Arrow: The Cast Teases an Oliver-Malcolm Confrontation & the al Ghul Familyby Clarissa / October 28, 2014
Sara’s death early this season on Arrow has a ripple effect that will last many episodes. Laurel is working towards her destiny of becoming the Black Canary, but in the more immediate future the return of Nyssa al Ghul will cause problems for Oliver and the people of Starling City. The League of Assassins member has come to town to seek out Sara and, now aware of her death, she’s going to encourage Oliver to go after Malcolm Merlyn, the man she believes is responsible for Sara’s murder. Oliver didn’t encounter Malcolm when he headed to Corto Maltese to retrieve his sister, Thea, in the last episode, but the two men will come face-to-face in this week’s episode.
During a recent visit to the Vancouver set of Arrow, we spoke with stars Stephen Amell and John Barrowman about Malcolm and Oliver’s reunion in this week’s episode, the return of Nyssa and the introduction of the villain Ra’s al Ghul, whose appearance this season was revealed at Comic-Con.
The Oliver-Malcolm Showdown. “We had 200 extras there. That was exciting,” Amell said. “It is a costume-less, weapon-less, fisticuff-less exchange. Concurrently, it’s probably the most charged exchange that we’ve had in the show. We shot it in our 50th episode, fourth episode this year, and for me personally, I love these things on TV when something is set up and you let it lay for a while. In our case, we’re talking about letting it lie for 27 episodes — between the season 1 finale and episode 4 of season 3. So just playing scenes also with John [Barrowman] is a growing exercise for me as an actor because there’s so many things that he does and chances that he will take that I feel they are expanding my character and I’m feeling the repercussions personally on a professional/technical level in the aftermath of episode 4 and I’m bringing them into scenes as we move through the season.” Barrowman added that “Malcolm has always loved Ollie like a son because again jumping back, and I kind of tried to plant this in with these little nuances. When I went to Tommy’s birthday party and he rejected me there, I look at Oliver throw him the present, and gave him a wink. A lot of people didn’t get a catch on that but that was my way of connecting with Ollie, the devastation when I revealed who he was. So this time when we do meet [in the upcoming episode], Malcolm has something to say to him and it’s not about fighting and it’s very interesting what he has to say and how he says it. I think it’s also a bit of a surprise for Oliver. That’s all I say.”
Nyssa’s Return to Starling City. “She’s a ticking time bomb,” Amell explained about Nyssa. “She leaves [episode] 4 as a ticking time bomb and Oliver leaves with a whole host of new enemies. He feels very much as though it’s his responsibility to bring whoever did this to justice. And I will say that of all of the convoluted, devious plans that we’ve ever had on the show, the ‘Who killed Canary?’ device is right at the top. There’s an opportunity for them to work in concert in Episode 4, but Oliver’s methods and Nyssa’s methods don’t match up. She’s the ‘Shoot them all, figure it out afterwards’ and Oliver’s like, “I used to be that way! I’m not anymore.” So that creates the conflict for them. But Katrina [Law] has been excellent this year. We’ve seen her a few times now and it’s always a treat, I think, that she has fleshed out the Nyssa character. And I think it’s been probably helpful for Matt [Nable], who’s been playing her father and having such a strong, fleshed out character as his daughter has probably given him a really nice signpost for how to play Ra’s.”
The Introduction of Ra’s al Ghul. “He’s great,” Amell gushed. “I had my first opportunity to work with him recently and he’s wonderful. He’s really good. The character has a very worldly feel without being… I wouldn’t call it “exotic” at all. When I saw the reveal of his wardrobe of at Comic-Con, I thought ‘somewhat exotic,’ but he grounds it and he puts it into our world. Very excited for his development on the show. Really if you’re a fan of comics, you’re really going to enjoy the reveal of Ra’s al Ghul, I mean, like the first frames of seeing him. That’s gonna be pretty cool. It’s going to create a lot of chatter.” When asked about Malcolm’s history with Ra’s and what his introduction to Arrow could mean for Merlyn, Barrowman said “Malcolm is someone who is not stupid. He knows what’s going on. He probably has people watching and his information being fed back to him. There is a sense of worry and concern, not fear. However there might be moments where you might look at Malcolm and you might see something and go ‘oh my god he looks scared’. But is he really? Or is just manipulating the situation? I think he’s concerned about Ra’s being here, but he’s not stupid. He will try to figure a way to protect himself and hopefully those around him.”
Watch a sneak peek below and tune in to an all new episode of Arrow on October 29 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.