[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Wednesday's episode of Arrow. Read at your own risk!]
Arrow said farewell to yet another character on Wednesday night as Moira Queen paid the ultimate price for her son Oliver's sins.
Just as the dysfunctional family seemed to be on the mend, Moira (Susanna Thompson), Oliver ((Stephen Amell) and Thea (Willa Holland) were taken hostage by Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), who wanted to make Oliver relive his worst nightmare from the island: choosing which of the most important women in his life would get to live. In this case, it was Thea and Moira, who quickly realized that Slade was targeting their family because he had been on the island with Oliver.
Knowing that there was no way they could all survive this ordeal, Moira made the ultimate sacrifice and offered herself up. "It was only going to be powerful if Slade really changed the game by doing something truly monstrous," executive producer Andrew Kreisberg told reporters after a screening of the fateful episode. "Her death... has a profound impact on everyone on the series. It's certainly what's going to drive Oliver in these last three episodes, and it's going to drive Thea, not only in these last three episodes, but also into [Season] 3."
Though Kreisberg says the decision to kill Moira was difficult, it was born out of the notion that her secrets were her downfall. After hiding the truth about the Undertaking in Season 1 and the fact hat Thea is Malcolm Merlyn's (John Barrowman) daughter, there was only so much more she could keep concealed before the show started to feel like a soap opera.
"In a way, she could die a hero's death and also die this person who was conflicted because even as she's saying, 'Hey, we have to tell the truth,' we're seeing that she's kept this other horrible secret," Kreisberg says, noting that whatever she was keeping from her children about Malcolm will "play out sooner than you think." "You just literally can't change her. That was the essence of her character. We felt like ending it at this time left you with that great feeling of what an amazing character she was, rather than let her become a caricature."
However, before she died, one particular secret was finally exposed. "We had always talked about the idea that Moira knew that Oliver was the Arrow," Kreisberg says. "We felt like one of the great things about 'Sacrifice,' last year's season finale, was when Oliver walks in to talk to her, he's not Oliver Queen, he's the Arrow. He's saying they've got to stop this. She'd be borderline low IQ if she wasn't like, 'Wait a minute!' We always like that she had never told him."
Now that Oliver is learning firsthand how dangerous keeping his extra-curricular activities a secret can be, he may be forced to be more honest before the season is over. "He hasn't told Laurel [Katie Cassidy], and it's because he had an idea in his head that she shouldn't know," Kreisberg says. "You guys will all see that he was wrong and he's going to find out that he was wrong not to tell her because she could handle it."
So, what does this all mean for the mayoral race, which Moira was clearly winning before her death? Hours prior to meeting her fate, Moira told her competitor (and Slade Wilson acolyte) Sebastian Blood (Kevin Alejandro) that she was pulling out of the race only to publicly announce she was in it to win it. "Maybe Slade didn't just kill Moira to piss Oliver off, and maybe somebody realizes that," Kreisberg says.
But don't expect Oliver to storm City Hall with accusations against Blood and Slade. "The next episode opens with Moira's funeral and Oliver is missing," Kreisberg says. "He's been trying to be the Arrow, and now he's had everyone and everything he loves taken away from him. He's been hobbled, his team is in shambles, he's lost his company, his mother is dead. What is Oliver Queen going to do? Is he going to be that guy on the island or is he going to be something else?"
Were you surprised that Moira died? Hit the comments!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Missed an episode of Arrow? Watch full episodes here.
(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of The CW's parent companies.)