The CW Teases New Seasons of ARROW, SUPERGIRL and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW

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With the introduction of SUPERGIRL to The CW, the network will have four shows from the DC universe on its schedule in the fall. This will also allow for a massive four-part crossover episode featuring characters from all four shows. But before that happens, the shows will all return for their new seasons.

Ahead of its TCA presentation today, The CW has dropped some spoilers for three of its DC shows.

ARROW (Season 5 premieres October 5): Newly appointed Mayor Oliver Queen finds himself challenged as he fights on two fronts for the future of Star City. With Diggle back in the military and Thea adamant about hanging up her hood as Speedy, Team Green Arrow is down to just Oliver and Felicity – but they’re no longer the only vigilantes in town. Green Arrow’s public defeat of Damien Darhk at the end of Season Four has inspired a new crop of masked heroes to step up and defend the city, though their painful inexperience makes them obstacles, rather than allies, in the field. The arrival of a deadly new adversary will force Oliver to confront questions about his own legacy, both as mayor and as the Green Arrow. Read more spoilers from Comic-Con.

SUPERGIRL (Season 2 premieres October 10): Now, in Season Two, Kara has left the safety of being Cat Grant’s assistant in order to figure out what she really wants to do, while as Supergirl she continues to work at the DEO, protecting the citizens of National City and searching for Jeremiah and Cadmus. Along the way, she will team up with Superman (Tyler Hoechlin) to battle new villains, as she strives to balance her personal life with her life as a superhero. Read more spoilers from Comic-Con.

LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (Season 2 premieres October 13): After the defeat of the immortal villain Vandal Savage and the corrupt Time Masters who colluded with him, a new threat emerges. Dr. Nate Heywood (Nick Zano), an unconventional and charming historian, is thrust into the action upon making a shocking discovery – the Legends are scattered throughout time.

Nate must find a way to rescue season one’s beloved team of heroes and rogues, including billionaire inventor Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh), who has created an exo-suit with the power to shrink him to miniscule size, as the Atom; Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), the White Canary, a trained assassin; Professor Martin Stein (Victor Garber) and Jefferson “Jax” Jackson (Franz Drameh), who together form the meta-human Firestorm; and Mick Rory (Dominic Purcell), aka Heat Wave, a career criminal. When the Legends encounter the J.S.A (the Justice Society of America, the precursor to DC’s Justice League) in the 1940s, Amaya Jiwe (Maisie Richardson- Sellers), aka Vixen, joins the team. While the team reunites, a mystery looms – the fate of former captain Rip Hunter (Arthur Darvill).

Once reunited, the Legends continue their new mission to protect the timeline from temporal aberrations – unusual changes to history that spawn potentially catastrophic consequences. When Nate, the grandson of J.S.A. member Commander Steel, unexpectedly finds himself with powers, he must overcome his own insecurities and find the hero within himself. Ultimately, the Legends will clash with foes both past and present, to save the world from a mysterious new threat. Read more spoilers from Comic-Con.

ARROW Comic-Con Panel and Trailer: The Cast and Producers Tease Season 5 and Reveal New Footage

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Season 4 of ARROW ended on such a bittersweet note. We lost Laurel and Team Arrow has been disbanded, following the events of the finale. Dahrk was defeated, but Diggle and Thea begged off the team in order to heal their wounds and rethink  their life choices. Oliver and Felicity were the only ones left standing and, with Oliver starting his new job as Mayor of Star City, we are all so curious to find out how everything is going to play out.

ARROW stars Stephen Amell, David Ramsey, Emily Bett Rickards, Willa Holland, Paul Blackthorne, and Echo Kellum — along with executive producers Wendy Mericle and Mac Guggenheim — took to the stage at San Diego Comic-Con to tease what’s coming up in season 5.

Thanks to a new preview for season 5, we know that Oliver will be training new vigilantes. We were also told that the new big bad for the year will be known as Prometheus, but it’s not the Prometheus from Justice League. He will fit into the theme of “legacy” for the year.

Other highlights:

  • Katie Cassidy will be appearing in episode 5.01 of ARROW. She is also not gone from the DC universe and will be appearing in ARROW, FLASH and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW in the future.
  • Amell said there was an extreme version of Oliver in season 1 and a reactionary Oliver in season 2 after the death of Tommy. But now Oliver is back to the mission of honoring what his father asked him to do and protect Star City. It might not be the end of the show, but it’s the end of a five-year journey. And if they do this year right, they can start anew in season 6.
  • The 100th episode will be episode 5.08 and it will be chapter 2 of the three-part crossover. And then episode 5.09 will be the mid-season finale.
  • Rickards said that Felicity will be dealing with a lot of bottled-up emotions in season 5. She’s holding on to the guilt of killing 10,000 people and trying to deal with that.
  • At the beginning of season 5, Diggle is with special forces in Chechnya. He misses the team, but he’s still dealing with the tragic death of Black Canary and the death of his brother. During THE FLASH panel they also revealed that he will be affected by the Flashpoint storyline.
  • We’ll be finding out a lot more about Curtis this year, especially with respect to his marriage. He wants to become a vigilante and start fighting crime. At the same time, he’s got this husband at home who will start to notice something is up and it’s going to raise some questions.
  • In season 4, Thea went through a lot and in season 5 she’ll be helping Oliver out in different ways, according to Holland. He’s a vigilante moonlighting as a mayor, so it sounds like Thea will be helping Oliver at City Hall. Amell said that Oliver’s focus is on being a vigilante and Thea is carrying all the water as mayor.
  • Malcolm will be wearing a lot of different hats across the DC shows next season.
  • What’s in store for Oliver and Felicity in season 5? “It’s still a partnership,” Mericle said. Their relationship is a bit ambiguous, but the fans will find out more.

ARROW will return on Wednesday, October 5 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW. 

ARROW Roundtable: Season 4 In Review and Looking Ahead to Season 5

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ARROW ended season 4 on a very bittersweet note and left fans around the world with endless questions. Team Arrow is basically no more, with only Oliver and Felicity still standing; Dig is drowning in guilt for everything he has done – including killing his brother and, inadvertently contributing to Laurel’s death; Thea asked for some time off to reassess her life choices and Oliver is now mayor of Star City.

So much has happened and I am sure we are going to deal with the fallout of it all when we start season 5. With San Diego Comic-Con right around the corner, I got some friends and fellow ARROW fans to discuss what happened in season 4. It is time for us to look back and talk about what worked and what didn’t, so we can get some answers from The Powers That Be and the cast in San Diego this weekend.

They got together. They got engaged. Oliver was an idiot. They broke up. What are your thoughts on Olicity this season and what do you expect for them in season 5?

Luciana Mangas: I was so, so excited about Olicity when season 4 started. They had so much potential – what with the sizzling chemistry between Emily Bett Rickards and Stephen Amell – and they did alright for the first few episodes of the season. It was the honeymoon phase. We were just as in love with them as they were with one another, and things were pretty fantastic for the first seven episodes.

And then that godforsaken crossover happened.

There were so many things that didn’t work with that episode and we will get to them in a minute, but this was the moment where we all knew Olicity was doomed. And I understand that it’s a drama show and that they just couldn’t let Oliver and Felicity just be together and not add unnecessary melodrama to their story, but they did it in the worst possible way.

The problem wasn’t even that they introduced the plot line that Oliver was a father. No, the problem here was that they had Oliver do a complete reversal to season 1!Oliver and erased all that amazing growth and development that they had built over the course of the other three seasons. The fact that he didn’t tell Felicity right away about his son was the proverbial nail in the coffin and we were all just waiting for it all to crash and burn. And then he went ahead and proposed to her, while keeping something major about his life a secret, and if Dahrk hadn’t kidnapped William when he did, he wouldn’t even have told her.

So now we have two amazing characters and a fractured relationship. I can only hope that – in the wake of Laurel’s unexpected death – they can find the strength to pick up the pieces and build themselves back up and find their way back to each other.

Shana Lieberman: Olicity was…not handled well. At all. I can’t even begin to explain just how horribly this relationship was managed this season. Yo, ARROW writers: What were you thinking?

Start the season out with a happy couple? Good, good. That’s nice to see on television once in a blue moon.

Add a dash of angst? Sure, sure. TV writers are totally convinced that happy couples don’t keep viewers engaged or whatever, so manufactured drama for the sake of drama is standard practice. I’m over that mindset and that kind of sloppy writing, but whatever. That’s par for the course. I’ll let it slide.

But the particular way the relationship angst — if you can even call it that — was created? No. Just no. Please…no. Oliver lied to Felicity for no discernible reason other than that his babymama asked him to. I get that he wanted to be able to have a relationship with his kid, but if Oliver was going to be a big, fat Liar McLiarson, he could’ve lied to Babymama Whatshername instead of Felicity. Like, “sure, sure. I won’t tell anyone,” and then go home to have a real discussion with Felicity, the woman he’s in love with and supposedly going to marry. Even though New!Oliver would still have been following in Original Oliver’s dishonest footsteps, this would have been the better option.

Instead, viewers were supposed to not only swallow Oliver’s lies but also listen to various other characters both supporting and even encouraging those lies. Are you kidding me?

Felicity was absolutely right to walk away, but the ARROW writers chose to make it seem like she was the bad guy in all of this for, you know, not liking that the man she was planning on marrying had lied to her for months. And even when other people found out his secret, he still perpetuated his lies against her.

Oh. And about other characters finding out about Oliver’s secret love child? If it was that easy for them to do so, then the whole lie was even more pointless.

Felicity Smoak deserved better. I’m not sure Oliver Queen did, seeing as how he is completely incapable of learning from past mistakes; but Felicity and the ARROW viewers certainly deserved better.

Meredith Zylberberg: The season started out so promising for Olicity. Fans were excited about the prospect of ARROW bucking the tendency to insert drama for drama’s sake. The Olicity fandom, by and large, was so sure that this couple could conquer it all. This couple wouldn’t lie to each other, this couple could overcome obstacles together. And yes, it started that way. But the Baby Mama Drama storyline just…messed it all up.

It was super refreshing to watch this couple communicate, and argue and fight but eventually talk it through and figure it out. It was so awesome to watch them act as a team within the team. And there were so many ways to handle that entire secret kid storyline that would have made more sense to the characters and the relationship and the dynamic that the show has built. As it stands now – the breakup had to happen because of the way the secret child stuff happened. It had to. But as a big time Olicity fan, I feel very let down that the storyline was made to play out this way at all. I have read no shortage of articles outlining much more interesting and creative ways it could have been handled – but the show fell into the trap of drawing out the drama and the angst for no apparent reason other than drawing it out.

Time and time again Olicity fans hear that other viewers don’t want the “soap opera stuff.” But the thing is – neither do Olicity fans. I can’t speak for an entire fandom, but as someone actively involved, someone who speaks to and hears from thousands of other Olicity fans – what fans of this couple want is a united duo who weather challenges and storms together. The relationship doesn’t need to be the main storyline. At all. ARROW is a show about action and mystery and heroes. But Oliver’s relationship with Felicity is important, it makes him stronger, and it humanizes him. Plus – the chemistry between Amell and Rickards is almost distracting in how sizzling it is. It’s a shame that the show gave in to bad tropes and overdone drama, rather than playing up the strength this relationship provides.

I hope season 5 rights this wrong, and allows these actors/characters to do what they do best – play off each other, together, as a united team.

Lizzie Lanuza: Look, I love Olicity. I loved what they did at the beginning of the season with them, and I even appreciate what they tried to do at the end of it. I just can’t condone what they did in the middle.

Because, holy mess, Batman. That was painful. Painful to see Oliver regress for no discernable reason other than the writers needed some artificial drama. Painful to see fans turn on Felicity for acting like a normal human being with feelings and walking away. Painful to see a couple that, at the beginning of the season, looked like they were on their way to providing us with one of the few examples or a mature, functional, adult relationship, become just another on-off couple.

Painful.

Do I think they’re done for good? Not by a long-shot. Do I hope the writers take this opportunity to actually develop the good parts, the couple that knew how to communicate, the Oliver that treated Felicity like a partner in life and work, the Felicity that talked about her issues instead of bottling them up and letting them blind her? Yes. Just because they screwed up in Season 4 doesn’t mean they have to keep screwing up. They can learn from their mistakes.

People live and love and suffer and go through everyday things without breaking up. Sometimes people even go through crazy, life-changing things without parting ways. Couples become stronger together. And I hope the writers have learned this lesson and that they’re working to build back Olicity to then not break them up again. We’d rather see them facing the challenges together than apart – we really would .

Christy Spratlin: This season has been rough on me and my feelings for Olicity. They are probably my favorite ship out of all the ships (and I’m a big shipper so that’s a pretty big deal) but this season has really been a mess for them.

The beginning of the season was great. They were together, they were happy, they were cute, and they really seemed to be making it work. The proposal seemed to be a little quick for me but I could support it because they were so great together. Watching them work through Felicity’s injuries was pretty magical. Oliver was amazing to Felicity, they were making it work and I loved watching them do it.

All of this stuff worked for me, but what didn’t work were all the lies on Oliver’s part. All the lies about his son. This part I feel was really poorly handled by the writers. First off, why would Oliver’s ex (the mother of his child) ask that he not tell anyone about his son? How does him lying to the ones that he is closest to show this woman that he can be trusted? And second, why the hell did Oliver listen to her? I could see keeping it from his team and even from his sister for the time being but from Felicity? Are you kidding me? She was supposed to be the most important person in his life, the one that he could trust with anything, so why couldn’t he trust her to keep his secret? I’m sure that if he had told her and asked her to keep it a secret (as his ex had requested) that she would have been 100% willing to do it. And we can’t forget what Barry told Oliver in their crossover episode. He told Oliver that if he didn’t tell Felicity about his son that eventually she would find out and it would end their relationship. You’d think with all of that Oliver could have made the right choice and saved his relationship, but nope, he went ahead and screwed it all up anyway.

I was almost like we watched Oliver grow and improve himself in the first three seasons and then we watched him regress back into his selfish arrogant old self in season 4. Why would the writers have him regress after they spent so much time developing his character? I just don’t get it.

Now having said all that I do still have hope for Olicity. Felicity seems to be on her way to forgiving Oliver and I do think that she will give them another chance. Let’s just hope that the writers don’t screw it up again this time. It is possible to write an interesting story about a couple without breaking them up. Normal couples go through ups and downs all the time and they manage to work things out. I really hope that the writers will let Olicity do the same thing.

Melissa Smith: Emily Bett Rickards plays smart and sassy as well as any actress on television when given the setup. Yes, all of the fumbling for words was cute when it started and the painful shyness endeared her to the audience, but bringing her out of that shell was one of the better character developments of the series.

Oliver Queen is hardheaded and stubborn and, well, very stubborn. Let Rickards go wild and pull him out of his own head. He needs an equally-stubborn partner who will not let him live in “Ollie-land.” Rickards can pull it off. Without a rudder, his boat-like nature will have him driving around in circles with singular focus.

It the green one is going to be in a relationship, it should be with someone who can stand toe-to-toe with the guy as a partner, as he does with Black Canary in the comics. Felicity had the strength to walk away. Now, give her the strength to walk alongside him and keep him on the path.

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ARROW Season 4 Finale Recap: And Then There Were Two

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Damien Dahrk is no more. The world is saved. Apocalypse crisis averted and all that. We had an almost happy ending and, considering that this is ARROW, I’d say we got a pretty good deal out of this finale.

However, Dahrk has gone completely mad when the episode starts, so – even though Felicity and her father had successfully disarmed Rubicon last week – the villain attacks Felicity, Donna and Curtis and distracts them long enough to steal the computer with all Rubicon access codes. So he launches 15,000 nuclear missiles all over the world, because he has nothing else to lose. His wife is dead, but he is all powerful, so ending the world will only make him more powerful, right? The dude’s crazy, that’s for sure.

Felicity and Curtis manage to stop the missile that was going to hit Star City and then need to race against time to stop all other 14,999 missiles in the air. It all seems hopeless and that the end of the world is inevitable, but then Curtis, of all people, is the one who inspires Oliver to go and talk to the people about not panicking and having hope and all that. That moment is what saves him afterwards, because when Dahrk tries to kill him, these people’s hope is the one thing that helps Oliver repel Dahrk’s magic and then, ultimately, beat him.

That wasn’t really a surprise, was it? It was the season finale; the chances of a resolution for the season long arc with Damien Dahrk were pretty high, so - even though, for a while there, he seemed to be completely unstoppable - we all knew the Team would somehow defeat him. That final fight scene was all kinds of fantastic and it did not disappoint. But that is the norm with ARROW – they’re always amazing at fight scenes – so that wasn’t a surprise either.

What did surprise me, however, was that Team Arrow has been disbanded too. Unlike last season – when Oliver left with Felicity and the team stayed behind, trying to protect the city on their own – this time everyone left. When it was all over and Dahrk was officially dead and they could finally move on with their lives, the entire team just sort of imploded and each member went their own separate way. Watching those final ten minutes of the episode just got more and more heartbreaking, because this season has not been easy for any of these characters. So when they all left and Oliver was standing all by himself in the middle of a completely destroyed lair, you could feel how helpless and alone he felt at that moment.

Even later, when he accepts the title of mayor of Star City, you can see that his happiness doesn’t reach his eyes. He may be on his way to doing good to the city, but he feels all alone. It is only in the very last scene that some of his hope is restored. Despite everything that has happened, Felicity hasn’t left. They’re partners, no matter what, and she makes that very clear to him. The last shot of the episode, when the camera pans out and shows just the two of them in the middle of a broken lair, it felt like this is what we can look forward to next season – Oliver and Felicity against the world.

Stay tuned for an in-depth roundtable about the season 4 of ARROW this summer.

ARROW returns on Wednesdays this fall on The CW.

ARROW Season Finale Preview: Divided We Fall?

ARROW writers love words and know how to use them well.

They chose a well-known word — ” Genesis” — as a theme this season … the first book of the Bible, which tells the story of the beginning of the universe and features the rebirth of the world after the flood in the story of Noah.

Damien Dahrk (guest star Neal McDonough) created his own version of Genesis to destroy the Earth with nuclear weapons and rebuild it with a group of chosen people, same as in the Bible, with his own warped twist.

But, there are lesser-known phrases that connect to the theme.

Take, for example, the safe haven built by Damien Dahrk — ”Tevat Noah” — the Hebrew word for “Noah’s Ark.” The residents of Tevat Noah were chosen to live in the “new world,” much as God decided whom to save from the flood.

That is not the only part of the phrase that applies to Dahrk. The root word, “Teva,” means to “be drowned by God in the sea,” but also is used in association with a “supreme ruler or king” as well as to imply an “impending change.”

Other such creation/destruction/re-creation concepts have used “Teva” in the name, including the Tevatron Hadron Collider, a facility that was trying to discover the “God particle.”

Does Damien Dahrk consider himself the new “God?” He said as much in the episode, “Lost in the Flood.” At the least, he definitely considers himself worthy of being the supreme ruler of the planet by creating an impending change.

Perhaps the other meaning of Teva is a phrase that may be the most appropriate … “It is in the nature of the Beast to make his mark.”

Damien Dahrk’s nature certainly is more from Hell than from Heaven. Now that Ruvé is dead and Damien thinks that his daughter was killed, there is no reason for him to let Earth survive.

Another word used frequently this season is “Rubicon,” the name of the software that controls nuclear weapons worldwide.

From the days of Julius Caesar, the phrase “Crossing the Rubicon” is used to indicate that there is some type of treason or betrayal involved in a situation. Will one of its members “cross the Rubicon” and betray Team Arrow?

Maybe the most important word associated with tonight’s episode is its title, “Schism,” which implies discord or division among a group of people. Of course, the division could apply to the residents of Star City, some whom are under Dahrk’s influence and willing to fight their fellow citizens.

Or is the schism among the members of Team Arrow? Since his breakup with Felicity and Laurel’s death, Oliver (Stephen Amell) has gone from the more optimistic version of himself (at the beginning of the season when he and Felicity were in Ivy Town), and is closer to the darker Oliver who returned from Lian Yu.

Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) has been hurt by the division in their relationship, by the divisiveness between her parents and by the loss of Laurel. The blonde cyber-queen has endured a lot of pain in the past few months.

Pain is not limited to Ollie and Felicity. John (David Ramsey) is bitter about his own decision to believe Andy, which resulted in Laurel’s death. Quentin (Paul Blackthorne) has lost another daughter and could harbor a hidden resentment for the team.

Thea (Willa Holland) has been through extremes. Besides Laurel’s death, she has faced Malcolm’s (John Barrowman) siding with Dahrk, Lonnie endangering her and the team and Alex’s death.

Will the schism destroy the team forever? Will Season 5 look dramatically different from Season 4? Will Curtis’s (Echo Kellum) unbridled optimism be enough to save the team from its schism? Will Oliver be able to inspire Star City citizens to unite in the face of impending nuclear disaster?

The fabulous John Behring who, along with SUPERNATURAL’s fictional Bobby Singer and Jody Mills, hails from the greater Sioux Falls area and directed the episode. The story for “Schism” was written by Greg Berlanti and the teleplay was written by Wendy Mericle and Marc Guggenheim.

ARROW airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW in the U.S. and on CTV in Canada.

ARROW Recap: Smoak and Kuttler vs. The End Of The World

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There are so many things to love about last night’s ARROW that I don’t even know where to start.

We had great lines, Oliver actually being a mature human being and giving sound advice, Felicity at her very best and an apocalyptic feel to the entire thing. What’s not to love? “Monument Point” had everything that makes this show awesome and it set the pace for what I’m sure will be a pretty explosive finale.

Now that the team knows that Dahrk has Rubicon and is preparing to launch several nuclear missiles around the globe to effectively end the world, they have to race against the clock to try and stop him. Except disarming Rubicon is not the easiest task in the world and even Felicity needs help with it. And the only hacker that could possibly face such task is her father, who escaped Iron Heights during the Dahrk chaos.

Although she is not his biggest fan, she says she can swallow her pride and her general dislike for him, so he can help them save the world. Tracking him down is the easiest part and she finds him pretty quickly. Except when Oliver and Dig get there, he has already fled. It turns out that Dahrk is also after him, because he is the only one who has the knowledge on how to disarm Rubicon and, therefore, can ruin his plans. Felicity manages to hack into his computers, but even though he wiped his system clean, she finds a root directory called Ravenspur, which happens to sound really familiar to her, but she doesn’t know where she has heard that word before.

So she goes to Mama Smoak about it and gets more than what she bargained for, when Donna starts recounting how that’s the cabin she and Noah used to go to and how he could go on all night and that Felicity was probably conceived there. The whole thing is hilarious and the look on Felicity’s face is priceless, but it gives her the information she needed. So she sends her boys over to the cabin, but when Oliver and Dig get there, Noah is already trying to run from Dahrk’s men. A fight scene ensues and Felicity is the one who ends up saving her dad.

From then on, every single scene between her and her father are awesome. Felicity had so many great lines and she was also super sassy in this episode, which just made them such an entertaining duo. Despite everything, they work really, really well together and we can clearly see where Felicity’s genius brain comes from. While they were talking about algorithms and codes and other stuff that completely flew over my head, they just seemed to understand each other and speak the same language.

Meanwhile, another father-daughter duo was at each other’s throats. Malcolm has obviously found Thea in Dahrk’s arc and is totally on board with the villain’s twisted plan of destroying the world in order to build a new one. Thea thinks he is just as insane as Darhk is. The problem is, Lonnie Machin (aka Anarky, remember him?) has somehow made his way into the arc and he has it in for Darhk. He kills a bunch of ghosts before Thea finds him and tries to talk him down. But he would have none of it and poor, drugged Alex is the one who perishes in the end.

Back in Star City, Felicity and her dad are trying their best to disable the nukes, but the ghosts attack and Noah gets hit. Felicity tries to finish what he started, but one missile still gets launched and is headed to Monument Point. They are at a loss of what to do, until Felicity decides to scramble the missile’s GPS and manages to send it to a less populated area. When it hits the small town, the blast is deadly, so tens of thousands of people die. Poor Felicity will now have to live with that on her conscience.

This genocide, however, only feeds Darhk’s powers and, when Oliver finds him underground, he is the picture of the mad villain, soaking in all his power.

Watch ARROW, they said… This season will be lighter, they said. Sigh.

A new episode of ARROW is scheduled to air on May 18 at 8/7c on The CW (U.S.) and on CTV (Canada).

 

ARROW Sneak Peek: A Brick, A Calculator, Merlyn and Anarky In The Dahrk

Back before Oliver (Stephen Amell) or Team ARROW had a mission to save their city, Danny Brickwell aka “Brick” had a plan to conquer The Glades, a rough neighborhood of Star City.

Before Laurel Lance died… before Tommy Merlyn died… before Maseo and Akio Yamashiro died…before Shado died…before Slade Wilson or Moira and Robert Queen died…

…before so many favorite characters died, Rebecca Merlyn was killed by Danny Brickwell as part of a gang initiation. A common street thug, Brick killed Rebecca because she was begging for her life.

This one act of incomprehensible cruelty and cowardice helped point Malcolm Merlyn down a tortured path to become the flawed human being that he is today. Malcolm’s plans to destroy The Glades to “revitalize” and set something different in motion, ended up with the most ironic death of all…his wife’s.

Killing for killing’s sake tends to have unfavorable repercussions, and if there is justice, those who kill for indefensible reasons, should get their comeuppance.

Killing to provide a new “landscape” for those designated to remain alive, whether it is The Glades, Dahrk’s Genesis plan to kill off most of the world and keep a select few, or another motive for a “good reason,” defies decency.

But, the world is nothing if not ironic, so how will Malcolm (John Barrowman) react to Brick’s escape from lockup and to Brick’s relationship with Dahrk?

We find out that Malcolm is the reason that Thea (Willa Holland) was kidnapped to the Stepford-world on her vacation with Alex. The “perfect” town also is a bunker that protects her from Dahrk’s nuclear blasts. Is Malcolm really content to let the world go up in flames as long as he and his daughter survive? Or will his actions at The Glades and the memory of Rebecca’s death stir any humanity within him?

Another irony is the pairing of Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and her evil mastermind (with a few redeeming qualities) father, Noah Kuttler (guest star Tom Amandes).

When Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) explains that, even as Director of A.R.G.U.S., she cannot access the nuclear codes, Felicity realizes that the only person who can help is Noah, aka The Calculator. Noah has a few questions for Oliver that leave Green Arrow unsettled.

Als0, Daddy Dearest has broken more than a few laws in his lifetime, but the realization that Dahrk has the nuclear power to decimate the world (including Felicity), may make him an asset to Team ARROW, at least for tonight. They will need him to hack A.R.G.U.S. to help stop the nuclear launch that will destroy the world.

Then, there are those other nagging points…Danny Brickwell’s name was on The List compiled by Robert Queen and handed down to Oliver. The list contained the names of corrupt individuals who were dedicated to destroying Star(ling) City in The Undertaking. Is The Undertaking making a comeback, or are Brick’s ties to The List and to Dahrk just an evil coincidence?

It could be a coincidence, but everybody knows that Brick is a bit touched in the head (possibly from being shot in the head). In the comics, Brick kidnaps the mayor’s child and kills the mayor. If that storyline carries over to tonight’s episode, “Monument Point,” will Brick hit Dahrk where he lives? The Dahrk one loves his wife, Mayor Ruvé Adams (Janet Kidder), and child. Will the big-bad get out-badded?

With so many bad guys in the mix, let’s hope that something good can spring from less-than-honorable minds? Maybe they are hoping for Anarky (pun intended).

ARROW also stars Katie Cassidy (still listed in the credits), David Ramsey and Paul Blackthorne. Also guest starring in “Monument Point,” is Christopher Ang.

“Monument Point” was written by Speed Weed & Jenny Lynn and directed by Kevin Tancharoen.

ARROW airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW in the U.S. and on CTV in Canada.

ARROW Sneak Peek: Repercussions From Laurel’s Death… Dark Souls, Dark Places, Dahrk Magic

Shakespeare said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.”

Wait, don’t fall asleep. This isn’t English class.

But names may (or may not) give a glimmer into what the plans are for the rest of this season on ARROW. The clues may be in the codenames.

With everyone still reeling from Laurel’s death, Team Arrow and associates seem to be stumbling around, trying to make sense of their loss.

Diggle (David Ramsey) blames himself for not listening to Oliver (Stephen Amell) about Andy’s continued connection to Damien Dahrk.

As a way to atone for his error in judgment, John goes after his brother, Ruvé (guest star Janet Kidder) and Dahrk with a vengeance. Unfortunately for him, Andy (guest star Eugene Byrd) gets the drop on John and tortures him.

Instead of using his usual codename, “Spartan,” the credits have opted for “Guardian” for Diggle. Does this mark a change in John’s belief system and will he become a darker character?

Assumedly, the “Guardian” in DC Comics (James Harper) is not the same one as Diggle, since the comic book version is Roy Harper’s uncle. In a town the size of Star City, they probably would have known each other.

It does not seem that Evelyn Sharp (or Crawford in the comics) will be returning tonight, at least, as portrayer Madison McLaughlin is not listed in the credits.

Whether the teenager, mourning the death of her idol, will don the Black Canary costume again in Season 4 remains to be seen. Perhaps she will keep her comic book codename, “Starling,” and stick around long enough to spin off that BIRDS OF PREY series that I continue to push.

Another codename adjustment…Thea (Willa Holland) now is listed as Thea/Speedy/Red Arrow. Perhaps Laurel’s death has pushed her into a mindset that tries to manage the pain with a new persona, “Red Arrow.” Or, maybe she misjudged Alex (guest star Parker Young) who takes her on a vacation that quickly turns into a nightmare.

Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) finally gets the “Overwatch” codename listed on the credits. She should “over-watch-her-back” because Dahrk (guest star Neal McDonough) is mad with power and seems to be unstoppable. And he loves hurting Oliver by hurting the ones that Oliver loves.

So, how do you fight a mystical madman, especially if you hate magic as much as Ollie? Try going a little mad yourself and adding a bit of mysticism to your repertoire.

Hunt down Esrin Fortuna (guest star Gabriella Wright), a woman who looks like a priestess, hangs out at an INDIANA JONES-type locale and seems to have the goods on adding a little magic to your life. Time to fight “Dahrk magic” with “dark magic?”

ARROW also stars Katie Cassidy (still in the credits as “Laurel Lance” but not “Black Canary”), John Barrowman and Paul Blackthorne. Michael Bardach guest stars.

Tonight’s episode, “Genesis,” was written by Oscar Balderrama & Emilio Ortega Aldrich and directed by Gregory Smith.

ARROW airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. on The CW (U.S.) and CTV in Canada.

ARROW Recap: The One With All The Guilt

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I don’t even know where to start. Last night’s ARROW was so emotional and bittersweet and heartbreaking that I admit there was some serious waterworks going on in my living room. I’ll be honest when I say that I wasn’t a Laurel fan most of the time, but they did such an amazing job at turning her character around and redeeming her for the back half of this season, that I am surprisingly taking her death really hard.

“Canary Cry” picked up right where we left off a couple of weeks ago, so the shock and the grief and all emotions in between were still a whilwind for all the characters. They all broke my heart, but it was Dig, Felicity and especially Captain Lance that really did me in. His refusal to accept that Laurel was really gone this time and there was no way to bring her back was heartbreaking. The way he kept going, particularly after it was on the news that the Black Canary had attacked some people, was actually pretty hard to watch.

When he finally breaks down with Oliver, after he tells the Captain that there really is no bringing her back - dear god almighty, that was so, so incredibly sad. The way that they used the flashbacks to show the aftermath of Tommy’s funeral was also such a nice touch. I usually don’t really care about them, but last night was exactly what we needed. Seeing Laurel one more time, before everything happened, and also seeing what could have possibly been the first push towards her becoming the Black Canary was fantastic.

And the guilt. Guys, I could hardly stand it. Because it’s not just grief over losing one of their own. It’s that feeling that if they had done something different, Laurel would still be alive. There is plenty of guilt to go around, but Dig is bearing the brunt of it. After all, he was the one who chose to believe his brother over Oliver and now that is weighing heavily on him. That scene where he attacks Ruve Darhk was so painful to watch. David Ramsey did such a fantastic job here, because his pain was so obvious and so intense, that he couldn’t even think straight. The Dig we know would never hit a woman, but this grieving Diggle, overwhelmed with guilt, is another person altogether. When Oliver tells him to stand down and he finally breaks down… my feelings, guys. My heart was so not ready to watch this.

And then we have Felicity and Oliver. Felicity feels guilty because she wasn’t there. If she hadn’t quit the team, maybe she could’ve done something, maybe she could’ve foreseen this, and maybe Laurel would still be alive. What surprised me, however, was that Oliver – usually the king of guilt – was the one who kept the team grounded and together and working to save Laurel’s legacy. My guess is that he will only allow himself to fall apart later on. Right now, they have work to do.

Which brings us to that final grave scene. Now that we have more information, both scenes – Oliver and Barry and Felicity and Oliver – make so much more sense. If you follow both shows, you know that Laurel died probably a little bit before Barry loses his speed to Zoom, just when things were getting critical in Central City. But the scene that said a lot was the one with Oliver and Felicity in the car.

When we first watched this scene earlier this year, it looked like Oliver and Felicity were completely stranged, right? What a difference understanding the context makes, guys. Last night, I saw that scene in a completely different light – especially because we were treated to the complete scene. They are not stranged at all. They’re grieving and it will be that grief, that anger and their love – which is very much alive, thank you very much – that will help them find a way to defeat Dahrk. Oliver just needs someone to believe in him and when Felicity says just that, that’s all he needs.

These two will be working together and will be back together in no time, guys. Mark my words.

Don’t miss a new episode of ARROW on May 4 at 8/7c on The CW.

ARROW: Questions Surrounding The Death Of Laurel Lance

Open letter to ARROW fans… yes, I also am upset about Laurel’s death…BUT…

I am giving the producers time to explain why Laurel Lance had to die… an explanation to be revealed within the storyline, not on social media or in the press. But I know what she means to many of us.

Lest anyone think that I am not a huge Black Canary fan, you are wrong. She is my second-favorite DC character (after Catwoman). I have “Green Arrow” comics galore, and too many Black Canary action figures for someone over twelve-years-old. (I call them “maquettes” now that I am an adult.)

I was thrilled to work on the animated JUSTICE LEAGUE because I love Black Canary, and I even screamed out loud (much to the chagrin of my husband) when Katie Cassidy first donned the black jacket on ARROW.

Yes, I do plan on a good cry tonight at Laurel’s funeral. Black Canary showed a lot of young girls that you can be sexy, smart and sassy without shame, and that no man is better than you, simply based on gender.

And I will not bash the producers and writers for making a decision that forced them to kill off a beloved character. They had to know that there would be a major backlash, and I am sure the threats to them, personally and professionally, have been no picnic.

Most television viewers have no idea what a massive undertaking it is to create, develop, sell and run a TV series. I doubt if anyone wants to add to their 20-hour workday having to justify storylines to the fans by “making nice” with the media.

Before we skewer the producers and writers, and even The CW, over this traumatic loss of a fictional character, I, personally, am going to give the storyline a chance. There have to be reasons (both real-life and character-driven) for them to have made this painful choice. Why would anyone want their nights and weekends filled up with Internet chaos unless there were extenuating circumstances.

One of the complaints that I have seen repeatedly on various YouTube rants is that since Oliver has teamed up with Felicity, “Oliver has become soft,” and that “a common street thug can beat Green Arrow, now.” Some even liken the show to a soap opera, claiming that Ollie has lost his edge.

If that is true and GA can be smacked around by a local purse-snatcher, how is he supposed to destroy someone like Damien Dahrk? To me, the answer seems to be for him to revert to the killing machine who returned home from Lian Yu.

You want to harden someone’s heart? Mess with the people that they love. Personally, shooting Felicity should have been enough to “Dahrk-en” him, as should Dahrk’s kidnapping William.

But, Oliver Queen may have become too moralistic for his own good, and maybe he should hang out with Batman a bit more. Sometimes, lines must be crossed for the “greater good.” Perhaps killing off Dahrk and Ruvé should be considered more of a community service than a moral dilemma.

Yes, I will be tuning into ARROW tonight, and I probably will cry all the way through the episode aptly titled, “Canary Cry.” I may even bring my action figures into the living room to watch with me so they can see their inspiration has passed on for the greater good.

I will watch Cassidy as Earth-2’s Black Siren on THE FLASH, listen for her voiceover on VIXEN, and watch her tonight at what leaked photos suggest is a flashback to Tommy’s funeral. Through it all, I will mourn the passing of one version of my childhood role models.

Maybe the rumors will come true, and SUPERNATURAL’s Alona Tal will play BC in the JUSTICE LEAGUE feature film with possible springboards into BIRDS OF PREY and/or solo BLACK CANARY movie(s).

Like Black Canary, I will never give up hope. Perhaps, in the future, someone will take up the Canary mantle. While I wait, I will console myself with my new DC Comics Black Canary (Vol. 4) #11, published and released today.

I imagine that it took a lot of effort and convincing for the writers and producers helped produce “geek chic” when they brought the Arrow-verse to television. I suspect that they love Black Canary as much as I do. I am certain that they have satisfactory end for fans in the future.

ARROW stars Stephen Amell, Katie Cassidy, David Ramsey, Willa Holland, Emily Bett Rickards, Paul Blackthorne and John Barrowman. Guest starring in “Canary Cry,” are Neal McDonough, Katrina Law, Eugene Byrd and Alex Kingston.

“Canary Cry” was written by Executive Producer Wendy Mericle and Co-Producer Beth Schwartz and directed by Laura Belsey.

ARROW airs tonight at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW in the U.S. and on CTV in Canada.