Lyla Suits up as Harbinger on 'Arrow' — Audrey Marie Anderson Teases 'Crisis'
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Season 8, Episode 7 of Arrow, "Purgatory."]
Arrowverse's "Crisis" has officially, finally arrived — and so, apparently, has a certain character's destiny.
Arrow has finally revealed the purpose of Oliver's (Stephen Amell) missions so far this season: to gather the necessary parts to build a weapon. "Novu said this is how we survive [Crisis]," Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) informed the others.
In Episode 2 of the final season, viewers learned that Lyla has been working for The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett). "At that point, it's interesting because you don't know how long they've known each other [or] been working together," Anderson told TV Insider. "There's more of a relationship than you realize [at that point]. He's sending her on these tasks, and when we first see that dynamic, we don't know if he's good or bad [or] what's going on. It's really fun to see later on what that relationship is."
We've since learned this all goes back to when Lyla sought to make deals with gods during her time in the military, as she hinted at to Laurel (Katie Cassidy) in Hong Kong. "[Mar Novu] told me he rescued me that day because I had a greater purpose," she told Diggle (David Ramsey) in "Purgatory." As Anderson said, while keeping the secret from her husband is "a big deal ... when you see the extent of what's going on and how epic the circumstances, they come through together in the true Lyla-Diggle fashion."
That's true as we learn the "greater purpose." Lyla, not Oliver, was the one who could activate The Monitor's weapon, and before she did, Diggle told her, "I understand why you have to do this." After she did, she stepped through one of The Monitor's portals and the next time we saw her, it was as "Crisis" was beginning — and she'd suited up.
"Lyla?" Oliver asked as he and Mia (Katherine McNamara) walked toward her. "Not anymore," she said. "I'm now a Harbinger of things to come. ... The Crisis has begun."
Her code name "was always a shout-out" to this, Anderson said. "Now we're going to see a final pay-off to that," which includes the suit that has now debuted on-screen. "It's pretty cool," she said. "They did a great job with it."
And the beginning of Crisis means that we're that much closer to Oliver's (seemingly) inevitable death. "Lyla is very conflicted. She definitely feels remorse in one sense and feels the gravity of what is happening," Anderson explained of her character's feelings regarding her husband's best friend's fate. "But she also has a much deeper understanding of what needs to be done than some of the other characters, and so in a way, she and Oliver both understand on a deep level what needs to be done, but she also really grieves for her partner, for Diggle. It is a complicated situation."
And that aspect of her character — understanding the bigger picture — remains true in these episodes. But will any part of her question that? "There are a couple moments with The Monitor where she maybe doesn't understand his decisions, but I don't think she ever wavers on what she has to do," Anderson acknowledged. "She knows what she has to do."
As Lyla has said, she's doing all of this to protect her family. So, what about a certain member of that family who was erased by Flashpoint? Lyla hasn't forgotten baby Sara. Last season on The Flash, Lyla met Barry's (Grant Gustin) daughter from the future, which she said was "no weirder than waking up one day to find out that your son used to be your daughter."
"I was glad I got to have a line referencing that situation," Anderson said, but she couldn't reveal if we'd ever see Diggle and Lyla's daughter again.
But for now, "Crisis on Infinite Earths" is here, and the actress promises it will be "surprising" and "very satisfying for viewers and fans."
Arrowverse "Crisis on Infinite Earths" Crossover, December 2019 and January 2020, The CW