SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen Wednesday’s midseason finale of Arrow, do not read on!
Barry Allen is on the welcome mat of his Flash destiny as of the end of tonight’s mid-season finale of CW’s Arrow. But the moment — where Allen was embraced by a jolt of electricity — was far from the only big development in the hour.
Below, executive producers Andrew Kreisberg, Greg Berlanti, and Colton Haynes break down all of the episode’s biggest twists.
ON WHAT’S NEXT FOR BARRY ALLEN:
…and just like that, Barry is the Flash.
But because producers recently nixed plans to make a backdoor pilot in the 20th episode of Arrow — opting instead to do a standalone Flash pilot — where does that leave the story of Barry Allen in the Arrow-verse? “In the back half of the year, you hear about what happened to him in the way that you’re hearing now about S.T.A.R. labs on the periphery,” assures Berlanti.
Meanwhile, he says, they’re still determining whether Allen will appear in episode 20 in some way but current plans have the episode not diverging from the action of the season. “In some ways making that the backdoor pilot made things a little harder because we had to make a right turn from our ongoing story to incorporate that. In some ways, this has freed us to take the Flash and just do the Flash separately,” Kreisberg says.
Another benefit? They have a little more time to introduce the Flash’s suit. “We knew that if we did episode 20 as its own standalone episode, we’d have to find a real reason for people to — in addition to the quality of the show — to come back in episode 1 [of Flash], ” said Berlanti. “When you make a standalone pilot , you sort of have to remake the pilot [in the first episode of the other show]. For notes on how difficult this is, ask [Vampire Diaries/Originals creator] Julie Plec. So we thought the suit would be a perfect way to introduce that in time span between [episode] 20 and [episode] 1 [of Flash]. That will be in the pilot episode now.”
ON ROY BEING INJECTED WITH MIRAKURU
“One of the things you’ll find as we go along is that it’s a deep-seeded anger inside of you that lets you survive the Mirakuru transformation, which is something Slade had, which is why he lived, and it’s why Roy lived,” teases Kreisberg of Roy’s upcoming troubles. “One of the fun things that will be happening 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 and that’s going to take some twists and turns that will hopefully surprise people and they’ll enjoy.”
Haynes adds that Roy’s changing demeanor is also going to have an effect on the “mini-dream team,” comprised of Roy, Thea, and Sin. “Roy is now going to be so volatile with these new-found abilities, if you will. He’s going to have to be on a very strict watch,” he says. “Roy’s going to have to spend a lot of time with Arrow — even more than he has — to be monitored and to see if he’s going to go down the right path or not.”
ON TOMMY’S CAMEO:
When the producers decided the episode would find Oliver visited by ghosts from his past, it was a no-brainer to bring back Oliver’s late BFF Tommy (Colin Donnell) for a visit. “When we were breaking the story [Berlanti and I] literally had the same idea at the same time,” Kreisberg said. “Colin is such a friend of the show and was so important to the success of season 1. And so much of this season is based around that character and his loss and what a hole he left in the show. So it really fit with this season’s arc of Oliver’s journey from going to vigilante to hero. And the person that he feels like he failed.”
ON THE MASK:
EW was the first to bring fans a look at Oliver’s new mask, and when deciding to incorporate that element into the show, says Berlanti, they wanted to make sure it was a moment to remember. “We like to think of the episodes as ‘the one where…’and ‘the one where he gets his mask’ is such an iconic moment,” he says. But even with all the thought that went into the mask — they played with more than 50 designs — the execution was not without its small complications. “Obviously we’ve talked a lot about the show being about his transition from vigilante to hero, and we always thought of the grease paint as coming from the island and as it turns out, we of course realize [after making the mask that] he still needs a little grease paint [around his eyes],” Berlanti says, laughing. “So for all the audience members who have asked, ‘When does he stop and put on the makeup?’ when he goes after the bad guys, he now has to stop, put on the mask, and put a little bit of makeup right in here before he goes after the bad guys.”
ON BADDIE SLADE:
“I would say [he's] very much the drive of the second half of the season,” says Berlanti. “Last year, we had Malcolm as sort of a single bad guy and twisting and turning that. This year, we’ve got a two-pronged approach to the bad guy.” And Oliver’s knowledge about only one of those bad guys, he says, “helps us change the rhythms of the back half of the year from what we would have done last year.”