Warning: Do not continue reading if you've yet to watch Arrow's Feb. 5 episode, "Heir to the Demon." Spoilers ahead!
"I was surprised I was going to be a lesbian!"
Us too, Katrina Law. Us too. And we loved it. Arrow finally introduced another member of the League of Assassins in tonight's outing: Leader Ra's al Ghul's daughter Nyssa (Law), and in a shocking twist, revealed she and Sara/the Black Canary (Caity Lotz), who she had been sent to Starling City to bring back into the killer group, were in a relationship.
We attended a Q&A with Law and Arrow bosses Andrew Kreisberg and Marc Guggenheim to talk about the decision to make Nyssa gay and Sara bisexual, as well as what's next for Oliver (Stephen Amell) now that Sara is staying in town and they ended the episode with a hot hookup. Plus, the executive producers tease Felicity's (Emily Bett Rickards) backstory and tension with Sara...
"It was really more about Sara than anything else. By the way, we had thought of this at the beginning of the season," Kreisberg says of the decision to make Nyssa, a character only seen a few times in the DC Comics, a lesbian.
He continues, "It just felt like something new and different. At the same time, we didn't do it to be salacious. It's a pretty chaste relationship from what you see on screen. For us, it just touched on...the idea that Sara found herself in this terrible world and found this one person who treated her with love and kindness."
Guggenheim adds that the writers made it a point not to use the word "bisexual" when talking about Sara. "We really wanted to approach it like not be salacious and be sensitive and be realistic. We actually specifically avoid using the term bisexual. We didn't want to label her at all. Let her be her own person."
And though a heartbroken Nyssa released Sara from the League on behalf of her father by episode's end, Kreisberg teases, "This was not Katrina's only appearance this season." Fans can expect to see her pop back up in Starling City sometime after episode 18.
Felicity Feels: Fans who've been desperate to know more about the fan favorite character learned a little bit about her past in tonight's episode, as she told Oliver about her family issues, including her father abandoning her family, and her mother being, well, her mother. (Sounds ominous.)
"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 teases, adding that Felicity and Oliver's relationship is "going to be strengthened" by her telling him the truth about his mother. "She's the rock."
Battle of the Blondes: Of course, Felicity will now have to deal with Sara becoming a more permanent presence in Team Arrow and episode 14 is "a very Felicity-centric episode," Guggenheim previews. "[It] really deals with what is Felicity's reaction to Sara, the new member of Team Arrow…what does this mean for Team Arrow and what does it mean for Felicity and what does it mean for Oliver and Felicity."
Kreisberg adds jokingly, "There used to be only one blonde in the lair."
As for Oliver and Sara's relationship status? It's complicated."That's actually part of the journey of the next five episodes," Kreisberg says. "Oliver has not had many successful relationships and part of he and Sara moving forward is: ‘Is this something that can work'" given their respective romantic histories.
And Felicity and Oliver won't be the only characters impacted by Sara's decision to stick around, with Kreisberg explaining, "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 and allow her to fully be the Black Canary and come home and all the delicious implications that that brought…in the next bunch of episodes you're really going to see how Sara's return affects everybody."
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.