In the middle of The CW’s first season of Arrow, the show delivered a show with such explosive action, big character reveals, and overall intense stakes (especially for being so early in the show’s run), that it prompted a “Holy sh*tballs!” Tweet-fest between the cast as they received their copies of the episode script. If that could happen in the middle of the season’s run, then Colin Donnell promised us that “Holy sh*tballs isn’t going to cover it” when it comes to the season finale.
“I start the season finale chained up and left for dead,” Stephen Amell said of “Sacrifice” when we caught up with him at a special Q&A at the network in Los Angeles.
“I am chained up by Mr. Barrowman. Now, he is not wearing a mask, and neither am I– although I don’t ever wear a mask– but yeah, everything is out in the open between us.”
Clearly now Mr. Queen is going to really regret saving the senior Merlyn’s life just a few episodes back!
The CW granted Arrow an extra episode for its first season, bringing the total up to 23. The show is clearly doing everything to treat that extra episode as a bonus they are proud to have been given and want to feel worthy of deserving, not merely a piece of filler or time to tell a fun one-off part of the story. Amell previously teased just how big episode 22 is– big enough to feel like the finale– so that should say something about the stakes of the actual finale, as well.
And that happens across both sides to the story: Starling City, as well as the island.
“Just as we’re ramping up to a season finale in the present day story, we’re doing the same on the island, so the island gets its own season finale, and we’re driving towards that. The connections between the present and the past really become more thematic,” series executive producer Marc Guggenheim said.
“The moment that ends the last flashback in season one was a moment that we pitched to the network way back at the beginning of the show. Someone at the network asked me just last week [about it], and we have a plan for it; it’s still very much a part of the show.”
Admittedly, it’s still a bit early to know much about where the show is going to leave us in May, though we were promised that despite having a cliffhanger, the episode would not leave us wondering if not everyone would survive the season! Aside from that and the showdown between Starling City’s two archers, another key element that Guggenheim shared was that they were planning to bring the season “full circle” and therefore get back to the Oliver-Laurel-Tommy love triangle a bit.
“You know what the fans love more than Felicity and Oliver or Laurel and Oliver? Love triangles!” Amell said.
Though Tommy (Donnell) and Laurel (Katie Cassidy) have been dating for the majority of the season, he has been increasingly distracted by the knowledge that his friend is the vigilante and that he has guarded a secret with his life, only for Oliver to not stand by him the same way when he was accused of something horrible. Meanwhile, The Hood rescued Laurel once again, and she was increasingly more excited by his presence, passion, and heroicism. She doesn’t yet know that her ex and her savior are one and the same, but her feelings for both are complicated, and Tommy knows that. Donnell admitted that Tommy hasn’t been “the boyfriend he could be” and that will cause some tension, too.
“Laurel has this fascination with the vigilante, and now I know that the vigilante and the man that is still in love with her is one and the same person, so it doesn’t really bode well for things going well,” Colin Donnell said.
Oliver, meanwhile, has taken some strides in Laurel’s eyes because of how he has opened up to her– from showing her his scars, to telling her he no longer wanted to be on an island, to simply putting her best interest ahead of his own.
“It’s undeniable, and this isn’t a secret: Oliver loves Laurel. She sustained him for five years on an island. He practically bore a hole with his vision through that picture he has of her,” Amell said.
“They’re just circling back towards each other, but there is a line that he’s not willing to cross with Laurel because of what he’s trying to do as The Hood, and as long as he’s trying to do that, he won’t go after her. Now, if he thought that maybe he didn’t have to do that anymore, he’d be knocking on her door.”
And of course a show as fast-moving and explosive as Arrow is going to deliver on satisfying answers (starting with what The Undertaking is all about), but still leave the fans wanting more and eager for season two to start already.
“There’s a wonderful tease at the beginning of the finale with respect to origins that Oliver has that we don’t know about yet– that have happened after the conclusion of season one on the island and certainly before the beginning of the pilot. Really cool stuff!” Amell said.
“I love the season finales and just the end of seasons in general that tie everything off, and you go ‘Wow, where is it going to go?’ And then just when you think there’s nothing, you sprinkle in a few little things. So whether it’s Diggle’s involvement with a certain organization that we’re seeing over the next couple of episodes or me confronting Roy with Thea right there in a particular scene, we are servicing a lot of our storylines for season one [but] you do start to see little Easter eggs along the way for season two.”
Arrow airs on The CW on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. The first season finale entitled “Sacrifice” airs on May 15 2013. Be sure to check out our video chat with Amell on Oliver’s female relationships and Donnell on Tommy and Laurel.
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