SPOILER ALERT: Do not read any farther if you haven’t yet seen this week’s episode of Arrow, “Seeing Red” and don’t want to have the ending ruined for you. Fair warning.
Yes, that happened. And if it caught you complete off guard, well, you’re not alone. The first time we saw “Seeing Red,” we were floored by the last five minutes, just like you probably were. The death of Moira Queen was shocking, and we wanted the sequence to play for you much the same way it did for us—unanticipated. Much like Oliver, we knew you wouldn’t see it coming, which may be as close as we can get you to experiencing what life as the Arrow must be like every single day for Oliver.
Rest assured, however, that it wasn’t a decision the Arrow team entered into lightly.
“The decision [to kill off Moira Queen] was difficult,” Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg revealed at a recent screening. “Susanna Thompson has been with the show since the beginning. But the decision, it was really just a question of where her trajectory was going.”
As fans know, Moira’s past is a pretty shady one. She shares a history with Malcolm Merlyn, which became even deeper earlier this season with the revelation that Malcolm is actually Thea’s father. This history led to the death of thousands of Starling City residents in last season’s season finale and saw Moira in jail and defending herself against a death sentence earlier this season before Malcolm seemingly engineered her release. Moira’s secrets have driven a wedge within the Queen family, with Oliver and Thea only very recently extending anything close to an olive branch, which makes the timing of this week’s events all the more tragic.
“We were talking about the future and it was only going to be powerful if Slade really changed the game by doing something truly monstrous. It was, well if Moira wins the mayorship, if she makes up with her kids, what is she? What is Moira without a giant secret? And if they all forgive her, and then there’s some other giant secret, well for us it felt like we were becoming a soap opera. It just felt like in a way, she could die a sort of hero’s death, and also die as a person who is conflicted because even as she’s saying that they have to tell the truth, we’re seeing that she’s kept this other horrible secret. You can’t change her and she literally goes to her grave lying—despite the fact that she sacrifices herself for her children.”
As for that secret—that she bribed the mother of Oliver’s child to falsely tell him she had miscarried and cut off all further contact with him—look for it to play a role in next year’s storyline.
“The best part of the success that the show has had is knowing that we’re going to be able to make more and that we could drop things in and pay them off later,” Kreisberg expounded “This is something that will be paid off in Season 3.”
But if you’re wondering what awaits you in the more immediate future, you can look for hints within “Seeing Red” as well. Sara Lance leaving Starling, Slade’s super-powered army, Sebastian Blood’s now unopposed mayoral race… But most of all, the repercussions of those last five minutes. That Moira Queen’s death will be felt is obvious, but how it affects everyone is interesting.
“Her death, just like with Tommy, has a profound impact on everyone in the series,” said Kreisberg. “It’s certainly what’s going to drive Oliver in these last three episodes, and it’s going to drive Thea into Season 3.”
We know we’ll be watching. But after tonight, we’re not sure we know what to expect.
So what did you think of tonight’s shocking twist? Need a place to sound off or perhaps grieve a bit? Share your thoughts in the comments below.