and turns that will hopefully surprise people and they’ll enjoy.”

Haynes adds that Roy’s changing demeanor is also going to have an effect on the “mini-dream team,” comprised of Roy, Thea, and Sin. ”Roy is now going to be so volatile with these new-found abilities, if you will. He’s going to have to be on a very strict watch,” he says. “Roy’s going to have to spend a lot of time with Arrow — even more than he has — to be monitored and to see if he’s going to go down the right path or not.”

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