That Ra's al Ghul sure knows how to change the conversation, doesn't he?
As the cast of "Arrow" convened for a tribute panel at Los Angeles' Paley Fest last weekend, it seems like the Demon's Head's tantalizing proposal put before Oliver Queen -- an opportunity to become Ra's successor, inheriting all his power and resources, including command of The League of Assassins -- makes a major impact on everyone, not just Ollie. On the red carpet prior to the panel, cast members told CBR News that whatever Oliver answers, the after-effects will ripple across the cast.
"One of the things that Ra's proposition did to him was that The League does as Ra's al Ghul commands, so if he commands that they stop killing, they'll stop killing," Stephen Amell explained to CBR News, discussing Oliver's interest in the ancient agent provocateur's offer. "You are the architect of the League of Assassins when you're Ra's al Ghul, and it's an army for him to command -- in theory."
Oliver's choice may also provide fresh opportunities for master manipulator Malcolm Merlyn, currently a prisoner of the League and kept alive only at Oliver's insistence. "I think Malcolm likes to create this chaos, and then ride the wave and then see how he can make it work for himself," actor John Barrowman said. "Things haven't gone his way. He's devastated that Thea's turned her back on him. As we know, he's been dragged back to Nanda Parbat to face the wrath of Ra's. I don't know that he was expecting that, but this new alliance that has formed with Oliver's saying to the rest of them, 'You cannot hurt Merlin. He's under my protection.' That's, like, carte blanche -- Hello! Get out of jail free."
One definite repercussion is the impact on Ra's daughter and previously presumptive heir Nyssa (Katrina Law), who is not unexpectedly more than a little angry to be potentially bypassed in favor of her late lover Sarah Lance's old flame Oliver -- so much so that she turns to Sarah's sister and successor in the role of Canary, Laurel, for an unexpected alliance. "Nyssa has some information, and a thing or two maybe she can teach her," actress Katie Cassidy told CBR. "I think they learn from each other."
And what will the rest of Team Arrow do if Oliver does say yes? Oliver's recent disappearance forced his allies to step up their game in his absence -- but are any of them ready to assume to primary role of Starling City's chief protector? "Oliver's faced with a really big decision, so depending on what he chooses there Roy has the training right now to kind of pick up where he left off," says Coulton Haynes of having Roy Harper's Arsenal take the lead at home. "But Roy's still doing the emotions of having killed that police officer. I think an emotional journey is still ahead for Roy."
Meanwhile, Ra's isn't the only dangling plot thread waiting to be pulled. Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) has a full functional superhero suit just begging him to start adventuring in -- but that's going to prove to be a sore point with Oliver. "His relationship with Ray Palmer is excellent but is relationship with Ray Palmer -- who's-going-to-be-The Atom -- that could be a different set of circumstances," says Amell, who admits he enjoys getting in the faces of newbie superhero Routh in their confrontation scenes.
"It's a little bit of the same sort of vibe I get working with Grant Gustin, in that Oliver is pretty sullen a lot of the time and serious," he said. "I like working with Brandon and Grant because I get to play humor, even if it's just in deadpan looks, which is something that I really enjoy."
And then there's the news of a planned spinoff series that focuses on Routh's Atom and a team of characters culled from the deep benches of the "Arrow" and "Flash" recurring casts, including actress Caity Lotz, whose exact role has yet to be revealed in the wake of having been pretty definitively deceased as Sara the last time viewers saw her.
When asked about her return, Amell acted faux-shocked. "Caity Lotz is coming back?!" he exclaimed with a knowing smirk. Cassidy, on the other hand, was openly thrilled that her TV sibling will return in some shape or form.
"I was so excited because I love Caity and I believe having her alive again would be fantastic," Cassidy exclaimed. "I cannot be happier for her. She's definitely been very much a part of the season for Laurel. I think even though physically she wasn't there, definitely emotionally she will always be there. Caity's great. She and I get along really great. She's like one of my sisters. I have sisters in real life as well, and she plays my sister on the show and we're really close. It's awesome."