This week’s episode was a tear-jerker on many levels. It was bad enough seeing Roy all zombified and hurting everyone he cares about. But the death of Moira Queen tops everything. As the matriarch of the Queen Empire it was a devastating loss. Thea and Oliver are bereft and nearly unfunctional after losing their mother, and in such a brutal, heartless fashion right before their eyes. It is now apparent that Slade Wilson’s revenge this season may have initially felt agonizing and relentless, but never more so diabolically evil that with that thrust of his sword claiming Moira’s life. It did not help that Moira chose to sacrifice her life so that her children could live and that Oliver would not be forced to chose. In the end, she is still dead and Slade is the one responsible. What did he achieve in killing Moira? It only demonstrated how far gone his humanity is. There is no saving him. There is only the time remaining on the clock in how many more minutes and seconds Oliver lets him live.
In a press interview, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg gave some candid and cryptic answers to the more pressing questions about why this tragic event came to pass and what lies ahead for the ARROW heroes.
ANDREW: Just as with Colin Donnell, it was difficult. Susanna has been with the show since the beginning. She was one of our big “gets” early on that really signaled to the audience and to reviewers that that this wasn’t your average superhero show. So like with Colin Donnell, these last episodes are her pinnacle. This is as good as anything that is on television. . . Just like with Tommy, it’s where is her trajectory going? In Season 1, she had this incredible secret that she was part of the Undertaking and she suffered for it and went to jail for it. Then we discovered she had an even better secret that Thea is really the daughter of Malcolm Merlyn — and when that secret blew up it split the whole family apart. Obviously, we have been taking the steps to bring people back together again, but when we were talking about the future and knowing that we had wanted Slade to really — it was only going to be powerful if he really changed the game by doing something truly monstrous. So it was: if Moira wins the election and if she makes up with her kids, what is she? What is Moira without a giant secret? And if they all forgive her and there’s some other giant secret, for us it sort of felt like we were becoming a soap opera where it was: “Yes, you tried to blow up the city and yes, you like about this, and now you’ve lied about this other thing.” It just really sort of felt like in a way, she could die a hero’s death and die this person who was conflicted — because even as she is saying, “We have to tell the truth,” she’s kept this other horrible secret. You literally can’t change her. . . That was the essence of her character. We felt ending it at this time left you with that feeling: what an amazing character she was. . . Her death, just like with Tommy, has a profound impact on everyone on the series. It’s certainly what is going to drive Oliver in the last three episodes. It’s not only going to drive Thea in these last three episodes, but also into Season 3.
Moira Knowing Oliver’s Secret
ANDREW: We had always talked about the idea that Moira knew Oliver was the Arrow. There have actually been a couple other places where we were like, “This is where she should let him know.” We felt like one of the great things about “Sacrifice” (last season’s finale) was when Oliver walks in to talk to her, he was not Oliver Queen, he was the Arrow and he said, “Stop this.” She’d be of low IQ if she wasn’t like, “Wait a minute.” We always loved that she never told him. Everything just felt like it came together in this episode. Secrets are a tough thing. It’s one of the toughest things about writing this show: when are secrets good and when are secrets bad? . . . We love that we have a superhero show where the heroes are doing the wrong thing a lot of the times and making bad decisions, even with the best of intentions. I think that is ultimately the thing about Moira: she’s doing the wrong thing for the right reason. Everything she does is because she loves and wants to protect her children — even if that means blowing up a city, lying to them, hurting their feelings. One of the interesting things for us was realizing that our villain Moira and our hero Oliver were essentially doing the same thing — and having Thea call them out on it.
Moira’s Final Secret
ANDREW: I think what she was about to tell them comes out sooner than you think.
Why give Oliver a knee injury?
ANDREW: His mother is dead. His sister hates him. He blames himself. Sara’s gone. His knee hurts. Roy is in a coma. We were literally: how bad can we make this? And we have. He really is coming from the lowest point he could come. The arc of this season is: Is Oliver Queen a killer or is he a hero? That was the first episode: “I need to be more than a hero.” And he’s been trying to be the Arrow. And now he’s had everyone and everything he loves taken away from him. He’s been hobbled. His team is in shambles. He’s lost his company. His mother is dead. And what is Oliver Queen going to do? Is he going to be that guy on the island, or is he going to be something else?
ANDREW: That experience is something we can payoff and will be paid off in Season 3.
Will Sara Return?
ANDREW: Sara will be back.
What’s Next for Thea
ANDREW: All hell is going to break loose in the city and Thea will find herself in a precarious predicament and she will be saved by her father and Malcolm is going to offer her what she doesn’t have anymore. That was part of our math in killing Moira. That if we were going to send Thea in that direction, she need to have nothing pulling her back here.
ANDREW: For Roy, is Roy going to be strapped to a table with snake venom in him for the rest of his life or are they going to come up with a cure? And the cure is obviously not only the means to salvage Roy, but it is also the means to stop Slade.
Ramifications for Roy Taking a Life
ANDREW: That is also something that is going to play out in Season 3.
Fate of Mayor Race
ANDREW: Maybe Slade didn’t just kill Moira to piss Oliver off and maybe somebody realizes that.
ANDREW: The next episode opens with Moira’s funeral and Oliver is missing.
With only three more episodes remaining in the second season, ARROW will be racing towards its season finale and the brewing war with Slade and his Mirakuru army. To see who else may be caught in the crosshairs and if any more heroes will fall, be sure to tune in for next week’s new episode “City of Blood,” on Wednesday, April 23rd at 8:00 p.m. on the CW.