The CW's "Arrow" took a big step forward in Season 4, episode 2 by introducing yet another character plucked from the pages of DC Comics. However, fans of the illustrated character Mr. Terrific were already confronted with some of the major changes brought to the hero’s TV adaptation.
In the latest episode, “The Candidate,” Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) fans were introduced to her newest partner in crime (fighting), Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum). He is introduced as a particularly gifted employee for Palmer Technologies who developed an algorithm to help ensure that lower-level employees are paid the exact amount of money the company owes them. Unfortunately, in Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) and Felicity’s absence, the company is in trouble and Holt’s algorithm was repurposed to determine which employees the company could afford to lay off, which ended up being quite a lot. Luckily, by the end of the episode [SPOILER ALERT] Felicity bets big on her new friend and hires everyone back claiming that Holt has an idea that they can present to the board in six months that will save the company from bankruptcy. Holt has no such plan, but he’s a pretty terrific guy and agrees to use one of the many tricks he has up his sleeve to save the company, thus solidifying him as a new character on the show.
As previously mentioned, Holt is based on the DC Comics character Michael Holt, who becomes the superhero Mr. Terrific. Although he doesn’t have super powers, the comic book character is one of the smartest men in the world, is an Olympic-level athlete and carries a black belt in six different forms of martial arts. His 14 PHDs allow him to invent some pretty neat gadgets to help in his crime fighting as well. However, Curtis Holt is different from Michael Holt in a few key ways, not the least of which being his sexual orientation.
To its credit, “Arrow” doesn’t make a big show out of introducing its first openly gay character. Holt actually off-handedly mentions his husband during a conversation with Felicity and that’s kind of the extent to which his homosexuality comes into play at all, which showrunner Wendy Mericle says was part of the plan all along.
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) October 15, 2015
“We’re very excited about him, and not just because he’s LGBT and we have an opportunity to explore that, but also he’s just a great character and Echo Kellum is phenomenal,” Mericle told Variety. “He has good scenes with Felicity. He brings a new, fresh dynamic. Obviously Ray [Brandon Routh] is leaving the show so we wanted a new superhero in that vein… It wasn’t necessarily to come at it from any particular angle in terms of gender or sexual orientation. It was more, it’s season four and one of the obvious secrets of keeping your show alive is you’ve got to repopulate, and Mr. Terrific was somebody that we discussed with DC and we were excited about. He’s smart and athletic and cool.”
Unfortunately, it’s unclear if Holt plans to suit up with Ollie and the rest of Team Arrow by the time Season 4 is over. However, if the series has taught fans anything, it’s that no one on the show goes too long before getting a costume all his or her own. What did you think of Echo Kellum’s introduction on “Arrow”? Comment below or tweet your terrific thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.