As Arrow, the founding superhero show behind The CW’s massive, crossover-happy Arrowverse, comes to an end after eight seasons (and plenty of spin-offs) with "Fadeout," it’s actually looking backwards. That’s what happens when your main and titular character sacrifices himself a few episodes before the show actually ends.
But as with all things Arrow, the show and its timeline are unconventional. The Tuesday night finale will take fans back to when Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen was just starting up his crime-busting days...and was still very much alive. Part memorial, part growth assessment, going back to the founding days of Team Arrow is a fitting end to a show all about its various iterations of teamwork.
For show co-creator Marc Guggenheim, who recently showrun the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossovers and wrote the Arrow finale, it was a challenge — but one that had plenty of planning. Speaking to ComicBook.com, Guggenheim explained that having a dead main character “definitely made it more of a challenge, let's put it that way.”
“It definitely required a different kind of finale," Guggenheim said. "The good news is that we've had this plan in place for over a year, so that's a long time to think about something. It's a long time to come up with ideas and sort of stress-test ideas. We just embraced the idea that this would be a more of an epilogue, more of a coda type of finale, than a finale where everything blows up or a major storyline is resolved."
The flashback was planned from the beginning as well, with Guggenheim referencing the beloved Star Trek: The Next Generation finale “All Good Things…” as a touchstone alongside Arrow’s deep history with the storytelling device. “We also knew that flashback story would basically be our final punctuation mark on the action sequences that have also defined the show,” Guggenheim said, “that we were going to go balls out and leave everything on the field in terms of our action." That action will likely involve Queen’s OG partner, John Diggle (David Ramsey), who will feature in the episode alongside Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards). Ramsey had a few Diggle moments to tease ahead of the finale, speaking to The AV Club.
“Yeah, I think we have to settle what happens with his kids, with J.J. and Connor, the son he adopts,” the actor said. “I think we have to see what happens with his marriage to Lyla Michaels, who’s now the leader of A.R.G.U.S. — the new Amanda Waller, for all intents and purposes. And I think we have to find out what’s going on with Lantern. Those are all questions that will be answered, by the way.”
Yeah, that's right — we're finally getting some payoff to all those teases that John Diggle might turn out to be Green Lantern John Stewart (it was revealed in previous seasons his grandfather's last name was actually "Stewart"). That's reason enougn for most fans to tune in, finale or not. There’s only one episode left to answer all those Qs, unless Digg comes back in another show — a total possibility in the Arrowverse, of course.
But, for now at least, Arrow comes to an end tonight at 9 PM ET on The CW.