The following contains spoilers from the April 26 episode of The Flash.
Stephen Amell almost looked a bit different for his much-ballyhooed return to The Flash.
If you will recall, Flash showrunner Eric Wallace previously told TVLine that when he, at Arrowverse EP Greg Berlanti’s request, personally pitched Amell the episode that would bring back dearly departed Oliver, the Arrow vet responded with a request, for a tweak of some sort.
Speaking with TVLine recently, Amell couldn’t pinpoint exactly to what Wallace was referring. Though he did share with us a few of the ‘druthers he’d expressed….
“I told Eric that I wanted Oliver to say something of significance,” Amell said, “something that moved the story.” And that surely was fulfilled by Oliver/Spectre affirming for Barry that a new multiverse had been created at the end of “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”
Amell then remembered, “I was pretty specific about wanting to be in the [Green Arrow] suit, despite the fact that I have the powers of the Spectre.”
All together now: Whew.
When last seen as the powerful Spectre, Amell wore a dark, Obi-Wan Kenobi-style cloak. As Amell and I reflected on what I described to him as “Not your best look,” I let out a disapproving groan which he said mirrored his own upon hearing that was going to be his fit for this encore.
“The original idea was that Barry would show up on Lian Yu and I would be in full Spectre garb. And I made the exact same sound you just did, Matt,” Amell shared with a laugh.
Amell went on to say that when he shared with the Flash showrunner his desire to forego Spectre’s look, Wallace responded, “‘Do you just want to be the Arrow?’ And I go, ‘Yeah.’ And he goes, ‘Oh. OK.’ That was one of the requests.” (Oliver donned his Arrow Season 8 costume when he returned to the “living” to help Barry battle Bloodwork.)
The episode’s very final scene could also be found Amell’s wish list.
“I had alluded to really enjoying a scene at the end of one of our crossovers where Oliver and Barry are having a beer,” Amell said. Next thing he knew, he was reading the script for this episode, which ended with the archer and speedster opening up to each other at a bar.
“And a lot of the dialogue I say to him there — ‘Are you still giving people hope?’ And the ‘guardian angel’ stuff — I say that to him in the pilot of The Flash,” Amell noted. “What a really, really cool way to end the episode.”
It’s admittedly been a long time since I thought about Arrow, but this episode made me realize I am muddled on how that show ended…like logistically. The bleak future with Mia and William growing up separated was erased, right? But William was still kidnapped in the finale, so that’s unresolved? And Felicity still won’t reunite with Oliver until she gets older and goes through the portal with the Monitor?
(All of this reminds me of how angry I was that the final season of what was once a grounded show was sacrificed for the timey wimey nonsense of crossovers….)
I think they should have started the episode with a tease of Barry waking up on Lian Yu and seeing Oliver and saying he is not real. Then do a flashback to the boring 1st half of the episode to explain the tease . Waiting for Oliver to show up for half the show was annoying to say the least. That would have been a callback to the start of the crossover with the Dominators.
I think I’m one of the few people who have enjoyed the entire Arrowverse from the beginning to even now. And I loved how Oliver was able to come back one last time. It was also great to see Kid Flash again as well.
I’m like you; I’ve enjoyed all seasons of nearly all the shows and loved this episode bringing Oliver back. He got to say good-bye without it being an “ending,” in a great and heartfelt way.