Arrow's seventh season is set to come to a close tonight, putting a cap on the latest year of adventures for Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). As those who have been following this season will surely remember, the batch of episodes began with Oliver sitting in a SuperMax prison -- which could have played out in a completely different way.
ComicBook.com got a chance to speak to Arrow showrunner Beth Schwartz ahead of tonight's season finale, where she was asked about Oliver's seven-episode stint in prison at the beginning of the season. In a weird way, that plotline ran parallel with something similar on Riverdale, where Archie Andrews (KJ Apa) was framed for murder and spent the first stretch of this season's episodes in prison. As Schwartz jokingly revealed, they didn't intend on these two The CW plotlines mirroring each other, but she wouldn't have been opposed to having Oliver and Archie cross paths behind bars.
"I had no idea they were going to do that thing." Schwartz explained. "I know it was very ... I had no idea. But if I did know earlier, I would've definitely had some sort of crossover episode with them in prison together."
While the Arrowverse has become known for its crossover episodes, it's safe to say that having Oliver and Archie sharing the screen together - no matter how extensive the scene would have been - would have opened a pretty massive can of worms. But hey, now we can't help but wonder how different Arrow Season 7 would've been if Oliver also had to deal with the Gargoyle King.
Potential red-headed cellmates aside, it's safe to say that Oliver's stint in prison did significantly affect him as a character, even once he was released in the show's seventh episode.
"I spent a lot of time talking with [showrunner] Beth [Schwartz] about Oliver when he gets out." Amell explained in an interview last fall. "Because I felt like in the first episode this year, we were really trying to charge ahead with a lot of cool new ideas, but it didn't necessarily lend the proper weight to what happened at the end of season six in an episode that's titled "Life Sentence." You know, one of the first drafts in the first episode of Season 7 focused a lot on Oliver focusing on good behaviors so that he could get released. And I was like, 'Well, I mean, one way or the other, he's been in there for five, seven months, whatever the case may be. He's got at least 14, 15 to go if he has good behavior.' So we changed the focus a little bit."
Would you have wanted to see Arrow and Riverdale do a sort of prison crossover? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Arrow airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW. Riverdale airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on The CW.