11:00 am EDT, January 10, 2019

Oliver Queen should not appear in ‘Arrow’s’ flash forwards

Oliver's presence in the flash forwards could overshadow everything the series is trying to accomplish

By Jay Ruymann | Edited by Brandi Delhagen

The newest mystery on Arrow season 7 stems from the eerie flash-forwards to an almost dystopian Star City about 20 years into the future. Thus far, Oliver Queen has not appeared in the future timeline. Should he?

The man no longer behind the mask, outed to Star City as their resident hero, the Green Arrow, is, presumably, dead in the future. There has been little mention of Oliver by William, Dinah, and Roy as they attempt to follow Felicity’s trail.

Even if he isn’t dead, it has been refreshing to see the Arrow characters continue on without him.

While Arrow began as a story led by Oliver Queen, the show has evolved, as has Oliver, and it is now genuinely much more of an ensemble cast.

As the lead character, Oliver Queen might still get most of the focus, but the other characters are just as important and tied to the story as he is, though they never really have a chance to shine.

Oliver Queen on 'Arrow'

Without Oliver in the future, we’re finally seeing scenes embrace the other characters and make them stand out on their own, rather than just being another character falling in line with Oliver’s team and mission.

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In the present, while the beginning of Arrow season 7 allowed for more growth from the supporting characters as Oliver was locked away in prison, that is about to change.

Already we’ve seen Oliver take control of the narrative; his new position on the Star City Police Department’s payroll is giving him a chance to be a hero in the light, which is something that Oliver has desperately needed.

Unfortunately, how long can Oliver’s story go on? Oliver’s death is seemingly foretold in the Crisis on Infinite Earths event coming later this year, and Arrow has a new Green Arrow to follow in his footsteps and “reset” the series in a way that nobody thought possible.

Oliver’s half-sister has been unmasked as Star City’s new vigilante and she’s following Robert Queen’s last request to save the city, which means to kill everyone on his list.

It could very well be possible that Oliver Queen might embark on his last mission in the near future, leaving his friends and family to continue on and try to salvage their city.

Regardless of when Oliver dies, it might be good for the flash forwards in Arrow to continue following the other characters in the story.

Part of Oliver’s legacy should be leaving behind a group of people that will fight for Star City with everything they have, even if it takes a century for the city to truly be “saved” from the corrupt and dangerous that plague it.

Oliver is part of the changing tides in the present day. Once he’s no longer around, how will Star City treat vigilantes and those who fight for the citizens in an unofficial role?

There’s so much story to be told without Oliver in the future, and if he’s introduced, the focus will be taken off of characters like Dinah and Roy.

Characters who barely get a chance to shine in the present day stories because they’re overshadowed by Oliver Queen (or, just, not around at all).

Oliver Queen on 'Arrow'

Viewers need to see what becomes of Oliver in the present day now that he’s been unmasked and has to find a new way to be the Green Arrow before we should see what he becomes.

Additionally, Oliver is what bonds his team together, even when they’re furious with him. He’s the center of Team Arrow, the man who can save you or destroy you.

Solving the future mystery would not be as fun if Oliver were around because he’d be able to accomplish tasks much faster than William could.

What happened to Star City and the Glades? How did the tables turn so drastically?

I have a feeling that if Oliver were still around in the future, even behind bars, the city wouldn’t have turned out quite so dark and defeated.

Arrow returns Monday, January 21 at 8/7c on The CW.

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