Paul Blackthorne Is Arrow's Latest Final-Season Encore — But How?

Arrow Blackthorne Returns

You may now add Paul Blackthorne to the list of Arrow‘s narratively tricky final-season encores.

TVLine has learned that Blackthorne, an original cast member who wrapped his original run at the end of Season 6, will appear in multiple episodes of the Arrowverse flagship series’ farewell run.

Blackthorne’s Quentin Lance died a hero in the superhero drama’s Season 6 finale, when he took a bullet from Ricardo Diaz meant for his daughter Laurel’s Earth-Two doppelgänger.

“While we could have maimed Lance and sent him off to live with Donna — and that was discussed — I don’t think it would have been true to the spirit of the show, which has never really done that as a general rule,” then-showrunner Marc Guggenheim told TVLine at the time. “But [the decision] was hard.”

Blackthorne himself described his send-off to us as “a beautiful exit, actually… A very nice exit, as exits go!”

“He’s terrific… a total class act,” Guggenheim said. “When [we] sat down with him to give him the news, he couldn’t have been more gracious about it. I think his performance in the [Season 6] finale is among the best he’s ever given on the show. It is a very beautiful, poignant exit for this character.”

All of which raises the question: What is the nature of Blackthorne’s encore, if Quentin is truly and sincerely dead? Arrow answered a similar question with regards to Colin Donnell’s return in the Season 8 premiere, by having him play the Earth-Two version of dearly departed Tommy Merlyn. Showrunner Beth Schwartz has since said that “besides the [five-part ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’] crossover,” the season opener marked “the only episode of Arrow that is on a different Earth.”

Blackthorne’s only previous “post mortem” Arrow appearance was in Season 7’s documentary-style episode, which featured (new) archival footage of the SCPD vet.

Since wrapping his original Arrow run, Blackthorne also co-starred in NBC’s The InBetween, which just last week was cancelled after a one-season run.

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