'Arrow': How SPOILER's Exit Paid Homage to the Show's Pilot

One Arrow character bid a fond farewell in tonight's episode, and it ended up being bookended in a [...]

One Arrow character bid a fond farewell in tonight's episode, and it ended up being bookended in a surprising way.

Spoilers for tonight's episode of Arrow, "The Thanatos Guild", below!

The episode saw Team Arrow dealing with a new threat, which was introduced by an ominous warning from Nyssa al Ghul (Katrina Law). As she explained, Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) had formed a rogue band of League of Assassins members in the months before his death, which became known as the Thanatos Guild.

Thea Queen (Willa Holland) and Roy Harper (Colton Haynes) were ultimately pulled into the conflict with the Thanatos Guild, putting a pause on their decision to leave Star City and start their lives together. By the episode's end, the pair agreed to follow Nyssa around the world, in a mission to track down three new Lazarus Pits.

The trio departed from Star City, with Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) helping send them off. When Thea and Oliver said their goodbyes, Oliver remarked that he would miss her, to which Thea responded "You'll be with me the whole time."

On its own, that line is a pretty sweet sentiment -- but even more so when you consider all of Arrow's tenure. As it turns out, that exchange actually calls back to the first scene between Oliver and Thea, in the series' pilot episode (something that was teased by Amell in an interview earlier today).

In that scene, Oliver returned to the Queen Mansion for the first time since being rescued from Lian Yu, and was met by a very enthusiastic Thea. They hugged, and Thea remarked "I missed you so much", before Oliver said "You were with me the whole time".

And in a way, this parallel takes on a whole other significance, considering the context of the episode. In a way, Thea's new crusade was inspired by the realization she reached with Oliver - that being the Green Arrow brings out the best part of him, while letting him avenge his father. Thea realizes that she needs to do the same in her own life, especially in carrying on Malcolm's legacy.

"She's gotten handed a lot of information about herself, and about her family." Holland told ComicBook.com at the beginning of the season. "And then also, her father just stepped on a mine for her. So I think her main focus, if she were to be alive and well in the beginning of the season, would be to kind of grapple with all of that."

What did you think of this Arrow throwback? Sound off in the comments below.

Arrow airs Thursdays at 9/8c on The CW.