Now that we find ourselves heading into Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) this week, now would be a good time to start thinking about the return of the CW's "Arrowverse" shows. With Arrow shuffling off the network's programming coil after an abbreviated, 10-episode eighth season (making The Flash "elder states-show" of the "Arrowverse"), Ruby Rose-starrer Batwoman joining the family, and a looming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover that could change things dramatically (more on that below), the 2019-2020 season isn't exactly going to be lacking in change.
Now, Stephen Amell and the Arrow producers are sitting down with Entertainment Weekly exclusively to address the impact the show and the "Arrowverse" have had over the years – and in the process, offers some tantalizing teases about the final season… and "Crisis":
● Amell found filming the final season "not great" without (???) Emily Bett Rickards's Felicity, adding:
"She's supremely talented and awesome and carved out a space that no one anticipated. I don't know that show works if we don't randomly find her."
● For Marc Guggenheim, "Crisis" represents an opportunity for Oliver (Amell) to hit the road with the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) – and opens up Oliver to a multiverse of possibilities:
"[We're] taking the show on the road, really getting away from Star City. Oliver is going to be traveling the world, and we're going to go to a lot of different places. Every time I see Oliver and the Monitor, it's like, 'Okay, we are very far from where we started.' But again, that means the show has grown and evolved."
● While the final season will take on a much broader scale and set the stage for the "Arrowverse's" future, Amell reminds finds that there will be a "greatest hits" feel to the season, too:
"Episode 1 is an ode to season 1, and episode 2 is an ode to season 3. We're playing our greatest hits."
● Beth Schwartz offered a sense of just how important the final season is in not just giving Arrow a proper send-off, but as an essential aspect of "Crisis": "Everything relates to what's going to happen in our crossover episode, which we've never done before."
● Having the knowledge of when he is going to die sets the stage for Oliver's final multiverse mission, as Guggenheim sees his final journey as one of acceptance:
"Oliver [is told] he's going to die, so each episode in the run-up to 'Crisis' has Oliver dealing with the various stages of grief that come with that discovery. So the theme really is coming to terms, acceptance."
● As for how Oliver's fate will be handled, Amell isn't saying – but now that he knows the final scene?
"I cried as [Marc Guggenheim] was telling me. There are a lot of hurdles to get over to make that final scene."
On Saturday, July 20, the "Arrowverse" takes over Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) Ballroom 20 for a morning session with Batwoman (10:30–11:45 a.m.). Starting mid-afternoon, the CW begins a gauntlet of presentations: Arrow (3:30–4:15 p.m.), Supergirl (4:15–5:00 p.m.), Black Lightning (5:00–5:45 p.m.), and The Flash (5:45–6:30 p.m.).
The CW's Batwoman and Supergirl premiere Sunday, October 6; while The Flash premieres Tuesday, October 8, with Arrow joining them on October 15. Black Lightning premieres the following week, on Monday, October 21.
The Road to "Crisis on Infinite Earths"
Viewers can't say they weren't warned in advance. At the end of 2018's CW Arrowverse "Elseworlds" crossover that brought together The Flash, Arrow, and Supergirl (and nearly DC's Legends of Tomorrow, but they let it go to machine – way too busy for all that), we saw that the end was only the beginning… of the end. As Barry (Grant Gustin) and Oliver (Amell) shared what felt like a final toast and Kate Kane's Batwoman (Rose) returned to protecting the streets of Gotham – with a sense that something felt a little off – we got a small taste of what's still to come in 2019…
"Crisis on Infinite Earths!" Worlds will live! Worlds will die!
And the CW's "Arrowverse" will never be the same…
At CW's 2019 May Upfronts presentation, the network offered a few "'Crisis' management" clues for info-starved fans. This year's "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover will include Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, DC's Legends of Tomorrow, and Batwoman; the entire story will be five hours long; and the event will air over two quarters (3 episodes in December 2019, 2 episodes January 2020). There were initial concerns that DC's Legends of Tomorrow would not be involved – as the series won't be returning until midseason – but the announcement resolved that matter.
Curiously enough, Black Lightning is not listed as participating in the crossover event – surprising considering the "infinte earths" aspect lends itself to "guest appearances" from a number of televised DC properties (past and present) that aren't directly connected to the CW's properties. With that said? We're trusting our instincts, which tell us the Pierce family will be residing in the "Arrowverse" by the time the red skies clear.
For most of their respective seasons, things have been "All Quiet on the 'Crisis' Front" when it came to Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl – but that changed in a big way during their respective season finales… even for DC's Legends of Tomorrow!
In Arrow season finale "You Have Saved This City," the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) returns to cash in on the favor that Oliver owes him: help him save the multiverse – taking a moment to tell him the "fine print": Oliver's going to die during "Crisis" and there's nothing the Monitor can do to stop it.
Then there's that matter of Future Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and the trip she's taking with the Monitor to see Oliver… somewhere… and it's apparently a place she can't come back from. Hmmm…
Over at The Flash season finale "Legacy," some recent maneuverings with Time moved up the date on Barry's "red skies/2024" newspaper warning just a wee bit… to say, 2019?
The fourth season finale of Supergirl "The Quest for Peace" had The Monitor speaking to a hooded figure, telling him that now is the time for him to lead "his people" and to take revenge on his captor… and brother: J'onn J'onzz (David Harewood). Meanwhile, just because Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer) may have shuffled off this mortal coil (???) doesn't mean his role in the upcoming "Crisis" is over quite yet…
DC's Legends of Tomorrow season finale "Hey, World!" found the plan to take down Neron (Brandon Routh) resulting in a major status quo change for Zari (Tala Ashe) – a change that the suddenly-appearing Monitor does not appear to approve of in any way, shape, or form. At least he got some popcorn out of it – and yes, that is The Book of Destiny he's using to balance it.