More From ARROW's Creative Team On The Mask, Deathstroke, Ra's Al Ghul And More

Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti talk at length about the debut of a mask for The Arrow, the role of Deathstroke and Roy Harper in the second half of season two, the surprise cameo from a season one cast member, Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul and more.

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By Josh Wilding - 12/12/2013

Since day one, a big complaint from even the most die-hard of Arrow fans has been the fact that Oliver Queen doesn't wear a mask. Well, that all changed in the season two midseason finale when Barry Allen left it for The Arrow on his way back to Starling City. "We saw like 50 or 60 different designs," executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explains. "Some of the earlier ones were crazy. It worked out really well. When we had the pilot, we debated having a mask. We decided to punt for a variety of reasons -- most importantly, it was that if you put a mask on him right away, it sort of says, "This is cartoony or superhero-y." It also fit in with his character. He wasn't someone who ever thought he would be interacting with people. He thought he'd be this dark sniper, firing arrows from the shadows. As the series has progressed, and he's stepped more and more into the light -- which is also what his overall arc is -- he's really needed that. It just seemed so perfect that in this season that he would need it, and also that Barry would be the one who ultimately makes it for him. It just makes the bond between those two characters." As for whether or not this will change how The Arrow interacts wit the supporting cast, he added: "A lot of the time, when he's talking to someone he knows, he's got to keep his head down. It's a little awkward. Now it's given Stephen the ability to much more freely interact with Laurel as the Arrow, or Detective Lance as the Arrow."

One of the most interesting and surprising parts of last night's episode was the fact that Roy Harper was injected with the same Mirakuru serum which gave both Slade Wilson and Cyrus Gold (a.k.a. Solomon Grundy) their powers. The question now is what's next for Roy, something which Kreisberg is excited to explore in the second half of the season. "What's fun for us, as writers, is we see what Roy's potential is to go down that dark path. One of the things you'll find out as you go along is that it's a deep-seated anger inside of you that lets you survive the Mirakuru transformation, which is something Slade had, which is why he lives, and it's why Roy lived, too. One of the fun things that'll be happening in the back half of the year is his relationship with the Arrow, and how that changes, and how the Arrow basically makes it his mission to not let Roy go down the Slade path." Talking of Slade Wilson/Deathstroke, his role in the rest of the season will also be a major one moving forward as he sets his sights on destroying Oliver Queen in revenge for what happened on the island. "That's very much the drive of the second half of the season. This year we're doing something a bit different. We've got a two-pronged approach to the bad guy," says executive producer Greg Berlanti.

As for the surprise appearance of Colin Donnell as Tommy (who helped Ollie overcome his guilt and the hallucinations he suffered throughout the episode), Kreisberg reveals that it was important for them to bring him back in this capacity. "Colin is such a friend of the show, and was obviously so important to the success of season one. So much of this season is based around that character, and his loss, and what a hole he left in the show. It really fit with this season's arc of Oliver's journey of going from vigilante to hero -- the person he feels like he failed. It's in the opening titles. For Tommy to forgive him and to tell him to get up and fight, just talking about it I get chills. I talked to Colin the other day, and said the response has been so great. He's like, "Anytime, dude." Finally, the producer was asked to address the recent casting announcement of Katrina Law as Nyssa al Ghul, saying: "She's somebody that we've been a fan of, and when this part came up, we saw a lot of people for it, but she's certainly exotic and beautiful and smart. Our stunt guys are over the moon, because she can do a lot of her own stunts. She's the next wave of the League of Assassins that comes to Starling City. She has some interesting secrets as well." Oh, and as for Ra's Al Ghul, Geoff Johns won't reveal whether or not we'll see the villain make an appearance down the line. "Maybe. Never say never. It'd be cool."
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Pasto - 12/12/2013, 2:21 PM
Win? DId you say win? I thought so.
JoeMomma29 - 12/12/2013, 2:22 PM
Here is a great article on the web!

'Arrow' GIFs: 10 reasons why it's the best show on TV



"Arrow" may just be the best show on television right now.

Only in Season 2, "Arrow" has done nothing but improve ever since it premiered in the fall of 2012. And it's not like it was a bad show then either. Now "Arrow" is readying a spinoff and has become one of the single best dramas on television today.

Here are 10 reasons why "Arrow" is on top.

1. Drama, comedy, suspense, romance and action are tied up in one neat little package.

It's safe to say that "Arrow" has something for anyone. With witty lines -- and characters like Felicity -- there's always a laugh. The stunt-work may be the best television has ever seen. Deaths are sad and meaningful, while the main protagonist is a seriously disturbed man.

What more could you ask for?



2. It's always entertaining.

When people talk about the great dramas of cable television, they occasionally have to add a caveat about how slow the story can be. "Arrow" does not have this problem. The action moves at a lightning pace while still telling a strong story.



3. No show has better characters.

This reason could be based on Felicity Smoak alone, should that become necessary. She's amazing. But she is not alone. From island residents (like Shado and Slade) to the Queen family to villainous types (Malcolm Merlyn anyone?), every character on "Arrow" becomes someone we can care about.



4. "Arrow" plays to its strengths.

"Arrow" stars a handsome, charismatic young man with a beautiful body. And the show reminds us of this regularly. Actors on the show -- even those who popped in unexpectedly (like Felicity or this season's Sin) -- are highlighted when they show promise. For stories and guest characters, "Arrow" pulls from the incredibly rich story mine of the DC Comics world.



5. Olicity

There are plenty of great relationships on TV, but Olicity is the stuff of 'shipping legend. Consider this: Oliver has had a ready-made love interest in Laurel Lance and a string of beautiful (if dangerous) women wanting to date him. Felicity was supposed to be a one-episode bit part with virtually no interaction with the star. Now, the world regularly begs for them to get together.



6. It transcends the typical CW fare.

Sure, "Arrow" has the beautiful people expected of any show on The CW. But there's more to it than that. Although certainly a draw for younger viewers, there's no reason why a more mature audience can't get in on the action. Oliver, after all, is a world-weary man and not a silly young boy. Diggle is mature and boasts a long military career in his past. Even Moira Queen -- the matriarch of her dysfunctional family -- gets real drama.

This is The CW for people who never watched The CW.



7. "Arrow" is more than just a live-action comic book.

If you knew nothing of DC comics or the history of the Green Arrow, you could still love "Arrow." The characters and situations feel real and aren't just good-vs.-evil archetypes. Each person and story gets explored as richly as possible before the drama moves on.

Can "Agents of SHIELD" say the same?



8. The show started a trend.

Until "Arrow" came on the scene in 2012, comic book and superhero adaptations were a movie thing. No one really expected greatness on the small screen. That's all changed in the past year. "Agents of SHIELD" has been a hit (ratings-wise, if not critically). Netflix has plans for half a dozen new comic series. "Arrow" itself may be getting a spinoff.

Imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery.



9. Barry Allen -- and all that he represents

In the 8th episode of Season 2, "Arrow" introduced the world to Barry Allen. One day, this young man will be the Flash. But now he's just an eager scientist looking to lend a helping hand. Whether or not there's a "Flash" spinoff on The CW next year, Barry Allen is yet another strong supporting player in the full "Arrow" world. This is not a world limited by its stars but rather a universe that can expand infinitely.



10. "Arrow" may just be the greatest superhero TV series of all time.

While there's an argument to be made for "The Walking Dead" as a contender for top graphics-based show, "Arrow" has a strong lead in the superhero department. Shows from "Agents of SHIELD" back to "Superman" have their charms, but "Arrow" could very well be the best.



Tyrus - 12/12/2013, 2:22 PM
Who else noticed that Oliver only had eye-shadow on after Felicity put the mask on him...
BboiBlack - 12/12/2013, 2:22 PM
Shield...lol
Pasto - 12/12/2013, 2:23 PM
Arrow writers are simply winning.

DC...is simply winning.

Lemons - 12/12/2013, 2:23 PM
"Maybe. Never say never. It'd be cool."
GliderMan - 12/12/2013, 2:24 PM
When does he become Green Arrow?
patriautism - 12/12/2013, 2:26 PM
last nights episode was beyond awesome. The flash scene was was win, they gave an amazing reason for why he was using paint instead of a mask, the big bad reveal actually surprised me. Just brilliant altogether.
JoeMomma29 - 12/12/2013, 2:27 PM
@ Glider

Well this season he decided to go by Arrow so I am sure by next season we will get the full Green Arrow name.
BatmanRobinNightwing - 12/12/2013, 2:30 PM
so this must be arrow news day. cant wait to see the next episode. last nights episode was the best yet, and that was reflected in the ratings where arrow was #1 in 8-9 timeslot with a 1.6/6. CW got its best rating in 5 years all because of this epic show!
ibravosp5 - 12/12/2013, 2:30 PM
I hope that slade wears his actual deathstroke outfit in modern day. Like maybe a more armored or updated look for it would be beast. Thank goodness he finally got the eyepatch too.
JoeMomma29 - 12/12/2013, 2:32 PM
@ BatmanRobin

Are you serious? Wow that is good for CW to say the least.
BatmanRobinNightwing - 12/12/2013, 2:32 PM
http://www.greenarrowtv.com/arrow-three-ghosts-ratings-still-over-3-million/16092
that is the link to the ratings for last nights episode
BatmanRobinNightwing - 12/12/2013, 2:33 PM
@joemomma hell yeah. this show just gets better and better. word of mouth must be helping this show cause everyweek the ratings go up and up. arrow season # is a LOCK if it already wasnt before
JoeMomma29 - 12/12/2013, 2:34 PM
@ BatmanRobin

Imagine if this was on a major Network or Cable man those ratings would be some much higher!
BatmanRobinNightwing - 12/12/2013, 2:34 PM
#3^^^^****
staypuffed - 12/12/2013, 2:36 PM
Arrow is a great [frick]ing show.
Agents of SHIELD ain't got nothin' on it.
Nomis - 12/12/2013, 2:36 PM
"Maybe. Never say never. It'd be cool."

BatmanRobinNightwing - 12/12/2013, 2:36 PM
@joemomma exactly, this show would easily get the ratings if it was on a bigger network. hell its doing great even though its on the cw.
TelaVizion - 12/12/2013, 2:37 PM
Spartacus cast members are gonna take over this show. I bet another will show up for the next season
dckizzle - 12/12/2013, 2:37 PM
I love it bring on more characters
sanyaya - 12/12/2013, 2:38 PM
Such a lame ass show
BatManiac - 12/12/2013, 2:38 PM


ManDeth - 12/12/2013, 2:43 PM
@sanyaya Give it up dude. Hahahaha! No way you're selling that stuff.
sanyaya - 12/12/2013, 2:43 PM
They should just cancel this show
megabatfan - 12/12/2013, 2:45 PM
I don't like the "Olicity" idea & hope they don't go that route. To me, Oliver/ Green Arrow should eventually wind up with Laurel/ Black canary II. The Problem is the way they're writing Laurel's character, she just so sickening to me I really have no wish to see her become BC.
Felicity is just too sweet (& hot), & should she end up in a relationship with Oliver, I doubt very much it'll be a long lasting one, & I really don't want to see her get hurt.
Oh yeah, Arrow...BEST COMIC BOOK TV SERIES EVEEEEEEERRRRRRR!!!
megabatfan - 12/12/2013, 2:48 PM
Oh yeah, guys do you think a small screen Green Lantern is doable? TV budget wise? I mean there are so many sci-fi TV series with lots of alien characters, and decent enough effects. Shouldn't Green Lantern be possible?
This and a Batman TV series is on my wish list. Had I the power, I would make it so
ManDeth - 12/12/2013, 2:54 PM
@OldHardWood I take it some Marvelites are getting scared after the greatness of last nights episode. Lol.
You can post a 1000 of those comments and they are getting you nowhere.

GodzillaKart - 12/12/2013, 2:55 PM
This show has done a fantastic job of addressing its weaknesses and expanding its strengths. Seemingly gone is the 90210 romance bullshit, and up is the action, acting, cameos and expanded universe.

Keep it up, Arrow!
sameoldthing - 12/12/2013, 2:58 PM
Yea..this show brings the goods but the one major flaw is he's not called Green Arrow.

There is no reason he should not be called by his comic book name. None.
Aside from the show runners being asswipes. Get the name right fools!
ForeverPowerful - 12/12/2013, 2:58 PM
My main problem with the show during season 1 was number 6, it seemed too much like a CW show.

But this season has really nailed it. Theres no messy love stories, Oliver keeps his shirt on most of the time, and the effects and the tone have really hit its stride. More power to them.
hierarchy - 12/12/2013, 3:01 PM
If Roy starts using red arrows they would probably begin calling him green arrow to differentiate between who did what. I could see them introducing the green in front on arrow that way.
frieseray - 12/12/2013, 3:04 PM
I'm hoping that later in the season that there's a scene where Slade the business man gives one of his cronies a monologue while staring into a glass promethium armour display
Rokyn - 12/12/2013, 3:07 PM
@Mega
Ehh with a big budget maybe Green Lantern but he should best treated in a movie due to the heavy effects. Batman would work VERY VERY well on TV.

@OldHardWood
I'm 36 years old. I enjoy the show and as well as my "tween" family members. What's the problem with being a "tween"? I know you were one yourself before.
AutoFreek - 12/12/2013, 3:08 PM
O shit O shit O shit! I gotta catch up on this show. I only watched season 1 and I really gotta catch up on all the shit's that happening. Funny how the people I used to argue with on how good this show is are ahead of me XD
dougieisrollingthejays - 12/12/2013, 3:11 PM
I don't know what they do need to do, but they need to change the mask. It just looks awkward. IDK I really wanted the mask but this one isn't very good. Liked the eye paint more, but they do need a mask. and a good one.
Rokyn - 12/12/2013, 3:11 PM
I hope they call him Green Arrow soon and I hope to God Barry's suit is cool with modern tech. I also hope for a DCCU connection somehow and I hope Slade kicks major ass. Oh and can't wait to see Roy and Ollie grow together as partners in crime alongside Diggle and Felicity.
dougieisrollingthejays - 12/12/2013, 3:12 PM
Lol dc is winning? Because of a show that nobody watches? Get real people I love the show but come on.
dougieisrollingthejays - 12/12/2013, 3:12 PM
http://www.tvguide.com/top-tv-shows Come on people get real
dougieisrollingthejays - 12/12/2013, 3:13 PM
Don't argue with "CW" stuff. there are plenty of non cable shows that are getting better ratings and such.
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