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How The Flash Firmly Tied Up One Loose End From the Arrow Series Finale

Arrow Series Finale Robert Queen Still Dead
Arrow Series Finale Robert Queen Still Dead
The 'Arrow' series finale (Courtesy of The CW)

When Oliver Queen returned via The Flash this week — the character’s first appearance since he as Spectre died (in the “Crisis on Infinite Earths” crossover finale) — it presented an opportunity to definitively tie up a loose end from Arrow‘s series finale.

As you may recall, Arrow‘s January 2020 series finale, titled “Fadeout,” largely revolved around the well-attended funeral for Oliver Queen. Prior to that sad, sad gathering, we realized that Oliver-as-Spectre, in the course of creating a new multiverse, had “rewritten” a few deaths from Arrow lore — including those of Oliver’s mother Moira, his best friend Tommy, half-sister Emiko, and top cop Quentin Lance.

Some fans — as well as Ollie’s sister Thea — wondered at the time why Spectre didn’t undo family patriarch Robert Queen’s death as well. Moira in that episode offered up a theory, telling Thea that “Oliver could only change the things that didn’t change him.”

But we never heard from Spectre himself.

Flash Amell Return Green ArrowBarry Allen joined in the above inquiry this week on The Flash, noting that Oliver-as-Spectre had/has the power to bring back his father. But as Oliver (played by Arrow vet Stephen Amell) explained to Barry (Grant Gustin), “Bringing him back would have done too much to alter reality” — by removing the main catalyst for Oliver ever becoming the vigilante known as The Hood/Arrow/Green Arrow.

What’s more, “I had already done enough to dishonor his sacrifice,” Oliver lamented to Barry.

“When my father sacrificed himself [with a gunshot after Queen’s Gambit sank], when he gave me my extra years, what was I doing with them?” asked Oliver. “I was wasting them, drowning myself in a sea of pain and darkness. ‘Maybe if I can cross one more name off the list, I’ll absolve myself of all of this guilt.'”

So, now we have it from the mouth of Spectre himself.

Back when Arrow‘s series finale aired, Arrowverse EP Marc Guggenheim addressed the same issue of Robert Queen staying dead.

“We did start off with a list of every potential person who could come back [as a result of Crisis], and lord knows we’ve killed a lot of people on this show,” Guggenheim told TVLine. “But very early on we committed to that notion,” that Robert’s death had set too much of this superhero universe in motion to be undone.

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