We've known since March that the upcoming 10-episode season of CW's Arrow will be the show's last. With Oliver leaving Star City with The Monitor in the seventh season finale to fulfill the bargain made during last fall's "Elseworlds" crossover, many are left wondering what the upcoming shortened season will look like.
Wonder no more! With the help of our regular readers and commenters here at Bleeding Cool and on social media, we've determined the best course of action for Arrow season 8.
Now to be clear… every bit of this is totally legit and our work is being boxed up and shipped to the Arrow production offices in L.A. as you read this. To tide you over during the summer hiatus, we're revealing all the spoilers for Arrow season 8… for no other reason than because we love you all that much.
So remember that you read it here first! Fair warning, though: if things don't turn out exactly like this for Arrow's final run, don't blame us. Sometimes things get lost in the mail…
Episode 8.01 — Earth-90
According to The Monitor, Oliver is needed to prepare the multiverse for the coming Crisis. Where better to start than with on Earth-90, where this whole Crisis began? You might remember that we were first introduced to The Monitor on Earth-90, where he killed all of that earth's heroes except for Barry Allen, as portrayed by John Wesley Shipp, reprising his role from the 1990s series. The Monitor drops Oliver, acting as Harbinger, on this decimated earth to recruit Barry to the cause while The Monitor bounces off to go watch the Legends perform at Heyworld.
Oliver finds a broken Barry, who we've not seen since a brief cameo in last season's "Elseworlds" event. As the earth's sole surviving hero, Barry has tasked himself with protecting the remaining survivors. He's haggard, having been run ragged–pun intended–protecting the innocents. He's getting too old for this shit.
Oliver explains that he's putting together a team to battle in the upcoming Crisis. Barry passes. He has too much going on here, and if he leaves this world, then it will be unprotected. Nope, Barry's going to sit this one out.
Oliver tries to think of a way to get Barry to join him when he is ambushed by The Trickster (guest star Mark Hamill). Barry helps Oliver defeat The Trickster. Barry realizes that they are a pretty good team and that if they work together to recruit others to save the multiverse, then the multiverse just might have a chance…
…then The Monitor arrives. Barry freaks out. The Monitor destroyed this world. There's no way Barry is going to help The Monitor. Barry warns Oliver not to trust The Monitor, but Oliver doesn't see any other choice. Besides, Oliver knows he's a dead man walking. Oliver and The Monitor leave empty-handed.
This is going to be harder than Oliver thought.
Episode 8.02 — Lois & Clark
If you have a multiverse ending Crisis, you're going to want as many Supermen as you can get. It makes sense to pull in these two actors, who have recently appeared on CW's Supergirl. My guess is that these two are going to be our Superman and Lois Lane alive in the pocket dimension after the Crisis ends.
If The Monitor's plan is going to work, Oliver realizes that they need as many Supermen as possible. The Monitor knows of one, who like The Flash of Earth-90, is an established hero and leader. The Monitor opens a portal in Metropolis, dropping Oliver into the middle of a diamond heist. Oliver stops the would-be thieves. As The Monitor expected, the call for help had already been placed and Superman meets Oliver on the scene.
That's right, Dean Cain and Teri Hatcher step away from their roles on Supergirl and return as Lois and Clark!
Oliver tries to convince the two of the truth of his claim that a Crisis is coming. It's not Superman who Oliver has to convince, but Lois. As it should be, damnit. Lois puts her investigative skills to work, looking to punch holes in Oliver's story. Oliver describes the destruction of Earth-90, the red skies, the Crisis to come. The real problem for both is that there isn't any evidence on this world to either confirm or debunk Oliver's claims. As such, Superman and Lois decline Oliver's offer.
Now that he's 0-2, Oliver slinks off to meet The Monitor when the skies turn red, confirming a part of Oliver's story. Superman believes Oliver. Together, Lois and Superman find Oliver and agree to come with him and The Monitor. Lois says they're just going to investigate and learn more, but Superman is already all-in.
Spoiler: this is the version of Lois and Clark most analogous to Earth-2 Lois and Superman who survive the Crisis in a pocket dimension after the multiverse is destroyed, so we have that to look forward to.
Episode 8.03 — Wonder Woman
The Monitor next sends his harbinger to recruit Wonder Woman. Lynda Carter steps away from her cameo role on Supergirl as well, returning to her roots as Diana. When Oliver arrives, the earth is in the middle of a red sky event. Diana agrees to join Oliver in his crusade, but only once the people of her earth are safe. During the action, Oliver catches a glimpse of the Anti-Monitor behind the Crisis and is horrified by the malignancy he feels baking off of it.
Episode 8.04 — Earth-X
Oliver believes that they are going to need light to beat back the darkness. That and a big frakin' army. Luckily, he happens know exactly where to find both.
Oliver goes to Earth-X, where Ray and Snart continue to lead the resistance against the remnants of the Nazi regime. Ray tells Oliver that things have gone well, for a time, but the increasing frequency of red sky events are wreaking havoc on the earth. Loses are piling up on both sides, but neither side is willing to stop fighting and come together to save their earth from a common threat.
Oliver returns to the Reich, posing as Oliver Queen of Earth-X. Oliver tells them that when he was killed, he saw the Hell coming to invade this and all earths. He has escaped death and returned to them to lead them to fight alongside the resistance in beating back the evil that threatens them all.
Yeah, no one believes him.
So, Oliver has to prove himself in combat to the commanders of the Reich that he is fit to lead their armies into battle. At the same time, another red sky event takes place, thrusting the Reich and the resistance into the battle side-by-side. In the aftermath, Oliver and the Reich meet with Ray, Snart, and the resistance leaders and sign a truce between the two until the greater threat is defeated.
That's right… Oliver has an army of Nazis to throw up against the Anti-Monitor now.
Episode 8.05 — Earth-C
The Monitor is pleased that Oliver is thinking outside the box. He's going to need that kind of flexibility where The Monitor sends him next.
Surprisingly, a number of you readers here at Bleeding Cool really want to see Oliver cross over to Earth-C, a.k.a. Earth-26. (Knowing you lot, maybe it shouldn't be surprising at all.) To paraphrase the expressed sentiment, if The Flash can have a King Shark vs Gorilla Grodd episode, then why can't we have an Earth-C episode during the Crisis?
Oliver steps through the portal and finds himself Olivhare Queen, the prodigal son of Starling City, returned after 5 years in hell, stranded on a remote island. Oh, and he's an anthropomorphic rabbit. Once the shock of being a rabbit passes, Oliver starts looking for this earth's heroes, but there are none. When he asks about metahumans — err, meta-animals — everyone thinks he's lost his mind on the island. All except for Mallard Merlyn, voiced by John Barrowman.
Olivhare finds and reads a comic book about the superheroes of Earth C-Minus, who are analogous to the heroes back on his earth. Olivhare tracks down the creator, Roger Rabbit, in Gnu York in hopes of finding out what the connection is between the heroes Olivhare knows from his earth and the characters Roger creates. Roger explains to Olivhare that he doesn't create the characters so much as he transcribes them from what he sees in his mind/dreams. Since carrots are supposed to help with sight, Roger has been indulging in his favorite food, including an order of exotic carrots he just received.
Thinking this whole trip a dead end, Olivhare complains to The Monitor (Lizard). The Monitor tells Olivhare that it wasn't a wasted trip at all…
…meanwhile, Roger bites into a mysteriously glowing carrot. Suddenly, the world snaps into focus and Roger, looking out his window, sees the red sky moving in on the distant horizon.
Spoilers: Yes, Captain Carrot and the Zoo Crew are going to show up in the Crisis. And yes, once they do, the Legends are going to loan the Journal of Brigid to Roger/Captain Carrot to draw the heroes of Earth C-Minus to aid them against the Anti-Monitor.
Episode 8.06 — Earth-2
We're halfway through the season, and after all that Earth-C business, it's time to ground things in reality a little more. Not wanting to give up on the idea of recruiting as many speedsters to the cause as possible, Oliver (glad to be human again), teleports to Earth-2 to recruit Jesse Quick. What Oliver finds is that the red sky events are growing in intensity and frequency. If only the Harrison Wells of Earth-2 hadn't been defeated by Clifford DeVoe, then he might still retain enough intelligence to find a way to stop this Crisis. Unfortunately, Wells has average intelligence and is useless in that respect. He is, however, the emotional anchor for Jesse and all of the metahumans fighting on Earth-2's behalf, including Laurel Lance.
Oliver explains the Crisis to Laurel and Jesse. Jesse thinks they can save Earth-2, but she needs more time, even working at super speed, to construct a device from her father's old notes. Unfortunately, they run out of time, as Earth-2 is utterly obliterated — the first earth of many to come — by the Anti-Monitor. Oliver and Laurel manage to pull Jesse through the portal to safety, but Wells dies with the rest of Earth-2.
Average intelligence Wells wasn't all that helpful, anyhow.
Episode 8.07 — Batman '66
With worlds being annihilated, Oliver needs to step his game up. The Monitor sends Oliver to Gotham City on the earth represented by the old Batman TV series. Oliver is frustrated by the naivety of the city's Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder. How can these two seriously be heroes? They're nowhere nearly dark and gritty enough.
But Oliver doesn't have time to fool around with them. He was sent here to find and recruit a wildcard in the coming battle with the Anti-Monitor. Though every fiber of his being urges against it, Oliver attempts to recruit The Joker. Filling the shoes of the late Cesar Romero is guest star John Glover. The Joker will assist Oliver on one condition; Oliver must find and defuse a number of laughing gas bombs planted throughout the city. It's a race against the clock as the red skies move in and the earth begins to be destroyed.
Batman and Robin approach Oliver and agree to help him defuse the bombs. Oliver relies on their experience and expertise. Even if he is frustrated by the pace of their careful deductions, the Dynamic Duo are always accurate. At the final location, the heroes find The Joker waiting for them, but he reneges on his deal to go with Oliver. The Joker captures the three heroes and places them in an elaborate death trap. All looks lost, but Batman has a so-simple-it's-goofy plan and the three escape and recapture the Clown Prince of Crime just as The Monitor appears. They have to go, and quickly… another world is collapsing and there is someone they need to collect first. Oliver extends the offer to join him to Batman and Robin, but they say they are needed in Gotham City.
Episode 8.08 — Smallville
Somebody saaAAAaave me!
With no time to spare, Oliver and The Joker are teleported directly to the barely-holding-on earth represented by the TV series Smallville. Oliver believes their best bet is to collect this world's Superman, too – but The Monitor says that what they really need are the minds of various Lex Luthors. With time running out, they have to choose. So, Oliver goes to find Superman while The Joker offers to go find Lex.
Can I just say that the scenes between Michael Rosenbaum's Lex and John Glover's The Joker are *chef's kiss* particularly the line about Lex's daddy issues. (Glover portrayed Lex's father Lionel Luthor on Smallville, for those who have forgotten. That's what Hulu's for, people!) Of course, The Joker has bigger plans to work with Lex to take over and control whatever's left once the Crisis is dealt with.
Oliver looks for Superman at the Hall of Justice — which looks strikingly similar to the Star Labs hall that Oliver and the heroes of Earth-1 operated out of during the "Invasion!" crossover event — but Superman is away dealing with the destruction caused by a red sky event. Oliver does find this earth's Green Arrow, played by Justin Hartley, at the Hall of Justice. The two compare notes on their lives as they go out to save the city from another red sky event. Green Arrow mentions his wife Chloe (oddly enough, Allison Mack didn't return to reprise her role… for some reason) and their son, while Oliver says that on his world her name is Felicity and they just had a daughter.
Eventually, the two Green Arrows are pushed back to the Hall of Justice. Superman arrives (finally, Tom Welling in the suit!), as do Lex and The Joker.The Monitor opens a portal for all to cross over. The Joker scampers through first, followed by Lex and Clark, who scowl at one another. Oliver steps through and turns to ask the other Green Arrow to join them, but the earth is gone. Another casualty.
Episode 8.09 — Earth-38
The last stop in the build-up to the Crisis sees Oliver go to Earth-38 to recruit Kara and her allies to help the heroes and villains of the multiverse make their stand on Earth-1. Kara is reluctant to leave her home. Why do we always have to do the crossover event on your earth? Let's host it here for once! Oliver agrees, but for his own selfish reason. If they can confront the Anti-Monitor here, then Earth-1 will be saved the worst of the destruction. If they fall, Earth-1 still has its heroes and Barry has dealt with The Monitor before.
Oliver brings his team of heroes and his army of Nazis and they entrench in National City. Characters meet, creating funny, heart-breaking, and awkward moments. The Monitor lays out Those who have lost loved ones commiserate. At the DEO, Brainy observes earths dying throughout the multiverse. This is it.
…or is it?
Brainy floats the theory that they could theoretically take the fight to the anti-matter universe…
Episode 8.10 — Crisis on Infinite Earths
Episode 10 is the Arrow series finale. Coming in the heart of the 5-night Crisis event, this is the episode where Oliver "dies" – which is really Oliver being critically wounded and moved off to the pocket dimension, unable to return to the multiverse proper. In the future, once Will and Mia no longer need her, Felicity goes with The Monitor and joins Oliver in the pocket dimension.
Now, we'll leave it up to the Arrow writers to fill in the blanks, but we've done pretty much most of the heavy lifting. Sure, other things happen in the series finale – but that's a story for a another "Crisis on Infinite Earths" post… and that's for another time, Arrow fans.
Thoughts on what would be the greatest season of CW's Arrow ever? Let us know in the comments, and don't forget: Arrow moves to Tuesdays starting this fall, following The Flash at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT.