The new season of “Arrow” picks up five months after the Season 1 finale and everyone is dealing with the ramifications of The Undertaking explosion in The Glades and the many deaths that occurred as a result.
Starling City is a much different place than when we last visited. Oliver (Stephen Amell) has left town, and Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) travel to Lian Yu in search of him.
Persuaded to return home, Oliver discovers that things are in worse shape than he thought — Isabel Rochev (guest star Summer Glau) is preparing a hostile takeover of Queen Consolidated, and he is forced to take more interest in his family’s company.
Oliver makes the decision to use Queen Consolidated’s power and wealth to do good, but because of The Undertaking and his mother’s (Susanna Thompson) involvement in it, his name is now associated with mass murder. Still, Oliver will try to transition from being the vigilante known as Arrow to a hero, especially because Laurel (Katie Cassidy) is working with the District Attorney’s office to bring the vigilante to justice.
XfinityTV spoke with executive producer Greg Berlanti to get the answer to burning questions for Season 2. Here is what he had to say:
What’s in store for Oliver this season?
Our hope always was to introduce a character who is very different from some elements of the Green Arrow that we know and loved from the comic book. This is sort of the second leg of that journey, of him making his way. This year is very much making that turn from vigilante to something more hopeful, which, I think, is something the city needs in the wake of The Undertaking. Oliver won a lot of battles last year but The Glades still blew up, bad things happened. So he wants to bring the city back and lift them up, and that requires a slightly different masked hero than we saw last year.
Are we seeing more development in the Oliver and Laurel relationship, or is it strained because of Tommy (Colin Donnell) dying?
It won’t be strained so much between them, but there will be some strains between her and the Arrow. Starting off the year, Oliver and Laurel will be close, though they did have sex right before her former boyfriend, his best friend, died, which can be complicated. Our hope is to deal with that.
We’ve been teased that a lot of new DC characters will be coming in. With the first season, you got to do a lot of that, and you got to do a lot of twists and reveals as it went along. As the show gets bigger, does it make it harder for those things to work?
Absolutely, it does. The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that part of the fun of it, for us at least, is to entertain ourselves because we feel like if we entertain ourselves, people will be entertained. If we can surprise ourselves, people will be surprised. And so we do that. Yeah, people guess, and they guess earlier now, and they care earlier now. There’s an evolution to any of these things that we would do. Hopefully, for what we did last year, people are a little bit more rewarding of their patience. If we decide, we’ll start the story here, it may not be with a character you know and love, but in time, it’ll get there. That’s sort of our main jobs as storytellers.
Can you tell us what we might expect?
We have Sebastian Blood coming on, so for those that know, he’s Brother Blood. And he’ll be played by Kevin Alejandro, who I just worked with last year, so that’s exciting. So, there’s one. Don’t get me in trouble, please. There’s DC Comics police that arrest you and you spend your night in the clink.
Malcolm (John Barrowman) became Oliver’s primary antagonist with the bomb at the end of Season 1. Have you tried to find one definitive villain to build the whole arc of Season 2?
We have two this year, actually. Which in a way we did last year, too, in terms of both Merlyn and Malcolm if you think about it in terms of who he was as each. We have a similar but different thing that we do this year.
Are we going to get Speedy?
You mean will we pick between the two Speedys we’ve mentioned on the show? They’ll both take steps in that direction.
Do you have a five-year plan?
You do, but it gets modified based on dailies. We watch stuff and think, “Oh, my God. That’s so cool, we should speed that up,” or, “That’s not working that well, let’s take our time with that a little bit more.” Obviously, as the year goes on that time between when we see stuff gets shorter and shorter.
The balance between present day and the flashbacks to the island — will that remain the same or will we see a shift?
It’s about the same. We did two episodes early on last year without the island and we felt like those were mistakes. We tried it because we didn’t know — it was before the audience saw it. We thought, “Are people going to be confused by it?” We got so much information back. And then we realized it was working for us and it worked for the show. There are episodes where we do it better than others, but our hope is to keep doing it. We have some fun stuff.
Are we ever going to see any of the island people off of the island?
Yes, sure. That’s our hope.
I was really kind of hoping that Tommy wasn’t really dead.
He’s dead. It’s just the nature of television today. When we were first doing things, trying to think of the first show that I did, we killed somebody off and everybody was like, “Oh, my gosh. You did that?!” Now, it’s almost expected. TV takes all sorts of risks. So you’ve got a Red Wedding episode and it’s like, “Oh, my God! Three members of your cast are dead now!” I think the grandfather clause on that period of time on that [Tommy dying] episode is done now.
Season 2 of “Arrow” premieres Wednesday (Oct. 9) at 8/7c on The CW.