‘Arrow’ Final Season: A Big Ending, Batman References, ‘Crisis,’ the Spinoff & More

Welcome to Hong Kong
Sergei Bachlakov/The CW

As viewers of the Arrow Season 8 premiere saw, nobody is safe as The CW super-hero series heads towards Crisis on Infinite Earths and its series finale.

In “Starling City,” Oliver (Stephen Amell) got to revisit his life and loved ones on Earth-2 only to have it all be taken away. And in the second episode, “Welcome to Hong Kong,” Oliver will be joined by John (David Ramsey), Laurel (Katie Cassidy), and Tatsu (returning guest star Rila Fukushima), in search of someone important within The Monitor’s (LaMonica Garrett) plan.

Arrow EP Beth Schwartz chatted with reporters to talk about the series coming to an end and teased a bit of Crisis. Clearly, it’s coming sooner than people may have expected!

On if the season premiere hints Crisis is coming sooner than later

“Yes. It does indicate that Crisis is starting earlier than we thought.”

(Sergei Bachlakov/The CW)

On references to Bruce Wayne/Batman in the premiere

“We’re just happy we can say Bruce Wayne now! You might want to ask Batwoman about [additional references]. That’s more their thing. Thank God for Batwoman. Now that that show is in our universe, we’re able to get away with more things Batman-related.”

On losing Felicity after Emily Bett Rickards’ Season 7 exit

“I was sad. I love writing the character and miss writing for her. We just had to come up creatively with a way of keeping her around without seeing her. That’s sort of what we’ve done all season.”

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On if Oliver will to go to The Monitor with questions

“Yes. [Oliver] gets fed up and confronts him – soon.”

On special effects (characters dissolving, red skies) resonating with Crisis on Infinite Earths comic readers

“We had so many meetings about what that would look like up until last week to get it just right. It’s such an important moment. It sets up the crossover and Crisis. There were a lot of meetings and conversations about that.”

(Sergei Bachlakov/The CW)

On how to describe the final season of Arrow

“I feel like [the Season 8 premiere was] a love letter to the pilot and to the series. It shows what both the character Oliver Queen and Arrow has meant to all the other characters on the show and how he’s affected everyone’s life. This season is pretty much our series ‘greatest hits’ and a build up to Crisis.”

On this season’s 10 episodes instead of the usual 22 or 23

“We’ve gotten out of control! That’s the only way I can respond. We don’t have that many episodes. Even when we have 22 or 23, we burn through plot. We’ve created monsters out of each episode. Each episode is just huge, humungous. We’re squeezing in all the characters we can that we want to see for the last time. [In] almost every episode there’s a fun surprise guest from previous seasons.”

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On balancing writing a backdoor pilot with wrapping up Arrow

“It was crazy. But really fun. We’re super-excited about the potential of a new series and all our kickass women. It’s been crazy but fun.”

On communication among the shows in preparing for Crisis

“For the crossover, there are so many people behind the scenes making sure everything makes sense on every show because we’re all using each other’s characters. We’ve all gotten pretty good at if we have, for example, a ‘Barry’ question, we run down the hallway and ask does this ruin your show if we do this? We’ve all gotten use to working with each other.”

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On Katie Cassidy directing Arrow Episode 3, “Leap of Faith”

“Katie did an amazing job directing Episode 3. Honestly, every single cast member came up to me and told me how great she did and how great it was having her directing. She put her all into it and worked her butt off and it showed.”

On building towards Crisis while telling the final season of Arrow

“It definitely was challenging because we’ve never done that before. It took our brains to a new creative challenge. Once we cracked it, it feels at peace. And it’s the only way this season could have happened.”

(Sergei Bachlakov/The CW)

Arrow, Tuesdays, 9/8c, The CW