"Arrow" has been renewed for a 10-episode eighth and final season that is expected to lead into next fall's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" CW crossover event.
A staple on the show since its third episode, fans were stunned to find out that Emily Bett Rickards was leaving "Arrow" before its final 10-episode season. Monday's episode showed how the series said goodbye to her Felicity Smoak ... for now.
It also gave a huge glimpse of what was to come in next season's big "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover across the CW "Arrowverse" shows. It's expected that "Arrow" will close its run for good during or just after this next crossover, with many speculating Oliver Queen would sacrifice his life to save the multiverse.
It's something that was foreshadowed in this season's big crossover, and it was seemingly confirmed in "Arrow's" own season finale. At the same time, this finale left it absolutely murky as to what form this show might take in its eighth and final season.
Let's break it down. First, Team Arrow and Oliver in particular were successful in convincing his sister Emiko to stop her attack on the city. Unfortunately, doing the right thing on "Arrow" often means a grisly end, and that proved to be the case for Emiko as well.
But before she died, she warned Oliver and Felicity that they needed to go into hiding. And with the major threat to the city resolved and all the faith in the world in the team he'd built over the past seven years, Oliver surprisingly agreed to do just that.
It might also have to do with that cryptic deal he made with the Monitor during the "Elseworlds" crossover several months back. Regardless, Oliver and Felicity went into hiding with the daughter she was carrying and stayed that way for quite awhile. They were fully into parenting mode when the Monitor showed up to have Oliver make good on his deal.
The action then jumps forward to 2040 to wrap up the flash-forward timeline and confirm that Oliver did indeed die in 2019. Of course, then things get even stranger as future-Felicity connects with the Monitor who promises to take her someplace from which she can't return ... strongly hinting that she will be reunited with Oliver there.
There's a lot more to unpack in that flash-forward sequence, but for Olicity it seems that they're destined to spend two decades apart. And for "Arrow," we're destined to spend the summer scratching our heads as to what Season 8 will bring.
Will the whole thing be what Oliver gets up to with the Monitor, making it a 10-episode prelude to the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" event? Will it follow Team Arrow after Oliver and Felicity leave, almost like a backdoor pilot of what this show could be with them?
Will it do something we can't even begin to imagine? With all the parallel realities and time travel in this shared superhero universe, there's no telling what might happen, and how it might change what certainly seems to be definitive fates for Oliver and Felicity.
And we can always hope that Rickards agrees to drop by for at least one appearance before all is said and done. A satisfying series finale demands Oliver and Felicity together ... or at least fandom does.