I watched the QA panel for Arrow in hopes that they have some sort of plan to get season 3 back on the rails. In my mind this has been the weakest season since the show started overall as none of the characters seem to have any emotional connections and the story arc are not very well defined. Aisha asked some very pointed questions regarding the Ra’s story line and I found Stephen’s answers enlightening. He stated that Ra’s game with Oliver will force Oliver to be much more introspective and in some ways defeated and that Oliver feels that he has indeed failed his city more than he has saved it over the last two years. Stephen made the rather humorous point that “You can only stare broodingly out the window for so long.” At which point Guggenheim replied that he thinks Stephen has a few more brooding stares still in him. It was also stated that the offer Ra’s makes isn’t really an offer as it is more of an order that if Oliver turns down will have serious consequences.
John Barrowman was in his usual humorous form but he stated, and with much emphasis, that Merlyn does truly care for Thea as his daughter and that we will see exactly how deep that love runs in the upcoming episodes. He also said as John, not Malcolm, that he views Malcolm as wishing Oliver was his son instead of Tommy which took Stephen by surprise judging by the expression on his face. Stephen made the point of apologizing to Colin Donnell for that moments later and the entire cast stated they missed Colin on the show. Aisha asked how Merlyn would be affected if Oliver said yes to Ra’s offer and Barrowman answered that it would be very complicated because it would be an unknown as to whether having Oliver in charge would wipe Merlyn’s slate clean with the League. Barrowman touched on another part of Merlyn’s character development by stating that this since Merlyn found out he killed the wrong man in revenge for his wife’s death he has been wondering how he would do things differently if he could go back. Those musings are going to drive some of Merlyn’s choices in the upcoming episodes.
Moving to our wonderful Det. Lance, who they all made the joke about he is the only one who doesn’t know who Arrow is, Paul made the case that Lance is a stronger man than he was when he thought Sara had been taken from him so many years ago and he would handle her actual death and Laurel’s loss of trust with him much differently. He made a great joke that since Lance has no friends in Starling City he’s going to go hang with Joe West in Central City, have some coffee and chat. He also pointed out that the scene where Laurel tells him about Sara was a double pronged emotional hit because Laurel had always been his rock while he was dealing with the loss of Sara, his divorce and subsequent alcoholism and so to know that she had been lying to him for months hit him perhaps even harder than the confirmation that Sara was indeed dead.
Aisha asked Emily about how she views Felicity’s changes this season to which Emily stated that she felt that it was important for Felicity to find support and emotional nourishment outside of Oliver since he has kept her at arms length. We also got confirmation from Greg Berlanti as a result of an Aisha question about personal nemesis of characters that Felicity will be getting a female computer hacking archenemy from Central City. The proposition of more Arrow/Flash crossovers makes me quite happy as those were the best episodes this season. The actress that is playing Felicity’s arch nemesis is an actress who was on The Walking Dead, also named Emily. I am looking forward to seeing how that goes.
Aisha queried Colton about Thea and Roy’s relationship, both he and Willa confirmed that things will be heating up again between the two. (Willa mimed licking Colton’s face which totally flustered him. It was adorable) I wish she had asked more questions about Roy’s arc but I guess we shall have to wait and see.
When it came time to Katie Cassidy’s question I really loved her answer. Aisha asked how she viewed this role since season 2 was such an emotionally draining season for Laurel. Laurel has been such a challenging role to watch but Katie stated that this has been one of the best roles she’s had because the character has gone through so much. She is obviously quite happy to be kicking ass and suiting up but she also stated that even though last season was rough for her she really appreciated how they told the story to get Laurel to become Black Canary. A fan asked Emily and Katie if they like how Laurel and Felicity have been bonding this season and both actresses stated they really love the dynamic that’s been developing between the two women and that it will probably only grow stronger.
On the topic of women Willa got to answer some questions about Thea. A fan admitted that he had rather disliked Thea for the first two seasons but she had become his favorite this season and that followed along with Aisha’s question about her evolution. Willa stated that she, like the fan, sort of found Thea a bit off putting the first two seasons but has loved where they have taken her. There was veiled hints that she may be joining Team Arrow, Aisha asked directly and Berlanti and Guggenheim took the Fifth, saying nothing, which probably means she will be in the Arrow lair at some point.
Then there’s steadfast Diggle, Aisha’s question was about if him being out with Oliver getting captured and who knows what else will affect his relationship with Lyla. I think David had the best answer of everyone and that was that Dig had reconciled his own island years ago. As a result of that, all of the problems Oliver has with pushing people away and lying was something he didn’t have to do anymore because Dig knows who and what he is. He knows what he signed up for and he is perfectly fine with where that may take him.
The panel was filled with just enough info and teaser to give me some hope for the rest of season 3 and it was wonderful to see the entire cast together laughing and having a great time.
This panel was much less forthcoming with teasers about the upcoming episodes. They pretty much avoided any direct answers to anything regarding Reverse Flash or the rumored evolution of other Star Labs folks into Meta Humans. One gets the feeling that because Flash’s ratings and viewership is much better than Arrow’s right now they are keeping many more things on lock down to keep us watching.
The answers we did get, which wasn’t many, was that things are going to be changing pretty rapidly for the remainder of the season. There were hints that something pretty major is going to happen with Eddie, soon Iris will know who Flash is and the fallout from Joe and Barry keeping that from her will be rather devastating, as one would think. Candice Patton made a rather large faux pas on the part of Iris when she answered Aisha’s question about what would happen when Iris found out. Candice stated that since Joe and Barry were the only two men in Iris’s life, that to find out they had been lying to her straight to her face will cause huge repercussions for all three of them. Rick Cosnett, who plays Eddie and was sitting right next to her stared at her and said “Hey, what about me?” Candice lost it and was completely embarrassed, Grant looked a bit proud as if to say “See, Iris and Barry, all the way.” and Jesse Martin just busted out laughing. Rick actually changed seats for a few moments with Andrew Kreisburg to sit farther away from Candice. She managed to save it by saying “The two men she grew up with…” Probably one of the funniest parts of the panel.
Aisha also brought up the point that in both Arrow and Flash there are two strong women who play incredibly talented science based characters. She asked if that had been by design on the part of Berlanti and Kreisberg or not. Berlanti said absolutely and that they have always wanted these shows to be diverse and to mirror back the wide variety of people that love comics and sci fi shows. He also stated that if he hadn’t made strong women characters both his wife and his mom would have yelled at him for it.
The most touching part of the panel was when a young boy got up and recited the entire opening narration from the show. Grant was stunned and very moved by obviously having such a large affect on a child. When the boy finished he stated that Grant will always be his Barry Allen. I think Grant was close to tears at that point and was restraining himself from running off stage and giving the boy a hug. The entire cast was moved by it as well. They, and the rest of the audience, gave the boy a standing ovation when he finished. When the camera zoomed in on the boy his face was very serious and you could see he only had eyes for Grant. His recitation of the opening of the show was incredibly important to him and from what I could tell Grant had kept his eyes on the boy’s face the entire time. It was very moving to see what the show has already accomplished in winning fans. Grant admitted that he didn’t even have the opening narration memorized. It was great way to round out the panel.
I hope you all like my little recap! Until next time!