Spoilers ahead for the first three episodes of the Arrow-verse's five-part "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover on The CW.
"Crisis on Infinite Earths" was a wild ride throughout the first three episodes of what will be a five-part event, with Part 3 ending with the destruction of every Earth in the entire Arrow-verse multiverse and the only confirmed survivors being the Paragons who were whisked away to safety by Pariah after The Anti-Monitor scored a win on the good guys through manipulation of Harbinger. Meanwhile, the recently dead-and-then-resurrected Oliver was left behind in Purgatory and is seemingly down for the count, but is he actually the key to everything?
The cliffhanger of "Crisis" in 2019 left Supergirl, Batwoman, Sara Lance, Ryan Choi, J'onn J'onzz, Barry Allen, and Lex Luthor in place of Brandon Routh's Superman alive at the Vanishing Point, with Arrow fans quite possibly a little stung that the founding hero of the Arrow-verse wasn't at least the Paragon of Ab Workouts. But while the Paragons were busy elsewhere -- with John Wesley Shipp's Barry Allen proving me quite right that The Flash wasn't going to kill The Flash in "Crisis -- Constantine, Mia, and Diggle went to Purgatory (which of course was Lian Yu) to try and restore Oliver's soul and bring him back.
Since Diggle is apparently the Oliver Whisperer, he quickly got through to his best bro and brought Oliver back to himself. Before they could all escape Purgatory, however, they were approached somebody who introduced himself as Jim Corrigan, although he wasn't the one Constantine knows. The man, whose eyes glowed green after he introduced himself, elaborated:
But I'm also someone else. I'm something else. A spectre... In another life I was a decorated police officer, a hero in my own right. But then I was called to a higher purpose. It's your turn now, Oliver. Only you can light the spark, Oliver. It is your destiny.... To save everyone. Otherwise all universes, all the people you love, will perish.
So no pressure, Oliver! Unsurprisingly, Oliver accepted his destiny, telling Diggle and Mia that "It's going to be okay." Oliver looked at Spectre, whose eyes glowed green again, and Mia, Diggle, and Constantine were whisked out of Purgatory, having run out of time as Lucifer stated they would. But hey, at least they weren't trapped there forever like Oliver!
Or is he? Surely Oliver's story isn't over yet, and not just because his goodbyes to Diggle and Mia were pretty quick and unceremonious. I mean, I get that there's a time crunch in a crossover, but I would expect the original Arrow-verse hero's final scene ever before becoming Spectre to pack more of an emotional punch. Even if he is Spectre, I don't believe that means he's out of the action as "Crisis" continues (or doomed to be Spectre forever), and the trailer for the final two parts of the mega crossover more or less confirms those suspicions.
While Oliver isn't shown among the Paragons as they prepare to take their stand against The Anti-Monitor, he is featured prominently in the footage, and not hanging out on pseudo-Lian Yu building a Purgatory obstacle course. He appears in the flesh speaking to Barry, wearing a suit and tie rather than his usual suit and quiver as the Green Arrow, and his voiceover establishes what's going to happen. Most notably, he doesn't refer to the seven Paragons as the ones who will need to save the day. No, he says that "the eight of us" might not be enough.
On the one hand, it's a bad sign that Spectre-Oliver can't even definitively say that eight of the biggest Arrow-verse characters -- well, seven big characters and also Ryan Choi -- have what it takes to defeat The Anti-Monitor. On the other hand, Arrow's Oliver Queen is seemingly still key to "Crisis" and not as just the guy who got killed off way too early, dunked in a magical pool of do-over juice, and stayed behind in Purgatory to hang out with Jim Corrigan. The founding hero of the Arrow-verse may indeed get his due in some of his final appearances before Arrow ends for good in January!
Take a look at the trailer:
I know it's bad that The Anti-Monitor is extremely powerful, at the dawn of time, and with only seven Paragons and Spectre-Oliver left of the multiverse to oppose him, but I'm pretty psyched that Oliver could still be a major player in the biggest crossover in Arrow-verse history and the last crossover Arrow will ever be a part of, although the Arrow spinoff could of course take part in crossover if it gets a series order after its upcoming backdoor pilot, which won't feature Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen or Spectre unless there's an unexpected twist.
I'm inclined to think Stephen Amell really will be absent from the spinoff backdoor pilot, but given that Part 3 of "Crisis" just delivered a shocker of a Lucifer crossover with an appearance from Tom Ellis -- who explicitly denied that he'd traveled to Vancouver to film for the Arrow-verse crossover despite rumors -- who am I to say what will and won't happen? With only three Arrow-verse episodes left that are confirmed to include Oliver Queen -- that is, Parts 4 and 5 of "Crisis" and the Arrow series finale -- there don't seem to be a whole lot of rules that can't be broken.
Is it a good thing that a lot of Arrow-verse rules don't seem to apply when it comes to the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover? That's up for debate at this point, and Arrow-verse fans with differing favorites will likely never agree on what worked, what didn't, and what needs to happen next. That doesn't mean we can't debate until our voices are hoarse and our fingers are sore for the next few weeks until the final two episodes of "Crisis" hit the airwaves!
It's no secret that I'm an Arrow loyalist suffering from some serious nostalgia as the end of the very first Arrow-verse series approaches, so I'm probably going to be more or less okay with "Crisis" as long as it does right by Oliver Queen. Ideally, it will also find a way to destroy every Lazarus Pit throughout the multi-verse. Even I'm not loyal enough to Arrow to think the existence of resurrection tubs are good for the stakes of a superhero universe!
We can all find out how "Crisis on Infinite Earths" comes to an end when the Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow episodes air Tuesday, January 14 beginning at 8 p.m. ET on The CW. There will be plenty of viewing options if you're exhausted by superhero action after the end of the crossover (and presumably the return of most of the multiverse), and you can find them on our 2020 winter and spring TV premiere schedule.