Now that it's revealed that someone from Oliver's past is back to bring him down, 'the drive of the second half of the season' is the two former friends' first present-day face-off.
"Arrow" just revealed a new big villain in its midseason finale. Turns out [SPOILER ALERT!] Manu Bennett's Slade Wilson who's Oliver's confidant in the island is not dead and has arrived in Starling City with an agenda to destroy Oliver's life.
"That's very much the drive of the second-half of the season," executive producer Greg Berlanti says on how this twist affects the direction of the second half of season 2. "This year we've got a two-pronged approach to the bad guy. We probably shouldn't say anything more than that but that is the driving force for the back-half of the year."
He continues, "Oliver knows about the presence of one of the bad guys; it helps us change the rhythm of the back-half of the year from what we may have done last year. So that we don't feel like we're breaking the same story or the same show."
Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explains what motivates Slade to harm Oliver. "He blames Oliver for what happened [to Celina Jade's Shado] and I think interesting for our hero, Oliver blames himself too," he says. Berlanti chimes in, "Things don't get better between [Oliver and Slade] on the island."
But Slade is not the only trouble coming for Oliver since his friend Roy (Colton Haynes) was injected with Mirakuru, which let Slade live but also take him down the dark path. "One of the things you'll find out as you go along is it's a deep-seeded anger that's inside of you that lets you to survive the Mirakuru transformation, which something Slade had which is why he lived and which is why Roy lived too," Kreisberg explains.
He goes on teasing, "The back-half of the year is interesting because you would have seen Slade injected. We obviously got a glimpse that he's taken a very dark path. What's fun for us as writers is we see what Roy's potential is to go down that dark path too."
The "Three Ghosts" episode airing December 11 also featured a crucial moment in the origin of Flash as Barry (Grant Gustin) got struck by lightning and thrown into a hodgepodge of different chemicals. "In the back half of the year, you hear about what happened to him in the way that you're hearing now about Star Labs and things like that, in the periphery and certainly in terms of Felicity since she has a connection with him," Berlanti says, confirming the Flash suit will first appear in the standalone pilot for the spin-off.
"Arrow" will return with the remaining of the second season on Wednesday, January 15 at 8/7 c on The CW.