With the endgame in sight next season, Arrow is taking some interesting turns to try and give fans a peek at how this world will look once the series officially wraps up. Few have been as revealing as this week’s episode.
Spoilers ahead for “Star City 2040,” the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow, which aired Monday, Match 18, 2019.
The story is almost entirely future-set, digging into the world of the flash-forwards where an adult William teams up with Oliver and Felicity’s future daughter Mia Smoak to try and rescue a missing Felicity and save the city from a bombing meant to level the majority of Star City (the plan is almost an exact reversal of Merlyn’s proposed Undertaking backing Season 1, which sought to level the Glades to make room for redevelopment).
But instead of just focusing on the story in 2040, this episode actually fills in a whole lot of gaps about Mia’s life. For keen-eyed fans, that also includes some major clues about where things are heading in the present day. Mia grew up in a small town, raised by Felicity, essentially hidden off the grid for her entire life up until a few years ago, when she ran away to Star City. She’s trained by Nyssa Al Ghul for most of her life, which explains why she can kick a whole lot of butt. The most notable thing, though, is what isn’t there: Oliver. He’s not around for any of that growing-up montage, and by the way Mia speaks about him, it feels like she never really knew him. He’s also notably not mentioned by any of the future heroes, or considered in any of this plan at all — which lends some weight to a particular theory.
With the show ending halfway through next season (Arrow has a 10-episode order to wrap things up), the timing seems right for Oliver’s swan song to feature into the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event. The comic version is famous for killing major characters and leaving them dead, and with his show ending anyway, Oliver seems a prime candidate to take up that role. There’s also the fact that he cut a deal with the Monitor during the “Elseworlds” crossover to save Flash and Supergirl’s lives. Will that bill finally come due in the Crisis? We don’t know, exactly, but Oliver certainly doesn’t seem to be around in the future of Star City. So that’s certainly something to chew on.
As suspected, Future Felicity is alive and well, and is being held captive by the shady company Galaxy One, which wants to roll out the Archer security program that runs the Glades nationwide. As many fans likely guessed, the high-tech security system Felicity has been developing back in the present turns out to be this future Archer system that has evolved to turn the Glades into a de facto police state. So she’s been working to take the company down to atone for creating the program that made this broken future possible in the first place.
The future team also comes into place this week, with William, Mia, and Felicity joined by Dinah, Roy, Zoe, and Diggle’s son Connor Hawke. Not a bad Future Team Arrow, especially with a city in need of saving. The crew manages to stop the shady CEO behind Galaxy and avert the bombings, though now they have million-dollar bounties on their heads, so things haven’t gotten easier for Star City’s resurfaced vigilantes. It also turns out Mia and Connor had a relationship, though she’s none too happy he knew more about her life than she did and kept it from her.
Also, Future Mayor Rene finally starts to realize he’s working for the wrong side, and you have to wonder if that might eventually cost him his life once all this nefarious action comes to a head.
Next week: We’re back in the present day, and it seems Oliver is starting to put the pieces together when it comes to Emiko’s shady connections.