[WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for Arrow.]
While The Flash's season finale won't air until next week, Arrow has already finished its third season with this week's "My Name is Oliver Queen." The episode wrapped up season 3's struggle with Ra's al Ghul and the League of Assassins with a neat and tidy bow, practically coming across as a series finale with how final every development felt. This was especially true of Oliver's decision to retire the Arrow persona and leave the vigilante business altogether, last seen driving off into the sunset with Felicity while proclaiming how happy he was.
However, we know Arrow is returning next year with its star Stephen Amell, so it shouldn't be too terribly long before we see Oliver return to his bow and arrows. During the course of season 3, Oliver's identity as the Arrow was outed, and though Roy eventually took the fall for him, it's now impossible for Oliver Queen to resume his crime-fighting activities under that guise; especially since Ra's again framed the Arrow as a killer, tarnishing his reputation. Simply returning next season and donning the Arrow costume would effectively undo all that happened this season, something Amell himself affirmed when recently asked about season 4.
Having a show called Arrow without anyone as the Arrow doesn't seem all that likely, at least not for long. And while Oliver's sister, Thea, has recently stepped into the role of Speedy, there's little doubt that Oliver will return and again take up arms. But if the Arrow persona is truly dead and gone, what new identity will Oliver assume upon his return?
In his earlier interview during the CW's Upfront presentation, Amell said he doesn't know what's in store for Oliver next season when it comes to the future. But in speaking with E!, he goes on to confirm at least one thing he knows for sure about the upcoming season of Arrow:
"Arrow is done. No more Arrow suit. I've worn it for the last time."
Again, the news that the Arrow persona is done for now isn't all that shocking, but saying he'll never again don his green leather hood is truly outrageous. After all, it was the outfit that most strongly connected the Arrow to his comic book inspiration Green Arrow. Without it, Oliver isn't all that indistinguishable from his recent turn as Al Sah-him.
Retiring not only the Arrow persona but the Arrow suit could imply a number of things, one being that Oliver is truly well and done being a masked hero. That's the least likely scenario, but it is one we could see Arrow toy with for more than just an episode or two (unlike Oliver's "death" which lasted all of an episode).
What's more likely is that season 4 of Arrow could be the season where Oliver truly becomes Green Arrow (as The Flash even hinted at with Gideon's newspaper from the future). The distinction may not seem all that drastic, but the Green Arrow of the comics is different from the man Amell has played for three seasons. Most noticeably, Green Arrow isn't nearly as dour or brooding as Amell's Oliver Queen. Since Oliver has finally found happiness in his relationship with Felicity, we may see a happier Oliver in season 4.
Pair a less surly Oliver with a new costume, most likely another green affair, and you've got someone closer to the character fans of the Green Arrow comics have been expecting since day one.
What do you guys think? Do Stephen Amell's comments that he's worn the Arrow suit for the last time imply he's hanging up his quiver for good? Or will we see him return next season as a brighter, more fun Green Arrow? Sound off in the comments below!
Arrow season 4 will premiere this fall along with The Flash season 2 and season 1 of CBS’ Supergirl. The Flash/Arrow spinoff show Legends of Tomorrow will premiere as a midseason replacement in early 2016.