Some Arrowverse Shows Need to End, Despite The CW's Plans


The summer season is slowly winding down, and the time for The CW's Arrowverse shows to begin is quickly approaching. Recently at the Television Critics Association press event earlier in the month, CW President Mark Pedowitz gave some insight on the network's plans for its slate of superhero shows. Namely, that despite what some fans want and what Stephen Amell has sort of implied, none of the network's superhero shows will be ending anytime soon.

It's an understandable choice for the network to make -- next to Supernatural, The CW has largely built its goodwill thanks to the Arrowverse line, be it the whole enterprise or separate shows such as Supergirl or Black Lightning. Even with fellow high-profile series Jane the Virgin and The 100, these shows are what's helped make the network as popular as it is, and it would be foolish to end those. The actors all seem to be having a good time, the shows have all got their dedicated fanbases that always make sure they’re being talked about on social media the now-yearly crossovers generally provide some of the best episodes for each series involved.

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That said, several of the shows have needed to conclude for some time now, specifically Arrow. The upcoming seventh season has supposedly been written like it'll be the show's final, and there would be some comfort if that actually turned out to be the outcome for the show. Over seven years, we've seen Oliver Queen grow from a serial killer with a great exercise routine to a hero that inspires others to join his crusade and sometimes get caught up in the madness of his more cosmic friends. There's not really anywhere else for Oliver to go now that he's in jail. When he gets out, he'll just be a public superhero whose problems can only sustain a series for so long.

Arrow isn't the only Arrowverse show that should end, it's just the one with the least amount of baggage. Black Lightning only just got started, and Legends of Tomorrow feels like it didn't really become a show until its sophomore season. But there's a big unanswered question hanging over both the Flash and Supergirl films, since their shows both exist and will likely continue until their films near release. Contentious as it may be, it probably would make sense to give each respective show a swan song of a season when their characters' movies come out. At least then there's something of a passing of the torch from TV to film.

If for no other reason, one of the Arrowverse shows should end so we can actually see how a superhero show ends when its titular character has already grown into their identity. Thus far, we've only really gotten used to superhero shows that end prematurely -- Teen Titans and Young Justice come to mind -- or ones where the whole point of the resolution was the character becoming the hero officially, as we've seen with Smallville and, pretty soon, Gotham. Superhero stories by their very nature are designed to never end, putting a show like Arrow or Flash in an interesting spot to show how it can be done.

Arrowverse Class of 2017

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Pretty soon, the Arrowverse will have Batwoman in its corner, which opens up the universe even more than before. Through her, Supergirl's Legion of Super Heroes and the potential for Static Shock to join Black Lightning, there are plenty of characters that can replace an Arrow or Flash when they conclude. Like with the comics these characters are based on, new stories need to be told in order to keep the Arrowverse thriving, and a culling is the only way for that to happen. And in the cases where their appearances are needed for a particular story, that's what special guest stars are for.

After six years, the Arrowverse has become a juggernaut for The CW and the superhero landscape in general. It's made plenty of strides over time with its modest ambitions, and now it should make another by cutting loose some of its darlings with real, proper endings. Nothing good lasts forever, and some of these heroes could use the time off.

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