The CW's Arrow will be ending after its upcoming eighth season this fall. Launching the network's popular Arrowverse of shared DC Comics television properties in 2012, including a backdoor pilot for the enormously successful The Flash, the inaugural DCTV series kickstarted a new wave of live-action adaptations and predated the Marvel Cinematic Universe's creation of a shared televised universe based on mainstream comics.
As Season 7 comes to an end and the countdown to the series finale begins, here's everything you need to know about the upcoming final season of Arrow and what to expect in The CW series' last ride.
Why Is Arrow Ending at Season 8?
The origins of Arrow's end actually came last year as production on Season 6 of The CW series came to an end. Star Stephen Amell had approached executive producer Greg Berlanti expressing his desire to leave the series following the seventh season, as he felt the show may be beginning to overstay its welcome and he was eager to pursue other projects.
Instead, Berlanti convinced Amell to continue on for a truncated eighth season to give the series and its characters the proper sendoff it deserves, with Amell hinting that the show's legacy may live on in a different capacity.
How Many Episodes Are in the Final Season?
Similar to Gotham, Arrow will receive a half-season order for its final season, consisting of ten episodes total, premiering this fall. This puts Season 8 on track to end some time in December, should it premiere in October like previous seasons.
In comparison, most seasons of Arrow have run for 23 episodes with the exception of Season 7, which only ran for 22 episodes. The significantly shorter episode order suggests the final season will waste no time at all in wrapping the series, and the finale is perfectly timed to coincide with next season's Arrowverse crossover event.
Who's Returning for the Final Season?
Most of the main cast are expected to return, including stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Rick Gonzalez as Wild Dog, Juliana Harkavy as Black Canary, Colton Haynes as Arsenal, Katie Cassidy as Black Siren and Sea Shimooka as Oliver's long-lost half-sister Emiko Queen. The future sequences have similarly introduced adult versions of William Clayton (Ben Lewis), Diggle's possibly adopted son Connor Hawken (Joseph David-Jones) and Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara), the daughter of Oliver and Felicity Smoak.
Two cast members from Season 7 who are notably not returning are Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and Mister Terrific (Echo Kellum). Kellum left halfway through the seventh season, with his character disillusioned by his life as a vigilante, while Rickards' Felicity departed at the end of Season 7 for reasons currently unknown.
What Does This Mean for the Arrowverse's 2019 Crossover?
The half-season order ending around December suggests ominous developments are planned Arrow as its prepares to participate in one final crossover television event. Revealed at the end of this season's crossover event, "Elseworlds," the next Arrowverse crossover will be titled "Crisis on Infinite Earths."
Just as the title suggests, it appears the upcoming crossover will be loosely inspired by Marv Wolfman and George Perez's comic book story of the same name, which saw the DC Multiverse combined into a single Earth following a war between the omnipotent Monitor and Anti-Monitor from the Antimatter Universe.
"Elseworlds" had the Flash and Supergirl both at risk of being killed, leading Green Arrow to make a desperate bargain with the Monitor to save both of his friends' lives. While the exact terms of Oliver's deal with the Monitor has not yet been revealed, it does not bode well for Green Arrow when the omnipotent being inevitably returns to collect.
Will This Be the Last We See of Oliver Queen?
Despite the ominous tease surrounding Oliver Queen's fate given the deal he made with the Monitor, and Arrow seemingly ending abruptly after the conclusion of its final half-season with "Crisis on Infinite Earths," the end of the inaugural Arrowverse series may not be the last fans see of Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen.
Within days of Arrow's impending cancellation going public, Amell has publicly claimed that he is not completely done with the Arrowverse or his character. With flashbacks and flash-forwards commonly used by the various Arrowverse series, an earlier sequence before the series finale could show untold adventures of Oliver Queen. Similarly, with the DCTV Multiverse already providing alternate versions of its various fan-favorite characters, an alternate universe incarnation of Amell's Emerald Archer could have the actor reprise his role.
While Arrow is indeed ending this coming season, the end of its characters, including its main protagonist, may not be as definitive as it seems. And with Season 8 months away from its premiere, the seemingly final adventures of Oliver and company will bring audiences to Star City one last time.
Airing Mondays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW, Arrow stars Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen, David Ramsey as John Diggle, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, Rick Gonzalez as Wild Dog, Juliana Harkavy as Black Canary, Colton Haynes as Arsenal, Kirk Acevedo as Diaz and Katie Cassidy as Black Siren.