Though everyone is preparing for Oliver Queen’s heroic sendoff into the unknown, Stephen Amell is not done with the Arrowverse just yet. Not only is Oliver’s story going to continue in the 8th (and final) season of Arrow, there’s the little matter of his deal with the Monitor, which will come to light in this year’s epic crossover, Crisis on Infinite Earths.
TVLine caught up with Amell, and they discussed all kinds of things related to Mr. Queen, the end of Arrow, the Arrowverse as a whole, and what is undoubtedly going to be the biggest crossover the Arrowverse has ever seen.
When exactly did the seeds of Amell’s exit begin to be sown? He made the decision at some point during Season 6, and brought it up with Arrowverse mastermind Greg Berlanti.
“He and and I talked for about a month before he formally notified [CW president] Mark [Pedowitz] and [WBTV president] Peter Roth, because he was like, 'Think about this a lot, let’s talk about it, because once I kick it up the chain, once the ball starts rolling….,'” said Amell.
He did think about it, and assumed that Season 7 would mark the end. Berlanti, however, had plans for the abbreviated Season 8.
Amell makes it clear that he knew he’d be back for Season 8 while filming Season 7 (including the Elseworlds crossover, which promised Crisis at the end), and that Emily Bett Rickards’ departure as Felicity Smoak was not informed by his own plans.
“Emily was a guest [star] in Season 1, and then she signed a six-year contract that ran through Season 7. She nailed it, and then she was done,” says Amell. “Frankly, from my perspective I really would have preferred that she stayed until the end, but from a professional standpoint, as one of her best friends… I get it.”
Without Felicity, the love of his life, what exactly is Oliver’s motivation at this point? For Amell, a lot of it has to do with the Monitor, the being he made a deal with during Elseworlds in order to save Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Kara Danvers (Melissa Benoist). Felicity, it would seem, is still very much on his mind as well.
“One, he believes the Monitor, because Kara and Barry were going to die and the Monitor gave him [an alternative],” Amell says. “And secondarily, he believes Felicity when she says, 'Whatever happens, I’ll find you.' He believes her. There’s a great exchange in [this season’s] Episode 2, between me and Rila Fukushima, who plays Tatsu, where she says, 'You’re being driven by anger,' and he goes, 'I’m not angry.' Because he’s not. He’s simply doing what has to be done.”
Amell makes it cleat that yes, Oliver was driven by anger in previous seasons, but that has changed. “He’s just making good on the deal he made,” he says. "He made a deal. He saved Barry, saved Kara…I’m bummed out that he lied to Barry about making a deal.”
The Monitor sounds like he’s not just going to be a presence in Crisis — from what Amell says, he’ll very much be a presence in Arrow’s final season. “Oliver is doing the Monitor’s bidding. Both the first and the second episode are based around a specific task that the Monitor has given him. In both episodes he has to retrieve something.”
When it all comes to an end, and Oliver has fulfilled his deal with The Monitor, what kind of growth is Amell going to attempt to bring to Mr. Queen after all these seasons?
“We’re going to try to develop a sense of humor for him…," Amell says, "…in the nick of time."
Good luck with that, Mr. Amell… may you not fail this city.