Arrow Showrunner Wendy Mericle On The Midseason Premiere

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With Arrow returning tonight, tensions are running high for fans. At the end of December's midseason finale, Felicity Smoak was shot and seemingly killed, leaving her new fiance Oliver Queen to, presumably, go on a roaring rampage of revenge.

We spoke briefly with executive producer Wendy Mericle about this week's episode...but we've also seen it, and there were some things we discussed, which can't be revealed just yet.

Read on for more, and check back tonight after Arrow for more comments from Mericle on the events of tonight's midseason finale and the impact they'll have on the season going forward.

The first big thing: I spoke with Caity Lotz this week, and was wondering whether it was strange for you guys sending some of your characters off to the kind of unknown territory of Legends of Tomorrow.

It’s actually been kind of exciting. We always like to reinvent the show and we really reinvented it in Season Three with Ray Palmer and with Sara back in Season Two as well — and then with having the mystery of her death last season and having the relationship between Felicity and Ray. Those are storylines that we really loved and we wanted to see continued somewhere else. We feel really lucky that they’re on legends, actually. That means they’re still int eh family and if we want to bring them back to Arrow, we can. It’s the best of both worlds; they get to grow and evolve, and we get the benefit of still having them around if we need them.

On that note, I have to ask about John Constantine, because my readers do, all the time.

I think everyone involved would love to have John Constantine back. He’s such a great character and Matt’s such a tremendous actor. We have no immediate plans — certainly not for Season Four — but we haven’t really begun to talk about plans for Season Five or beyond, and who knows? It worked so well and everyone had such a great time, I would never rule it out.

Speaking of Season Five, are there storytelling challenges that this year, you appear to be heading toward a cliffhanger that wouldn’t be resolved by the time the season is out? Or is it just a matter of not being all that worried about a renewal?

Me, myself, I don’t really ever take that for granted....I think it’s always smart to operate under the assumption that anything could happen, so whatever cliffhangers we’re working for, we think of a way it would round out the story. That said, I feel we are likely to get a fifth season, if only to complete the five years.

Yeah. If there’s ever a time to be worried, it’s probably once the five years are up, not so much before.

Yeah. You run out of the flashbacks. They could potentially end at Season Five. I don’t think if we got there that would be the case, but it was always the five years in the past type of thing, so the seeds of a five-year plan are definitely there.

When you’re doing an episode like tonight's, there aren’t a ton of Easter eggs — do you almost feel like when you’ve got such high stakes and a kind of dark episode, it’s harder to get too precious with the Easter eggs and references?

Yeah. It’s a very playful thing to lay the Easter eggs in and it’s something we do try to be sensitive to, especially in an episode like 410, where we are coming off a tragic, sad event and we’re trying to keep the tone consistent. We do tend to pull back, and sometimes I think it’s conscious and sometimes it’s not. You get so wrapped up in breaking the story and being truthful to the emotions of the characters that it’s not something you think about in the moment.