Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg says the Mirakuru-injected Roy speaks harsh truths: "It's just all the things we don't normally say."
Roy Harper has reached maximum Mirakuru levels and he's about to go on a warpath on Arrow.
"Seeing Red," airing Wednesday, finds the infected Roy tearing Starling City apart in a fit of uncontrollable rage. At one point, he faces off against his former mentor Oliver Queen (as Arrow) and Sara Lance (as Black Canary) in a crackling battle. The cracks in Team Arrow start to deepen, as a divide begins to form over how to approach the Roy situation and bringing to question whether it's worth terminating or saving him. Roy, in the mean time, commits an irreversible crime during his rampage, and puts his ex-girlfriend Thea in danger at Moira's mayoral campaign event.
"That's been the hardest thing in the writers' room to manage -- [to figure out] what happens to you when you get Mirakuru'd," executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said. "Some people in the writers' room have tried to be like, 'Well, if it's two months, it's this level and three months, you're at this level. What's Slade at if you're at five years?' We tended to err on the side of what was right for the episode."
Kreisberg compared Roy's season-long Mirakuru arc to Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Angelus run. "When Angel became Angelus, all the things he was saying hurt Fred and Gunn and Wesley because he was telling them the truth. It's just all the things we don't normally say," he said. "Roy was right in episode 18, when he's like, 'You're all blindly following [Oliver] and doing what he says. Well, he's making all the wrong choices.' "
While the latest installment is a Roy-centric hour, there were several scenes left on the cutting-room floor over the run of episodes "where it might have felt like he disappeared," Kreisberg said.
One such example was a battle in episode 13, "Heir to the Demon." "He actually takes on Nyssa and her minion and that was where we discovered the pit-viper venom that she darts him after they fight and he passes out," he shared. "She says, 'Wow, you're strong. Most people would be dead from that.' " There was another scene where Roy was integrated into the group, but ultimately cut for time.
"We were going to have him disappear for a couple of episodes and really feel his absence and have this Magnificent Seven [moment] -- have everybody show up at the end," Kreisberg said of the original plan. In last week's episode, "The Man Under the Hood," Roy was discovered in Slade's machine, but Kreisberg indicated that that wasn't always the case. "We were going to have Slade in the machine and have Ravager step out and she was going to save him."