The back half of Arrow‘s second season is going to be a trying one for young Roy Harper (Colton Haynes).
After being injected with Mirakuru in the mid-season finale, the first episode back, airing Wednesday night, will explore the benefits — and consequences — of his newfound strength. “We’re going to learn starting with episode 10 that the Mirakuru may give you incredible strength and it really may accelerate your healing, but it comes with some very significant mental downsides as well,” teases executive producer Marc Guggenheim. “And Roy will be experiencing those in the present, and Slade in the past [via flashbacks] will begin to develop those difficulties.”
Guggenheim adds that as everything about Roy’s current predicament becomes clearer, we’re also going to see how it affects the people around him — Thea and Oliver included. “We always said that this year, Roy is going to go through a crucible. And the Mirakuru [storyline] is basically that ordeal and for sure when he comes out the other side — if he comes out the other side — he will be a different person and set on a different path,” he says. “You will start to see that as early as episode 12.”
It’s part of the longer story the writers are telling with Roy, explains Guggenheim, one that shows him going “from being sort of the street urchin we met in episode 15 last year to somebody who could potentially inherit the Arrow’s mantel as Roy Harper did in the comic books. We’re never really driven too much by what we call the comic book destinies of characters, but we’re very much aware of them and we’re very much aware that we’re telling a Batman Begins-style story for all of our characters. And obviously the Mirakuru and what Roy will experience in the wake of episode 9 is a big part of that Batman Begins-like story for him.”
Guggenheim also teased a few more plot points that await fans in the second half of the season. Here are answers to some more burning questions:
+ Have they decided what they’re doing with Flash in episode 20?
Not yet. After it was decided that the Flash pilot would stand alone — rather than being part of the 20th episode of the season — plans had to change, said Guggenheim. But the official plan is still in the works. “We’ve had a lot of afferent internal discussions of how episode 20 basically becoming an Arrow episode instead of a backdoor pilot could operate in terms of the connection to Barry. But we haven’t come to a decision yet, so we’re not ready to talk about it yet,” he said.
+ Will Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) continue to have tension over Barry?
Yes. And you will see more of it in Wednesday night’s episode. “One of our pet peeves is when a show does a backdoor pilot and the episode that follows it tends to ignore what happened in the backdoor pilot. And episodes 8 and 9 served as the introduction of Barry Allen, and it struck us as wrong not to acknowledge everything that happened in those two episodes, particularly in regard to Barry’s burgeoning relationship with Felicity,” he says. “So a good chunk of the emotional real estate in episode 10 is spent on Felicity’s reaction to Barry being electrocuted at the end of episode 9 and being struck by lightning.”
+ What’s with Oliver’s big black eye?
It’s the result of a fight, duh! But the real scoop here? It’s such a brutal encounter that the producers decided Oliver will sport the shiner for a while. “I will say this: I was telling Stephen we really haven’t seen the last of that black eye. On this show, particularly Oliver, [characters] tend to get hurt and within an episode’s time they’re fully healed. That black eye in particular is not going anywhere anytime soon.”
+ What’s going on with Sebastian Blood in the second half?
Wednesday’s episode will see Sebastian Blood break out as a character after spending some time in the background. And there’s more of that to come, says Guggenheim. “If you think he comes to the forefront in episode 10, you really haven’t seen anything yet,” he says. “Episode 11 I would say is really Sebastian’s episode to shine. And I would say there is a moment in episode 11 that feels somewhat confrontational. But I will say, Oliver’s not the only member of the Queen family that Sebastian is going to have a confrontation with.”
Arrow airs Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.