‘Arrow’ EP Teases Emotional Season Six Finale, Major DC Comics Reference

Arrow's Season 6 finale is tonight, and it sounds like fans are in for an emotional roller coaster ride.

Team Arrow has faced some major challenges and complications this season. From the difficult aftermath of the explosion of Lian Yu in the Season 5 finale to the breakup of the team to dealing with a seemingly unstoppable villain bent on cruelly destroying Oliver by taking out everything and everyone who matters to him, they've been through the wringer. And according to showrunner Marc Guggenheim, it only gets more emotional in the finale.

"This is a very unconventional finale -- at least, it's very different from the five that preceded it," Guggenheim, who is turning over duties to the recently promoted Beth Schwartz for Season 7, told TV Line. "By my count, there are four big surprises-slash-developments in the finale, which I want to say is the most we've ever had in a single finale."

Fans already know one of the developments, to an extent. Paul Blackthorne, who plays Quentin Lance, is exiting the show. The circumstances of the exit will likely be addressed in the finale, but it will mark the departure of a second character this season who has been there from the beginning. Thea Queen, played by Willa Holland, exited the show previously this season. However, there's likely to be more than just Lance's departure as Guggenheim went on to explain that the finale would have a structure that will lead to audiences feeling "emotionally spent".

"[The finale is] unconventionally structured," Guggenheim explained. "It has a much longer resolution to it than our past finales have had. Usually the climax is in Act 5; in this one it happens in Act 4. We achieve an emotional denouement that is, I want to say, pretty rare for a finale for us. Usually our finales are very bombastic and visceral and with a lot of fireworks -- by the end of it you feel emotionally spent. I feel like it's the most emotionally affecting of the series finales we've done on the show."

But the finale won't be all emotions. Fans will get a taste of what's coming in Season 7 as well with a major name drop from DC Comics lore: The Longbow Hunters. In comics, the group is a criminal gang lead by Richard Dragon (this season's big bad Ricardo Diaz's comic book counterpart). It's a setup that Guggenheim says will set the tone, much like Damien Darhk did in the Season 3 finale.

"I will say that the reference to the Longbow Hunters is us planting a flag, much the same way we referenced Damien Darhk in the Season 3 finale, Guggenheim explained. "We would be [not nice people] to name-drop the Longbow Hunters and not see them in Season 7."

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Arrow airs Thursday nights at 9/8c on The CW. The Season 6 finale, "Life Sentence", airs tonight.

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