The third season of Arrow has been one of the most ambitious yet, and the writers threw a major curveball in the latest episode. So what was up with that huge twist?
Spoilers ahead for The CW’s Arrow!
Oliver’s faceoff with R’as al Ghul came to a head in a surprising way, after Oliver was forced into turning himself into the police for being a vigilante — only to have Roy swoop in at the last minute (wearing the Arrow costume) and take the fall. This set off a twisty-turvy story that found Roy faking his death in prison, and finally ending up hitting the road and seemingly gone from Starling City for the foreseeable future.
Though Colton Haynes (Roy) will seemingly no longer be a regular moving forward, producer Marc Guggenheim noted Arsenal is “gone but definitely not forever.” Even cooler? They said the character could pop up anywhere across the entire CW superhero universe, including Arrow, The Flash and that upcoming team-up spinoff series. So, yeah, assuming interest remains on both sides, this shouldn’t be the end of the road.
As for the exit itself? Fellow producer Greg Berlanti told Deadline it was pretty much planned from the moment Haynes joined the series, as his overall arc was conceived and pitched as a two-season story. They planted seeds along the way (i.e. Roy’s role in the death of a police officer) to provide a workable exit strategy for the character that still left the door open for a return:
"When we made the deal [we knew]. We made a two-season deal that had a clock on it, we always knew that. When he was coming off Teen Wolf, we described the role to him, and we agreed to do it for a couple of years. At that particular moment, he had a lot of opportunities to do things, and we’re lucky he chose us. He brought a lot of notoriety and viewership to Arrow when we were growing, and the show wouldn’t be the show it is without him. He is such a talent and such a nice guy, everybody from the crew to the writers were so enthusiastic to have him for the time we had him. We are sad to see him go but excited to see what he does next.
We knew based on what had happened last season. Roy has struggled with guilt after killing a policeman. In saving Oliver, he sees a chance to absolve himself. Hopefully it was surprising for the audience as some thought for a moment that he might die."
Looking to the future, Berlanti said the end of the third season will essentially close a major chapter in the series — setting up a world of changes in season four. Roy’s exit will be a big part of that, and he teased Oliver could end the season with a new sidekick in Arsenal’s place:
"It’s always affecting the show when one character is moving on to the great beyond. That allows the show to grow and change, with the state of loss providing high stakes. The end of this season is very much a punctuation mark on the first three seasons. Third season will feel like the end of a trilogy, with elements and pieces coming together. We are heading into a big, epic, climactic battle, and I’m not not going to give away who is going to make it. Everything will be changed after this season."
Arrow airs Wednesday nights on The CW.
What did you think about the twist? Will you miss Roy being a part of Team Arrow?