'Arrow' Showrunner Answers 5 Big Questions, From Ray Palmer's Return to Olicity 'Complications'
By Philiana Ng
Warning: Do not proceed if you haven’t watched tonight’s Arrow yet! We’re serious!
It’s nice to know Oliver Queen has friends in very high places.
John Constantine (Matt Ryan) made a detour to Star City after his old island pal rang him up to help restore the soul of Sara Lance following her ill-timed dip in the Lazarus Pit. Though they accomplished their mission -- albeit with a few unforeseen obstacles -- the door was left open by the end of Wednesday’s episode, begging the question: Could the beloved demon hunter eventually return to Arrow?
“That’s a good question. We had him for this episode -- it was important for this story,” Arrow executive producer Wendy Mericle told ETonline. “We always try to link story to the point of the view from the Arrow universe’s perspective and from our characters’ perspective, so for now, that was it.”
That’s not to say there won’t be a future appearance by Constantine, just not in the near future. Even so, there was quite a bit of non-Constantine developments to unpack -- from Felicity discovering that Ray Palmer is indeed alive to Diggle learning the harsh truth about his brother Andy.
Following Wednesday’s episode, we jumped on the phone with Mericle to get some scoop on what’s coming up next!
Felicity just discovered that Ray Palmer isn’t dead after all, but he’s in trouble. How does his eventual return affect her relationship with Oliver?
Wendy Mericle: Because of the way season three ended, we haven’t seen Felicity grieving the loss of Ray. Finding out that that loss isn’t what she thought it was, she’s going to be going through some pretty complicated emotions and they’re definitely going to have an impact on Oliver moving forward – though maybe not in the way everyone thinks. We really wanted to try to do it in a surprising, different way and Felicity is going to want to help out her friend and that’s no doubt going to create big complications for Oliver.
Constantine gave some useful advice to Oliver about Damien Darhk – “Leave town while you still can.” How much of Constantine’s warning will be in the back of Oliver’s mind as he and the team march toward a showdown?
Mericle: One of the cool things about having Constantine there, given his ability to channel the other realm and different spiritual, magical ideas, is that he can really speak to the danger that Damien presents in a way that our characters can’t. While we don’t think anyone is prepared or interested at this point in running away from the challenge – I think everyone on the team, Oliver included – is very invested in facing the threat, there is no doubt that they’re facing something they’ve never faced before and that it’s going to be the biggest challenge they’ve faced yet.
We saw Sara get her soul back, but haven’t seen how this experience, coming back from the dead, has changed or affected Sara 2.0. How scarred is she, both literally and figuratively?
Mericle: There are definitely going to be chinks in the armor. She is still very much a product of the Lazarus Pit, and she and Thea will definitely have overlap and things to talk about, in terms of bloodlust and dealing with those aftereffects. We want to play, as much as we can, the reality of – as far as reality can extend to in a situation like this – but what would it be like to come back and your soul is restored? How would you reorient yourself in a so-called normal world? I don’t think that’s going to be an easy transition for her or for anyone around her. I think that’s going to be the challenge in the next few episodes.
Diggle also found out the truth about the shady dealings Andy was embroiled in during his time in Afghanistan. How does that 180 dramatically change his perspective on his brother as he figures out his next H.I.V.E.-related move?
Mericle: Yeah, it’s a radical rethink. Diggle hasn’t closed the door or gotten really any closure on it up until this moment. But what’s interesting about the situation is that, while he may have a little bit of closure about the fact that his brother is gone, he’s opening and creating new wounds by discovering his brother wasn’t the man he thought he was. For Diggle, he’s going through a radical rethink of himself, his own judgments, his brother – to think he thought he knew his brother better than anyone else in the world, this is all a shock to him and we want to play the reality of that. What would it be like if one of us found that out about one of our siblings? I think it’s very emotional and he’s very raw right now.
Oliver’s mayoral campaign is in full effect, but compared to past candidates, it seems he may be the toughest sell for Star City. How significant of a role is his new political strategist, Alex Davis (Parker Young), going to play?
Mericle: Oliver and Alex have very different views on what makes a good candidate and we wanted to make Alex very much an Arrow version of a West Wing [character]. What would it be like to have someone who really understands politics and what it takes to run a campaign and win a campaign? Oliver obviously has very different ideas about that. And Alex has no idea what Oliver spends his nights or what he does – as things unfold and things are presented to their campaign, we’re hoping to tease at that relationship, and further his relationship with Thea.