If you're absolutely dying for Arrow's final season to premiere, you're not alone. We here at TV Guide are just as anxious as you to figure out if Oliver (Stephen Amell) is really dying, what the season will look like without Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), and how the show will reconcile its two separate timelines before all is said and done.
Sadly, final seasons are always shrouded in a double layer of secrecy, so most of us are going into Season 8 of Arrow pretty blind. If you hate spoilers, that's great news for you, but if you're hungry for news, never fear! TV Guide has compiled a complete list of everything we know so far about the upcoming season and how the series will finish out.
It premieres Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 9/8c on The CW. As usual, Arrow will be part of The CW's fall lineup, but this year, it's been given The Flashas its lead-in, creating all kinds of opportunities for mini-crossovers.
It's a shortened season. Rather than the customary 23 episodes, this final season of Arrow will only have 10 episodes, one of which will be part of the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover.
Season 8 will pick up 1 week after the Season 7 finale. Showrunner Beth Schwartz confirmed during Arrow's final panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour that there wouldn't be a huge time jump between seasons this time around, and we'd pick back up one week after the events of the Season 7 finale.
Episode 8 will be the crossover episode. This year's crossover event will be separated with half the episodes airing in December of 2019 and the other half airing in January of 2020. Arrow's episode, which will be the eighth episode of its final season, will be part of the second half, airing Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 8/7c.
According to Beth Schwartz, the whole season of Arrow will be leading up to this crossover episode in a way. "Obviously [Oliver is] going to be fighting someone in each episode, but... there's not just one villain. The villain really is Crisis in this season."
Oliver will die in Crisis on Infinite Earths. The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) told Oliver in the Season 7 finale that this "Crisis" would claim his life, and we found out in the flash-forward storyline that he died in 2019. Don't be too dejected though! If you read between the lines, you'll realize that there are two whole episodes of Arrow after Oliver apparently dies, so there's got to be a little more to the story than that.
"Episode 9 is very specific. We know exactly what happens in it," Marc Guggenheim told reporters at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. "It's not related to the crossover, and it's too early for me to talk about what exactly that episode is, but if we do it right, it will be really special and then Episode 10 will be a proper series finale."
Felicity will be absent this season. Emily Bett Rickards announced last spring that she'd be exiting the series after the Season 7 finale, so while her character will be in the hearts and minds of Oliver and the gang, there's no news on whether she'll actually appear at all this season. That doesn't mean we won't get references to her though.
Stephen Amell told TV Guide that a special Olicity moment is coming in the second episode as a nod to Felicity and her absence. "She is ever-present in Oliver's mind," Amell said. "We found Oliver can't wear his wedding ring in the premiere for a very specific reason, but he can wear it in the second episode. And it wasn't built into the script, but I spoke to our director, Antonio Negret, and we built a moment of Oliver putting his ring back on and thinking about it. So Emily's gone, off the show, but Felicity and William (Ben Lewis) and Mia (Katherine McNamara) are ever-present in Oliver's mind."
A lot of old characters will appear again. The cast has referred to this final season as the "greatest hits" of Arrow, which means lots of returning characters. So far, we know that John Barrowman, Josh Segarra, Colin Donnell, Willa Holland, Byron Mannand Susanna Thompson will return, though we have no clue how since many of these characters are dead. Beth Schwartz also told TV Guide, "We had a whole list of actors and characters that we went through that we're like, we can't end the show without seeing them one more time." According to Schwartz, a fair number of people they reached out to about appearing have already said yes.
Colton Haynes will no longer be a series regular. TV Guide confirmed that Colton Haynes series regular status no longer applies in Season 8, so we may be seeing less of him this year than we did last. Haynes replied to the news on Twitter to clarify his status, tweeting, "Getting a lot of angry messages so just to clarify...I didn't exit the last season of Arrow. I was not asked to come back for the final season as a series regular. But y'all know Roy...he's never gone for too long."
The final scene of the series is already written. Marc Guggenheim told TVLine that he's already settled on the final scene of the series, saying, "I came out of meditation one morning and I had the whole last scene -- and it's a brand-new scene... There are a lot of logistical hurdles that have to be crossed in order to shoot that scene. It's not like we can just film it tomorrow." Guggenheim then retweeted the story promising that if they somehow can't make his idea work, he'll post the script pages so that fans can enjoy what might have been.
Episode 9 will be a backdoor pilot. Oliver won't be leaving the Arrowverse without lining up his replacement, which just so happens to be his own daughter, Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara). The CW has announced that a spin-off centering on her, Black Siren (Katie Cassidy), and Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy) is in development, and that the new series will get a backdoor pilot in the ninth episode of Arrow's final season.
(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of CBS Corporation.)