After last week’s Arrow, in which we discovered that The Black Canary was trained by Ra’s al Ghul, it’s safe to say that Starling City’s newest crime-fighter (with an affinity for leather) isn’t leaving town anytime soon. After all, she did kill the messenger Ra’s al Ghul sent to retrieve her. So who is this masked vigilante? Well, we’re about to find out.
Tonight’s episode will both reveal the Canary’s identity and introduce us to yet another villain-type in town, a man called The Mayor, who shows up just in time to cause a little (or a lot of) bloodshed. We caught up with Emily Bett Rickards to talk about tonight’s episode, Felicity’s new-found confidence, and what will happen when The Flash starts flirting with Felicity in front of Oliver:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Everyone’s talking about this big Black Canary reveal, so is this the type of situation where the audience knows more than the characters, or who’s going to find this out?
EMILY BETT RICKARDS: Well, the audience doesn’t know as much actually as they think they do. There’s a big twist with the Canary, but I think it’s really special. It will be fun. The audience gets to grow with the trio — I’ll specify that — with Diggle and Felicity and Oliver. And [The Black Canary] does make a lot more appearances, and I think she is a really fun storyline that’s going to be really exciting to watch. I’m really excited to see a lot of it, because I haven’t gotten to see a lot of it. I’ve read it, but I haven’t seen a lot of it, and I’m really excited.
How will the reveal affect the core team?
Well first, having her show up is a little jolting, and especially because she helped us. That’s questionable because we had Helena in the first season, and she was not helpful at all. She was everything but, and she got involved with Oliver too, and it was the whole sleeping with the enemy and everything you don’t want. And then the fear that the Canary is going to do that again is at the top of their minds. She shows up, she fights, she’s an incredible fighter, but she helped us, so who is she? What is she doing? Do we thank her? How do we find out who she is? And all of those things are really important and all of them are really shocking and scary, but not. Because she helped us, it’s like “What do we do?”
Is there a big scene for Felicity tonight? I feel like she’s been ballsier this season.
Yes, I agree. She has more confidence. I think that comes with having a purpose too. People become stronger once they find a purpose and something they are totally dedicated too. The confidence comes with that, and even getting more of a voice. In episode 3 she did stand up to Oliver for Diggle and wasn’t really backing down, and I don’t believe that she is going to back down. She knows who she is and they’re in a lot of high stakes all the time, and it’s very important for her not to cower away.
Can we expect more of the same tonight in terms of her stepping up to the plate?
She gets tangled in puppet strings. She needs to walk a very thin line, dance around [the] episode a little bit. She needs to cover. She’s fully covering almost the entire episode.
So she’s covering while we meet The Mayor. Would you say he’s a worthy adversary? Or will he be a one-and-done villain?
We’ll get to see him again. And he has really strong beliefs and nothing will get it the way of it. Nothing. So there will be blood, because nothing will get in the way of his beliefs. There will be blood. Blood, blood, blood.
What episode are you all working on now?
We are in episode 10 and we have a table read for episode 11 tomorrow. It’s really crazy.
Is there any major Olicity moment by midseason? Could her flirtation with The Flash open Oliver’s eyes?
I think that the opening of the eyes will come, but he’s an extremely stubborn character. He is! He’s a very stubborn individual. He’s got very hard lines, very hard boundaries and a lot of things are in black and white, and that’s what Felicity and Diggle do for the team is they create perspective, as they all do for each other. And yeah, we get The Flash to come in, which is really, really fun, and he’s flirty and Felicity and him hit it off really well, and we see that the passion sort of escalates in a really honest way between how Oliver reacts to that. I think is a pretty honest representation of how those situations are really always uncomfortable and they make you feel distraught and completely “Why am I feeling this way?” That sort of thing. And we get to see them have a little bit of a fight, her and Oliver, so that’s always fun.
Arrow airs tonight at 8 p.m. on The CW.