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Arrow Producers Dish About “Heir to the Demon,” Tease 10 Upcoming Storylines

Posted on the 06 February 2014 by Weminoredinfilm.com @WeMinoredInFilm

Arrow came out last night and attempted with varying degrees of success (read our review here) to completely blow us away.   It marked the return of Sara Lance to the present day, reuinited her with mom, dad, and pissed off sister, dissolved the mother-son bond between Oliver and Moira, revealed a bit of Felicity’s background, and said to heck with the Felicity-Oliver and Laurel-Oliver shippers by ending with Sara and Oliver about to get jiggy with it.

Now, as is their tradition with big episodes the producers (Andrew Kreisberg, Marc Guggenheim) conducted a Q&A with reporters to discuss the episode and tease what it means for the rest of the season.  They want to keep us talking and excited about the show since the Winter Olympics mean we won’t get a new episode until the end of the month.  There are obviously multiple spoilers ahead as well as some interesting insight into how certain story choices/characters came about.  Read at your own surprise-killing peril:

What was up with Sara and Nyssa?

From EW: “Really, for spoilers, because the [casting] sides always make it out to the Internet, we made up fake sides for Nyssa because we didn’t want to spoil the fact [that she had been in a relationship with Sarah],” producer Marc Guggenheim revealed. In fact, they renamed the character and in the fake script sides, stuck the character opposite Oliver Queen. “So we narrowed it down to Katrina and this other actress, and we brought them both back for chemistry reads with Caity Lotz and said, ‘Oh, by the way, she’s gay. And oh, by the way, it’s Nyssa al Ghul.’”

The decision to make the character gay, however, was mostly a result of the writers’ efforts to illuminate Sarah’s backstory, said EP Andrew Kreisberg. “It was really more about Sarah than anything else,” he said. “And, by the way, we thought of this at the beginning of the season. If you watch 2.05, there’s a reference to ‘the beloved and you think that’s going to keep you safe.’ And we talked about, ‘Well, does Ra’s al Ghul have a son?’ Then we were like, ‘Could it be Talia?’ Then we felt like Talia had just been done in the [Dark Knight] movies. And one of our writers had actually brought up the idea of Nyssa. And it just felt like something new and different.”

From THR: The romance between Nyssa and Sara, however, wasn’t done “to be salacious,” he reassured. “It’s a pretty chaste relationship from what you see on screen. For us, it touched on a couple of interesting things: the idea that Sara found herself in this terrible world [of the League of Assassins] and found this one person who treated her with love and kindness. And even the way it bounced back off [Quentin] Lance, this hardened, tough cop who’s probably not the most progressive guy — the fact that he was like, ‘I’m just glad you had somebody who loved you and took care of you during those nightmare years,’ those moments felt like they would be special and play for us.”

“We specifically avoid using the term bisexual; we didn’t want to label her at all,” Guggenheim said. “Let her be her own person and if the audience wants to label, fine. And by the way, maybe Sara’s had other female relationships in her past, but we’ll get to that in due course when it’s right — if it’s right.”

Ramifications of freeing Sara: “Part of the reason we did this episode was to free Sara, at least for the time being, from the threat of the League of Assassins, which will allow her to fully be the Black Canary and come home,” Kreisberg said. It was crucial for Sara’s return to have a profound impact on “everybody’s lives.” “You got a glimpse of how some people are very happy and some people are very upset.  You’re really going to see how Sara’s return affects everybody. Hopefully people will be surprised by the reaction.”

Not the last of Nyssa: The Ra’s al Ghul thread continues to linger past this episode. “As far as the Ra’s al Ghul of it is concerned, this was not Katrina’s only appearance this season,” Kreisberg said, hinting that her reappearance comes after the episode 18 (post-”villains a go-go,” if you will).

Felicity’s backstory comes to forefront:“There are two massive things that are going to happen toward the end of the season that you heard in that speech that will pay off,” Kreisberg hinted. One of those references dealt with Felicity’s father leaving their family when she was younger.

Felicity and Oliver stronger than ever: Though Moira (Susanna Thompson) warned Felicity that Oliver would “hate” her for revealing her Malcolm Merlyn secret, Kreisberg and Guggenheim revealed that that won’t be the case. “It’s actually going to be strengthened,” Kreisberg said. “She’s the rock.” Guggenheim added: “I don’t even think Moira necessarily believed what she was saying to Felicity. Moira was manipulating Felicity into staying silent. It would never even occur to Oliver to be angry at Felicity; all Felicity is is the messenger here. I think his anger is correctly directed at Moira.”

A fractured Queen family: “For [Moira's] arc this season, it’s really about redemption. She went to jail and kind of got away with it. She still hasn’t really paid for what she did and in this episode, again she’s paying off doctors, she’s threatening Felicity, she still hasn’t had her ‘come to Jesus’ moment despite what you think would be rock bottom — and that’s coming,” Kreisberg said. “This is a fracture to her relationship with Oliver that is not going to be mended in an episode.”

Oliver and Moira’s Cold War doesn’t go unnoticed: ”There’s a great scene between Oliver and Thea about this territory in episode 17, where both Stephen [Amell] and Willa[Holland] are absolutely phenomenal together,” Guggenheim said. “There’s so much in the Queen family that is impacted by just the amount of lies — not just Moira’s lies, just lies all over the place in this family. Almost every episode [after] this one really deals with the ramifications and different dimensions of all those lies. Can you have a family, even, based on lies — with so many lies present?”

Oliver’s power starts to diminish: With Team Arrow growing by the week, and Sara joining the fray, Oliver’s power among Team Arrow will be addressed“Oliver’s swift hand will be met with more resistance,” Kreisberg said. “With Sara, you’ve got somebody who in a way is Oliver. She went through everything Oliver did. She’s the female him and sometimes the two of them have conflict because it’s like he’s talking to himself.” With Sara roaming around the Arrow cave, episodes 14, 17 and 18 deal with the addition from “different vantage points.” Episode 14, for instance, deals heavily with Felicity’s reaction to Sara.

Sara and Oliver’s romance unclear: Are the former lovers back together? That’s a question that remains unanswered — at least for the next few episodes. “That’s part of the journey of the next five episodes is Oliver has not had many successful relationships and part of he and Sara moving forward is, is this something that could work?” Kreisberg said.

Slade’s threat to Moira: Near the end of Wednesday’s episode, Slade (Manu Bennett) threatened to take care of the Moira problem. (She is running against his minion, Sebastian Blood, for Starling City mayor.) “That’s a long-tail thing that will pay off,” Guggenheim promised.

From EW: On episode 16, “Suicide Squad”: “Dig was our way into Amanda Waller, and in this episode, Amanda comes to Dig and Lyla…and basically recruits Dig for a mission and basically tells him that he’s going to need a team and she saddles him with the Suicide Squad, including Floyd Lawton,” teases Kreisberg. Guggenheim added that the episode will show flashbacks to Diggle’s time in Afghanistan told from his perspective. (They will revisit the story that Diggle shared last season about him saving the life of a warlord named Golam Kadir.)

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