Where is Felicity’s head about Oliver and Team Arrow once the dust settles?
Well, I don’t know if she made it off the island.
Fair enough. Oliver recruited Deathstroke in the fight against Prometheus -- are they now frenemies? Does Oliver owe him one?
I don’t think he owes him one. Slade killed Oliver’s mother. Slade has a long way to go before he has any pull. I do think what is interesting about the relationship and the dynamic is that Oliver can never fully trust Slade. Slade is who he is and he’s never going to be fully trustworthy. Oliver enlisting him in the defeat of Prometheus is just the beginning. Speaking of redemption, if Slade ever has any hope of that, he’s got a long way to go with Oliver.
Most of Arrow’s opponents get physical with him. It’s difficult to imagine Michael Emerson trading blows with Arrow. What makes Michael’s top-secret character a worthy adversary?
He’s super-smart. He’s one of the most intelligent villains we’re going to have on the show. Michael Emerson himself just brings this level of malevolence, intelligence and unpredictability. He’s not physical, and he’s not able to hold his own against Green Arrow or anyone who survives the island. But, he can do things in an unpredictable way. The show has been on for five seasons and we wanted to change it up in Season 6. We were looking for someone who could do things, who could wreak havoc and commit crimes and cause problems for Oliver in other ways.
Roy Harper has been M.I.A. What brings him back to Star City?
For us, it’s really going to come down to Thea. We talked a lot in the writers’ room about what Roy has been doing in the years he’s been away from Star City. Right now, the idea that we’re toying around with is he’s gotten himself into some hot water. When he comes back, it’s for a couple of reasons. It’s probably to ask for some help and also because he and Thea have some unfinished business in the relationship department. That’s a relationship that we felt Season 4 played very well and it’s something we’d like to continue and see where we go.
One of the big themes this year is family. How will William prove to be Oliver’s greatest strength and perhaps his greatest weakness?
One of the show’s stock and trade is to talk about family. Oliver has always been very dedicated to his family. Like Moira in the pilot, she loved him more than anybody in the world, and, yet, she was the one who had him kidnapped and tortured.
For Oliver, he’s never been a father before. He’s known about William. We’re really going to get the opportunity to explore what it’s like for a superhero to be a father and have the joy of that, but, also, the burden of that. It is a liability. If people know about that, the child is vulnerable. That’s not something Oliver is happy about.
What other threats will Team Arrow need to deal with?
What we found really successful in Season 5 was the gritty, keeping things located in the city, keeping whatever the crimes are within Star City and very ground level. We’re going to continue in that vein. There will be a lot of street crime. A lot of guys from the criminal underground are going to be coming at them. But, there are going to be some surprises, too. The big bad of the year is not necessary going to be operating in that world, so they are going to be getting it from all sides.
With everything going on, where does Vigilante fit in?
We’re excited about that. We left that thread dangling in Season 5. We are definitely going to ask the question of who he is and who he is involved with. He won’t make an appearance initially. The reveal of who is he will take everyone by surprise.