Introducing 'Arrow's 'Most Dysfunctional, Brutal Father-Daughter Relationship'!

by Leanne Aguilera 11:30 AM PDT, October 22, 2014
Photo: The CW

Pack your bags, Arrow fans — we're going on a trip!

Operation: Rescue Thea is in full swing in tonight's action-packed episode, and we've got all the details on Oliver's quest to find his sister, the new "brutal" father-daughter dynamic and where Malcom's true intentions lay.

ETonline was on the Arrow set in Vancouver, Canada, last week, and after trying (and failing miserably) to master the salmon ladder, we sat down with stars Stephen Amell, Willa Holland and John Barrowman to get the inside scoop on tonight's highly anticipated Queen family reunion.

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It’s no secret that Arrow can be a dark, intense show. But after the devastating loss of Sara, aka the Black Canary, fans are in for an uplifting treat! Amell teased that tonight's hour is a "very fun" change of pace. "[It's] a little bit similar to [episode] 206 last year when we went to Russia. It's a boy's trip," he said. "Going off. Finding Thea. Fun dynamics."

Fans were thrilled to finally get our first season three glimpse of Thea at the end of last week's episode when it was revealed that she has been aggressively training with her daddy dearest, Malcom Merlyn (Barrowman) for the past five months. And while we're excited for Oliver to jump back into his protective big brother mode, Holland warns that Thea is not too pleased when she sees her brother barging into her Corto Maltese hide-away.

"Right now, I don't think she has anything in her mind to go back,” Holland said of her character’s new kick-ass life. “I think she's found a new Thea Queen and is very happy with who she is at the moment... The main reason why she had to leave was just because of all of the lies and everything that she's just been battling for the last two seasons."

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Thea is also relishing her father-daughter dynamic with Malcom and eagerly welcoming his deadly League of Assains knowledge. "The one thing that he hadn't done to Thea was lie about who he is,” Holland said. “He's very open and honest about it… Knowing Malcolm's past, it's definitely hard for Thea to trust him, but I think over the last five months, she's gotten to known Malcolm in a different way than everybody else has seen him. They have a different type of relationship than you would expect."

Barrowman, on the other hand, offered a slightly different view of Thea and Malcom's relationship: "It’s the most dysfunctional, brutal father daughter relationship," he said. "But I think there is a genuine love there and caring for her -- but he wants her to be strong. He wants her to be able to stand on her own two feet." And although Barrowman claims Malcom has Thea's best interest at heart, he openly admitted that there is definitely some "emotional manipulation" on Malcom’s part.

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So what could finally bring Thea to leave her father, and abandon her new butt-kicking hobby? Honesty. As Amell explained, "Oliver comes to the realization that the only way to bring her home — when it was lies that drove her away — is to tell her the truth. How much truth he has to tell her is one of the crucial points of the episode."

Holland promised fans that Thea will learn more of Oliver's secrets — we just don't know yet if she'll discover the whole truth. "He definitely tries to open up to her and be more honest with her,” she said. “It may be in the way that we think, but it also might not be… I think the one thing that could always pull her back is Oliver and her love for him and that side of her family, as well as Roy. She has a lot in Starling City, of course — it's her home."

But if there's one thing Arrow fans know for sure, it's that Malcom Merlin will not let his last blood relative go without a fight. "It’s going to be exciting," Barrowman promised. "Something is going to come at you as a shock and a surprise — that’s all I’ll say."

Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.