The CW’s Arrow is a show that has built itself on shockers, and Wednesday night’s episode ended with one for the ages.
Spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Arrow!
After Thea goes off book and turns Malcolm Merlyn over to the League of Assassins, Oliver gears up for his second faceoff with Ra’s al Ghul at the League’s home base of Nanda Parbat. All seems to be going as planned until Oliver and Diggle are captured and brought before Ra’s. But instead of execution — Ra’s offers Oliver the chance to be his successor. Fade to black.
Producer Andrew Kreisberg chatted with IGN about the decision to throw this massive curveball, and judging by the way he talks about the aftermath, it sounds like Oliver will be seriously considering the offer. Next week’s episode will apparently pick up just seconds after the cliffhanger, as we get to see how Oliver reacts to the offer — not to mention all the other players who are probably even more shocked than he is in that moment:
“You want to keep that conversation going. Obviously, Oliver is completely, as hopefully the audience is, taken aback because he is not expecting that to be the case. It was something that Greg [Berlanti] and Marc and I talked about - that it was important to have a different villain this year and someone who was going to be doing something completely different and in Season 1 we had the incomparable John Barrowman [as Malcolm] who had his mission. Obviously last year, Slade’s mission was one of vengeance. For this year to have Ra’s, who is presented as this giant malevolent force, but then to come up and basically offer the keys to the kingdom to our hero, it just felt like a different way to go and a different relationship for Oliver to have with the villain. The next episode is actually called ‘The Offer.’ What Oliver’s reaction is, what Nyssa’s reaction is, what everyone’s reaction is makes up the bulk of the next run of episodes and what his answer is and what that prompts all the other characters to do.”
As if all the League of Assassins stuff wasn’t enough, the latest episode saw Felicity hook up with Ray Palmer, which likely sent a shockwave through Tumblr as Olicity fans seethed with memes. Their burgeoning relationship has been an interesting foil to her story with Oliver, and now that Ray is blasting around Starling City like Iron Man, we’d imagine that parallel will get a whole lot bigger:
“We often talk about what life would be like if Twitter existed back in the days of Cheers or Moonlighting. Part of the fun of watching couples on television is keeping them apart and watching how other people come in and out of their lives. There are a lot of people who believe that Oliver and Laurel should be together and people who believe Oliver and Felicity should be together. We’re not sure how it’s all going to end up, we just do what’s right at the time. For right now, Oliver has decided ‘I can’t do this’ and Felicity is not just going to sit around waiting for him. She’s probably the most healthy of all of them. He’s shutting himself down emotionally when he has this amazing person who is basically offering him hope and guidance and friendship and love and everything and he doesn't feel that he deserves it and doesn’t feel that it’s best for her whether she agrees with it or not. Then you’ve got Ray who, in a lot of ways, is real analog to Oliver - he’s had a tragedy and he’s trying to do right by it. He’s opening his heart to her and he’s Brandon Routh, so how can you blame her?
I think 317 is definitely the episode you’ll want to check out first in terms of that question. It’s not just the Felicity, Ray, Oliver love triangle situation. It’s the fact that there’s a new superhero in town and he’s going to go about things in a very different way than the Arrow does. And he’s not a part of Team Arrow. Right now he’s just a smart guy in a very, very powerful suit. Oliver is definitely going to have an opinion and the first instance of that will be episode 317.”
Arrow airs Wednesday nights on The CW, though the show is on hiatus until March 18.
What did you think of Ra’s offer? How do you think Oliver will respond?