By Lexie Kauffman ‘22
The beloved CW show, Arrow, is coming to a conclusion. The eighth, and final season will premiere on Tuesday, October 15, 2019. The writers face many obstacles when bringing this fan favorite to an end.
Every year the CW makes a crossover with all of its superhero shows. In the season seven crossover, Oliver Queen, the Arrow, is forced to make an agreement with a celestial being, The Monitor, in order to save his friends Barry Allen and Kara Danvers. He agreed to do “whatever the multiverse requires.” At the time, no true impact seemed to exist, but at the end of the season, the Monitor returned, requiring Oliver to leave with him. Oliver, forced to leave for the survival of his wife and children, is then taken to do the Monitor’s bidding.
The cryptic message Resulted in many fan theories of time travel and alternate universes; however, the cast list reveals some confusing information about the final season.
As one last hurrah, the show is bringing back multiple fan favorites as series-regulars for the final episodes. This practice is not uncommon in TV; however, The Arrow’s returning cast leads fans to wonder what will season 8 entail?
Widely loved characters like Thea Queen (Willa Holland) and Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) will be back in the action. The “Sacrifice” trailer released in early October depicts Thea helping Oliver on whatever mission the Monitor has sent him on. However, the cast list and trailer show other characters like Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) and Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson).
While Thea and Roy’s appearance just bring the viewers hope, the reappearance of Oliver’s mother and best friend raise some red flags: both characters were killed within the first two seasons of the show.
The return of these characters brought excitement and confusion to fans, leading them to theorize that Oliver will be travelling through time on his mission to save the multiverse. However, their reappearances were quickly overshadowed by the return of two widely hated villains k: Malcom Merlyn (John Barrowmen) and Adrian Chase (John Segarra).
Barrowmen and Segarra’s acting was impeccable as they played twisted villains that both met their end in the season five finale. Viewers last saw Adrian Chase when he trapped all of Oliver’s family and friends on an island rigged to explode via a dead man’s switch. In the final throwdown, Chase gave Oliver the choice between everyone on the island and his son, William. Oliver maneuvered the situation to save William and those on the island. But in the last second, Chase committed suicide, blowing up the island, injuring many beloved characters while also killing Samantha Clayton, William’s mother.
While Chase was only the villain in season five, Merlyn was the original villain from season one. Fans despise the man who inadvertently killed his own son, Tommy Merlyn, and committed many other heinous acts like orchestrating the murder of Sara Lance, the manipulation of Thea Queen, and the kidnapping of William Clayton. Despite all of the bad, fans were touched when he took his daughter, Thea Queen’s, place on a landmine in the season five finale.
The reappearance of these villains leads fans to theories about time travel, the butterfly effect, doppelgangers, alternate universes, and hallucinations. In past episodes, Oliver had hallucinated Chase, a villain that enjoyed psychological torture, when he was drugged. Team Arrow had also encountered Merlyn during trips to alternate earths as well as hallucinations.
Villains and heroes alike are expected to return for the final season of Arrow, but one of the most loved season regulars of the show will not be returning. Emily Bett Rickards, the actress that played Felicity Smoak, will not be back for season 8. The beloved character Felicity has been a staple since season one when the fanbase fell in love with her humorous babbles and strong-willed personality. Throughout the show the views got to watch Felicity and Oliver fall in and out of love. The couple finally tied the knot in season six and gave birth to a daughter, Mia Smoak, at the end of season seven, leading fans to wonder what Oliver will do without his wife.
Throughout season seven, the writers made a creative choice to use half of the episode time of flashforward to 2040 where viewers were able to experience characters like Mia Smoak, William Clayton, and Roy Harper in many new ways. These flashforwards also act as reassurance because Felicity was in them, allowing fans to assume that she will not be killed off.
Taking into account the premieres of the other shows, it is nearly impossible for fans to even attempt to understand how the final ten episodes of a legacy will plan out. However, the crazy returns and one unbelievable removal will surely bring an unsuspecting twist to the final season.