'Arrow' post mortem: Boss opens up about the shocking [spoiler]!
WARNING: This post contains major Arrow spoilers.
Shocked? Stunned? Heartbroken? Join the club.
The 20th episode of Arrow‘s second season dealt a huge personal blow to the hooded hero — one that’s going to affect him and those around him forever. I guess what we’re saying is…
RIP Moira Queen.
Yes, the mayoral candidate/mom to the hero who walks among us and his sister from another mister, has been killed. Specifically, Slade Wilson stuck a blade through her chest in an ultra-emotional scene that played out in front of her children. Will they ever recover? Probably not. But is Oliver Queen going to make him pay? We sure as heck hope so! Luckily, based on what executive producer Andrew Kreisberg says, that sounds like a likely scenario. “The next episode opens with Moira’s funeral and Oliver is missing,” he teases.
Saying farewell to actress Susanna Thompson, however, was a difficult decision. “Susanna has been with the show since the beginning and she was one of our big [casting] gets early on that really signaled to the audience and to reviewers that this wasn’t your average CW show,” he says. “And like with Colin Donnell [whose character was killed off in the season 1 finale], these last few episodes were her pinnacle. This is as good as anything that’s on television, and unfortunately, because of the kind of show it is, probably won’t be recognized as such.”
The big — and heartbreaking — death wasn’t the only big development in the episode, though. Below, Kreisberg dishes on the Queen love child lurking about and what’s next for the gang.
On Oliver’s baby:
In the episode, we learned that Oliver had fathered a child with a woman, who was later paid off by Moira. And while Kreisberg says that there’s “no character name” for Oliver’s baby, it is something they plan to revisit…eventually. “You know, I think like we did in season 1, the seeds for season 2 were planted in season one,” he says. “The best part of the success that the show has had was knowing we were going to be able to make more and knowing that we could drop these things in and pay them off later….This is something that will be paid off in season 3.”
On killing off Moira:
While sad over the thought of saying goodbye to Thompson, Kreisberg says the stories that would result from the move were too great to pass up. “Her death has a profound impact on everyone in the series,” he says. “It’s certainly is 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 series 3. Sometimes the worst thing you can do personally is the best thing you can do professionally.” Moreover, he says, Moira was a character that had done her creative duties and they wanted to avoid making her a “caricature.” “It was, ‘If Moira wins the mayorship and if she makes up with her kids, what is she? What is Moira without a giant secret?’ And if they all forgive her and then there’s some other giant secret, for us, it felt like we were becoming a giant soap opera,” he says. “It really just felt like, in a way, she could die a heroes 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. You literally can’t change her.”
On revealing Moira knew Oliver’s secret:
The writers, according to Kreisberg, “had always talked about the idea that Moira knew that Oliver was the Arrow.” In fact, the season 1 finale had a moment where Oliver walked into talk to his mother about having to stop the impending destruction that was upon the city, and in that scene, he says, “he’s not Oliver Queen, he’s the Arrow.” “She’d be borderline low IQ if she wasn’t like, ‘Wait a minute…'” he jokes. “But we always liked that she had never told him and everything sort of felt like it came together in this one episode.”
On what Moira was going to reveal before the car crash:
“I think what she was about to tell them is going to play out sooner than you think,” he teases.
On what’s next for Roy:
Is Roy going to be strapped to a table with snake venom in him for the rest of his life? Probably not. But with a cure in the works, it’d be nice to get that sooner rather than late because, as Kreisberg points out, it “is not only the means to salvage Roy, but it’s also the means to stop Slade.” Meanwhile, Roy’s rage-fest that resulted in the death of a man is something they will address but “that’s going to play out in season 3.” And you’ll see why.
On the Queens’ financial problems:
That’s another thing that will factor heavily into season 3, but also play into the final episodes of the season. The goal, says Kreisberg, was to make the upcoming season feel as different as possible from previous ones. “We’re going to start season 3 in very different circumstances than he’s been before. Which, obviously, him being in different circumstances changes the circumstances of his paid bodyguard and his paid assistant — since he can no longer pay them,” he says. “It’s like any long-running show you turn on in re-runs. You can watch the episode for about 4 seconds and know, ‘Oh, that’s season 3. Or that’s season 4. And it’s not just the haircuts. The show has a different feel.” This desire for “different,” he added, will result in some sets being completely retired “for reasons that will become apparent as you see these last episodes.” “We’ve already seen designs for some of the new sets for season 3, which are amazing,” he says.
On the last episodes of the season:
The next few episodes are “race against the clock,” says Kreisberg, and in this time, we’ll see Oliver have to rise up “from the lowest point he could come.” “His mother is dead, his sister hates him, he blames himself, Sarah is gone, his knee hurts, Roy is in a coma. We were literally like, ‘How bad can we make this?’ And we really have,” he says.