Arrow season 8 is set to be its last, and with the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover looming, we just have one question: will Oliver get a happy ending?
Considering how many shows make up the Arrowverse it’s sometimes easy to forget that it all started eight seasons ago with a retelling of the story of a more-or-less niche superhero. Yes, the Green Arrow is the Green Arrow now, and we all know him, but how many of us did in 2012?
In fact, the Black Canary, and many of the superheroes that came later, including The Flash, were more well-known than the one The CW chose to kick off this shared universe.
But the gamble paid off, with Arrow achieving enough success to launch The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Black Lightning and Batwoman into a world that will soon see all these heroes come together for a Crisis on Infinite Earths that will, presumably, merge the worlds all these superheroes live in.
Just in time for that, though, we’ll be bidding farewell to the one that started it all: Oliver Queen. And right now, it doesn’t seem like we’ll be doing so in a satisfactory way.
Back in season 1, it would have been almost impossible to believe Oliver Queen – an angry man hellbent on righting his family’s wrongs and intent on pushing everyone who remotely cared about him away, would come anywhere near a happy ending. But Oliver has grown, has learned to put others first, and more importantly, has learned to truly love, and let others love him.
In fact, you could even say the character’s journey is such that, at this point, I can’t even imagine sacrifice being his ultimate end.
Not because Oliver Queen wouldn’t sacrifice himself, no. He absolutely would, and he’s already agreed to do so. That’s why we’re here, in this lead-up to the crossover to end all crossovers, because Oliver agreed to a deal with The Monitor: his life, for that of Barry and Kara’s.
His life for the universe.
That’s the hero life, after all. Sometimes you win, sometimes you sacrifice yourself to save the world. Ask Tony Stark. The same idea applies.
But should that be the hero way? And is that an even remotely satisfying ending for the man we’ve seen grow, win some, lose some, find the love of his life and discover what happiness really is?
No, it wouldn’t be. In fact, it would be almost like cheating us out of the ending we – and Oliver – truly deserve.
Of course, without Emily Bett Rickards appearing in this season of Arrow, it’s hard to imagine Oliver getting a full happy ending. How can this end properly for him without Felicity, without his daughter, without a chance to live a quiet life with them?
But we’re talking time-travel here, and magic. If we’ve learned something about the Arrowverse, it’s that anything is possible. Even the return of one Felicity Smoak for long enough to give the hero that started this whole verse the ending he deserves.
So, no, I don’t know if Oliver will get to ride off into the sunset like in season three, this time with his daughter in tow, but I really, really hope so. And considering all he’s sacrificed, all he’s built, I would even say he’s earned it.
Wouldn’t you agree?