Sorry Stephen Amell, but we're into the ladies this season.
Arrow returns for its highly anticipated second season tonight and picks up a few months after the mindblowing finale, which found Oliver (Amell) losing his best friend and half of the city he vowed to protect. Now, Oliver is in danger of losing his family's company and reluctant to become the Hood again. Making matters more difficult? The ladies in his life!
We chatted with executive producer Andrew Kreisberg about the women of Starling City, including a darker Laurel (Katie Cassidy), who is firmly anti-Hood in season two, and a surprising Felicity, as well as the introductions of a classic DC Comics villain out for Queens Consolidated and the Black Canary. Plus, he has a message for fans hoping to see Oliver and quirky IT girl Felicity get together in season two...
Olicity Lives!: "Everything about Felicity has been a surprise to us," Kreisberg admits of the fan favorite character. "She was a one-off character that we just needed Oliver to get some information and just to make the scene not boring we gave her a personality and some quirks. The reaction of the studio and the network was so strong...It's one of the proudest things in my career that we created this character and Emily just brings her to life every day."
And though Felicity wasn't in the original conception of the series (We shudder at the thought of Arrow without our IT girl!), Kreisberg isn't ruling out a romance between Oliver and Felicity. "Hey, she's gorgeous and smart and funny and caring and Stephen's certainly a good-looking guy, so why shouldn't they be together?" But just don't expect to see it happen anytime soon, as Kreisberg explains, "As far as actually making it happen, for right now, I think it's better to have people shipping them instead of actually getting what they want and be disappointed." Oh, slow burn romances, we love you so...
A Whole New Laurel: Hardened by Tommy's (Colin Donnell) death, Laurel is out for blood...the Hood's blood to be exact. "We wanted to make her much more integrally involved in the Arrow storyline and what was going on," Kreisberg says of the more take-charge Laurel in season two. "It seemed like making her a district attorney felt like a solution to that, but also a natural evolution of where the character is." (Fans can expect to see Laurel show off some serious self-defense moves in the premiere, as well as make a major tactical play in episode two that will leave jaws unhinged.)
Starling City's New Ladies: Genre favorite Summer Glau makes her debut as Isabel Rochev, the professionally dangerous vice president of aquisitions of Stellmoor International, a company looking to take over Queen Consolidated, in tonight's episode. Kreisberg says the Firefly and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicle star's turn will surprise fans. "She's more of a nemesis for Oliver Queen than she is for Arrow, which I think people will find surprising. Summer said to me, ‘I've never played anyone like this before. I'm scared.' But she's so great and she's such a woman in this.
Also making her debut? The Black Canary, played by Caity Lotz. "The Black Canary story we're so excited about. We've been wanting to do this for a long time. In the same way that the series of Arrow is really the beginning of the Green Arrow's story, this is the beginning of the Black Canary's story," Kreisberg teases of Laurel's sister's introduction. "We're so excited to have Caity Lotz as part of our cast. She's so amazing."
And Kreisberg says Arrow fans will not want to miss episode five, which "is one of our big Black Canary episodes and I think it's one of the best episodes we've ever done."
Arrow premieres tonight at 8 p.m. on the CW.