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Mark James here with an Arrow, specifically the Arrow panel on Sunday at Wonder Con, which is coincidental since the new episode.

The panel members included Paul Blackthorne (Detective Lance, also from the Dresden Files tv show), Willa Holland (Oliver’s sister, Thea Queen), Stephen Amell (Oliver Queen who is later known as Green Arrow), Colin Donnell (Tommy Merlyn, Ollie’s friend), and Marc Guggenheim, the series’ executive producer and writer.   Colin discussed his character, “A lot of stuff has been things been happening in Tommy’s world lately and things are not looking good for his relationship with Oliver and things might not be looking good for other relationships he has on the show, but one relationship might look good for him with his dad…maybe.”  He added, “Wednesday’s episode is going to tell a lot.”  Guggenheim added later, “Tommy’s got a cool moment with the gun in the season finale.”

Holland discussed her character’s development, “It’s been amazing.  Finally, Thea is on a virtous path.  It’s just been a smooth ride the past couple of episodes for Thea.  Colton (Hayes who plays Roy Harper, Green Arrow’s sidekick in the comics) had I had a lot of fun exploring where our characters are going to go.”  Guggenheim later discussed Thea and what her learning Oliver’s secret identity will mean, “For us, the big evolution of the Thea’s character was in the first nine episodes Thea was all about Oliver.  It was more two dimensional than we ever wanted that character to be and that was really our fault.  That’s why in the later half of the season, we gave this big effort to get her to interact with Laurel so she’s her own character and not just existing to service Oliver’s character. I think for us I don’t want to say when we will find out, but when she finds out, it should not take place in either incredible crisis or incredible joy in her life.  It shouldn’t be something that complicates her life as opposed to finding out that information passively.”

Blackthorne was asked about the emotional complexity of Detective Lance, “That’s the one thing that appealed to me about the character.  There’s some history there.  There’s something to play with particularly dark and tragic.”  Amell talked about Olivier Queen’s character arc, “We are coming to a point where Oliver is so hell bent on the list that was found on his father’s body and the instructions his father gave him before he died and that is creating a lot of collateral damage.  But the list is not going to be around forever and one of things I think we are driving towards is Oliver doing what he does for more of a virtous reason than just revenge.”  The host reported that John Barrowman (who plays Tommy’s father) tweeted to the Arrow writers right before the panel, “Just finished reading Ep.22. # F’n wicked.”  Episode 22 airs on April 24th with the finale on May 15.  Guggenheim further talked about Episode 22,  “Yeah, we tried to write Episode 22 like it would be a season finale.  If you watch 22 you’ll say how it works as a season finale for any other show.  Then, 23 is our season finale.”

Guggenheim explained about the storyboards used for the show, “We’ve got basically a Season One board that tracks all of the bad guys, the major relationship moments, the major mythology moments.  Then, we have another board that is pure relationships, character dynamics, all different ways the characters relate to each other.  We have a board that is titled, “Things We Want to See”, which is just all of these fun moments, a lot of which you’ve seen in season one.  There’s still bunch [of moments] which we are holding in our back pocket for seasons two and beyond.  We have a board that basically charts out the mythology.  All those answers by the way are coming up in the final three episodes of the season.”

Executive producer, Marc Guggenheim, also discussed the family arcs that are on the show, “Stephen (Amell) is absolutely right that if we don’t ground our action and plots in character and drama, it will all fall flat and be a very two-dimensional show.  The show was always designed to be a sort of a Shakespearan model with different families, different generations, and that all the stuff that comes to a head towards the end of the year.  Obviously, there’s all this stuff between Oliver and his dad, Robert Queen, even though he died in the pilot.  He casts a very large shadow in the final three episodes of the season.  You’ve got Tommy’s relationship with his dad.  The fracture point that that creates with him and Oliver.  All these these things are briskly known.  Nothing from the show is specific until the last three episodes of the season.”gital comic, “It will be published several weeks after the finale.”
The cast was asked about their reaction to the digital comic book.  Several installments were collected in printed comics form.  Steven Amell noted his reaction, “I like getting information.  There’s a scene in Episode Twenty-One where I have a mystery friend there and I texted Mark (Guggenheim), `who is this person?  He said check the digital comic.  There are no loose ends in this season.  Everything that happens eventually comes back home even little things.”  Guggenheim discussed the release of the digital comic, “It will be published several weeks after the finale.”
The last part of the panel was a question about the influence of the comic books on the show.  This was answered by Marc Guggenheim, “We made no secret that we drawing a lot inspiration from Longbow Hunters (the limited series by Mike Grell from 1987) in terms of tone.  There’s actually something specific in Longbow Hunters I want to do in season four or season five.  Then, of course, Green Arrow: Year One (the 2007 limited series by Andy Diggle and Jock.  Diggle? That name sounds familiar) which all takes place on the island.  We took a lot of inspiration from that.  Everything is fresh for the mill.  We are always looking at Green Arrow comics, but all the DC universe comics for inspiration, story ideas, we’ll steal from anyone.”  The cast was comfortable with the Wonder Con crowd and excited about the show.  Later, they went to the DC Comics booth to sign for fans with wristbands bringing in one of the biggest crowds at Wonder Con.