In a season that will be introducing Batman villain Ra’s al Ghul, Arrow’s premiere included a scene somewhat familiar to fans of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy.
Facing the new Count Vertigo (Peter Stormare), Oliver (Stephen Amell) gets an unwanted taste of a new version of the drug, which brings out victims’ worst fears—pretty much exactly what Ra’s al Ghul’s (Liam Neeson) hallucinogen did in Batman Begins.
“Total coincidence,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim explains. “Its presence in [the premiere] was really designed to [show] that Oliver is struggling with the theme of identity.” After Oliver is dosed, he envisions Count Vertigo as himself, whom he fights because, naturally, Oliver is afraid of being himself. (The Amell vs. Amell visuals were actually pretty fun.)
“We certainly talked about that in the writers’ room,” he continues. “‘Are people going to think we’re doing the same thing as Batman Begins?’ But ultimately, for us, character and theme pretty much trump everything else and we were like, ‘No, we’re doing our own thing.'”
So, there you have it. Ra’s al Ghul isn’t planning to use the Vertigo drug to take out all of Starling City. He’s probably in town because he killed Sara (Caity Lotz), right?
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.