Spoilers ahead for the third episode of Arrow Season 8, called "Leap of Faith."
The march to the Arrow-verse's five-show "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover continued on Arrow with "Leap of Faith," but this episode also featured a huge twist on the Star City 2040 front. Due to some currently unknown interference -- quite possibly courtesy of The Monitor -- the surviving members of Team Arrow 2.0 were yanked from their hellish circumstances in Star City 2040 to the... slightly less hellish circumstances of pre-"Crisis" Star City.
Yes, the episode ended with Mia, William, and Connor appearing in the Team Arrow bunker circa 2019, to the astonishment of Oliver, Diggle, Dinah, and Rene. Will the Mia-centric spinoff take place in the present day?
Well, let's start with why I said "the surviving members of Team Arrow 2.0" rather than just "Team Arrow 2.0." The four members of the 2040 Team Arrow were drawn into a deadly battle with JJ and the Deathstroke Gang. JJ got his hands on Mia and was fully planning on slitting her throat before Zoe came up with the save. Unfortunately, JJ was only down for a moment, and he ran Zoe through with a sword, killing her. I bet Sara Diggle wouldn't have done that!
Her friends didn't have time to mourn her, as they were surrounded by a flash of light that took them back in time to 2019. Mia and William were both still in tears, and Connor had been pulled away from an ugly fight with JJ. William seemingly recognized his dad, which does make sense since he was old enough to know Oliver as a kid, and Mia connected the dots as well.
Team Arrow 2.0 is now in 2019, and Arrow is set to wrap up after just seven more episodes. Is this a sign that Arrow is going to keep the next generation of Arrow heroes in the present, and the spinoff will take place in the present rather than the awful future of 2040? And could this lead to changes in that timeline so that awful future never comes to pass?
The spinoff is slated to star Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance and Juliana Harkavy as Dinah Drake as well as Katherine McNamara as Mia Smoak, and the spinoff taking place in the present would mean no need to age up Cassidy and Harkavy for every episode.
We already know Oliver will be gone from the present, Diggle could well seize a Green Lantern destiny, and Rene could find another reason to leave the vigilante game, especially if Team Arrow 2.0 drops the bombshell that Zoe dies in 2040. He wouldn't be an Arrow-verse hero if he didn't try to change the future!
Notably, one of the surviving kids of Team Arrow 1.0 didn't turn up in the bunker when Mia, William, and Connor zapped back to 2019. JJ was nowhere to be seen as Arrow's latest version of Deathstroke. That said, the description for the next episode states that the future Team Arrow "figures out a new way to try and stop JJ."
The description, which released prior to "Leap of Faith," was presumably written to prevent the spoiler of Team Arrow 2.0 arriving in their past. If Mia, William, and Connor are going after JJ, it seems most likely that JJ was also brought to the future.
"Leap of Faith" didn't explain precisely what brought the 2040 heroes to the present, but the odds are pretty good that The Monitor had something to do with it. He's been messing with the heroes of Earth-1 throughout the fall season so far, and already given Oliver and The Flash's Barry big reasons to be "pissed" at him once the truth starts to come out.
Is it possible The Monitor believes Mia, William, Connor, and maybe even JJ are necessary to battle The Anti-Monitor, prompting The Monitor to pull them to 2019? I'd say that JJ may be past the point of redemption after skewering poor Zoe in "Leap of Faith," but given that Arrow found a way for Oliver to forgive Slade for skewering Moira, I won't rule anything out.
Find out what happens next in the last season of Arrow and setting up the backdoor pilot for the spinoff when new episodes air Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.