With numerous crossover episodes and references between both Arrow and The Flash, there is no question (even from the standpoint of more casual viewers) that these two worlds are linked. Barry and Oliver being such good friends allow these heroes to call on one another in times of crisis, or at least when the writing team allows it. With the fate of these two cities so closely intertwined, apparently these super pals are forced to take the good with the bad – even when it comes to reality-altering time travel.
When originally asked about the possibility of The Flash's season 2 cliffhanger affecting DC's entire television universe, Arrow star Stephen Amell claimed that the Scarlett Speedster's latest twist would probably be a non-factor for season 5, stating that the series will likely go back to basics. Last month, in an interview the actor said,"Arrow is at its best when we’re dealing with problems in Star City," and insisted the show would return to its more grounded roots. But now it appears as though the series' lead has changed his tune.
The People's Choice Awards' official Twitter account has quoted Stephen Amell as answering "sure" when asked whether the Flashpoint storyline would affect Arrow. Additionally, the tweet quotes Amell as saying, "you bet," in response to the followup question: "majorly?"
— People's Choice (@peopleschoice) July 3, 2016
So, despite earlier reports, it appears that repercussions from The Flash season 2 finale will have a major impact on future storylines for Arrow. What that means exactly is unclear at this moment, but if the Flashpoint comic book run is any indication, serious changes are in store for both of these television series. At this point, audiences have learned from multiple films, novels, and television programs that altering the past in any significant way can have inadvertent and usually unfortunate consequences. The expectation, then, is that this adage will be proven true once again when both The Flash and Arrow return for their third and fifth seasons.
It is hard to say exactly how this recent turn of events will effect Arrow season 5, and additionally, it is difficult to predict just how long these repercussions will be felt within the television universe. Is the Flashpoint storyline easy cleanup that gets resolved within the first few episodes? That certainly seems unlikely for The Flash season 3, but Arrow season 5 could be an entirely different story. Time travel is a tough subject to tackle, making it difficult to forecast the future for Oliver Queen and the rest of Star City.
One question that still remains is: Will Barry's latest antics at all effect the future of DC's Legends of Tomorrow or The CW's newest addition Supergirl? That answer is still anyone's guess, but it should be noted that these universes are linked to somewhat varying degrees, and the four respective series are rumored to take part in a crossover event at some point after new episodes begin airing this fall.
Arrow season 5 is scheduled to premiere on Wednesday, October 5, 2016 at 8PM ET; The Flash season 3 is slated to air on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 8PM ET; DC's Legends of Tomorrow will return on Thursday, October 13, 2016 at 8PM ET, Supergirl will make its season 2 debut on The CW on Monday, October 10, 2016 also at 8PM ET.