When Arrow first revealed Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) would die in Crisis on Infinite Earths, we have to admit some small part of us thought he'd find a way to weasel out of it. In fact, he kind of did so by becoming Spectre! In the end, though, Oliver sacrificed himself, perishing in the Arrow episode of the crossover.
Despite seeing that go down, we still have to wonder ... is he really dead?
To recap, in a final stand against the Anti-Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), Oliver used his new powers as Spectre to create Earth Prime and bring everyone the Anti-Monitor had killed back to life. Saving the world cost him his life, and he died in the arms of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) after charging them with protecting this new world. The DC's Legends of Tomorrow episode of Crisis dealt with the fallout of his sacrifice and even ended with a dedication to Oliver and the Green Arrow from the surviving heroes. So, it does seem like the Arrowverse has well and truly killed off Oliver Queen.
For those of us who still have doubts that this is really the end of the character, though, Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz has now offered an official word on the matter.
"He is really dead this time," 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."
Still, the next episode of Arrow is the backdoor pilot for Mia Smoak Queen's (Katherine McNamara) spin-off as the new Green Arrow, and Schwartz did confirm that Oliver will appear in the episode after that, which will be the Arrow series finale.
"In our series finale, we have the challenge of what is his role in the finale once he dies in eight?" Schwartz said. "Once we came up with that Stephen loved it. And I will not tell you what that is. But he's been very happy with his final season ... In one episode, it 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."
In the end, we don't think Arrow will "undo" Oliver's death since that would cheapen his sacrifice and make his journey this season feel like a lot of wasted effort. However, it's hard not to expect one final loophole or catch, considering all the evidence that this death isn't the end of Oliver's story.
Beyond the small spoiler that Oliver will appear in the series finale, we also know that his wife Felicity Smoak Queen (Emily Bett Rickards) will return as well. The last we saw Felicity, she was walking into a portal with the the Monitor, to a place from which there is no return, saying, "I've waited a very long time to see him. I'm ready."
Many fans interpreted that as Felicity choosing to join Oliver in the afterlife — or whatever the multiverse equivalent of it is. Given that we don't know the exact rules and parameters of his powers as Spectre, or if those powers affected where his soul went after death, there's a bit of wiggle room there for a final chapter of his story. Additionally, we never truly found out the specifics of his death with the Monitor, so who's to say there wasn't some fine print allowing for Oliver to live out his days in some pocket realm of peace and tranquility with Felicity as his happily ever after?
We'll all have to tune into the finale to find out exactly how Oliver's story ends, but we can't stop thinking about Amell's claim at San Diego Comic-Con that Arrow would have a happy ending. When all is said and done, we trust the captain of the ship to deliver a satisfying ending to Oliver's story.
The Arrow series finale airs Tuesday, Jan. 28 at 9/8c on The CW.
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