‘Arrow’ Writers on the Midseason Finale & ‘The Flash’

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Arrow season 2 Oliver in mask Arrow Writers on the Midseason Finale & The Flash


Warning: Spoilers for Arrow‘s midseason finale ahead!


Before Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) came home after five years on a not-so-deserted island, life in Starling City was fairly simple. Now, one and a half seasons later, Arrow fans have seen a veritable cavalcade of comic book villains and heroes, both major and minor, emerge on the city’s streets to wage war against the vigilante – or to take his side.

It’s a war that remained fairly grounded in reality last season, when no one had any superpowers and instead had to rely upon the skills that were achievable within human limitations. Thanks to Sebastian Blood’s (Kevin Alejandro) borrowed miracle serum, however, season 2 has seen the arrival of Starling City’s first superpowered villain in the preternaturally strong Cyrus Gold.

Luckily the good guys aren’t wasting any time in playing catch-up, as this week’s midseason finale of Arrow saw Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) caught up in a Hollywood science cocktail of brightly colored chemicals, a lightning storm and a blast from a malfunctioning particle accelerator. As the red spark travelling under his skin indicates, all these elements have come together to give him the super-speed that will turn him into iconic DC superhero The Flash, just in time to film the pilot of his own spin-off show.

The Flash origins in Arrow season 2 Arrow Writers on the Midseason Finale & The Flash

This raises a tricky dilemma for Arrow co-creators Andrew Kreisberg and Greg Berlanti: should the show stick with human heroes and villains, or go off exploring into the more fantastical reaches of the DC universe? The answer, it seems, is that The Flash will deal with the latter, while Arrow sticks mostly with the former.

In an interview with CBR, Kreisberg implied that this will be one of the primary differences between the two shows:

“We’ll want to keep ‘Arrow’ as distinctive as possible, and ‘Flash’ as distinctive as possible. Part of the fun will be how those two things play out in both shows, if we get that opportunity.

“In the same way that ‘Arrow’ was conducive to bringing on characters like Deadshot and the Huntress and some of the more grounded people, hopefully with ‘The Flash’ there’s a way to bring on some of the more fantastical characters, that will probably still go through the grounding lens with which we view everything. But we could tackle some of the bigger villains, and possibly heroes. There’s a hint of a major character in the pilot.

“But it’s always important to remember — like with ‘Arrow,’ everybody wants Batman to come on and whatnot, but Arrow has to be the coolest person on ‘Arrow.’ The same thing with ‘The Flash’ — Barry has to be the coolest person. If we’re lucky enough to get to do more past the pilot, it’ll really be about making sure that the audience loves The Flash, and Barry Allen, and Grant Gustin, as much as we do.”

Assuming that The Flash does end up getting a full season order and Barry Allen goes off to head up his own show, that still leaves Oliver to deal with the multiple people who have been given super-strength thanks to the Mirakuru. Blood’s administrations of its already have a pretty high body count, so Kreisberg cleared up exactly what the magic ingredient is that allowed Slade, Cyrus and Roy to survive it:

“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. “

Slade Wilson Manu Bennett with eyepatch Arrow Writers on the Midseason Finale & The Flash

Finally, the showrunner touched on the subject of the Arrow’s new mask, custom-made for him by Barry and the final result of more than 50 designs that Arrow‘s costume department came up with before finding the right one. Until now, Oliver has managed to get away with nothing more than a smear of green paint over his eyes, and this poor identity concealment was apparently a key part of his character arc:

“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.”

The mask also means that Oliver can stop staring at the floor whenever he’s trying to talk to people – that can’t be good for his posture. Check out our review of the midseason finale to find out if we thought it was a worthy way to finish off the year, and share your thoughts on the direction that Arrow is taking in the comments.


Arrow will return on Wednesday, January 15th, 2014 with ‘Blast Radius’ on The CW.

Source: CBR

Follow H. Shaw-Williams on Twitter @HSW3K
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  1. Small nitpick, how come the eyeliner magically appears on the mask?
    Love the show and mask but hate that detail.

    • I know TV/movies like to keep the eyes visible because it helps with the humanization and showing of emotions but they really should have done the white eyepieces like the comic.

      You could add in some cool technology with that (like Batman’s sonar vision in TDK).

      • Always wanted to see that white in the eyes also. Cgi could do that easily also.

    • I noticed that as well but I don’t read too much into it. I am sure they tried both ways and went with what looks better. Without the paint it wouldn’t look as cool or have that comic book feel.. Did you have the same problem every time Christian Bale.. or any previous Batman, took his mask off and miraculously had no paint around his eyes?

  2. Man that pic of Slade with the eye patch just so bad ass. It makes me a bit worried of whom his gonna kill that Oly cares about.

    • I have this nagging feeling that it’s going to be Thea, which may lead to Roy becoming Speedy. Please, correct me if I’m wrong.

      • That is what I have been thinking since Oliver called Thea “Speedy”. But obviously I did not know that Slade would be a big baddy. So I think she would be killed and Slade could be good for the job. I support your idea.

  3. I cant wait to see flash in action

  4. The funny part about that whole mask thing is that – just like with Clark Kent’s glasses – everyone who knows this guys’s face (basically everybody, because he was on TV as Oliver Queen more than once) would immediately recognize him despite the mask. It simply doesn’t cover enough facial features to make him unrecognizable. So, mask or smudges, it shouldn’t make any difference when dealing with other people. Ah well… it’s comic book logic. ;)

    • anybody is gonna recognized him regardless …lol

    • Generally its actually better to covert he bottom half of your face than the top half since it covers more actual space and breaks up the lines a lot more.

      Buuuut.. that would look terrible and honestly.. style over logic wins in comics and TV.

  5. I think it’s really cool what they’re trying to do. I think we’ll get some more superpowered characters, but probably nothing like the Flash. Just like in Batman stories, where there are some superpowered characters, but their powers are still subtle. Like Solomon Grandy or Deathstroke.

  6. Im calling it now: Professor Zoom will be the main villain of the show and can peopel PLEASE tell me why people think that Professor Zoom killed Barrys mom

    • He described the murder of his mother by someone who can reach the speedforce, hence professor zoom (reverse flash), when he said he got moved 20 feet away as a kid the day of the murder.

      • 20 feet? You meant blocks, right?

    • Because he killed his mom in the comics.

  7. I really like the show. my biggest gripe with it is the mask. I think that he should get one that hides his identity more.

    • maybe you should write DC and asks them to change evey charachter that wears a similar mask for the reason you mentioned…. like all robins, nightwing, most Green Lanterns…… and I won’t even mention the ones that don’t wear a mask…or glasses.

  8. I’m glad the mask makes people upset.

    It looks awesome, now he just needs the Van Dyke.

    • Yep, I couldn’t put my finger on what he was missing. That’s it.

    • thats not very easy to hide

  9. Now he looks legit !

  10. Also just a thought, every time I see the pic of Ollie with the mask I keep staring directly at the mask. So could this be ppl’s reaction in Arrow’s world, would make sense wouldn’t it lol.

  11. It’s funny–these producers worry about making the show “cartoony” or “Superhero-y” when that is precisely what people get the most excited about when you read the comments sections of articles like these. The only folks that don’t want superheroes are the producers.

    “In the same way that ‘Arrow’ was conducive to bringing on characters like Deadshot and the Huntress and some of the more grounded people, hopefully with ‘The Flash’ there’s a way to bring on some of the more fantastical characters, that will probably still go through the grounding lens with which we view everything.”

    It’s like they are clueless! No one wants grounded superheroes! They introduce the anything but grounded in reality Flash and it gives their show a 22% bump! Hollywood really doesn’t get the superhero thing–when they do something fun it seems as if it’s completely by accident.

  12. Thought the origin sequence was done well but i wanted it to be a bit more epic, maybe more chemicals, more slow mo and a bigger blast.

  13. Guess not many people caught the Solomon Grundy quote towards the end when he was referring to Cyrus death. “Died on Saturday, buried on Sunday”

    • I didz

    • I caught that. I was freaking out when Diggle read, “Solomon Grundy, born on a Monday.”

  14. I’ve not enjoyed the Barry Allen arc to be honest, didn’t like the actor and I thought that the lightning-chemicals scene was out of place, it felt like a sharp decline in Arrow’s realism. The mirakuru thing is okay, at least it has some kind of pseudo-scientific explanation but that was over the top for me in comparison.

    Won’t stop me impatiently waiting for the rest of season 2 of course.

  15. @ foxxstory: My gripe applies to all of the characters you mentioned and to the one you specifically alluded to: Superman/ Clark Kent. As to Arrow, the producer specifically mentioned how he wants to be more grounded and reality based than other shows. It seems logical that if there was a real Arrow roaming the streets, one of the first things he would do is protect his identity better by wearing a better mask.

    @ cameron: Having a gripe with something doesn’t necessarily mean that one is upset because of it.

  16. This episode was completely bonkers in all the best ways. All but one episode this season has left me screaming “Holy crap!!!” at the screen. Love it! Can’t wait for January.

  17. Glad The Hood has The Mask. Hope Flash thing goes off well, as I love The Flash. However, it may take me a bit to get around not thinking of this version of the much beloved “Barry Allen” as “Baby Allen”!

    • “Actually he likes being called The Arrow now” quote from one of the episodes, not word for word but close lol.

  18. I hope they at least use Barry/Flash in the second half of the season. It’d be cool to finally see a superhero team up

    • me too, i’ve been hearing rumors about they aren’t going to use him in the second half and just introduce him as flash in the pilot they have for the spinoff. Though it would suck to tease the fans like that.

  19. The one thing I have noticed about the drug “Mirakuru” is that it sounds an awful lot like Hourman’s drug “Miraco” which also gave tremendous powers and strength to who ever takes the pill for at least an hour. It just seems to be pretty close. As matter of fact, the first time I heard it mentioned in Arrow, I started automatically thinking about how they might bring in Rex Tyler, who is the creator of Miraco.

  20. I love the show except for that horrible thing on Mommy Queen’s upper lip. I want to burn it away.

  21. Finally a DC character getting spot light other then Superman and Batman.. There are alot of other super heroes that have better powers and skills . k lol Captain Marvel series but that wont happen a kid getting hit by lighting in the chest then turning into a man. no that can’t be cool .. really with the right affects it could be great.. but great Arrow Season, and now Flash. Love the show, keep it up :)!