After nearly a season of appearing on The CW's "Arrow," Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) is finally embracing his comic book origins. "Tremors," which airs tonight, finds Roy becoming the disciple of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and continuing the long road to becoming superhero Red Arrow.
"Oliver's not the best teacher," Amell said when we caught up on the phone in advance of the episode's premiere. "I wouldn't expect, knowing what I know about him, to be the most patient individual. So having to train Roy, and deal with the side effects of Mirakuru, it's an undertaking that to me seems like its doomed to failure."
The show, despite its four-color origins, has mostly eschewed superpowers in favor of more down to earth takes on heroes. But this season has introduced a drug called Mirakuru which kills most people... But for a select few, including Roy and villain Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett), grants incredible strength, healing, and reflexes. It also has a few unintended side effects.
"When you watch the episode you'll see the Mirakuru is affecting Slade in the past, and Roy in the present," Marc Guggenheim, Executive Producer of "Arrow" and writer of tonight's episode told us. "They're both faced with tremors that are caused by the Mirakuru."
"Well, it's a good title, I'll tell you that much. It was a good movie in the '80s," Amell joked on the name of the episode.
But beyond the physical tremors experienced by Roy and Slade, the team will also be dealing with a threat from the past. Specifically, the earthquake machine that destroyed a large portion of Starling City in the season one finale. Despite all that, "Tremors" wasn't even the original title of the episode.
"One title we played around with was the title 'Broken,' " Guggenheim added. "Laurel is continuing her downward spiral, she's broken. Roy is broken by the Mirakuru, Slade is broken by the Mirakuru. Moira is even broken by the guilt she feels for having caused the earthquake at the end of last year, for having helped caused the earthquake. Another theme throughout episode twelve is reparations, and if broken people can be repaired."
Speculating a bit, it's possible the "Broken" title could have also applied to the relationship between Slade Wilson and Oliver Queen. Once friends trapped on a dangerous island together, something happened between the duo that led to Slade losing his eye, and putting together a master plan to destroy Queen in the present. So what went wrong?
"We actually learn in this episode what happened," Amell noted. "Or at least what Oliver thinks happened with he and Slade on the island. Which we've hinted at before, but I actually get a chance to say."
And true to form on "Arrow," the past affects the present. "The word is 'train' Roy, but I really think he's trying to control him," Amell said. "Because he is so aware of how bad things got with Slade."
"It's Roy's episode," added Guggenheim. "We're paying off a promise we made to the audience a year ago, when we introduced Roy. The journey has made it more memorable, and far more momentous."
"Arrow" airs 8 p.m. ET on The CW.