There was a big change in status at the end of tonight's episode of Arrow and while how it plays out remains to be seen, it could lead to a version of Star City we've already seen once before.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Arrow, "Thanksgiving," below.
We've speculated previously that Arrow could be leading down a path that ends in the world of "Star City 2046," the sixth episode of Legends of Tomorrow's first season. At the time, Diggle had just accepted the role of Green Arrow with Oliver choosing to step down for the sake of his son and a pesky FBI investigation. However, now that Oliver has taken up the hood again and made it clear that this is a temporary move until Diggle is well enough to resume the role permanently -- even going so far as to call Diggle the real Green Arrow -- it's starting to look like "Star City 2046" may be closer to reality than we think.
Our first clue remains the same as our previous speculation. In the future, Green Arrow is Connor Hawke, a young man who later reveals that he is actually John Diggle, Jr.. He is the son of Diggle and Lyla (and was previously little Sara until Barry Allen ruined things with Flashpoint.) At some point Diggle was killed, and Connor blamed himself so much for it that he changed his name and became the Green Arrow. Oliver Queen is presumed dead, though that's later revealed not to be the case. Bonus points: Connor is pretty upset with Oliver for not trying to save the city in the first place.
While we don't know specifically how Diggle died or if he was even Green Arrow at the time of his death, it sounds like Oliver wasn't filling those shoes when things started to go sideways in Star City, which is a pretty strong indicator that at that time Diggle was. It wouldn't be too difficult to imagine a young man being upset at Oliver for not coming to his father's aid by taking back the hood, or, even more likely, appearing to not regard the Diggle family by giving up the role in the first place.
When he was shown in "Star City 2046" the only son Slade Wilson mentioned was Joe. However, as we saw last week, Slade didn't know about his second son until Joe, now going by Kane, informed him. Grant Wilson now exists within the Arrowverse. With the Grant Wilson in comics being an enemy of the Teen Titans named Ravager, it's very possible that Grant could be headed down a dark road in the present leading him to take over Star City in 2031, kill Team Arrow, and a world where Connor Hawke is fighting a losing battle as Green Arrow.
In "Star City 2046" it's revealed that Ray Palmer never returned from his mission with the Legends of Tomorrow, and, at some point, Felicity renamed his company Smoak Technologies. While Felicity was fired from Palmer Tech, so directly renaming the company isn't possible, Felicity and Curtis started their own company this season. Felicity named the company Helix Dynamics, but as we saw tonight, the buddy team up on tech isn't going so smoothly.
Despite the company supposedly being a partnership between Felicity and Curtis, Felicity is making a lot of unilateral decisions. She decided on the name, decided what their great project would be, and even decided without consulting Curtis first how to use the seed money they were recently given. This obviously did not sit well with Curtis, and it's not a huge stretch of the imagination to see this partnership eventually going sideways with Felicity having to do business on her own, meaning that Smoak Technologies could very well be on the horizon.
It's also worth noting that in tonight's episode Diggle references the perfect life he saw in the mind control from the Dominators during last season's crossover. Smoak Technologies also appeared in those hallucinations. That may not be a coincidence.
The Anti-Vigilante measure and other clues
While the strongest clues that the Arrowverse is headed to the "Star City 2046" timeline are in Arrow, there are clues from other Arrowverse shows as well. Last season's crossover included the Legends receiving a message from Barry Allen/The Flash from 2056 warning them not to trust anyone, especially him. While that could have had something to do with Savitar or even Flashpoint, it's not impossible that things get rough for the world outside of Star City. This is something that we have some confirmation of with Zari Tomaz's story on Legends of Tomorrow. Zari comes from the year 2042, an era with severe anti-metahuman laws, a banning of religion, and A.R.G.U.S. in control of the United States, making it pretty much a military state.
With Barry's message being a decade past "Star City 2046" and Zari being from just four years before it, the timing of Star City becoming a dystopian wasteland in the hands of the second Deathstroke works for a bleak Arrowverse future, one that may have its roots in the anti-vigilante measure Star City passed in tonight's episode.
And while we're on the subject of bleak futures, Barry did go to 2024 last season on The Flash to talk to his future self and find out how Savitar was defeated. While the focus of that episode was how Barry was unable to stop Savitar and let guilt and the need to stop Savitar lead him to neglect everything in his life, it's worth noting that Central City was a dreary, criminal's paradise in this future. It's safe to say that things just don't look good for the future of the Arrowverse.
Arrow airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.