The season finale of Arrow is over — and that is the last time we can say as much, since next time around, it will be the series finale. The episode packed a lot of gut-punches into its back half (SPOILERS AHEAD for “You Have Saved This City,” tonight’s Arrow finale), from a death in the family to a tantalizing tease of what’s to come in season 8. But all we could think of in the final moments of the episode were what it means for Olicity — and that almost certainly that I was right several months ago, so there! But let’s break it down a little bit.
Leaving Diggle, the Canaries, and Wild Dog in Star City, Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak headed out to the country at the end of tonight’s episode, where they could live off the grid, since the Ninth Circle knew that Felicity was pregnant and there was a contract out on the lives of everyone in the family. The episode skipped forward a few months, and after Felicity had given birth and Oliver had a little time with his daughter, The Monitor arrived. Telling Oliver that it was time, Oliver broke the news to Felicity that he had made a deal with The Monitor to save the multiverse — something that was bigger than the two of them. A teary good-bye later, and it was time for the audience to learn what Oliver Queen had agreed to, exactly, way back in “Elseworlds.” In the final chapter of last year’s Arrowverse crossover event, “Elseworlds,” Oliver Queen plead with The Monitor to save the lives of Barry Allen and Kara Zor-El, whose fates seem grim based on something that Superman read in the Book of Destiny. We learned tonight that his original deal was to do “whatever the multiverse needed” or something along those lines. But that was made much more specific during tonight’s meeting with The Monitor: the cosmic being told Felicity that she had seen the future, and Oliver will die.
After that, the flash-forwards moved to Felicity Smoak in 2040, where she was visiting the grave of her husband — his date of death listed as 2019. But after bidding a fond farewell to her children, she somehow attracted the attention of The Monitor and, implying that she was about to See Oliver again after all these years, walked with him into a breach in the fabric of the universe and disappeared.
Going back to “Elseworlds,” The Monitor at first rejected Oliver’s plea, suggesting that to interfere in the destiny of Barry and Kara would skew the results of the “test” that he had been subjecting various realities to. Oliver argued that he does not believe The Monitor is testing them to see if they are strong enough, but whether they are “good enough,” and that Supergirl and The Flash are “the best of us” and inspire people. The Monitor agreed, but said that the universe demands balance, and asks what Oliver might suggest to make up for saving his friends.
We now know the answer, but even before that, the resolved, sorrowful expression on Oliver’s face had led a lot of fans to guess that he was, somehow, trading himself for one or both of the heroes. Ordinarily, that theory would ring true — but remember that next season’s crossover is an adaptation of Crisis on Infinite Earths, so there is a possible “out” for Oliver that would nevertheless maintain the power of his potential sacrifice.
Crisis On Infinite Earths was a massive, line-wide crossover event by DC in the mid-’80s. The story united the heroes and villains of DC’s infinite multiverse and pitted them against the Anti-Monitor, an insanely powerful cosmic being who was destroying universes in order to add to his domain in the anti-matter universe.
Ultimately, the entire multiverse was almost destroyed, but saved at the last minute when a number of heroes managed to figure out how to merge the last five Earths into a world with a single, shared history. The resulting universe was strong enough to withstand the Anti-Monitor’s attacks while the heroes united to stop him.
Along the way, Supergirl died destroying the Anti-Monitor’s armor and leaving him sufficiently weakened to save the multiverse. The Flash died preventing his weapon of mass destruction — an anti-matter cannon — from destroying the remaining Earths. Hundreds of characters were either never seen or heard from again, or eventually rebooted into a new universe that had no memory of their pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths adventures. Some — like Supergirl — were forgotten altogether as memories of the multiverse faded from characters’ memories and the timeline settled into place.
But there were a small number of characters who got special treatment.
Four, to be exact: Superboy-Prime — a younger, less mature Clark Kent from the “real” world (as in ours, where the superhero stories are comics); Alexander Luthor, Jr. of Earth-3, a half-matter, half-antimatter being whose father, Lex Luthor, had designed him to stop the Anti-Monitor; and the Superman and Lois Lane of Earth-2.
That would be the “original” Superman and Lois, who first appeared in 1938. It seemed that even with the other widespread carnage of the Crisis, DC was reticent to kill the “original superhero,” on whom their company was built. Superman, Lois, Superboy, and Luthor were given their own little pocket universe/paradise dimension, where they could live on happily together.
(20 years later, they would emerge from the dimension, maddened by the experience, and serve as the antagonists for Infinite Crisis, but let’s ignore that for now.)
It does not seem entirely unreasonable to believe that some variation on this theme might be applied to Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak.
First, yes, it appears that Oliver basically traded his own life for Barry and Kara’s. It was a fairly logical conclusion to draw from what he had said in the scene immediately before the camera cut away in “Elseworlds,” and now we have seen a longer cut of that scene in which Oliver makes the “deal.”
That said, something that haunted Oliver for much of the season, and was mentioned at least once during “Elseworlds,” was the fact that at the end of last season, he made a deal with the FBI to turn himself in and save his team and Felicity…but he did so without consulting with, or even talking to, his wife.
Given how much the show has dwelt on this point, it would be somewhat strange for his big, heroic sacrifice to have been done in a vacuum, leaving Felicity completely alone forever this time. That would be a great driver of conflict if Oliver was going to stick around for a while, but if “Crisis on Infinite Earths” was really going to be his swan song, it would be a bad note to end on (he calls it his greatest regret during his final conversation with Felicity in the finale).
Unless, of course, the universe only believed him to be dead, and somehow, he were given his happy ending with Felicity.
In any event, with the series coming to an end, it seems plausible that the producers and The CW might want to leave the door just a tiny crack open to the possibility of more from Oliver Queen.
Well, as with Kal-L, he is the original. Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen is what the Arrowverse was built on, and while it has become something bigger and grander than just him, it would inarguably not have been the same — and maybe not have gotten off the ground — without him.
That seems like the kind of character who deserves to smile at the end of it all.
Have you subscribed to ComicBook Nation, the official Podcast of ComicBook.com yet? Check it out by clicking here or listen below.
In this latest episode, we go all in on the IT CHAPTER TWO trailer and do a deep dive into all the movies coming out this summer! After Avengers: Endgame is there any movie worth seeing? Find out the answer and make sure to subscribe now to never miss an episode!