Ever since "Elseworlds" last year, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) has known that he was living on borrowed time, having made a deal with The Monitor in that storyline to sacrifice himself in order to save Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist) from dying in an event known to the characters only as the Crisis. That story -- "Crisis on Infinite Earths," an adaptation of the beloved event series from writer Marv Wolfman and artist George Perez -- launched on tonight's episode of Supergirl, and Oliver's daughter Mia (Katherine McNamara) is being forced to deal with the fact that her father -- who left when she was young and died a hero, only to develop a relationship with her in her twenties through the magic of time-travel -- is about to fulfill that first destiny and leave her again.
That has been looming over her since she found out about the Crisis, and in tonight's episode, she is forced to really deal with the implications of that. What does it mean for her when she has not just lose her father again, but step into his shoes and become the Green Arrow?
Spoilers ahead for "Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One," tonight's episode of Supergirl.
In the final moments of the episode, with Earth-38 under siege from an army of shadow demons controlled by the Anti-Monitor, The Monitor told Oliver that "it's time." Oliver asked whether the planet had been evacuated yet, and when The Monitor said not completely, Oliver said, "Then it's not time," and continued to battle the shadows, providing cover for more evacuating people and aliens as well as the other heroes in The Monitor's squad. Eventually running out of arrows, Oliver literally went down swinging, swarmed by a mob of shadow demons as he tried to punch the supernatural wraiths to death.
The next time we saw him, Oliver was clinging to life, and had a few final moments with Barry, Sara Lance (Caity Lotz) and Mia before passing quietly away. All of this came just hours (in-story time) since the moment when Oliver and Mia finally hugged for the first time, planned to make their way home from Lian Yu...and the skies turned red.
"As an actor, I think it's wonderful, because that's the beautiful tragedy of Oliver and Mia's relationship," McNamara told ComicBook.com. "And that's the kind of material that you want as an actor, are these situations that are just impossible to reconcile and to solve, because you have these two characters that have been longing for each other for essentially 20 years. And they finally get to have that time together. And they get to form that relationship and that bond and get to reconcile all of their issues as much as they can, given the emotionally stunted people that they are. And then suddenly it's all ripped away from them in an instant. You have this really beautiful scene where Mia owns up to the fact that, 'Yeah, I'm being a little bit of an immature child in this. And I recognize now that I missed out on a chance to really give you the respect you deserve and to understand you in a real way. But I get it now. I see now that, that your choices were just as difficult as my life was. And that you didn't choose any of this lightly.' And that she respects him for that. Oliver, too, finally has come to terms with his fate, especially given that he now has the chance to make sure that Mia has the life that he wants her to have. And through that, they hug for the first time. And it's so wonderful and sweet and they're laughing through their tears. And then comes Harbinger, and the Crisis ensues. And of course, stereotypical Arrow, as soon as things seem happy and fine and reconciled, the sky turns red and some new crisis comes up. In this case, the Crisis. It's so par for the course."
The immediate aftermath of Oliver's sacrifice will be explored in "Crisis on Infinite Earths" parts two through five, which begin tomorrow and run through January 14 on The CW. But for Mia personally, expect to see her journey explored through the rest of Arrow's post-"Crisis" run, which is two episodes: the backdoor pilot for McNamara's planned spinoff Green Arrow and the Canaries, and the series finale, "Fadeout."
“Crisis on Infinite Earths” kicks off tonight -- Sunday, December 8 -- on Supergirl, runs through a Monday episode of Batwoman and that Tuesday’s episode of The Flash. That will be the midseason cliffhanger, as the shows go on hiatus for the holidays and return on January 14 to finish out the event with the midseason premiere of Arrow and a "special episode" of DC's Legends of Tomorrow, which launches as a midseason series this year and so will not have an episode on the air before the Crisis.