7 big spoilers for season 8 of Arrow
Given how much Oliver Queen likes to brood, fans were surprised to learn that the final season of Arrow will actually have “a happy ending”, especially with that 'Crisis On Infinite Earths' looming on the horizon.
As loyal viewers might remember, season 7 ended on a more downbeat note, confirming that Oliver will indeed die in the upcoming crossover. With that in mind, it’s hard to see how the flagship Arrowverse show can still bow out in such a positive way for Oliver and Team Arrow as a whole.
Ahead of the show’s final outing, we put the cast and crew in our sights, quizzing them on what season 8 has in store. Here’s what they had to say:
1. Oliver Queen will make amends with a "mortal enemy"
While season 8 will presumably wrap things up for Arrow as a whole, Oliver in particular will get ahead of the game and make amends with five characters in the first three episodes alone.
According to star Stephen Amell, the people involved will come as a surprise to viewers, hinting that at least some of them might have already left the show before.
While Amell couldn’t elaborate on who these characters might be, at least one is “his f**king mortal enemy”, which suggests that Oliver will do some growing before death comes for him in the near future. Our money’s on Prometheus, the season 5 antagonist who’s already set to return now that Josh Segarra is officially reprising the role.
2. The Diggle/Green Lantern rumours will finally be answered
When asked what lies in store for Diggle in the final season of Arrow, David Ramsey reveals that his relationship with Argus and Lyla will be wrapped up by the end, as well as any involvement with his two sons in the future. That’s not all though.
Ramsey has long expressed interest in wearing the Green Lantern ring, and numerous hints have long suggested that Diggle could indeed become the Emerald Knight on screen. Not only does his stepfather share the same surname as John Stewart, one of the most prominent Green Lanterns in DC Comics, but Earth-90's Flash (John Wesley Shipp) even mistook him for one of the ring bearers during "Elseworlds" last year.
While Ramsey is hesitant to confirm that Diggle will definitely join the intergalactic peace corps, he does say that season 8 will finally address “whether he is or he is not Green Lantern” and that he’s happy with the final outcome.
Let's just hope the fans are too.
3. There will be no filler episodes in season 8
Although fans were surprised to learn that Arrow will end with a 10 episode run, this decision makes a lot of sense moving forward and everyone working behind the scenes seems to agree.
Veteran Arrow director James Bamford claims that the final season “has zero filler”, explaining that, “Each episode is chock full of spectacle and action and emotion”. Black Canary star Juliana Harkavy alludes to something similar when she says that “It’s larger than life... Each episode is like one little movie".
However, that doesn’t mean the writers are just sprinting towards the finish line like The Flash on Velocity 9.
Wild Dog actor Rick Gonzalez tell us that the show isn’t necessarily moving faster than before, explaining that they're just “cohesively moving to a deadline in a way that doesn’t waste any time”. Dodgy pacing has affected the Arrowverse before, so it’s reassuring to hear that Arrow will stay on target in the final stretch.
4. The premiere will revisit the pilot in some surprising ways
We’ve suspected for some time now that the season 8 premiere will skip back in time thanks to the episode’s official title, 'Starling City', which harks back to Star City’s original name. While the cast haven’t revealed the mechanics behind this just yet, showrunner Marc Guggenheim reveals that the upcoming premiere, “is like a mirror image of the pilot”.
However, the episode will still revisit “key moments with a different spin”, which probably explains how newer characters like Wild Dog and Harkavy’s Black Canary will appear, even though they were introduced long after the original season 1 pilot.
Curiously enough, Amell also mentioned that filming the season 8 premiere was easier than usual “because we got to use a bunch of footage from the pilot”.
How that will play out still remains to be seen.
5. Season 8 will pay tribute to every season of Arrow
Guggenheim has already revealed that every episode building up to 'Crisis' sees “Oliver dealing with the various stages of grief that come with that discovery”, but during his discussion with Digital Spy, the Arrow co-creator went into even more detail, explaining that, “there’s an acknowledgement of the entire show’s history in every episode… it’s like we’re playing our greatest hits".
Such nostalgia will undoubtedly reward loyal fans who have stuck with the long running superhero show ever since it first started way back in 2012.
Amell also elaborated on this further by revealing that the first seven episodes of season 8 will pay homage to specific seasons: “Episode one is the pilot… and episode two is an ode to season 3, and episode 3 is also an ode to season 3…” It seems likely then that Oliver will revisit past seasons somehow with the Monitor’s aid, potentially learning from or even undoing his previous experiences.
6. Black Siren will become a hero
Katie Cassidy has a lot to be excited for when it comes to the final season of Arrow. Not only will she direct the third episode, but her character Black Siren will sport a new costume to reflect Laurel’s newfound love of heroism.
“We’re fulfilling the promise of her becoming good, of being a hero… teaming up with Oliver and fulfilling his quest to save the multiverse.”
The pair haven’t always seen eye to eye in the past, but Black Siren’s growth has been a real highlight of later seasons and as Cassidy herself predicts, Laurel's evolution into a bonafide hero is “going to be f**king epic".
7. Batwoman represents the future of the Arrowverse
With Arrow taking its last bow and Batwoman waiting in the wings, it’s easy to see how Kate Kane’s own brand of crime fighting owes a debt to Oliver Queen and Guggenheim feels the same way.
“The Batwoman pilot is a great successor to Arrow… This is where the whole universe is going. It’s what the future looks like.”
If 'Crisis' really does mark the end of ‘Phase 1’ for the Arrowverse, then Batwoman’s first season will usher in a new wave of storytelling which will continue to evolve as more and more of The CW shows gradually come to an end. Just like Phase Four of the MCU is unrecognisable from Marvel’s early days, the Arrowverse will likely transform itself in similar ways too.
That's not a bad idea. After all, DC Comics have been doing that for decades and superhero adaptations aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Arrow season 8 will premiere on Thursday, October 15 at 9/8c on The CW. The series airs on Sky One in the UK.
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