Arrow: New Final Season Premiere Photo Gives Better Look at SPOILER's Return

Arrow's eighth and final season is already set to feature some pretty surprising returns, and a new photo gives a sneak-peek at one fan-favorite. The CW recently released a new photo from the series premiere, which you can check out below, that shows Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) and Moira Queen (Susanna Thompson) sitting on a couch together. This comes after Barrowman's return was confirmed earlier this month, and his involvement in the premiere episode was officially revealed earlier this week.

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(Photo: The CW)

Given the circumstances around Merlyn's last official appearance on Arrow - when he died offscreen from a land mine in the Season 5 finale - it will certainly be interesting to see how he returns in the final season. We already know that the episode will feature the return of several other previously-dead characters, including Moira and Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell), which begs the question of how exactly these characters are coming back. Barrowman previously appeared in last year's "Elseworlds" crossover, as a police officer in an alternate timeline created by Dr. Destiny.

"All I can say is that it's something we've never done on our show before, and we're going to see a lot of familiar faces in a different way than we've done on the show before," showrunner Beth Schwartz recently explained.

“We told John when we called him to tell him about the events of the finale, every single person on all the shows has come back in some shape or form." Arrow consulting producer Marc Guggenheim told reporters back in 2017. "We’ve got flashbacks, we’ve got time travel, we’ve got parallel universes. Goodbye is never goodbye. He has an open invitation to return to the show any time he wants.”

Arrow's final season is expected to serve as a sort of "greatest hits" of the show's tenure, leading up to an epic role in the forthcoming "Crisis on Infinite Earths" crossover.

"The good news is unlike Game of Thrones or unlike Lost, were not burdened with having to answer a question," Guggenheim told ComicBook.com in July. "We're not burdened with 'who's going to sit on the Iron Throne?' or "what was the island?' so we get to do, I think, a much more character-based ending. So, at the same time, the complication for us is that we also have "Crisis" and I think a lot of the stuff that was always in my head in terms of how to end the show we're now actually going to end up doing in the crossover instead so it's like now what does the series finale become? But, you know, we've got plans."

"I'm really excited about it." Guggenheim continued. "The goal is to make it satisfying for the fans, but the good news for us is we don't have the challenges that Lost or Game of Thrones had," he continued. We also don't have the ratings, so there's that, too. But I feel the pain of Damon, Benioff, and Weiss. It's hard. It's a hard thing to do in a way that satisfies everyone. I also think, because I've been thinking how does one end a series, there's what the initial reaction to something is and then there's how it stands the test of time and those two things are not always the same."

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Arrow’s final season will begin Tuesday, October 15th, at 9/8c on The CW.