Why ‘Arrow’ Might See a Batman Tie-In Before Season 2 Ends

Last week, Arrow's creators made good on rumors that Batman villain Harley Quinn would make an appearance in the show (cameo here). Fool contributor Tim Beyers says there's reason for fans to believe we'll see more references to the Dark Knight's world before season 2 ends.

The next potential tie-in, Tim says, could come in episode 19. Titled "The Man Under the Hood," the story could refer to the original Red Hood from DC Comics lore, who goes on to become the Batman's arch-nemesis, The Joker.

Sounds crazy? Not if you look at the show's ratings and history. Season 2 hasn't drawn in as many fans as the inaugural, which averaged 3.68 million viewers per episode for The CW, a joint venture of CBS and DC parent Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) . Adding a major character like The Joker could build buzz ahead of the season finale, "City of Blood," which is due to air on April 30.

Meanwhile, intertwining plot points frequently refer back to Ra's al Ghul, an infamous Batman villain portrayed by Liam Neeson in Batman Begins and again in The Dark Knight Rises. Katrina Law plays his daughter, Nyssa, in the episode "Heir to the Demon," in which she's tasked with returning Sara (otherwise known as the heroine Black Canary) to the League of Assassins. Batman's influence is felt throughout Arrow, even if the Caped Crusader himself never makes an appearance.

Only the showrunners know how the story will play out. The point for both fans and investors is that, in referencing Batman's world so frequently, Arrow has introduced a model for creating a shared universe where callbacks, plot points, cameos, and the like stand in for expensive full-length guest appearances or movie-to-TV crossovers. The benefit? Fans get a taste of what the wider DC universe could become without promising too much, too soon, which Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) may have done when it first unveiled plans for Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last summer.

Instead of giving fans a platform for introducing new and emerging heroes -- what most of us had been hoping for -- the show has instead delivered a simmering spy narrative that's slowly building to a tie-in with next month's Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Warner and DC don't face those sorts of lofty expectations with Arrow. Yet that could change -- fast -- if the creators reveal tighter ties to the Batman universe before season 2 ends. Do you agree? Sound off in the comments section below.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On March 28, 2014, at 1:12 PM, EricJ wrote:

    Regarding the upcoming "Arrow" episode titled "The Man Under the Hood:"

    Since Green Arrow wears a hood on the show, a simpler explanation is that the title refers to him.

  • Report this Comment On March 28, 2014, at 1:41 PM, JDerek40 wrote:

    The Red Hood becomes Joker. HUM. Could Roy be headed for Gotham to get away from Thea? Anyone that watches the show knows he always wears that Red Hoodie.

  • Report this Comment On March 28, 2014, at 1:52 PM, TheFume wrote:

    It's funny that you mention the Red Hood, Tim, because I was thinking the same thing. Only I was thinking Tommy was going to come back as the Red Hood since Malcolm was taught under Ras al Ghul. I am thinking Red Hood will be the villain of season 3. I do not believe Tommy is dead.

  • Report this Comment On March 28, 2014, at 2:00 PM, masterimmortal wrote:

    “The Man Under the Hood” — (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) (Content Rating TBD) (HDTV) — Oliver (Stephen Amell), Canary (Caity Lotz), Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) return to the lair and find Slade (Manu Bennett) waiting for them. An epic battle breaks out and one member of Team Arrow is sent to the hospital. Thea (Willa Holland) hits her breaking point, but just as Oliver is about to reach her, Slade intervenes and Oliver is faced with a choice – his battle with Slade or his family. Meanwhile, Laurel (Katie Cassidy) struggles with a new secret.

  • Report this Comment On March 28, 2014, at 2:15 PM, TheFume wrote:

    Roy loses his arm to Deathstroke and becomes Arsenal in season 3.

  • Report this Comment On March 28, 2014, at 3:04 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @masterimmortal,

    Good to see you again, and thanks for posting the description. Looks like a smart set-up that could unleash more chaos that'll need resolving in season 3.

    Far as the business goes, I also like the teases and references. Doesn't hurt the story but advances the idea of a shared DC universe that will get bigger when The Flash arrives.

    Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On March 28, 2014, at 3:07 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @TheFume,

    Good to see you again.

    >>Roy loses his arm to Deathstroke and becomes Arsenal in season 3.

    And expands the possibilities for a DC shared universe? I could get behind that. At this point, they way they're depicting Roy something traumatic *does* need to happen in order to relieve tension and give the character a chance to grow.

    FWIW and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On March 28, 2014, at 3:14 PM, tbplayer59 wrote:

    Here's what I really want to see: Felicity reveals that her last name is a married name and that she, in fact, is a young widow. Her real last name is Gordon and she has an Uncle Jim in Gotham City. She is then injured during an attack by Slade confining her to a wheelchair, but still uses her technology skills to aid and assist Team Arrow as ORACLE.

  • Report this Comment On March 28, 2014, at 4:35 PM, falcon63 wrote:

    I would like to see Dick Grayson make an appearance. He would be around the same age as Roy and Thea. They will never put Robin/Nightwing into another movie so why not use him as a Batman tie in. I think it would be fun to have him come into town with the Hailey Circus as its new owner. They could even have one of the star attractions be Zantana. It could make for a fun team up. It would also leave the door open for a Titans spin off with Dick and Roy.

  • Report this Comment On March 28, 2014, at 7:08 PM, souldrummer wrote:

    Um... Did everyone miss the fact that they've already started to insert Batman references into the series?!

    In the episode "Suicide Squad" they briefly feature Harley Quinn, although they do not show her face. About 12 minutes into the episode, you hear a female inmate/member of Task Force X saying "Do you cuties need some counseling? I'm a trained therapist!" There is a brief shot of her in the shadow of her cell, only showing her blonde hair. There really can't be any question of whether this is her or not as Harley Quinn is a current member of the Suicide Squad in DC's New 52 run as well as her character's history as a former Arkham Asylum psychiatrist, so for those who are still holding their breath waiting for some Batman universe cameos, breath easy as it's already begun.

  • Report this Comment On March 28, 2014, at 7:51 PM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @souldrummer,

    >>Um... Did everyone miss the fact that they've already started to insert Batman references into the series?!

    Nope, that's what the video and article refer to. The point here isn't that we lack Batman references. The point is that we should see more before the end of season two.

    Thanks for writing and Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

  • Report this Comment On March 28, 2014, at 11:11 PM, mark204 wrote:

    I see a simple way to do it. The Arrow hears about a fight going on When he get's there is a group of guys out cold and finds a batarang.

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