Arrow gave audiences another glimpse into the future tonight in "The Longbow Hunters", but as the mystery of William, Roy, and Lian Yu only deepened the path to very specific future we've seen before may have gotten a little clearer.
Spoilers for tonight's episode of Arrow, "The Longbow Hunters", below.
In tonight's episode, adult William (Ben Lewis) reveals a few more intriguing bits of information. Not only does he reveal that he's gay, he also notes that Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) largely abandon him. While he doesn't give many details on his abandonment -- and he appears to turn out just fine with a career in technology -- he does reveal what brought him to the island. The item Felicity gave him last week? It started beeping, revealing GPS coordinates that brought William to Lian Yu.
Ultimately, William and Roy dig up a chest containing Oliver's bow and arrow. William thinks that it's meant for him to find and asks why Felicity would want him to have that, but Roy is aware there's a greater meaning there. He retrieves a small note hidden in the bow and while we don't know what it says, it is clearly troubling for Roy. He announces that they are going back to Star City.
So what could bring Roy, who admitted he was on Lian Yu to get away from his previous life, back to Star City? The answer to that might lie in a bleak look at the future we saw in the first season of Legends of Tomorrow. In the episode "Star City 2046" we are introduced to a dystopian version of things, one on in which Grant Wilson rules, much of Team Arrow is dead, and Oliver is old, missing an arm, and largely in hiding. While a lot has happened since "Star City 2046" aired, the timeline of the flash forwards appears to line up with that episode's timeline, as well as fits in with some of the other "known" events of the Arrowverse.
First, in the "Star City 2046" timeline, Grant Wilson and his army descend on Star City in 2031. In the months and years following this, Team Arrow tries to take him down but fails resulting in the deaths of many of the team's members. Felicity leaves. Oliver gives up. Elsewhere in the Arrowverse, Barry Allen/The Flash is still missing having been lost in the Crisis in 2024 while anti-metahuman laws have been in place since 2021 making Zari Tomaz's home in 2024 another type of dystopia -- a military state. If we consider that Arrow's Season 7 flash forwards take place somewhere between 2038 and 2043 -- 20 to 25 years into the future -- it would put things in a position where Team Arrow may have fallen to Grant Wilson, prompting Felicity to use the "symbol of reconnection" to send William to get Roy for help.
As for William's comments that Oliver and Felicity largely abandoned him, that would line up with events in the Arrowverse as well. We know that Felicity sent William to boarding school in 2018 to keep him safe from Diaz. We also know, thanks to Legends of Tomorrow, that Oliver is listed historically as being active as a vigilante in 2024 -- the year the Crisis takes place. It's also potentially confirmed that Oliver was present at the events of the Crisis. With those events being a mere six years away from the Arrowverse's present, depending on what the Crisis entails it might make sense for Oliver and Felicity to leave William in the boarding school or, should he be out of school, be too busy dealing with whatever the Crisis left behind to pay much attention to a mostly-grown William.
Will Arrow truly take us to Star City 2046? That remains to be seen. Showrunner Beth Schwartz said in a recent interview that the flash forwards would continue but asserted that the show has its own timeline. That said, things line up pretty well making it at least a possibility -- one that will be very interesting to see become a reality.
What do you think? Are we headed towards Star City 2046 or something else happening? Let us know your theory in the comments below.