Arrow's endgame may involve Oliver ending up with Laurel, but that doesn't mean he can't find a little loving before then.
In fact, Oliver (Stephen Amell) may find what he's looking for in Helena Bertinelli (Jessica De Gouw), the daughter of a mob boss (Jeffrey Nordling) who seeks to avenge her family's murder. But sparring with The Huntress is on the lower end of Oliver's list of priorities, which includes dealing withVertigo (Fringe's Seth Gabel), who was rumored to be Season 1's big bad.
However, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg insists that someone else is actually the big villain of Season 1. Could that have anything to with the fact that the identity of John Barrowman's character will be revealed in Wednesday's episode (8/7c, CW)? Check out what Kreisberg has to say below:
How will Oliver continue to struggle with toeing the line between getting justice and getting revenge?
Andrew Kreisberg: That's the age-old struggle on this show: How does he stay Oliver Queen but then also carry on this mission of justice that he has? It's one of the exciting things about bringing on The Huntress for these next two episodes and watching him get dealt curveballs to his mission which complicate his identity. When he was on the island... imagining coming back to Starling City and carrying out this master plan, the one thing he never counted on were all the people in his life and all the relationships that he has. Jumping off rooftops and fighting villains is easy. It's dealing with Laurel (Katie Cassidy), dealing with his mother (Susanna Thompson), dealing with Thea (Willa Holland), dealing with a new girl coming into his life. That's the stuff that's all complicated and hard and difficult.
Will we see a softer side to Oliver through the introduction of The Huntress? Does he let himself open up to her a bit?
Kreisberg: They meet through extraordinary circumstances. He's not looking to meet anyone, but he suddenly finds himself on a date with this girl, and in talking to her and getting to know her, he realizes that, in some ways, she's the only person in the world who truly understands him. Helena has a very tragic backstory as well. Helena has a whole different perspective because she's also gone through a trial by fire. She's the first person who actually asks him if he misses the island. The thought of being alone and being away from her family — her father murdered her fiancée — that actually has appeal to her. It's her unexpected response to his life experiences that Oliver finds himself intrigued [by]. He didn't even realize how lonely he was until somebody pointed it out to him. That's why he's able to let her in.
How will Laurel feel about Olivier getting close to The Huntress?
Kreisberg: In Episode 8, Oliver and Helena and Tommy (Colin Donnell) and Laurel go on a double date and it was so exciting watching the footage from that because when Helena and Laurel shake hands and meet, the fan boy in me went, "Those are the Birds of Prey!" So that's kind of exciting. There's a couple of little nods to it, but this is just the beginning. The door's open for The Huntress character to return and maybe we can play with that some more.
Speaking of Black Canary, you've had some nods, but will we actually see her slip into those fishnets by the end of Season 1?
Kreisberg: Yeah. We always say it's not going to be as soon as you want, but it's probably going to be a lot sooner than you think. That's been our mantra. You will definitely continue to see the nods to Dinah "Laurel" Lance's future persona, but I think it's going to play out in a surprising way for the audience. We're really excited about it.
Will she continue to help Arrow/Oliver, whether inadvertently or purposely?
Kreisberg: Both actually. As we get deeper into the season, the Arrow and Laurel will begin to develop something akin to a shaky partnership in some episodes and that will have emotional ramifications for all the people in their lives. For us, there's a certain reality in not having the Arrow and Laurel teaming up and fighting crime together every week. So, when we do an episode where they are "in cahoots," we want it to be special.
It does seem like she had suspected they were one and the same person. Will that still be explored?
Kreisberg: Episode 5 kind of put the kibosh in her suspecting that, but Oliver Queen has other secrets that he's been hiding for five years that will come to the surface, which will cause them plenty of problems in the latter half of the season.
How does introducing Vertigo change the direction of the season considering he is apparently the new big bad villain?
Kreisberg: Well, Vertigo is actually not the big bad of the season. Somehow that got mentioned in the press, but it's not [true]. There is a big bad of the season. For us, what's so funny about Count Vertigo is he's really the first "super villain" that the Arrow has created. We're seeing his origin story and that's exciting to us because, again, that's one of the things that Oliver didn't consider: taking on the persona of the Arrow is going to have repercussions in the city and not all of them are going to be good.
If Vertigo is not the big bad, then who is? Can you say?
Kreisberg: Not yet.
Could this have to do with whoever John Barrowman's character may be?
Kreisberg: It very well might. You're going to learn his identity in Wednesday's episode. Once you discover who he is... it'll be very clear what the trajectory of the season is going to be.
Will we learn more about Oliver's list at the same time?
Kreisberg: Yeah. For us, the best shows answer as many questions as they raise. So, you're going to start finding out a lot more about the list, how the list works, and Moira -- what her role in this conspiracy is. We don't want people to feel like they're being left behind or that they're being toyed with or that we don't have a plan. It's all been very carefully mapped out and the information is given at a pace that makes the audience feel like they got a good meal but are still hungry for more.
You guys have said no superpowers, but can there be advanced tech, possibly allowing for canary cry or even Hawkman wings?
Kreisberg: I guess there's always that possibility. If you look up the Dark Knight movie, there's some pretty impressive tech in there. As much as possible, we just want to keep the show grounded in a reality that the Chris Nolan films managed to achieve. Especially on TV, so much of it is the characters and their relationships, and it seems like we've found a really good mix of interpersonal relationships. We don't want to damage that by having outlandish, supernatural events happening that will influence their otherwise normal reactions to situations. So we're always open to those possibilities, but for right now, a flash grenade arrow is as high-tech as we're getting.
Who do you think Barrowman is playing? Hit the comments with your thoughts!
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.