Arrow Arsenal

Arrow showrunner breaks down that flash-forward twist and what it means for S7

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Oct 16, 2018, 10:59 AM EDT

The CW is not messing around at all with this season of Arrow. Flashbacks are old news, played out. What’s really hot this year are flash-forwards. That’s right, the premiere of Season 7 undid everyone’s assumptions about the throwback island escapades of a mysterious young man.

Turns out, that’s Oliver’s kid! And he’s looking for Old Man Roy Harper!

Holy moly. The Arrowverse just hit the fast-forward button. Two decades forward in time sees William and an Arsenal-costumed Roy talking on Lian Yu -- and the Oliver we left behind in jail is... where, exactly? To answer these questions and more, EW and Collider turned to showrunner Beth Schwartz, who helped explain exactly what fans can expect from this time-warping season.

Like that those flash-forwards aren’t going away — ever. “We’re going to keep it all season and series,” Schwartz said of the time hops. They’ll be replacing the flashbacks fans saw up through Season 5, and the idea has been gestating in the writers’ room for years. However, it’s causing a little inter-verse friction, seeing as Legends of Tomorrow also showed us a version of Star City's future. “This is not connected to Legends. This is our own future,” Schwartz said, adding that the show plans to stay away from any super-twisty sci-fi elements this year.

There’s also the matter of the new Green Arrow running around modern-day Star City while Oliver rots in prison. “I can’t really tell you which way the new Green Arrow [lands], but Dinah and Rene will be arguing that point for a little bit. They’ll be on different sides for a little bit,” said Schwartz, adding that his identity would be revealed sooner rather than later. “We’ll definitely unveil and explore before the end of the season, for sure.”

Something else going back and forth all season will be how the present affects the future. As William heads to school, Schwartz teased that fans can see how events will resonate over the two decades to make these characters who they are. And even though Oliver’s in prison, we’re “definitely” going to see him being a dad over the season. Whether that’s now or in the future? Well, we’ll just have to keep watching.