Arrow's series finale is set to hit the airwaves before the end of January. There are big questions about how Arrow will wrap things up, not least because of the as-yet unknown changes to the series courtesy of "Crisis on Infinite Earths." Since Oliver's "Crisis" death is supposedly sticking this time, fans can only speculate about how Stephen Amell will appear despite missing the penultimate episode. The good news? Some series finale photos reveal the return of Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, as well as many others.
As fans undoubtedly recall, Emily Bett Rickards' decision to depart Arrow was explained in the Season 7 finale by sending her into hiding to protect baby Mia in the present, and then seemingly leaving Earth-1 with The Monitor to join her husband in 2040. Thanks to "Crisis on Infinite Earths" (which surprised even The Monitor) and the consolidation of many Earths into Earth Prime, that twist may no longer have happened.
Unsurprisingly, the series finale photos don't give away what happened to Felicity's life courtesy of the "Crisis" changes, but she is back with Team Arrow, friends, and family. Take a look!
Although Felicity is obviously the biggest deal in this image, the pic is also proof that Sara Lance will take a break from the Waverider action on Legends of Tomorrow (which will deal with Oliver's death in its own way) for the Arrow series finale. In a previous picture of this scene, Felicity's face (as seen up top) looks sad, but that's not quite the case in this image.
Sure, Felicity looks emotional in this one, but not in a totally devastated way, and the expressions on Sara and Diggle's faces look to me more like they're springing a good surprise on her and enjoying her reaction. At the very least, they're both smiling at their friend. Can fans take from this picture that whatever happens in the series finale, it won't be a straight hour of doom and gloom with Oliver dead?
That's not to say there won't be some doom and gloom, though:
Judging by the all-black apparel, the tearful Mia, the sad Felicity, and the presence of Grant Gustin as Barry Allen outdoors in this image, I think it's probably safe to say that this is Oliver's latest funeral. Tragically, this won't be the first time his loved ones gather at a funeral without a body to bury. It's fitting that The Flash dashed over from Central City for Oliver's funeral, even though he was by Oliver's side for both of his "Crisis" deaths.
The Flash is the first of several shows that wouldn't exist without Arrow, and Barry and Oliver always had a close bond. The biggest question to come out of this image isn't what the Flash star is doing in the Arrow finale, but how Mia is in the mix. The backdoor pilot for the potential Green Arrow and the Canaries spinoff takes place in the future and airs a week before the Arrow finale, but this Mia is definitely not the baby she should be in the present, and neither Emily Bett Rickards nor Grant Gustin have been aged up for this scene to be set in 2040.
What happens in the backdoor pilot for adult Mia to be in the mix when adult William isn't, even in the image of the rest of Queen family that includes a couple of people who were gone for good in the pre-"Crisis" timelilne?
Well, maybe this is why adult William can't be in the mix: he's there as a kid! Still, the appearance of young William at what must be Oliver's funeral isn't the biggest shocker in this shot of the Queen family, and Thea's is more welcome than unexpected. The big surprises are that Moira Queen and Emiko Queen are apparently alive, well, and on good enough terms with everybody to appear at his funeral together!
Moira of course died back in Season 2 at the sword of Slade Wilson, though Susanna Thompson returned a couple times as other versions of the character. At the end of the line is Emiko Queen, Robert Queen's secret daughter who died back in Season 7 after being revealed as an Arrow big bad. Whatever happened in their lives after the "Crisis" changes, they both survived to attend Oliver's funeral in 2020.
Of course John Diggle is present at Oliver's funeral! He became Oliver's brother throughout the course of the series, and this moment of holding hands with both his wife and his dear friend Felicity should pack an emotional punch. David Ramsey also looks snazzy in his coat for the funeral, in my opinion, though I'll admit that's probably not the point of this picture!
Now that we've gotten the saddest pics out of the way, let's jump into some more exciting images:
Hello, Thea Queen and Roy Harper! Yes, Roy will be back as well, and it looks like "Crisis on Infinite Earths" didn't change either of their penchants for hanging out on rooftops carrying bows and arrows. They don't look especially loving in this picture, but hopefully Arrow will at least give this couple a happily-ever-after together. Interestingly, while Roy is suited up in his familiar red Arsenal gear, Thea looks to be wearing all black, without a mask or a hood.
Does Thea regularly act as a vigilante, or does she just feel like haunting the rooftop in the aftermath of "burying" her brother? And if she's not the Green Arrow archer after Oliver dies but before Mia takes up the mantle, will Emiko become the Emerald Archer? Or will there been a Green Arrow vacancy until Mia for her spinoff, if it scores a series order?
And now, onto the biggest for last:
There are some notable reveals from this image, with the most unexpected quite possibly being the return of Rory Regan, a.k.a. Ragman. Before "Crisis," his fate was unknown after the villain Chimera started killing vigilantes and had Ragman's mask as a trophy. Is Rory's presence in the Arrow bunker a sign that he never left the team in the "Crisis" timeline, or he just came back for some reason in the finale?
And what about Curtis? He's returned to Arrow several times since leaving as a regular, but there's no saying whether this is a one-off return to the team or if he's been around all along. Mia isn't featured, so perhaps she's in the future at this point. Laurel and Dinah are both present, which presumably means whatever role they play in the backdoor pilot won't keep them in the future for good.
If you look closely, you can also see that Roy's arm was not restored after it had to be amputated earlier in Season 8, so apparently that wasn't a priority of things to be fixed by "Crisis." He does seemingly have a bionic arm of some sort, which could be awesome for him and for comic fans hoping to see Roy lose an arm and get an upgrade before the series ended.
So, Arrow is pulling out the stops for the series finale, but there's one obvious absence: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen. On the one hand, since Oliver died in "Crisis" and showrunner Beth Schwartz has stated that he is "really dead this time," it would normally stand to reason that Arrow could end without Amell.
It was like, okay, it’s our last kick at the can. Let’s do the action sequence to end all action sequences for Arrow. The coolest thing is that, I want to say, every stunt guy, more or less who has ever worked on the show, even guys that retired or are coordinating on Supergirl or Flash or Legends, everybody came out. Everybody sold out in terms of what is happening. It’s a sequence that, I showed it to Robbie, and he’s like ‘That was incredible!’. And I’m like, ‘That was the first third of it, keep watching.’ It just goes. It’s a little superfluous, a little theatrical, just in terms of the amount of people I murder. It’s what the fans deserved.
If the Arrow series finale is "a little superfluous" in the "amount of people" Stephen Amell murders as Oliver Queen, then Amell obviously has a role in the final episode of the series. His comments don't confirm that he'll be murdering people as a living Oliver, a flashback Oliver, an alternate Oliver, a dream sequence/hallucination Oliver, a Spectre Oliver, or something else, but he will be in the episode, if not in the photos released ahead of time.
Find out about Stephen Amell's role when the Arrow series finale airs on Tuesday, January 28 as a two-hour event starting at 8 p.m. ET with a special presentation and then the actual finale at 9 p.m. ET on The CW. For some options after Arrow ends for good, swing by our 2020 winter and spring premiere schedule.