The "Arrow" season finale airs on Wed., May 15 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW, and no one is safe as Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) prepares to destroy the poorest part of Starling City, The Glades, by setting off a man-made earthquake. The finale episode summary hints that Thea Queen (Willa Holland), the sister of vigilante Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell), will put herself "directly in the line of fire for Malcolm's devious plan" while racing to find her boyfriend Roy Harper (Colton Haynes), who lives in The Glades.
In The Huffington Post's recent interview with shfowrunner Marc Guggenheim, he previewed that "everything [the show has] been working up towards since the pilot all comes to a head [in the finale]," which includes "Oliver, Tommy [Colin Donnel] and Laurel [Katie Cassidy]; Tommy’s dad; Tommy’s choice -- does he choose to join with his dad or join with Oliver? [And] Moira [Susanna Thompson] and her relationship with her children as all of her demons come to light."
Cassidy herself confirmed that "you'll see everyone at some point in danger ... Everybody has to fight for themselves and everyone is experiencing something close to them or something that has been important to them that is in jeopardy."
With that in mind, we turned to Willa Holland to find out exactly how much danger Thea might be in during the "Arrow" season finale, her favorite part of her relationship with Roy, and whether we might see her embracing the comic book legacy of Green Arrow's sidekick Speedy any time soon.
The episode description is pretty overt in saying that Thea's in serious danger in the season finale, so how dire is her situation?
Thea definitely gets herself in the line of fire, as they say. It’s kind of known that after the last episode that aired, what's going to happen is most likely something majorly catastrophic. It's not going to be just one isolated event between a few people. It's going to be containing a mass amount of people. So she just throws herself into the line of fire and risks herself to go and find Roy and try and save him.
What have you most enjoyed about their relationship and the new maturity it's added to Thea as a character?
I love Colton so much. He's amazing and I’ve been asking the writers to bring in a very good-looking boyfriend for Thea, but also something to take her out of the house, something for her to do. And they definitely have done that and it's helped her grow up a lot in the last couple of episodes. She's on what I like to call a virtuous path now. She's finally getting her head slowly screwed onto her shoulders. It's not completely tight yet, but it's been getting on there and it's nice to see her finally grow up and actually hone herself as a woman and make her own decisions -- which are very hard decisions, and she's making them quite properly.
Can you preview anything about who else, besides Roy, Thea might have scenes with in the finale?
Most of my scenes are with Roy. There is actually one of my favorite scenes in the entire season that's in the finale. I don't want to spoil it to much, but let's just say there's been a lot of hints towards "Speedy" and my character turning kind of vigilante-esque along with Ollie and The Arrow. I'm not 100 percent sure that's going to be happening in the next couple of seasons, but there's definitely a nice large hint in the last episode. Kind of like a little fun spoof. It was a lot of fun to film.
The writers have been dropping fun hints and teases about Speedy all season long. Are you itching to pick up a bow and arrow?
I am ready and waiting to go. I have told the archery coach that whenever she is free, I'm totally down to get lessons. I've been going to the gym a lot trying to get myself physically fit, to prove to them that I can kick some ass. [Laughs.] But I've had talks with writers and our producer Marc [Guggenheim] and I definitely agree with this theory of theirs that in order to do justice to everything that Oliver went through on the island that made him turn into the Arrow, we wanted to develop all of our characters a little bit stronger. We just wanted to do justice to what we believe could take somebody into that place [of becoming a vigilante]. We don't want to just throw them into [being a crime fighter] just willy nilly. We kind of want to build them up a little bit and give them reasons to get that way.
So your favorite scene involves a little ass-kicking, but not a bow and arrow?
I wish it involved a bow and arrow. I can say it doesn't involve a bow and arrow, but it's so awesome. It was just so fun to film. That's all I can say. It was one of those things that we were filming at 5:30 in the morning. We had to be finished at 6 a.m. It was the last shot we could do. Normally everybody would be like, "Oh, God, let's get out of here -- finish it, finish it!” But the entire crew and all of us were just like, “Oh my gosh, finally we get to do this part!”
The show has been great about throwing us curveballs and putting an interesting twist on things we think we can predict. Is the finale the same? Even though we think Thea's the one most at risk, could it pull the rug out from under us?
Oh, there's definitely a lot of twists in the finale. Obviously, I can’t spoil anything, but when I read Episode 22, let's just say ... we knew that we were doing 23 episodes, but when I read 22, I was like, “How is this not the finale? Where can we go with this? This is going to be insane. This is going to be the most insane episode ever." And literally, when I got 23, we were all shaking in our boots. I stole a sneak peek of it before I was even allowed to and I just skimmed to one page and saw something awesome and I was like, “Oh my God, yes!” It's so jam-packed. It's so awesome. All I can say is tune in, because it's worth it.
Does it end with a cliffhanger? Are fans going to be screaming, "Noooooooo!" at their televisions by the end of the hour?
There's definitely going to be some “nooooooo!” moments. There were for me when I read the script. The show is definitely “Arrow" -- it's definitely revolving around Oliver -- but it is kind of ensemble-based, so for some characters, there will be cliffhanger-esque things. There will definitely be those “Oh God why? Oh God no!” kind of moments. That is all over it. And there are also those gripping-the-person-you're-sitting-next-to or digging-your-fingernails-into-your-couch moments. It's awesome.
Thea and Roy have been on a quest to find out The Hood's identity for the past few episodes, but how would Thea actually feel if she was faced with the truth about Ollie?
I think it really depends where Thea is at the time when she finds out. It really depends how steady things are going in her own life, as well as how her relationship with Oliver is doing at that moment.
We've definitely talked about it, me and the writers, and we're all on the fence about whether or not she can be completely accepting -- which I think is the lesser chance, because I really think she would be resentful of him for keeping this secret from her because the whole reason why she was reluctant around him [when he got back from the island] was just because he was being not open and completely distant and they used to be so close. This is obviously a major secret, but I think it may even create a wedge between them ... I think it all just depends on where she is in her life at that moment.
You're no stranger to shows with passionate fanbases after "The OC" and "Gossip Girl," so how do "Arrow" fans compare to your previous experiences. Is there a difference in the interactions?
There definitely, definitely is. I have to say, If am quite happy and so very honored every single time somebody comes up to me about this show. It’s something so unexpected. “The OC” and “Gossip Girl” were cult hits -- I had a feeling that they were going to make their waves. “The OC” was already a huge hit when I hopped on to it and then “Gossip Girl,” because it was coming from the creators of “The OC,“ I knew it was going to be a huge thing. But “Arrow” was something I hopped onto in the beginning and it was like this little baby and we had no idea. We obviously worked our asses off on the pilot and it took 17 days to shoot and then, before we started actually shooting the series, we knew we had to squeeze 17 days into eight days. But it became this amazing thing so quickly and it's been an honor to be a part of it. I'm so excited when people come up to me about it and the fans are so very enthusiastic about the show, because they’ve been fans of Green Arrow and the comic books for so long. It's amazing.
The "Arrow" season finale Wednesday, May 15 at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.