When we last saw “Arrow,” Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) had just made Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) an offer he couldn’t refuse — to replace Ra’s as the head of the League of Assassins. In the March 18 episode, aptly titled “The Offer,” Oliver will have to weigh his options carefully, and according to executive producer Marc Guggenheim, “It’s a better offer than people might think.”
Now that Ra’s has dropped that unexpected bombshell on our hero, Guggenheim says, “After the offer comes the sales pitch, and the sales pitch is going to be surprisingly compelling. One of the things we love to do on the show is to make the villains’ arguments very believable and persuasive, and Ra’s is probably the best there is at that. So he’s going to make a very good case for the League of Assassins and why Oliver should take it over, and Oliver is going to discover that a lot of things Ra’s said had some merit, so what seems to be a crazy idea becomes not so crazy.”
Observant viewers will have picked up on the fact that Ra’s looks pretty young for a guy who says that his last trial by combat was 67 years ago, and comic book fans know that there’s a very good explanation for the Demon Head’s apparent immortality — a regenerative pool called the Lazarus Pit, which has been used to resurrect or heal numerous characters in DC Comics’ canon.
While Guggenheim admits that “Arrow” has been dropping hints about the existence of a Lazarus Pit for some time, he says that “in Episode 16, we drop the subtlety — you will find out everything you want to know. I am really very proud of the speech Ra’s gives about it, because we actually grounded it in reality and history, which is one of the things we like to do on the show, so even the magical can have a legitimate historical explanation and precedent for it. So you’ll want to pay close attention to what Ra’s says about it. All the Lazarus Pit fans, episode 16 is their episode.”
The Lazarus Pits are also a way of laying the groundwork for more mystical and magical forces to enter the world of “Arrow,” Guggenheim tells Variety: “I feel like once we’ve done Mirakuru, magic in many ways is even more organic. There’s a fun moment in the ‘Vixen’ cartoon where Flash and Arrow meet Vixen… Vixen’s powers are based in magic, so Barry, who’s a scientist, goes, ‘I don’t believe in magic, this is crazy tunes,’ and Oliver, who’s usually the skeptic, says, ‘This is something I can get on board with.’ Because he’s experienced some stuff in his life and he’s discovered that the world’s a much bigger place than people realize. So that was our way of saying that magic fits very nicely in the ‘Arrow’ universe.”
It’s a development that they’ve been planning for some time, the exec producer says: “When we started out this year, if last year was about bringing superpowers into ‘Arrow,’ this year’s about bringing magic into ‘Arrow,’ and it opens up a lot of opportunities and choices for us.”
Could that include Constantine, whether or not the NBC show of the same name (produced by Warner Bros. Television, the same studio behind “Arrow” and “The Flash”) is renewed for a second season? “We love Constantine, but he does have his own show, and we’re rooting for it to come back because they’re our partners and friends,” Guggenheim says, offering a “who knows?” at the possibility of the character ever crossing over. “There’s a wide variety of magical ideas and characters in the DC universe that would work very nicely with ‘Arrow,’ so we’ll see where the future takes us.”
“Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.
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