The Season 7 finale of Arrow is less than a month away at this point, and it promises to be a game-changer. Leading lady Emily Bett Rickards departs the series following the finale, so fans already knew to expect an emotional hour of television. Now, showrunner and executive producer Beth Schwartz has revealed an "insane" finale that should deliver more than just a farewell to Felicity. Schwartz said this about the Arrow Season 7 finale:
Almost everyone who read it was in tears…. Insane… huge… in terms of action, in terms of characters that might be coming back, and in terms of the ending.
Well, I think it's safe to say that fans should prepare themselves for an intense hour of television, and perhaps stock up on the tissues before sitting down to watch the finale. The Arrow team has gone through a lot of heartbreaking storylines over the years, but whatever happens in the finale was apparently major enough that just about everybody who got their hands on it was crying.
Star Stephen Amell expressed a similar sentiment about the finale, although he also stated that he thinks "the audience is going to really like it." So we'll suffer, but be happy about it? Beth Schwatz excels at teasing emotional storylines without revealing much in the way of details, so we'll have to wait and see what moved so many people to tears. Her comments about characters that might be coming back are certainly intriguing.
Who could come back? Thea has been MIA all season, but Willa Holland's departure seemed pretty final, so I don't know that fans should get their hopes up too high about a return from her. Roy could return to the present storyline and allow Colton Haynes to act without the makeup that ages him up a quarter century or so. Curtis could always return, and maybe even some characters from other Arrow-verse shows.
Sara just popped by in the Birds of Prey-esque episode, after all. Earth-2 Laurel would make sense as well, if she returns to the present on Earth-1. For a wild card guess, it could be a fitting time for Donna Smoak to return. Her only daughter is pregnant and likely going to head into hiding sooner rather than later, although Donna was absent when Felicity gave birth in the flash-forward episode.
Speaking of those flash-forwards, Beth Schwartz went on in her chat with TVLine to tease some of what's to come on that front:
[The flash-forward characters] have their own finale, which will be pretty large… extremely unique. It definitely propels you into Season 8.
In seasons past, finales have served to bring the flashback action into the present, but that obviously can't happen with the flash-forwards unless time travel is in play. I won't rule out Nora joining up with Mia, William, and Connor Hawke for a spinoff if that happens, as stranger things have happened and an Arrow future-set spinoff hasn't been ruled out. Still, the nature of the flash-forwards could mean that there are more or less two finales in one episode.
I do have to wonder if Beth Schwartz's words that the flash-forward characters have their own finale means that the flash-forwards are done after the end of Season 7. We still have a bit of a wait before we find out.