First teased in the final moments of the Arrowverse's "Elseworlds" event, next year's CW crossover, "Crisis on Infinite Earths," warned viewers that "worlds will die and the universe will never be the same," echoing its 1985 comic book namesake. With the fate of the DCTV Multiverse at stake, at least one major character is virtually guaranteed to meet an untimely end in desperate bid to save reality. That was corroborated by network President Mark Pedowitz, who said last week that it's "highly likely" the event will include the death of a major character.
Conventional wisdom would suggest a heroic death similar to that of the source material, in which Barry Allen and Supergirl sacrificed their lives in separate confrontations with the Anti-Monitor. Although it's unlikely Melissa Benoist's Girl of Steel will die, the mysterious disappearance of The Flash has been teased since the series premiere, with showrunner Todd Helbing confirming the ominous foreshadowing would be addressed during "Crisis on Infinite Earths." Despite that, it's more likely someone other than Barry will die. While there is a plethora of alternate speedsters to choose from, the superhero most likely to meet a definitive end is the star of the Arrowverse's flagship series, Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen.
Like the rest of The CW's DC lineup, Arrow received early renewal last week, which will take the series through its eighth season. Pedowitz addressed concerns the superhero drama is showing signs of age, observing that plans for Arrow's future beyond Season 8 will be determined by mid-2019. That opens the door to something cataclysmic occurring next season, including the possible loss of the show's star.
During "Elseworlds," Oliver made an undisclosed deal with the Monitor to save the lives of The Flash and Supergirl while stopping John Deegan's machinations. The Monitor observed that such an agreement would require a universal balance to be maintained. Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz confirmed the deal would impact the series sometime during its eighth season, likely during the crossover, but of course didn't provide any details. To rescue his friends, Oliver may have sworn to sacrifice himself to maintain the integrity of the multiverse, likely swapping his own disappearance for that of Barry.
No episode order was announced with the Arrowverse series renewals. That could leave room for a shortened episode count for Arrow, with the season ending with "Crisis On Infinite Earths," a shortly thereafter (allowing the producers to tie up any loose ends). Another possibility is the series continuing with a new Emerald Archer, following the introduction of Emiko Queen, Oliver's previously unknown half-sister. It could be a "soft reboot" that permits a cast shakeup, and injects new life into the premise, while maintaining connections to the past.
A major death in "Crisis on Infinite Earths" is virtually inevitable, to raise the stakes and to alter the status quo of the CW's DC universe. As the original superhero for the programming lineup, no death would impact the Arrowverse more than Oliver Queen's. With a significant plot thread looming, the promise of a major death in the Arrowverse and concerns that Arrow is growing long in the tooth, Ollie is the most logical candidate to make the ultimate sacrifice to save reality.
The Arrowverse's upcoming crossover, "Crisis on Infinite Earths," will air sometime in late 2019. 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, Echo Kellum as Mr. Terrific, Juliana Harkavy as Black Canary, Colton Haynes as Arsenal, Kirk Acevedo as Diaz and Katie Cassidy as Black Siren.