SPOILER ALERT: The follow feature contains spoilers from the Arrow series finale. Don’t read and further if you haven’t seen the episode!
If there’s one thing Green Arrow knows how to do well, it’s bow out.
After eight seasons and 170 episodes, Arrow has come to a close. And while we won’t be seeing Oliver Queen tangling with the likes of Deathstroke, Prometheus, Ricardo Diaz or the League of Assassins anymore (though, it’s possible that we may see another Green Arrow pick up the bow), that doesn’t mean that the events of “Fadeout” might not still be felt in the future. Arrow is part of a shared universe, after all, and it feels pretty likely that we’ll be seeing at least some of these characters again in one form or another.
And “Fadeout” certainly left us with no shortage of questions about them! Was that green box that John Diggle found what we think it is? Why didn’t Ollie choose to save the other Laurel? Is present day William finally safe? And have we really seen Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen for the last time? We were on the hunt for answers, and fortunately Executive Producer Beth Schwartz, Consulting Producer Marc Guggenheim and actor David Ramsey were gracious enough to provide some of them.
So, John Diggle found a green box! What can you tell us about that?
Marc Guggenheim: We're just going to continue to tease you guys. I feel a little bit like in Rocky IV when Rocky did the press conference for his Ivan Drago fight. He said, “It's going to be on Christmas in Russia.” And people are like, “Why?” And he's just like, “That's what I was told.”
Every time David and I field questions about what was in the box, it’s basically like, “That's what I was told.” And what I mean by that is this was something that was worked out over a year ahead with DC Entertainment. We very specifically negotiated and discussed the parameters, and I feel like to say anything beyond what we have shown you would violate our agreement.
David Ramsey: It’s exciting. This whole thing is big. With the tease, I think there's been a bit of a payoff, but we'll see what all that means. I think we've done some justice to the six-year tease.
Why did you decide to keep Black Siren after “Crisis” rather than bringing back the original Laurel?
MG: We went back and forth on that a great deal and truth be told, that was really driven by the (Green Arrow & the Canaries) spinoff. I think if we weren't doing a spinoff, we probably would have gone a different way. But we had a lot of conversations about which version of Laurel we wanted on the spinoff and we've all really fallen in love over the years with the Earth-2 version of Laurel. We love Katie's take on that character, we love writing for that character, we love the complexities of that character’s sort of moral seesaw. She's just always been a more interesting character to us.
Beth Schwartz: In seasons seven and eight, she was really able to redeem herself and we felt like that was such an important story for her character. She's come such a long way from murdering people all the time to becoming the hero she was at the end of season eight and will continue to be in the spinoff, hopefully. And so, it just felt like we would short-change her if we didn't really honor the growth that her character went through.
Why did you decide to kidnap William in the present day? Was it to parallel the ending of the previous episode?
MG: The idea of William being kidnapped in the present day came out of the writers room, actually. Originally, Beth and I, we had almost all the pieces. We knew the finale would be a coda, we knew there'd be a season one flashback, we knew the build-up to the green box. The very last scene we've known for months and months. So, we'd known almost everything. And one of the things we were kind of debating was do we need an A-story? Do we need a final villain? And the writers room had pitched the idea of William being kidnapped, and the moment they pitched that, it really resonated for both of us because it did connect so strongly with the ending of the previous episode. The idea that Mia is wrestling with this thing that has happened in her past/our future—that was just really intriguing.
BS: That was the challenge for the season—the crossover, the backdoor pilot and then the series finale. So, to be able to have all those huge episodes speak to each other instead of ignoring what happened was really important to us.
There was a Van Wayne Industries billboard in this episode. Was that a Powerless Easter Egg?!?
MG: To cover something up (when shooting on location), usually we put up a billboard and we’ve trained the art department over the course of eight years to look at it as an Easter egg opportunity. By this point, we were through with “Crisis.” I was completely spent. I'm like, “I don't know if I have anything left in me.” So, I called up DC’s VP of Creative Affair and Creative Services, Dan Evans, who's been my partner in crime for so much of this. I'm like, “Okay, Easter egg for the Arrow finale. What do you think?” And that was his pitch. So, I’m like “Great. Wonderful. Done.” It was like anything I can also clear at this point, let's do that. But also, I love that show, so it worked out really well. And that's the truth—the good, the bad and the ugly behind that Easter egg.
About that final scene—when did you know that was how the series would end?
BS: Well, we always left it open at the end of season seven to have that final scene, but Marc called me or texted me in June and was like, “I wrote the final scene.”
MG: I meditate every morning and this one morning, I came out of the meditation with the entire scene in my head, like literally word for word. And I quickly opened up my laptop, and I’m like, “I gotta get this down!!” It just felt so right. I very excitedly texted Beth and was like, “I wrote the final scene, and I gotta send it to you!”
Of course, the big question was is Emily coming back to be in it? I'm like, “Well, now she really has to because I really love this scene.” And fortunately, she did.
BS: We didn't even think of another ending. We didn't have a backup plan at all. We were just like, “Emily needs to do this.” And luckily, she did.
Diggle’s moving to Metropolis. Does that mean we might see him on Superman & Lois?
MG: We've actually talked a lot about Diggle’s and David's post-Arrow future. We've got some really good ideas, and I'm going to stand pat on that. But I will also say David has become a remarkable director. So, we're as interested in him behind the cameras as we are in front.
Have we seen the last of Oliver Queen, or is there room for Stephen Amell to come back for a future crossover or guest appearance?
MG: As we’ve said, he's become something else. The whole point of making him the Spectre was to give us story opportunities because who knows what's going to happen in the future. The one thing I always say every time a character dies on any of these shows, is like, we've got alternate realities, we’ve got time travel, we’ve got flashbacks, you name it. We have all these different devices. No one's ever really gone. I mean, look at Colin Donnell. He’s practically a series regular still into season eight. So, while I would love to see Stephen, I think (it’s a question of) how we brought him back and when. If we brought him back in, say, the seventh season premiere of Flash, it would probably diminish it a bit.
BS: There’s also the opportunity to just cut to him and Felicity in the afterlife just hanging out!
MG: That’s right, just hanging out!
Arrow may be ending, but our official Arrow page lives on with news, features and articles related to Oliver Queen, Mia Smoak and the other heroes of Star City. Click here to check it out!