Tonight’s episode of Arrow was a big one for The CW series. Not only was it the premiere of the show’s eighth and final season, but it also saw some major developments for the Arrowverse in an episode that was in a very real way the beginning of Crisis on Infinite Earths. But just because the events of tonight’s “Starling City” were very much an Arrow story, there was a major twist that could have impact on other shows within the shared universe and it turns out, Arrow had to get The Flash‘s blessing in order to carry it out.
Before we get too deep, there will be spoilers for tonight’s Season 8 premiere of Arrow, “Starling City”, below.
Tonight’s episode of Arrow saw Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) go to Earth-2 and relive his return from the “dead” that fans of the show got to see in the series premiere back on 2012. Oliver was reunited with his family — Earth-2 version — while also trying to carry out a mission for The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett). That mission was to collect dwarf star particles that were only available on Earth-2 and it ultimately became very personal as he interacted with versions of his loved ones, especially Tommy Merlin (Collin Donnell) who had become the Dark Archer on this Earth.
While Oliver was ultimately successful in getting the particles as well as having some moving moments with his family, any peace he found on Earth-2 was short lived. In the final moments of the episode, Laurel (Katie Cassidy Rodgers) came for Oliver’s help as the city was under attack. Turns out, though, the city wasn’t under attack. The whole planet was, and a wave of red-white energy began to consume everything around them, including Oliver’s family right before his yes. Oliver, Laurel, and Diggle (David Ramsey) got out of there just in time but Earth-2 is no more. Welcome to the first on-screen casualty of Crisis.
With Earth-2 being a significant part of The Flash — it’s the Earth that Harrison “Harry” Wells and Jesse Quick are from — destroying it has major impact on that show. It’s for that reason that, according to Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz, they had to get The Flash‘s blessing.
“When we started breaking the season as a whole, because we don’t have that many episodes, we knew that we wanted to start big, and we wanted to introduce the coming Crisis immediately,” Schwartz told TV Line. “Crisis is starting earlier than we thought.”
With The Flash discovering the presence of anti-matter tonight thanks to Barry’s (Grant Gustin) attempt to see what’s beyond the date of his death in Crisis, it will be interesting to see when or how that series addresses the destruction of Earth-2, but it sounds like the whole process of incorporating Earth-2’s demise was a fairly seamless one.
“We were like, ‘Is this OK? Does this ruin things?'” Schwartz said of asking for The Flash‘s blessing. “And you know, they were very gracious.”
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c, followed by Arrow at 9/8c, on The CW.