SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on unless you've seen the February 27 episode (Season 1, Episode 16) of The CW's "Arrow," titled "Dead to Rights."
With "Dead to Rights," "Arrow" just delivered its most shocking, action-packed hour yet, with Oliver (Stephen Amell) revealing his identity to best friend Tommy (Colin Donnell) in order to help save Tommy's father's (John Barrowman) life. Thanks to Oliver's revelation -- and the fact that he apparently would never have told his best friend the truth were it not for the Malcolm's dire condition -- it seems as though his relationship with Tommy might be irreparably damaged.
As if that wasn't enough, "Dead to Rights" also introduced Alex Kingston as Laurel's (Katie Cassidy) mother, Dinah Lance, who brought her daughter the shocking news that Laurel's sister, Sarah, may not have died on the boat that stranded Oliver on the island after all.
HuffPost TV caught up with the episode's writer, DC Comics' Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, to get his thoughts on what the episode's major twists mean for our characters in the episodes to come.
I can't believe that Oliver actually revealed himself to Tommy. What are the repercussions going to be in terms of their friendship?
Yeah, the thing I like about the revelation ... obviously he's revealed himself to a few people now that he works with, but this one, he didn't plan on this. He didn't feel like he wanted to do it, but he had to do it in that moment to save someone's life and to help his best friend's father, who ironically almost killed him weeks prior.
I think the fallout from this one's going to be much more severe and much different than Diggle [David Ramsey] or Felicity [Emily Bett Rickards]. This wasn't something he had to do; it's something he chose to do. He chose to do it for the right reason, but I think the moment when Tommy says, "Were you ever going to tell me"? and then Oliver says, "No," I think that sums up what Tommy's feeling right there. You can see it on his face -- his trust is shattered. He really needs somebody like that right now in his life, somebody that's stable and you see that when they're having dinner. You can see how important Oliver is to him and now it's gone. It's tragic.
The other big moment in the episode was Laurel's mother arriving and dropping a huge bombshell: Her sister might still be alive. How much will that impact Laurel and her storyline in the coming weeks?
It's going to impact it dramatically both here now and in the subsequent episodes. I mean, hopefully, next season ... I don't want to spoil too much of it, but it was a pleasure to write that scene, because it is such a [big moment]. You see the mother and then what she says about Sarah is something I don't think people have even considered.
And there was also the mention of Sarah's old pet canary, who happened to be black ... Can we take that as foreshadowing?
It's not hard to say it's foreshadowing. I think there's easter eggs in this episode, but all those things are actually pieces of a bigger story and what's going to come up and yeah ... Black Canary obviously is an ultra important character in the DC Universe, right alongside Green Arrow. So you can expect that she's going to factor into this in some way or another down the line.
Malcolm came very close to revealing the truth about his own identity as the Dark Archer to Tommy this week, before everything went to hell. Will he attempt that again any time soon?
You'll have to see what happens between father and son in the subsequent episodes, but it's very cool.
Now that Diggle knows that Deadshot (Michael Rowe) is alive, I assume he's going to be at the top of Digg's agenda?
Yeah; it will be above Oliver's agenda, that's for sure.
Malcolm also namedropped Nanda Parbat, where he says he met a man who helped him make sense of things after his wife died. Obviously, Batman fans know how important that place is in terms of the comics and its links to Ra's Al Ghul ...
Yeah, Nanda Parbat -- it's funny, Andrew [Kreisberg] and I thought about that for a while. "Is anyone even going to understand this?" "Well, let's do it anyway."
I know it's hard to get the rights to Batman characters especially, but is there a chance we could see Ra's in Starling City at some point?
You know what? I always say, "Never say never."
What was your favorite part of writing this episode?
That scene between Oliver and Tommy, when Oliver said "no." I just love the simplicity of it because it's not a long scene, it's not overly descriptive, it's simple. It's probably the most honest Oliver is in the entire episode. It's the most honest I've seen Oliver. And you can see Stephen dig into that, into himself for that answer, on his face. Tommy's not even looking at him and you can see just the pain on Stephen's face as he makes the decision, "I'm going to be honest finally." And he is, and it's just that maybe it wasn't the best thing to be honest about at the moment.
"Arrow" airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.
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