While most of my 'spoiler' posts are generally not pretty spoilery, this one is. We don't know any details really, but we know that whatever it is that unfolds in this episode, it's going to be quite huge, and the fact these photos haven't been officially released or published by any actors or crew members is a fairly good sign that this is being treated as spoilery, particularly given Stephen Amell's efforts to ensure both faces in the above image were dark.
So, first and final warning - potentially spoilery set photos follow.
Thanks to set photos - bound to get more and more frequent as Arrow and [The Flash](series:1068303) grow in popularity, with ratings actually rising for the former- we now can decrypt (or at least we think we can) the photo that Stephen Amell posted on the 8th of February, alongside this comment.
Why is the date important? Because the set photos date later than that, on the 11th of February, when Episode 18 of Series 3 started filming (as teased by Marc Guggenheim). Unusually for his tweets revealing these things, the title is omitted. This only really happens if the title contains a spoiler.
Now, on the same date the set photos were posted (yes, we're getting to them) Colton Haynes also posted this:
The dates all aligned, it suggests that Episode 17- Suicidal Tendencies, for you Squad fans - will end with an [Arrow](series:720988) vs. Arrow scene, or at least some early shooting was being done. Now we come to the photos, which reveal that a familiar face is beneath that hood, thanks to JustJared.com:
Yes, that is Colton Haynes, a.k.a. Roy Harper, wearing the suit.
Now, there's any number of reasons he could be wearing it, but let's have a look at some other set photos which reveal Paul Blackthorne - a.k.a. Detective (Captain) Lance in action.
SO, what's going on?
The short answer is we can only speculate. This is still many, many episodes away, including hotly anticipated "Nanda Parbat" and "The Offer," said to be series-changing episodes. If you're an Arrow fan from last year, you'll know basically once you get past Episode 14 - next week's episode - everything races on for the rest of the year and every episode something massive that leads to events in the finale happens.
Of course, when it's changing the dynamic of the show forever, you know something big is going down. Not to mention when last year Episode 18 was the massively game changing Deathstroke which basically began the arc into the finale full scale. So, let's have a speculate.
Vertigo is NOT involved - but is it a drug?
The thing about Arrow's seasons is that apparently unsolved or irrelevant plot details are called massively back into play, and there's a thread hanging which is really massive still. One of which is Thea's apparent murder of Sara Lance, or, more specifically, the drug which Merlyn used to brainwash her into doing so.
It's entirely possible that Roy and Oliver seem to be fighting because of the influence of such a drug that the League of Assassins and Malcolm Merlyn know how to use - one grown, if memory serves, in Corto Maltese. While Veritgo isn't involved, it's possible these two are fighting because Roy is brainwashed and goes rogue, forcing Oliver and Lance to stop him.
Problem with this? Brainwashed people tend not to be so complacent when getting arrested, whereas Roy looks quite calm and collected as Lance trains his gun on him in the Arrow costume.
Has Roy just snapped with Oliver and gone off alone?
In Arrow's most recent episode, "Canaries," we saw Oliver and Roy fight in a way the pair never really have before. Roy under the influence of Mirakuru last season stormed out of the team in a rage with Oliver, and it's entirely possible that those doubts are still nagging away at him. Despite that, this tension really seemed to spawn from Oliver's absence and demanding to be a leader again, with Roy sticking up for Thea (in quite a nice moment, really).
If anyone knows Roy and Oliver from the source material, they trust each other unquestionably. They're a perfect team, and really they're like father and son, but their relationship is far from perfect. They have issues. Oliver has disowned Roy before, Roy has left Oliver furiously to go off independently, and Roy generally as a sidekick is one of the few in comics who is truly willing to stand up for what he believes is his right to be a hero.
But this Roy and Oliver I don't think have reached that stage yet. They're just partners. Rumors had it that Roy might appear on Titans if crossovers were possible, but I don't think he'd leave Arrow to become a regular there. The pair have tension, but they do (self admittedly) trust and respect each other as partners more than anything else, and there's training still to go. Even that aside, Roy is a lot more mature than the criminal we met in the Glades, and I don't think he'd steal one of Oliver's suits (he has his own - and, sorry Oliver, but it's cooler) to go and get himself arrested by Lance. That's simply not Roy anymore.
After all, they're a team. And just about the only sidekick/mentor relationship that's ever been done right in live action. They're buddies...right?
There're endless possible theories, but my own favorite is that the pair are still working together.
These two are partners. If anything, I think Roy has proven he'd be more than happy to take the fall for Oliver if Oliver needed it - even if Oliver didn't necessarily want that himself. It seems odd Roy would just be wearing an Arrow suit without someone giving him one - namely Oliver.
It's possible that Ra's al Ghul (or another villain, though being the 'big bad' he seems the most likely candidate) is going to attempt to tear the symbol of the Arrow apart, expose Oliver Queen to the world; perhaps he'll frame him in a crime, or something of the sort, and Roy will take the fall. Why would Roy be fighting him, then, you ask? Perhaps, like I mentioned earlier, Roy would be glad to take the fall, but Oliver would not allow Roy to take the fall for him. The fact (while these are just set photos) Roy seems to be surrendering without a fight, quite non aggressively, could be an indicator of doing that for Oliver.
Maybe Oliver and Roy set up the fight to make it look as if there's a copycat vigilante, and while Detective Lance would know Roy is not the real deal ("Harper..." remains one of my favorite exasperated lines of Lance's so far; that whole scene was great) the city wouldn't. Maybe Stephen Amell just wanted a cool photo for his Facebook page to trick us all, which seems entirely possible.
Whatever the case, we'll have to wait to know for sure, but Roy's character certainly seems to be being taken in a brand new direction that perhaps will change the show and how it works forever.
EDIT: We know now that Episode 19, which will also have Doug Jones guest starring as the villain Deathbolt, will be called Broken Arrow.
Episode 18's title is still, at this point, unknown, but that doesn't bode well.
EDIT: I think I've figured it out. I have a new theory.
Marc Guggenheim today posted his "Hangman" for this episode. We don't have confirmation yet what it's called, but we have something pretty close.
My guess? The title is Public Enemy.
Now, this most recent episode, The Return, we saw Detective Lance really get snappy with Laurel at the end. He's lost his trust with her. Why? Not only because she lied about Sara, but because she's been in on this whole thing for ages, and now she's wearing a mask alongside the one person Lance can truly project his anger for Sara's death on to, who knew about it and kept it from him, who he supposedly trusts to do anything, who promotes the law: The Arrow.
I am going to take a huge but something in my gut tells me its right kind of guess and say that Detective Lance is going to try and properly bring the Arrow down, which will lead into Roy's arrest, taking the fall for Oliver.
Why does this fit? Because the moment Broken Arrow was announced as an episode title, I thought of Roy Harper, as did many other fans, because he was referred to as exactly that in Young Justice.
This will then lead into an arc for the rest of the season having Oliver fighting for Roy, and not just against the League of Assassins, but against the very city, and, quite possibly, actually having him reveal his identity to the city to save Roy.
Whatever the case, if it's anything like the above, we're in for a ride.
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