Is [Spoiler] Really Dead? What Does It Mean for ‘Arrow’s Series Finale?

Spoiler Alert
Colin Bentley/The CW

[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for Arrowverse’s “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover.]

At one point during “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” all but seven characters had been wiped from existence. But in the end, a new multiverse was formed, people were brought back …. and Oliver (Stephen Amell) died again.

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Yes, the man who kickstarted the Arrowverse sacrificed himself twice during the five-part event, once in the first group of episodes in December and again in the concluding two on Tuesday (after becoming “something else,” a.k.a. Spectre). But considering the shows we’re talking about, that’s not it, right? After all, there are still two episodes left of Arrow‘s final season and if anyone deserves a happy ending, it’s Oliver Queen.

Sadly, that’s not looking likely. “He is really dead this time,” Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz told The Hollywood Reporter. “Because the whole point of this death and the culmination of what brings us to the crossover is that everything he’s learned throughout the series and these past eight years has led him to this moment to give the ultimate hero’s sacrifice. And that’s his life — to save everyone else.”

(Katie Yu/The CW)

At the end of “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part Four,” Oliver-as-Spectre told the paragons he’d “light the spark” and they’d “fan the flame.” He took on the Anti-Monitor while they fought the Shadow Demons, and in the end, they’d seemingly won and a new multiverse was created. (They’d later learn the Anti-Monitor hadn’t been stopped.) However, in doing so, Oliver sacrificed himself.

Everyone found themselves back in the new reality they’d created in the final episode of the crossover, but Oliver was MIA. “We had Felicity run a global search. Nobody’s better at finding people, but they’ve got to be here to be found,” Rene (Rick Gonzalez) told Sara (Caity Lotz) when she insisted that Oliver had to be somewhere. And at the end of the crossover, the president declared Oliver dead before a moment of silence for his heroics.

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As for the final two episodes of Arrow, the penultimate episode serves as a backdoor pilot for the potential Green Arrow and the Canaries spinoff. It takes place in 2040, with Mia (Katherine McNamara), Laurel (Katie Cassidy), and Dinah (Juliana Harkavy).

“[Oliver] basically resets the timeline for the future, for his future children that we’ve seen in the flash forwards,” Schwartz previewed. “You’ll see in episode nine that their lives are very different.” In Episode 7 of Arrow, Oliver told Diggle (David Ramsey) to find Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and make sure William and Mia grew up together. Does this mean they did? (The Season 7 flash forwards had revealed that they first met in 2040.)

But while their lives will be different, the promo reveals that Mia will be given the memories of everything that happened and ultimately suit up as the new Green Arrow.

As for the series finale, Schwartz revealed that we will see Oliver in it, but pointed out, without sharing details, “we have the challenge of what is his role in the finale once he dies in eight?” She then teased that the episode, “Fadeout,” “honors the entire series and finishes several storylines [for] characters from all of our seasons, basically — past and present — in a hopefully very satisfying way.”

We know that Rickards is returning as Felicity for the last episode, and the Season 7 finale did show The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) presumably bringing the 2040 version of her to Oliver — but also to somewhere from which she couldn’t return. The others never found Oliver’s body in the crossover, but given what’s changed about the future, did that still happen? We’ll have to wait and see.

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Arrow, Series Finale, Tuesday, January 28, 9/8c, The CW