Spoiler Alert! Do not read the following article if you've yet to watch Wednesday's midseason finale of Arrow. If you complain about spoilers in the comments, you are the opposite of Batman the Arrow.
Let the record show that Arrow is downright fearless when it comes to driving story ahead at breakneck pace, leaving us with our jaws on the floor wondering what the hell they are going to do next.
In tonight's midseason finale, for example, Slade (Manu Bennett) was revealed to be the new big bad that has been wreaking havoc on Starling City, Roy (Colton Haynes) was injected with the serum that gives people superpowers, and Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) was hit with a bolt of lightning, setting up the highly anticipated spinoff series
Phew, did you get all that? We chatted with Arrow bosses Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns about what's ahead on the CW's hit drama, including Oliver's (Stephen Amell) new mission and the driving force of the second half of the season. Plus, Gustin reveals what excites him the most about taking on the flashiest role of his career so far.
Flash-y Debut: "He's brought more to Barry Allen than I think we've seen before. We're seeing him in the days where he's taking his first steps. He's got heart, he's got humor," Johns gushes of Gustin. "Barry was always a nice guy—he's the guy that stops and asks if everything is all right. And Grant embodies that. He's a perfect Flash."
Now that we've seen the beginning of Barry's journey towards superherodom (via a flash of lightning in his lab!), we need to know about his superhero suit, naturally. Kreisberg says, "We're obviously still working out the pilot details, but I think Barry's love of the hero is going to play a part in the creation of his whole persona." (Berlanti confirms the suit "will appear in the pilot." Rejoice!)
Gustin is most excited to "play with...how Barry's going to handle this happening to him because he's not just excited, it's scary. It's not just he loves superheroes and is a fanboy and is like, 'I'm going to be one,' and stoked about it."
And will we see some of Arrow's cast crossover in the Flash pilot? "Definitely there's a chance. That's our hope," Berlanti teases. (And though episode 20 is no longer serving as a backdoor pilot, viewers will hear about Barry in upcoming episodes. "You definitely hear, in the back part of the year, what happened to Barry on the periphery. Kind of like how you're hearing about Star Labs now," Berlanti assures.")
BFF Turned Big Bad: In the episode's final moment, we learned that Oliver's Island confidant Slade is now Starling City's new villain. "The drive of the second half of the season," Berlanti says, is Oliver and Slade's first present-day faceoff.
As for why Slade is hell-bent on destroying Oliver's life, look no further than Shadow's death, which we saw in tonight's flashback. "He blames Oliver for what happened and interesting for our hero is Oliver blames himself, too," Kreisberg says.
Roy's Journey Begins: But is he on the road to becoming a superhero or a villain after being injected with the mirakuru serum by Brother Blood (Kevin Alejandro) and surviving?
Because of Slade, "We see what Roy's potential is to, go down that dark path too, and one of the things that you'll find out as you go along is it's a deep-seeded anger inside of you that lets you survive the transformation, which is something Slade had, which is why he lived," Kreisberg explains. "And it's why Roy lived, too. One of the fun things [coming up] that will be happening 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. That's going to take some interesting twists and turns."
Tommy's Chill-Inducing Return: A huge surprise to fans was Tommy, Oliver's BFF who died in his arms in the season one finale, returned in ghost form to help inspire his friend to keep fighting. And while the writers "talked about [Oliver's] dad" originally appearing as a ghost, they felt Tommy would have more of an impact.
"Colin's such a friend to the show and obviously was so important to the success of season one and so much of this season is based around that character and his loss and what a hole he left in the show," Kreisberg says. "It really fit with the season's arc of Oliver's journey."
I talked to Colin the other day, and I said, 'The response has been so great,' and he was like, 'Any time, dude!' So could we see Tommy again? "There's always a chance, given the flashback structure of the show," Kreisberg teases.
What did you think of Arrow's midseason finale? Are you hoping Roy becomes Oliver's sidekick or a baddie like Slade? Sound off in the comments!