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Arrow's final season is going fast, and the early episodes have already managed to pack in the returns of long-gone characters. Now, another is on the way. Some, like Tommy Merlyn and Moira Queen, appeared as the Earth-2 versions of the characters, while Tatsu and Talia al Ghul returned from their absences to lend a hand in Oliver's mission to stop the coming Crisis. So, which actor is reprising their role next? None other than Paul Blackthorne, whose follow-up show recently got the axe.
Paul Blackthorne played Quentin Lance from the very first episode of Arrow all the way through to the Season 6 finale, in which he was killed off. Blackthorne did briefly appear in Arrow's 150th episode back in Season 7, but Season 8 should mark a triumphant return to the Arrow-verse for him. The CW confirmed to CinemaBlend that Blackthorne will be back for multiple episodes of Season 8.
Considering Arrow Season 8 will only run for ten episodes, a few have already aired, and one of them will be the Arrow leg of the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover, Paul Blackthorne may be back sooner rather than later! Time is running out, especially if he'll appear in more than one of the remaining installments. What's not clear at this point is how Paul Blackthorne will return to Arrow.
Thanks to the Arrow-verse dabbling in parallel Earths, time travel, resurrections, and flashbacks, there's really no shortage of ways that Paul Blackthorne could return as Quentin Lance. We may be able to at least rule out resurrection, as Thea revealed in her Season 8 return to Arrow that the Lazarus Pits are destroyed, and it's probably safe to say that he won't appear as Earth-2 Quentin Lance!
A version of Quentin Lance could be a good fit for the backdoor pilot of the spinoff, which will evidently feature Katie Cassidy pretty heavily. Could Laurel's thoughts dwell on her father during that episode, prompting some flashbacks? Or will Paul Blackthorne's return be straightforward, and he simply plays a Quentin from another Earth?
The Flash does it all the time, after all, and The Monitor's heavy involvement in Arrow means that all bets are seemingly off. He did zap Mia, William, and Connor from 2040 to 2019 this season! At this point, we can only speculate. Arrow found a way to seamlessly involve actors whose characters died long ago in the season premiere, and that episode was enough to convince me that "Crisis on Infinite Earths" will be amazing. It also means that Arrow could very well have found the perfect way to bring back Quentin Lance.
For now, Team Arrow has plenty going on in the present without worrying about whether or not Quentin could appear, although Laurel could probably use a friendly face after losing Earth-2. With the arrival of the kids from the future, the seeming reveal that The Monitor is working to bring about the Crisis rather than prevent it, and the countdown toward the end of Arrow for good, it's difficult to predict what will happen next.