Frosty businesswoman Isabel Rochev (Summer Glau) has been supercharged on “Arrow.”
In last week’s episode of The CW series, Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) saved his associate from death by injecting her with what Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg likes to refer to as “evil juice,” aka – the Mirakuru serum. And it’s about to turn her into an evil superforce.
But that wasn’t always the plan. Originally, Summer’s character wasn’t going to kick butt at all.
“When Summer took the part, I was up there on the set with her and she’s like, ‘I’ve never done anything like this. I feel much better if I’m kicking somebody.’ [I told her], ‘You’re so good you should like give yourself more credit. … We wanted you because you’re a good actress, and you feel amazing in this part, not because you can kick ass.’ And then I got to call her and say, ‘Hey! We changed our minds. You get to kick ass,’” Kreisberg said of Isabel 2.0 during a chat with TV reporters. “When she does, it’s like ‘Oh, yeah!’”
The show’s EP said that while he and his fellow “Arrow” scribes were developing the Isabel twist that revealed she’s a Slade-trained fighter, some worried if it would work.
“It was funny because we were talking about this a lot in the room because some of the writers were like, ‘When she just starts kicking ass, aren’t people going to be like, what the f**?’ And I’m like, ‘No. They’re gonna be like, ‘Oh, why wasn’t she doing this sooner, because it’s Summer Glau, that’s what she does,’ and I think it worked out really well,” Kreisberg said. “And now that she’s got the evil juice in her — as we call it in the writer’s room — she’s gonna … you guys have all seen the pictures, she’s Ravager. It’s amazing.”
In the comic book world, Ravager is Rose Wilson, Slade’s illegitimate daughter. But Isabel in “Arrow’s” version of Ravager is no relation to bad guy Slade. Kreisberg revealed the writers actually considered making Sarah Lance (Caity Lotz) the villainous character from the DC universe.
“Truthfully, there was a very early iteration of the series where Sarah started the season as Ravager, and then we switched over, so we’d always sort of had that paradigm of Slade having that [in the] back of his mind. Obviously we didn’t want to make [Summer], Rose from the comics and have that trajectory, but you know, part of the reason Isabel disappeared for a while is we wanted – we still weren’t quite sure which way to go, whether she should be an ally or a villain,” Kreisberg said.
“Arrow” continues Wednesday night at 8/7c on The CW.
-- Jolie Lash