With Arrow scheduled to end with the upcoming eighth season, it's time to say goodbye to the stars of the first show in the CW's Arrowverse. On top of that, Oliver Queen is expected to die during the events of the upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover.
The final season was always going to be emotional as a result of both of those factors. But because Oliver learned of his coming death at the climax of last season thanks to the Monitor, he now has the foreknowledge of his fate. Oliver and Arrow as a whole have the chance to have a much greater impact with their upcoming final season as a result.
Dead Man Walking
During the Elseworlds crossover last season, Flash and Supergirl were almost killed saving the world. However, to spare their lives Oliver made a deal with the Monitor. While it wasn't initially revealed what he agreed to do, it clearly weighed on him for the rest of the season. At the climax of season 7, the Monitor came for Oliver to complete his part of their deal, recruiting him to his final mission to help build to Crisis on Infinite Earths. The Monitor even confirms at the moment that the upcoming Crisis will end with the death of Oliver Queen as a cost of helping save the multiverse.
The 10-episode eighth season will feature Oliver's last chance to work with his allies before heading into the Crisis proper. But Oliver knowing he isn't long for this world might actually be for the benefit of everyone involved. With Felicity and their child already in hiding, Oliver will know that his family is safe and won't have to spend his valuable little time trying to find ways to protect them after he's gone.
This will instead give him time and awareness to meet the rest of his former allies and say goodbye to them in their own ways. Since Oliver is keenly aware that this will be one of the last times he'll ever see his friends again, it gives him all the reason in the world to find closure with the people that matter the most to him. It'll be the ultimate emotional catharsis for the character and the audience.
Knowing his own fate will give Oliver an interesting challenge to contend with during this season. He'll be forced to confront every interaction he has potentially being his last time getting to see the people he's with. It'll give all of these moments an extra significance to the audience as well, with fans getting a chance to say goodbye once and for all alongside Oliver. It gives the season an additional emotional weight, letting each goodbye have the kind of impact they deserve after years of build-up. This is the oldest of the Arrowverse shows, with characters like Diggle having played roles in since the very first season. It'll give Oliver a natural reason to revisit his old haunts and reunite with his old friends, instead of forcing the creators to find reasons for him to seek everyone out.
Oliver can have an in-universe reason to want to find everyone he knows, which will keep the final season from just feeling like an excuse to see everyone one more time. It could even provide plenty of ways for Oliver to go all out in some final action sequences going into the crossover.
Knowing that he'll survive at least as long as he needs to sacrifice himself in the Crisis could give Oliver confidence to jump into more dangerous situations and conflicts for some last-minute thrills and even potential final laughs. Those moments can have fun with his otherwise unkillable status for the season, allowing the show to have some exciting but enjoyable moments before everything ends.
As with the final stretch of any successful television series, it was always expected that the upcoming season of Arrow would feature plenty of appearances and by previous cast members. But by having an in-universe reason thanks to his knowledge of his coming demise, Oliver will have the perfect way to make sure the new season is exciting without the season feeling too much like a retread of the show's greatest hits. Oliver knowing his fate means he gets the chance to make his last few weeks matter more, and that's a real boon for the final season of his series.
Returning Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 9 pm ET/PT on The CW, Arrow 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 and Katie Cassidy as Black Siren.