Now that the Arrow Season 2 midseason finale has ended, it's time to look forward to the rest of season, as well as the pilot for its spinoff series, the Flash. BuddyTV took part in a special screening of the midseason finale, followed by a Q&A with Executive Producers Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg, DC Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns and Grant Gustin (who plays Barry/the Flash) about what fans can expect from both shows in 2014.
Warning: Major spoilers ahead for the Arrow Season 2 midseason finale "Three Ghosts"
Barry's Profound Effect on Oliver and Felicity's Relationship
Andrew Kreisberg: I think for Oliver, he knows he feels something for her but can't quite define it and I think he's sort of surprised to find in [Episode 9] when Dig points out to him, "What you're feeling right now might actually be termed jealousy." And for Felicity, I think she doesn't want to like Oliver in a way because she finds him unattainable and in a way he is unattainable. Especially after you saw at the end of Episode 6, when he said "It's probably better if I'm not with somebody I care about."
So while she really does like Barry, I think she probably throws [herself] even more into it because now he's somebody who's available. And Barry, being as smart as he is, because [as we allude to] is familiar with liking somebody who doesn't like you back - which is something that will probably be explored further down the road - he sees that about her.
So I think at the end of this episode, and certainly as something we pick up in Episode 10 - because the fallout from Episode 9 carries over into the next episodes, as far as the Oliver and Felicity relationship is concerned - Barry has had a profound effect on them and that will carry through.
Flash's Presence Will Be Felt on Arrow
Greg Berlanti: In the back half of the year, you definitely hear about what happened to [Barry] 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.
Roy's Dark Path After the Mirakuru Serum
Andrew Kreisberg: I think the back half of the year is kind of interesting because in [Episode] 9 we'll have seen Slade injected and we've obviously got a glimpse that he's taken a very dark path. What's fun for us as writers is we see Roy's potential is to go down that dark path, too. One of the things you'll find out as you go along is that it's a deep-seated anger inside of you that lets you survive the Mirakuru transformation, which is something that Slade had, which is why he lived, and it's why Roy lived too. One of the fun things that will be happening in 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. That's going to take some interesting twists and turns that will hopefully surprise people.
On Bringing Back Tommy as a "Ghost"
Andrew Kreisberg: We were breaking this story and we literally had the same idea at the same time and we both felt each other gasp. Because we were talking about ghosts and then three ghosts and who else could [Oliver] see and we were talking about his dad and then we both said it at the same time that it should be Tommy. And Colin is such a friend of the show and obviously was so important to the success of Season 1 and so much of this season is based around that character and his loss and what a hole he left in the show. So it really fit in with the season's arc of Oliver's journey from going from vigilante to hero and the person that he feels that he failed - I mean it's in the opening titles, we see Tommy's grave - for Tommy to forgive him and to tell him to get up and fight, it's just like..just talking about it, I get chills. I talked to Colin the other day and he's like, "Any time, dude."
On Giving Arrow a Mask
Andrew Kreisberg: We saw like 50 or 60 different designs and some of the earlier ones were crazy. When we had the pilot, we debated having a mask. [We thought] if you put a mask on him right away it sort of says this is cartoon-y or super hero-y and it also sort of fit in with his character [now], too. [Oliver] wasn't someone who ever thought he would be interacting with people. He thought he was going to be this dark sniper firing arrows from the shadows and as the series has progressed and he's stepped more and more into the light - which is also his overall arc - he's really needed that. It just sort of seems so perfect that he would need it in this season and also that Barry is the one who ultimately makes it for him.
Slade's Return and Wanting to Tear Oliver's World Apart
Greg Berlanti: I would say that's very much the drive of the second half of the season. This year we're doing something a bit different. Last year we had Malcolm, which was a single bad guy, and this year we've got a two-pronged approach to the bad guy. 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 have done last year.
Andrew Kreisberg: Also this year really tried to have the flashbacks tied to the present-day storyline. Using the first half of the year and showing the Oliver and Shado had a relationship, and then really seeing that Slade kind of loved her from afar. Now that you've seen [Episode 9] you know what happened to her and he blames Oliver for what happened. And I think the interesting thing for our hero is that Oliver blames himself, too.
Malcolm's Return and Its Affects on Thea
Andrew Kreisberg: John Barrowman is obviously John Barrowman and there was no way he was going to stay dead. The real John Barrowman probably couldn't stay dead. It was one of those things we were talking about at the end of last season and the story works on so many different levels. For one thing, Moira always works best when she has a deep, dark secret and last season we were like, "how are we going to top this deep, dark secret?" In a way, this one's even better because it's more personal. Now again she's tied to Malcolm and Thea, ironically, is one of the few people who actually turned out well after last season. So now you can probably assume that she's going to get hit with a whammy as the season progresses. So we're really excited for that storyline as well.
The Possibilities of More Super Heroes on the Flash
Andrew Kreisberg: I think that's sort of "future us" problem. I think that part of the Mirakuru serum introduction was sort of a gateway super power, so if you can accept that well then the Flash won't be. it won't be like going from zero to sixty, no pun intended.
Arrow and the Flash: Keeping the Shows Distinctive, but Interweaving Plots
Andrew Kreisberg: I guess in success we'll want to keep Arrow as distinctive as possible and Flash as distinctive as possible and I think that part of the fun will be seeing how those two things play out in both shows, hopefully if we get that opportunity.
Geoff Johns: But there are story reasons that Flash feels different and that he is taking on different things.
Development of Barry's Persona (and His Suit) in the Flash
Andrew Kreisberg: We're still working out the details, but I think Barry's love of the hero is going to play a part in the creation of his persona.
Greg Berlanti: We were holding back the costume element because we knew if we did [Arrow Season 2] Episode 20 as its own stand-alone episode, we'd have to find a real reason for people - in addition to the quality of the show - to come back in [The Flash] Episode 1. Now that Episode 20 has become a pilot, one of the great things about it is we get to add a suit, so that will appear in the pilot episode now.
What did you think of the Arrow Season 2 midseason finale? What stories are you most excited to see when the show returns?
Arrow airs on Wednesday nights at 8pm on CW.
(Image courtesy of CW)