Since Arrow‘s season four premiere the audience has been treated to a storyline that has left us anxious, intrigued, and downright terrified as it showed us a flashforward six months in the future to Oliver Queen knelt at a grave mourning the loss of someone close to him. Since that final scene in the season premiere fans have been speculating and obsessing (us included) about which significant character was in that grave.
But the time has finally come.
“This is the episode where you find out who’s in the grave,” executive producer Marc Guggenheim told reporters at a screening of Wednesday’s episode (via The Hollywood Reporter).
As far as the impact of this character’s death, Guggenheim noted how death has changed across all three of these superhero shows on The CW. While death might be painful it’s not something that we can ignore or escape, especially in a world with stakes so high that these heroes are needed for their sacrifice.
“Dead is not goodbye,” Guggenheim said. “We definitely recognize across all three shows [Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow] that when we kill off a character, it means something different now. I’m not going to put a qualitative judgment on whether it’s more or less impactful. I’ll leave that up to the audience. But certainly, we acknowledge that there’s a difference. Arrow much more so than Flash or Legends, for a lot of reasons, it traffics in death. For better or for worse, death is a part of the show. What we’re finding as we’re pushing into season five, the show has to evolve. The concept of death on the show is evolving and changing as we’ve seen with Sara Lance. As the show has evolved, so has death.”
When it comes to the death, it’s something that’s going to be significant and shocking and something that’s going to be felt emotionally in its aftermath.
“It’s going to be huge and significant,” executive producer Wendy Mericle said. “There’s no question that it is going to be shocking. It was a shocking thing for us to process and to write the aftermath. We really wanted to make sure that we did it in a way that was very honorable and gave us space to honor all the characters’ various reactions to it. The episodes we’ve written in the aftermath are devastating. They’re meant to be. We wanted to explore that and have everybody feel the impact of this loss.”
But while this death will be devastating, it will serve to help move the story forward as it brings this harsh sense of reality that anyone can die and brings the stakes back to this show.
“It is a game changer in a very sad way that we’re losing a beloved character but also in the sense of it’s going to open up new storytelling avenues and will force our characters to rethink their decisions and their objectives,” Mericle said. “Death is a reality and with the Lazarus Pit and the possibility of coming back, it’s easy to forget that these people are vigilantes, they’re out on the street, they’re doing dangerous things. This brings that reality back in a rude and brutal way. It’s good for the audience to be reminded of that and for our characters as well.”
Read the full interview over at THR where the producers comment about the death being spoiled with paparazzi photos.
Arrow airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.