Whenever a TV show that has gone on for long enough ends in a planned finale, it’s typical for many of its previous supporting characters to make cameo appearances, and the very final episode of Arrow was no exception. In fact, here’s a full rundown of everyone who was featured.
First off, there’s Team Arrow. The group has varied in size and members over the years, but its current lineup of Diggle, there from the very beginning, and Dinah, Laurel and Rene, each a fixture since season 5, were the ones to see it through to the end.
The episode’s flashbacks were an appropriate choice given their prominent use in the show’s narrative, and allowed for Oliver’s participation in the finale. This being his show, it would feel wrong for its ending to not feature him, despite him being dead. The first brought us back to season 2 episode “Seeing Red,” which saw the death of Oliver and Thea’s mother Moira at the hands of the series’ best and most compelling villain, Deathstroke. In this version, Oliver manages to free himself from his restraints and save her, setting off the revelation that he tweaked history here and there as he remade the universe with the phenomenal cosmic power of the Spectre.
Roy has been around on and off for since the first season, beginning as a petty criminal before growing as a person under Oliver’s mentorship. His having a cybernetic arm shows that the event of him losing it a few episodes ago in “Purgatory” still played out the same, indicating that Oliver didn’t erase every negative experience from the timeline.
Mia became an increasingly important aspect of the show since her introduction in the jarring flash-forwards of season 7, so bringing her back into the past for the finale was a suitable decision, allowing her a proper goodbye to her father denied by her erasure during “Crisis On Infinite Earths.”
Speaking of time travel, its current queen Sara was the one to take Mia thorough a time window. As an important part of both Oliver’s past and the history of the show, it was important she was there at the end, managing to abandon the anarchic lunacy of Legends of Tomorrow long enough to maintain the required decorum.
Curtis was introduced in season 4, and after officially joining Team Arrow became an object demonstration in how a vigilante’s escapades affects their lives and the people in them, ultimately causing him to quit. He was around long enough to make an impact, and it was nice to see him one last time, however briefly.
Thea began as the one Oliver was most focused on protecting, her drug addiction acting as a personification of the societal decay destroying Starling City, ultimately growing into a hero in her own right. Her final appearance, seeing her reunite with Roy, showed that even people who still feel tainted by the awful things they’ve done can eventually find happiness.
Felicity grew from what was intended as a one-off supporting role to one of the most important characters, and even though Emily Bett Rickards left the show at the end of season 7 to get a jump on furthering her career after the series’ end, it would have been jarring to not have Felicity return for her husband’s funeral, and it was a relief it was made to work.
Rory Regan/Ragman was another of the season 5 new recruits, and with a costume and powers straight out a horror movie, could have remained one of the most interesting. He unfortunately only made it to the season’s halfway point in “Bratva” though where he used his magical rags to contain a nuclear explosion, after which they lost their power. Since his fate was left ambiguous upon seeing his mask in the collection of Chimera in “Emerald Archer,” it was reassuring to find out that not only is he still alive, but his rags’ powers are returning.
Quentin was another significant post-“Crisis” resurrection, previously dying after being mortally wounded in a fight with Ricardo Diaz in the season 6 finale. There from the show’s inception, the dynamic of him and Oliver, growing from enemies to reluctant allies to comrades in arms to friends, is one of the series’ most consistent pieces of character development, and having him be the one to deliver Oliver’s eulogy was the perfect culmination of what they became to one another.
Also brought back was Emiko, last seen killed after being betrayed by her Ninth Circle subordinates. Her being welcomed by Moira and Thea suggests that Oliver made enough changes that her life was not beset by the same hardships as her pre-Crisis self and sending her down a different path, acknowledging she was driven to her mission of vengeance through no fault of her own.
The final main series revenant is Tommy, saved from dying in the Undertaking in the season 1 finale. Although, since it was Tommy’s death that made Oliver abandon his previously murderous ways, it doesn’t quite follow that the same would have happened now. But that’s a minor thing so we can let it slide.
Nyssa and Talia al-Ghul make an appearance as well, reminding us that the former was once married to Oliver in an act of spite by their homophobic father in retaliation for her betrayal of him. She also introduces Sara as her “beloved,” the look the two share acknowledging the love they once had. Talia still having the burn marks on her face from surviving the explosion on Lian Yu in the climax of season 5 suggests that, like Roy’s arm, at least some of the series’ events played out the same.
Anatoly was a surprising appearance, but although he and Oliver had their differences, they ultimately ended things as allies and friends, so his presence didn’t feel out of place.
Barry and Kara, meanwhile, not at least putting in an appearance would have felt like an oversight, being Oliver’s closest superhero allies and the only ones who where there when he permanently died, so their showing up felt like a last piece slotting into place.
After the funeral was a final appearance from the Monitor, also returned to life after his death in “Crisis,” replaying the closing moments of season 7 and taking Felicity into the afterlife to be reunited with Oliver, ending Arrow on a positive note and letting the final word be one on its most enduring relationship.