There’s this thing called the Televisions Critics Association (TCA) Summer Press Tour. The networks invite the biggest TV writers in the land to spend around 2 weeks looking at early footage and interviewing the stars and creators of all the hot new shows coming our way later in the year. It’s all about building buzz, and the way the people over at The CW use it is mostly to drop some juicy spoilers, both about new and returning shows. You’d think they’d hold back since most of their shows make a big footprint at San Diego Comic-Con, which goes down just next week. But, nope, there we were last year finding out not from Comic-Con but TCA that Arrow was going to introduce The Flash with the intention of setting up a spin-off.
Well, this year’s TCA Summer Press Tour is wrapping up. The CW trotted out the cast and creators of The Flash to field questions, and though Arrow wasn’t officially a presence at the event its producers were around and dropped some spoilers.
Here’s what we learned about Season 3 of Arrow:
1. Oliver & Felicity originally kissed during the season 2 finale.
It reportedly took place during Oliver’s fake declaration of love at Queen Manor. TVLine got Arrow EP Greg Berlanti to explain why the kiss was cut, “We felt like we didn’t need it, for a lot of reasons. But in part, we already were playing with [the viewers’] affections to a certain degree,” by having Oliver “profess” his love to his No. 1 gal, knowing that Slade was listening in.
So, are you one of those people who think what Oliver did was kind of mean since Felicity didn’t appear to be in on the charade? Imagine how much worse it would have seemed if he had kissed her.
2. There will be a 7-8 month time jump in-between seasons.
This is part of the show’s efforts to do things roughly in real time, i.e., over 5 months will have passed from the season 2 finale to season 3 premiere.
3. Yes, Oliver will ask Felicity out on a date in the season premiere
According to Arrow EP Andrew Kreisberg:
When you see the premiere and you see how things shake out, you’ll come to a very sympathetic understanding of both of their positions. The premiere last year was a microcosm of what was happening for the whole year. In the same way that the premiere of last season was really about Oliver struggling with whether or not he should be the Arrow, in this season premiere it’s, “Can I have everything I want?” That quest is going to take up his entire year, and hers.
4. Brandon Routh’s Ray Palmer will be a funny love interest for Felicity
A lot of what’s funny about Felicity and Oliver is that he’s so straight and she’s the funny one. With Brandon, you get somebody who’s as tall, square-jawed and handsome as he is [and] he’s a really funny comedian. He and Felicity can have that verbal repartee that we haven’t typically had on the show. As much as the show is getting darker, it’s gotten a lot funnier. It’s just such a different energy. He and Felicity are really cute together.
Sidenote: that’s roughly the same way they hyped up Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen and Felicity prior to his premiere.
5. They swear we’ll finally get more of Felicity’s background
Moreover, though they’ve done this already in the past more of the flashbacks this season than ever before will be given over to characters other than Oliver. Perhaps that’s how they’ll give us more on Felicity. According to EP Marc Guggenheim:
“We have had a backstory for her for over a year now that we keep saying, ‘This is the episode where we’re going to do it,’ and we don’t. But this is the year we’re going to do it. That script is getting worked on as we speak.”
6. Laurel will have her own love interest
Don’t expect Laurel to jump right into being Black Canary just because Sara gave her the coat. From Kreisberg:
As always with all of these things, you can’t just put on a mask and go running around. You’ll get killed. Laurel is still just an attorney. She’s an attorney with a jacket. I think Katie Cassidy fans are going to be very, very excited about her trajectory this year. Laurel is going to have a new love interest this season.
7. Caity Lotz will return to play Sara in at least 3 episodes
Sara Lance’s (Caity Lotz) entire season 2 story arc about learning through Oliver how to escape her inner-darkness and become a hero mostly resulted in her not changing at all. It’s supposed to be a positive thing at the end that she is voluntarily leaving to rejoin the League of Assassins, but in reality that was her leaving to go straight up murder people as part of an international terrorist organization.
Either way, her dad dropped to his near death quite literally one minute after she said goodbye. So, obviously you’d expect her to return, but the “They’re totally killing off Sara, aren’t they?” alarm bells should be going off when you see that she’s only back for 3 episodes, one of which will be named “Sara.” Andrew Kreisberg makes it sound far more upbeat:
We have [Caity Lotz] booked for three episodes and hopefully for more. We love Caity Lotz. She’s so amazing. Watching the dailies of her in the premiere and seeing her back, it’s always fun to see her. As much as her stuntwoman does, Caity really does get out there on her own and it’s fun to watch.
8. Colin Donnell will return as Tommy in a flashback
Colin Donnell is coming back in Episode 302. Tommy will be in the flashback story. We’ll be telling the story about how Tommy and Oliver just missed each other in Hong Kong. It’s a really amazing story and we’re so excited to have Colin Donnell back. It’s one of the advantages of the storytelling that we do that even when you die in the present day, you can still be alive in the flashbacks. It was something that we had talked about last year and then when we committed to doing the Hong Kong story, we knew we could really make it work.
Side note: former WeMinoredInFilm writer Julianne Ramsey recently met Colin Donnell in New York while he was signing autographs after performing in the musical Violet. He couldn’t have been nicer.
9. Diggle will struggle to justify his work with Oliver now that he is on a kid on the way
In case you forgot, the season 2 finale dropped the bomb that Lyla was pregnant with Diggle’s kid. That’s not going away. Kreisberg:
A lot of the opening episodes are about Diggle’s changing circumstances and how that’s affecting his decisions and how he approaches being part of Team Arrow. There’s a lot of conflict between Oliver and Dig about Dig now being a father. There’s also interesting conflict between Dig and Lyla because Lyla is still working at A.R.G.U.S., which we’ve painted as a less than savory organization.
Here’s what we learned about The Flash:
1. Felicity will cross-over into the show’s 4th episode
She’ll drop by Central City to check on Barry and his new life.
2. That guy from Prison Break has been cast as Captain Cold
Wentworth Miller will be playing the cold-themed baddie, one of the more notorious members of Flash’s rogue’s gallery in the comics. He’ll first show up in the 4th episode. Wait, the one Felicity will be in? Good memory. A certain IT girl could very well end up helping to take down a certain Captain.
3. William Sadler has been cast as Simon Stagg
Most recently seen playing the President in Iron Man 3, William Sadler will be crossing that Marvel/DC divide and joining the cast of The Flash. His character will be the CEO of Stagg Industries which is one of the major corporations in the DC universe, Stagg presumably being used as the giant corporation of record for Flash before Arrow already took Queen Consolidated and Lex Corp and Wayne Enterprises are probably off limits. It is believed Stagg will be a recurring presence on the show.
4. They intend to use as many DC Comics characters as possible
That’s according to Geoff Johns, who referred to their Flash as “the most faithful DC Comic adaption ever”
Here’s What We Learned About Both Arrow & The Flash
1. There will be a two-hour crossover event
Kriesberg teased “Episodes 8 of both shows, Arrow and Flash, are going to be a two-hour crossover event.”
2. Neither show is meant to be connected to the Man of Steel/Batman v Superman film universe
This is a reversal from earlier statements where the producers claimed to not for sure if WB would want to use any of the show’s characters in film. However, Geoff Johns chose to put this to rest, telling IGN:
It’s a separate universe than film so that the filmmakers can tell the story that’s best for film. While we explore something different in a different corner of the DC universe. We will not be integrating the film and television universes.
The Flash premieres on The CW on Tuesday, October 7th, while season three of Arrow kicks off on Wednesday, October 8th.