The second season of "Arrow" brought a number of major changes to the cast of characters -- but none moreso than Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), Officer Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and Thea Queen (Willa Holland). Laurel hit rock bottom and found redemption across the course of the season; Lance reunited with his daughter Sara, presumed dead and was reinstated as a Detective; and Thea went through one of the most backbreaking emotional moments of the show when her mother Moira was killed by Slade Wilson in front of her eyes.
The trio of "Arrow" actors joined CBR executive producer Jonah Weiland on the CBR Yacht to discuss their major character arcs over the course of season two, and tease a bit of what's to come for Laurel, Detective Lance and Thea when the series returns in October.
On the challenge of playing Thea in "Arrow" season two: "It was very difficult, I'm not going to lie," said Holland. "One of the most difficult things about season two was dealing with the idea of A, not having Susanna [Thompson] around, and B, having to shoot Moira's death scene. There's no words to describe how harsh that was. It made for great television, I guess. The emotion that we were all feeling -- me, Stephen [Amell] and Susanna -- at that time really read on screen, I think. [Thea's] been going through hell."
"It's sort of a prerequisite for her character and Starling City, isn't it?" said Blackthorne.
"The one thing I did get teased about for season three is [where] season one was about justifying Oliver's arc on the island; season two was like justifying Roy's pseudo-arc on the island -- season three may or may not be justifying Thea's pseudo-arc on my island," said Holland.
On Quentin Lance's arc during season two: "Lance went through a lot, because as much as he was being humiliated in the public sense, within his heart, he knew he was doing the right thing the entire time because he would see the truth with the Arrow -- who he was, and what he was standing up for," said Blackthorne. "He took a public hit as a result of that conviction. Obviously, towards season's end, when that conviction paid off -- and that moment where he gets the detective's badge back, everyone was -- it had all been worth it after all! It kind of took Lance by surprise, how much it meant to him. And then, of course, slipping into the mayhem after that, it was all good fun."
On Laurel's redemption as a character: "I think season two for Laurel -- it was definitely interesting. I had no idea where they planned to go," said Cassidy. "Season two for Laurel was her island -- you have to hit rock bottom before you can come out the other side. I didn't know where it was headed, but she got into drugs and alcohol, numbing the pain and emotionally, it obviously took a toll on her -- and myself, and the rest of the cast!" [Laughs]
"You only see the bit on the screen! Watching Katie being unbelievably amazing and holding that misery together and that torment take after take and setup after setup -- she's amazing, mind-blowing," said Blackthorne.
"It was great because the writers gave her such a beautiful arc. At the end of it, Sara gives her the jacket -- I remember shooting that scene and I could not stop laughing! Every time I put the jacket on, I had this grin," said Cassidy. "It was definitely tough because all our characters went through something that was dark and deep and came out the other side."