by Lauren Piester | Mon., Jan. 21, 2019 7:00 AM
Big secrets are about to be revealed on Arrow!
In fact, one is coming just this week as Oliver learns the identity of that mysterious other Green Arrow, who viewers learned in the last new non-crossover episode is none other than his secret half-sister, Emiko (Sea Shimooka), the daughter of Oliver's (Stephen Amell) late father Robert and a still unknown mother. She gets her chance to shine in tonight's episode, which was only recently revealed to be titled "My Name Is Emiko Queen."
"It focuses on her and we have a cool, fun, opening montage of her kicking ass, and it's really told from her perspective," showrunner Beth Schwartz tells E! News. "We get to find out what her mission is and sort of why she's around and what happened to her family, and more about Robert kind of not doing right by her."
No one on Team Arrow knows her identity yet, but they will tonight, and you can bet Oliver's going to be surprised to find out he's got another sister.
"He is not expecting that," Schwartz says. "It is hard. We're going to see him dealing with what that actually means to him."
As Schwartz reminded us, Oliver's been through a lot this season with his months in prison and worries about his wife and son, all as a result of what she describes as a cycle that Robert created for him.
"Now to find out that he has this secret half-sister, that his father had a different family is heartbreaking to him, and he can't even confront him, you know, because he's not alive," she says. "So he deals with that, and that's a great story with him and Felicity who's there supporting him as his wife."
Schwartz says Emiko is similar to Oliver in more ways than just skill with a bow and a salmon ladder.
"She is very similar to Oliver in her sort of hot-headedness and stubbornness and also determination and even skills," she tells us. "We'll find out she's highly skilled and has been trained really well."
The reveal of Emiko and her whole deal isn't the only thing at play as we head into the back half of the season, so we got Schwartz to spill on a few other things to expect over the next few months and episodes.
A New Normal
Now that Oliver's out of prison and back with his family and his team, it's all about figuring out how life goes on.
"We're sort of finding our new normal in this midsection—Oliver working with the SCPD, how does the rest of Team Arrow fit into that, is there going to be a Team Arrow going forward, all of those answers we'll get to pretty fast," Schwartz says. And of course, that applies particularly to Oliver and Felicity.
The understanding the couple came to during the crossover, after Oliver had his Oliver-is-Barry-is-Oliver experience, will stick, and the pair is now here to fully support one another.
"Oliver's growth in prison and sort of accepting what Felicity for who she is and sort of understanding what she's been through, because you know, he was in his own kind of hell in prison and she was also in her own kind of hell outside of prison without him, and once that clicked for him, the two are back in a great place. They will have a lot of obstacles headed their way, but they will be together as a team to face them."
Part of that "new normal" involves Oliver now being more clearly on the side of the law by working with the SCPD, which Schwartz particularly enjoyed as a longtime writer on the show.
"It's fun as someone who's been here from the very beginning, because the whole series was based on vigilantes vs. the SCPD, so now this new partnership just had a lot of rich story to it," she says. "There's obviously going to be some conflict to how the Green Arrow would do things and how the SCPD would do things, and how is this really gonna work?"
Have no fear though: Oliver suiting up and wielding a bow and arrow will still be pretty normal, and Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) is still not totally defeated, which at this point is very normal.
Answers Are Coming
Bits and pieces of this season so far have taken place 20 years in the future, and have mostly just posed a whole bunch of questions we couldn't even begin to answer, most of which are about Felicity. Is Felicity really dead? Why would Felicity and Oliver abandon William? Why was Felicity planning to blow up the city? How many secrets is Blackstar keeping about her relationship with Felicity? We're going to get all of those answers this season.
"The second half of the season will be all about answering the questions that we've sort of posed and set up in the first half, so we'll be paralleling a lot more of the present day story to the future storyline, as well as having an all-future episode coming up," Schwartz promises. "We'll be able to open up our world that we've started and get a better sense of the characters and who they are and what sort of has really been happening, and what did we miss over the past 20 years, which is a lot."
Felicity in particular has been a cause for concern for fans, since the future scenes have promised us she turned into a villain and also died. Viewers were quick to not believe either thing for one second because they've been fooled before, but Schwartz says everything is "not so black and white."
"I think it's just interesting because we have such a long, long...again, 20 years is a long time to fill in, and I think throughout our series we've always talked about people's characters and whether you're good or bad, and this season is all about how everyone has a little bit of both inside them, whether it's our villains or heroes, and it's not so black and white. So I think that's the interesting part of dealing with our future storyline and our future characters, because a lot can change in that time."
Schwartz promises that this is no island flashback story that will take five years to pay off. The future story will play out sooner rather than later.
"You're going to find out everything this season," she says.
Not only will we be getting that all-future episode, but we'll also see future Renee (Rick Gonzalez) for the first time, we'll visit the Glades, which Schwartz says is the "complete opposite" of the "depressing" Star City, and we'll learn about everything Blackstar/Maya (Katherine McNamara) is hiding.
"We're going to find out a lot more about her and how she fits into the whole group in just a few more episodes, and then in our all-flash forward episode, we're going to find out a lot. She's basically going to be featured in that episode from her point of view."
For everyone who's been worrying about how un-saved Star City still is after 20 years, Schwartz says she's "very excited" for fans to finally see what's going on.
"The fun part of reading people's reaction is that I know what the answer is, obviously, so I'm just like oh, everyone just wait, just wait. You'll know all the answers, you'll get all the answers," she says. "I'll be very excited once everyone sees what's really going on."
Arrow airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on The CW.
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