You should’ve realized something terrible was going to happen in the Season 3 premiere of “Arrow” once you saw that everyone was happy. And it was called “The Calm.” There was clearly going to be a storm, people! A storm that begins with the death of a Team Arrow ally, unfortunately.
This should go without saying, but you should probably stop reading if you don’t want to be spoiled on the season premiere.
Sara, a.k.a. the Canary, returned to assist Oliver (and say hey to her sister, Laurel) only to be killed before she could head back out of town. This might not make you feel any better, “Arrow” executive producer Marc Guggenheim had just as much trouble writing her death as you did watching it.
“Any time we kill off a character from the show it’s always incredibly hard. We’re not ‘Game of Thrones.’ We’re not ‘Sons of Anarchy.’ It’s really, really, really, really difficult. Our cast and our guest cast are always wonderful people,” Guggenheim tells reporters after a screening of the episode. “It’s always really hard to kill off someone who you really love working with and really love writing for and really love seeing on the screen, but as with Tommy’s death, as with Moira’s death, the story implications for this development are so far-reaching for the show and affect all of the characters.”
Read on to find out what Guggenheim has in store for Caity Lotz during
the rest of Season 3, plus the devastating aftermath of her death that
will be addressed in episode 2, aptly titled “Sara.”
What purpose will Sara’s death serve?
It really kicks off a mystery that will drive us for at least the first half of the year. It will set Laurel on a trajectory she’s never had before on the show; it will create all these other complications and dynamics that I can’t talk about because it would spoil stuff; and it buys us a lot of story. It speaks to all the things that we wanted to do this year in terms of Laurel’s character, in terms of Oliver’s character, in terms of Felicity’s character. It’s always a hard thing to do but it is really the engine that’s driving the whole third season.
But Caity Lotz is back for at least three episodes, right?
I wasn’t lying! Totally true! You’re going to see her in the next episode, and then you’re going to see her in at least a third episode. The truth is, we have stories that involve Caity Lotz. One of the beautiful parts of the show is we do flashbacks, and we still want to tell the story of what happened when Sara washed up on the shores of Lian Yu after the events of [Season 2, episode 23], the sinking of the Amazo and how she met Nyssa and how she joined the League of Assasins. There’s still a lot of story left to be told with Sara. We did make a contract with Caity for three episodes, so I wasn’t lying and you certainly haven’t seen the last of her.
What will we see in episode 2?
Honestly, [“Sara”] is probably one of our most emotionally gut-wrenching episodes — as it needs to be, as it should be, because this character’s death affects all of the characters on the show. It’s kind of brutal. I don’t want to spoil it too much, but we chose the title “Sara” because it actually has a double meaning. There’s the question of what should be done with Sara’s body; there’s the question of who do they tell? Do they tell Lance, for example, that his daughter died a second time?
There’s the emotional repercussions for everybody — it definitely has repercussions for Oliver and Felicity, and it has repercussions for Felicity and Ray Palmer, and obviously for Laurel. Laurel is very much at the center of that episode. We’re also going to turn to a suspect in the killing. With us, you never know how soon things will get resolved or in what way they’ll get resolved. [“Sara”], I have to say, is one of our best episodes. … If you’re prone to tears or capable of crying during watching a TV show, you’ll probably be crying.
Is this a change of pace for the show?
In some ways yeah. I think it has all the elements that you typically expect from an episode of “Arrow,” but I think unlike when we killed of Tommy in [Season 1, episode 23], we went to a season finale end and a hiatus, so we never really dealt with the repercussions of his death. In [Season 2, episode 21], after Moira’s death, we dealt with the repercussions of that by taking Oliver out of the show, essentially. This episode is the first time we’ve actually really taken our time with these characters in the wake of a major character’s death.
That was totally Ra’s al Ghul in the last scene, right?
I have no idea. I have no idea who killed Sara. [After some cajoling…] I’m going to spoil it. Everybody remember Raisa from the pilot? The Russian maid at the Queen Mansion? It’s her. She did it. She’s pissed off she hasn’t been part of the show since, like the dog on “Picket Fences.”