Arrow viewers won’t have to wait long to find out if Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is going to become the new Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) since the Emerald Archer will make his decision by the end of Wednesday’s episode.
“The first act of our 16th episode is essentially the sales pitch,” Amell tells EW. “I even say to Ra’s, ‘Is all of this supposed to impress me?’ and he says, ‘No, this is supposed to inform you.’ He lays everything out and Oliver is a little more taken with it than some people might expect.”
The leader of the League of Assassins will do everything in his power to convince Ollie that saving Starling City is small potatoes when he really could be saving the world. “Ra’s is going to entice him by making a pretty good case for the League of Assassins,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim says. “We’ve only seen the League of Assassins from Oliver’s perspective and a little bit from Sara’s perspective, but Ra’s is going to make a very compelling sales pitch. Ra’s has a view and a vision of the League of Assassins that is at odds with Oliver’s.”
It’s also at odds with what Team Arrow thinks of the League, which is why they’ll do their best to convince Oliver to stay in Starling. “Diggle think he’s even crazy to consider it,” David Ramsey says. “Diggle is very pragmatic and very practical. Aligning himself with Merlyn [John Barrowman] isn’t smart, aligning himself in any way with Ra’s al Ghul isn’t smart. ‘Ra’s al Ghul equals murderer and terrorist, we should have no association with him.’ It’s that simple.” However, a potential alliance “could help bring both worlds together,” Colton Haynes adds.
But as Oliver reflects on what he’s accomplished since returning from the island, Amell says Starling’s savior is left thinking, “What have I really done? All of that makes this offer more interesting.” As he weighs his options, he’ll also reevaluate the relationships he has in his life, especially with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). “She feels like he may be giving up everything he’s worked for, but given an ultimatum leaves him choice-less for the time being,” Rickards says, noting that Felicity will reassess her feelings “and also what she’s willing to sacrifice: Herself.”
Of course, even considering the offer is moot since Oliver doesn’t really have a choice. “If I say no, there will be repercussions,” Amell says. “And the repercussions are like Slade Wilson [Manu Bennett] on steroids, which is a bad analogy because he essentially was on a form of steroids for his brain, but there are serious repercussions if I say no, so that is the driving force for us.”
Could those reprecussions explain why Lance (Paul Blackthorne) ends up being kidnapped by Ra’s al Ghul in a few episodes? “He’s just trying to work out who the hell this guy is with this ridiculous costume and jewelry,” Blackthorne teases of the upcoming episode. “Then he does realize who he is and it becomes serious. It’s a great contrast in terms of these two characters, one a blue collar cop and then a mythological figure from beyond. Putting them in the same room was a nice scene.” Being in Ra’s al Ghul’s clutches could provide Lance with some information on how his daughter Sara spent those missing years. “He does appear to learn a bit more along those lines,” Blackthorne teases.
However, Ra’s al Ghul coming after Lance could also be because Nyssa (Katrina Law) will decidedly take up training Laurel (Katie Cassidy). “They have this bond,” Cassidy says. “Obviously Laurel loved her sister and Nyssa also loved Sara, so they are bonding over the death of a loved one. It’s nice because Laurel reminds Nyssa of Sara and vice versa. She can see why her sister loved Nyssa, the good in her, that she actually has at heart. Nyssa is going to train her and I’m hoping that, coming back in season 4, I’ll be polished and ready to kick some ass.” Will the new duo be setting their sights on taking Malcolm Merlyn for ultimately killing Sara? “Doesn’t everyone want to take down Malcolm?” Cassidy says with a laugh. “They both want the same thing. I do think Malcolm is involved.”
Speaking of Malcolm, to say his relationship with daughter Thea (Willa Holland) is strained is an understatement. “She’s pretty much as lost as she’s ever been at this current moment,” Holland says. “She’s very twisted up inside about finding out that her father drugged her and made her kill an old family friend. I don’t think that’s going to go down too easily with her. She’s going to be upset and I don’t think she’s going to be too happy with pop anymore about doing that. She’s a bit lost and doesn’t know what she’s doing and there’s not even a thought process behind her actions anymore.”
The silver lining is that Thea’s vulnerability will draw her back into the arms of Roy. “I can say that they do have a really, really important scene, kind of like the one they had in the car, but it doesn’t take place in a car, it might take place in a bed,” Haynes teases.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.