8:15am PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
DC TV Watch: Burning 'Arrow' Questions the Final Season Should Answer
Welcome back to The Hollywood Reporter's weekly DC TV Watch, a rundown of all things DC Comics on the small screen. Every Saturday, we round up the major twists, epic fights, new mysteries and anything else that goes down on The CW's Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, Black Lightning and new series Batwoman. This week, let's take a look at all the burning questions that need answers in Arrow's final season.
Arrow season eight burning questions
When exactly will Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) die? | Just as The Hollywood Reporter predicted after the Batwoman/Elseworlds crossover concluded at the end of 2018, Oliver did indeed make a deal with The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) to save Barry (Grant Gustin) and Kara's (Melissa Benoist) lives. But in a surprise twist, it turns out that not even Oliver knew what he was agreeing to. The Monitor returned at the end of the Arrow season seven finale to collect on their deal after Oliver had put the superhero life behind him and moved into his new home with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) in the woods to get off the grid and protect their newborn daughter's life. The Monitor interrupted their content, happy ending as a resigned Oliver asked him, "So what bargain did I make? What does the multiverse require?" Oliver never actually agreed to trade his life for theirs; he just blindly accepted whatever would come in the future, making the result even more heartbreaking as The Monitor told him that he'll "assist me as we seek to prevent the inevitable." He also said that he's seen Oliver’s death during "the crisis," aka the upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, and while he can’t stop it, Oliver can still save countless lives and the entire universe. But the crossover will take place over five episodes (the largest yet), split into two chapters: three episodes airing in December 2019 and two airing in January 2020. It will include all five Arrow-verse series, including Legends of Tomorrow (which sat out this year's crossover) as well as newcomer Batwoman. That means the first chapter of the crossover will hit right near the end of Arrow's 10-episode final season, giving the series one or two episodes after to wrap up any story loose ends that don't pertain to Crisis. Seeing as how Oliver's gravestone, glimpsed at the end of the finale, showed the year of his death is 2019, that means he'll die at some point during the first three episodes of the crossover airing in 2019. But will he die in the Arrow episode of the crossover, or on another show's hour?
How will Oliver's disappearance with The Monitor shape the final season? | With all signs pointing to Oliver's death thanks to his mysterious deal in last year's crossover, the question remained of when it would come. Now that his death in the Crisis crossover has been confirmed and Oliver already left with The Monitor in the season seven finale, there's no telling what Arrow is going to look like in the last 10 episodes of the series. Will the show follow Oliver as he travels across the multiverse with The Monitor as they attempt to stop the Crisis? Or will the show stick with all of Oliver's loved ones that he left behind as they grapple with his absence?
Will the final season just focus on the upcoming Crisis crossover? | This question goes hand-in-hand with the one above but deserves its own spotlight. Arrow threw fans for a loop when it began the countdown to the crossover at the end of the season seven finale. This is the earliest that the Arrow-verse has ever teased the upcoming crossover event, as it was first introduced an entire year in advance at the end of the Elseworlds crossover. The Monitor has popped up throughout the Arrow-verse a few times since then, but with Oliver leaving with him at the end of the finale, it seems as if Arrow is now just going to be focused on building up to the massive comic book event. That sounds like it's going to be epic in its own right, but will diehard Arrow fans be disappointed if the final season is solely crossover-centric?
Will Felicity return at any point in the final season? | After The CW announced that Arrow's eighth season would be its last, Rickards sent shockwaves through the fandom by announcing on Instagram that she would not be returning for the final run, despite it only being 10 episodes. Her absence was explained away in the season seven finale, first in the present-day storyline as she agreed to live off the grid to keep her newborn daughter Mia safe from a terrorist organization plotting to get revenge on her and Oliver. No matter what happens with Team Arrow in the present, Felicity essentially vowed never rejoin the team for the sake of her daughter. And having already said goodbye to Oliver knowing he was going to die in this finale, that also helps explain why the character won't be in the crossover or series finale ... unless Rickards decides to appear in the series finale. Will the actor choose to return for the most iconic moment in the series? It's hard to imagine not seeing Felicity grieve Oliver's death in any way, shape or form on the series. And in the future storyline, after saving Star City with both her grown children Mia (Katherine McNamara) and Will (Ben Lewis), Felicity visited Oliver's gravestone and then called on The Monitor to take her ... somewhere. “I have waited a very long time to see him. I’m ready,” she said before walking with him into a blue portal, from which The Monitor warned she'd never be able to return. Did he take her to another universe where Oliver was still alive? If the Crisis crossover eliminates the multiverse as it did in the comics, that can't be possible. Is he taking her to heaven? Is that even possible? So many questions will remain open-ended forever, unless Rickards does choose to return at some point in the final season to help answer them.
Who else can/will return for the final season? | In the season seven finale, Oliver left with The Monitor to help stop the Crisis and Felicity chose to remain behind (and off the show) with their newborn daughter. And then every other character seemed to get their own happy ending. And because of that, regardless of Oliver's upcoming crossover fate, the finale felt pretty much like a series finale. The title of the hour was even "You Have Saved This City," concretely confirming that Oliver's quest and Team Arrow's mission had been accomplished. So what more is there left to say or show with the other characters on the show? Which characters will return for the final season, and what will they do? Will they just join up in the fight against the Crisis? And if so, will they be playing their Earth-1 versions or another universe's doppelganger?
Will there be any more flash forwards? | As with most of these burning questions, this one ties right back into what the final season will be about. If Arrow only focuses on the upcoming Crisis crossover, the series won't have any use for its flashback/flash forward structure that has defined the show since the very beginning. But if Arrow does continue its own story separate from the crossover, will there be more flash forwards to the future? Or will the series move entirely into the future and tell the stories of the new Team Arrow, aka Will and Mia and their allies as they continue to save and protect the new Star City as they learned how to from their parents?
Next week, we're looking at all the burning questions that The Flash needs to answer in season six.
Note: Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow, The Flash and Black Lightning will all return next season, along with new DC TV series Batwoman, all on The CW.