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.
Barry 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.
Oliver’s explanation was exactly what I had been thinking since Crisis. He couldn’t undo the one event that led him to eventually become who he was as Arrow/Green Arrow/Spectre. Not sure why anyone would still be wondering about that. It’d be like what Barry did at the start of season 3 of The Flash with Flashpoint.
I agree. Also, they had Moria explain this very well in Arrow. I am paraphrasing from memory but I think she said “he could only change the things that didn’t change him or,” or something like that. He was already the Arrow by the time the first few deaths happened. Moreover, he was already leaning toward renouncing killing before Tommy died. If anything the one character they should have asked about was earth one Laurel. She could have been twins with earth two Laurel on earth prime and simply changed one of their names. That felt like a huge slight to the character and all the heroes who knew her.
Couldn’t they have resolved the missing William storyline?
He’s in college. I guess we just have to assume he was saved.
No, he vanishes in 2040. That remains unresolved.
Please remind me what show his disappearance occurred in?
The Green Arrow and the Canaries back door pilot that was never ordered to series
Plus I like kat McNanama as an actress and although I never watched the arrow other then there crossover episodes with other dc shows I was looking forward to canaries and she ended up in the prequel series for walker but now that show’s fate is tbd as so far all American is the only show that has been renewed and I think the only 2 safe shows to me are Superman and lois and homecoming
His disappearance happened at the end of Arrow in the setup for Green Arrow and the Canaries spinoff that never happened. The Flash has had a time traveling Mia visit when she was still looking for her brother. They could have wrapped it up then or mentioned it in this episode. Going to be really disappointed if they don’t let us know.
Or maybe his future was changed.
It wasn’t changed when Mia had a guest spot on The Flash since then, so I’m not sure what would have changed it.
William going to college could be start of a change in his future.
Moira already explained that Oliver could only change the things that didn’t affect who he became.
It was so great to see Oliver, Diggle and Wally again. I had hoped Joe would’ve made an appearance at the party
I laughed so hard when I realized they were talking about Robert and not Earth-1 Laurel. A hilarious dis to a terrible character that apparently everyone wants to forget about.
It was made clear in the Arrow finale however that only one of them could exist on the new Earth and Oliver chose Earth-2 Laurel because she’d earned it by helping with the Crisis. So, to be fair, it wasn’t really a loose end like Robert was. Though, I think we all inferred the reason why Robert couldn’t be brought back without needing to be explicitly told it in this episode.
Stopped watching Arrow Ages ago, but why didn’t he ever bring back E1 Laurel. She didn’t sacrifice herself, but was murdered
Cause they wanted E2 Laurel for the spinoff.
There is spin off, and it still doesn’t explain why in universe, he didn’t bring her back. She was an important person in his life, and if he could bring back every other peron, then he could have brought her back as well.
Tommy was married to Laurel where, E2 or Earth 1?
Forget the 2040 timeline. It won’t happen, Oliver changed the timeline.
But Mia visited The Flash traveling from the future and was still searching for her brother in an episode.
I didn’t know.
I however, REFUSE TO BELIEVE, FELICITY chooses to leave her family in THIS 2040 !!!!!
In my Head Cannon, they all still died in the new Earth-Prime’s timeline, so that Ollie could learn the same lessons from their losses (however temporary they would turn out to be), it’s just that Spectre Ollie created a Kinder, Gentler Lazarus Pit to resurrect them all. No more of the Pit putting those wacky demons and damned souls in their head trying to corrupt them, just whatever rage issues they might bring with them to the afterlife, so Sara and Thea still have their massive, character-defining resurrection issues.
They also did not explain what they did with Oliver’s body that was revived by the Lazarus Pit without his soul. Oliver refused to come back when they went to get him and became the Spectre instead.