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Arrow’s final season a ‘love letter’ to show’s origins, with twist to Oliver’s ‘death’

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Aug 14, 2019, 9:54 AM EDT

The final season of Arrow kicks off this fall, and though it’s changed a lot since Oliver started trying to save his city, it sounds like Season 8 should feel a whole lot like those early days.

Showrunner Beth Schwartz told TV Guide much of the show’s final season, especially the premiere episode, will be a “love letter to the pilot,” connecting back to the show’s start and looking to bring Oliver’s journey full circle. Which makes sense, considering the final season will feature the return of several former stars, most notably OG co-star Colin Donnell (Tommy Merlyn).

Schwartz also addressed the big reveal at the end of Season 7, which seemed to indicate Oliver Queen is dead in the future (most likely giving his life to save the world during the Crisis on Infinite Earths). Obviously, there’s always more to those big death teases in the Arrowverse, but Schwartz said they wanted to get that twist out of the way so they could get to explaining how it all happens in Season 8.

“I think we decided to do that because it's the story. We didn't want that to be the shock — that he dies. And having that tease at the end of [Season] Seven, we were hoping it would bring everyone back to be like, ‘How does he die? What do you mean he dies? Does he really die?’ You know, because on our show you never really die,” she said. “So we just thought that would be a great way to end the season basically... And also everyone's theories! Because that's the fun of watching a show and having a mystery — everyone trying to guess what's going to happen.”

She couldn’t say much about the structure of Season 8, but did tease it will be very different than what fans have come to expect up to this point. Most of the season will be spent outside of Star City, so look for some exotic locales. As for a big bad, Schwartz said the “villain really is Crisis in this season.”

Arrow’s final season premieres October 15 on The CW.