[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Wednesday's episode of Arrow. Read at your own risk!]
Secrets and major truth bombs exploded in Wednesday's episode of Arrow, which also saw the introduction of Susan Williams (Carly Pope) and future Vigilante, Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra).
First, Diggle (David Ramsey) told Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) to stop fighting to get him out of prison because he feels like he deserves the punishment, thus forcing her to return to Oliver (Stephen Amell) to ask for his help in breaking Dig out of jail. But despite finally putting his new recruits out in the field, Oliver may not have the team he needs to pull off that dangerous mission.
Elsewhere, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) confessed to Rory (Joe DiNicol) that she's the one who redirected Damien Darhk's (Neal McDonough) missile to Haven Rock, destroying the town and killing Rory's entire family -- and he didn't seem to take the news well.
The episode ended with that cliffhanger, leaving the fate of Team Arrow, both old and new, in the balance. TVGuide.com talked to executive producer Marc Guggenheim to break down what those truth bombs mean and what's in store for Oliver & Co. going forward.
Question: How will Rory react to Felicity's confession that she's the one that bombed Haven Rock?
Marc Guggenheim: I feel like he's got a very human reaction. He reacts to it the way I think you might expect him to, but not in this overblown kind of way. It's very grounded and very human. We talked a lot about that storyline, Rory's point of view, Felicity's point of view. It's funny in a way. A lot of times you write a storyline and it has, not the opposite, but a very different reaction than the one you expected. I think we were all taken aback, not in a bad way, but surprised that there was so much outrage over Felicity's actions in [Episode] 421, that people were upset at Felicity somehow for saving Monument Point at the expense of Haven Rock. It was fun to actually to get a chance to articulate the anti-Felicity point of view and the pro-Felicity point of view. It made for a very interesting moral dilemma. We got a chance to play with that.
You had Deadshot in this episode. It turned out it wasn't really him in the end, but I'm curious because there are always those questions of how much you can and can't use from the Suicide Squad and whatnot, but obviously there's some ability there. Was it OK for you to use him in this circumstance, and could you use him again?
Guggenheim: It's always a case by case thing, so I never like talking about, "Oh, this is what we can do going into the future," because I don't know what the future holds. ... In this case, it was really simple. I went into the writers' room. This was a pitch on the table. I sent an email off to Geoff Johns. I got a response back, and Deadshot is in the episode.
Will we see John and Lyla's reaction to this guy in Central City who is running back in time and yanking their child out of existence and replacing it with another one?
Guggenheim: I always say on Arrow there is no secret that doesn't eventually get discovered.
We got to meet Adrian Chase, whom we assume is going to end up in costume at some point. Can you give some hints about how his story is going to move forward, especially in context with all of these other super new characters that are in the city?
Guggenheim: [Episode 507] is where we show our cards the most, I think, in terms of Adrian's character. What's kind of fun about the way we're writing Adrian and the way we're portraying Josh [Segarra]'s character is that we're writing with the knowledge that the audience has a certain amount of comic book knowledge. If you're not a comic book fan, it'll fly over your head and that's totally fine. It's an adult joke in a Pixar movie. If you are familiar with the comic, you'll probably interpret certain scenes in a very specific way and that's sort of fun for us. I don't think we've ever done it in this fashion before, use their comic book destiny as part of the storytelling.
Is Thea going to be sparring a lot with Carly Pope's character going forward?
Guggenheim: I think it's a really fun relationship. I would say this is the beginning of an interesting interaction between the two of them. We'll see a bit more of that in future episodes.
As far as the flashbacks are concerned, is the plan to get Oliver back to the place that he was in the pilot episode by the end of this season?
Guggenheim: Yes. You're wondering how can he grow his hair that fast? We have an answer for that.
We saw Curtis (Echo Kellum) suiting up in this episode. Is this officially him being Mr. Terrific, or do we still have a little more to see on his journey?
Guggenheim: I think he's still got a ways to go on his journey. For one thing, that's not the final costume. We decided to give some of the recruits proto-costumes. It's sort of like you have to earn the final one. As I've been saying ... and I think as Oliver likes to say, in terms of all of these characters being vigilantes, Curtis has the farthest to go. The evolution of Curtis from comic relief and sidekick to butt-kicking superhero -- that's a big throw, in my opinion. The only way to do it properly is to watch him try and watch him fail, and watch him fail and watch him fail. It's going to be a real struggle for him as we go through the fifth season.
It seemed like in this episode that the rest of the team was more or less protecting him so that he could stop the drugs from being created. Is there going to be some resentment along the way about how much they have to look after him?
Guggenheim: Not really. I don't think we've chosen to tell that story yet, let's put it that way.
It seems like Paul (Chenier Hundal) is not aware of what his husband is doing in his free time. Will we see that unfold when [Curtis] is putting his life on the line every night instead of going home?
Guggenheim: Absolutely. We are definitely going to be telling that story. I'm not going to tell you when.
What can you say about Quentin's (Paul Blackthorne) path now that he's the deputy mayor? What are we going to see from him?
Guggenheim: It's not an easy one. Thea's decision to make him deputy mayor is very noble on her part, but its also very naive, given the amount of demons that Quentin is wrestling with. It's not going to be as simple as, "Oh, you've got a new job title." It's going to get a lot harder before it gets easier.
Between the name of the drug being Stardust and the line about the hockey mask, this episode had a lot of in-jokes as well. Is there stuff where you're just like, "We have to do it. We have to make a nod to this"?
Guggenhiem: Absolutely. In the case of Stardust, I was like, "It has to be called Stardust." With the hockey mask, I just said to the writers, "If we don't do some hockey mask joke, it's a missed opportunity and you should all be fired." I think it was Amelia Aldrich who came up with doing it in the elevator the way you see. Stephen was totally embracing of it. I emailed him like, "We have to do a hockey mask joke," and he said, "Oh, absolutely." That stuff is fun. I love doing meta humor as long as it doesn't become too distracting. It's sort of subtle. I use that Pixar sort of thing, which is you know, if you know who Cody [Rhodes] is and you know that his wrestling name identity is Stardust, then you get a little charge out of that. If you don't, the episode plays totally fine.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on the CW.