After months of hearing about Arrow's planned spinoff set to take place in 2040, it wasn't until the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths ended that it suddenly made complete sense to us.
In fact, the entire storyline that has taken place in 2040 over the past two seasons suddenly made a whole lot of sense. While we'd all been wondering how on earth the city was still so un-saved in the future and if things really were that bleak, we had no idea that by the time Arrow would be saying goodbye, the entire world would be rebooted, and 2040 Star City could be saved after all.
That means that when we pick back up in that formerly dark and depressing future in tonight's episode, it's now a bright, shiny place where Mia Smoak Queen grew up with everything she could want, aside from her father.
"In this new, reset reality, in 2040, everything has been perfect," Kat McNamara told us. "There's been no crime and hardship for all of Mia's life, and she's been raised in a world where she hasn't really known much sadness or trauma or darkness in any way other than the fact that her father hasn't been a part of her life."
She grew up alongside her mother Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards, who's returning for next week's finale) and her brother William (Ben Lewis), "in a world where being the Green Arrow's daughter comes with opportunity, and also a lot of responsibility." She has lived an "entirely different life" from the Mia we've gotten to know over the past two seasons.
"She's still the same smart, cunning, capable young woman with every opportunity at her fingertips, but not necessarily a passion. She hasn't quite yet figured out who she wants to be and what she wants to do with her life and that keeps her in a kind of discontent."
McNamara basically had to learn to play a whole new version of the character she's been playing for two seasons, which she said was really interesting and required a whole lot of collaboration, and a lot of "working backwards."
"I had to go, OK, it's the same young woman, but in this new set of circumstances, and what does that mean for her as a character, what does that mean for the way that she carries herself, and the way that she interacts with other people, and the way that she lives her life?" she said. "It's been a really interesting journey of discovery in that sense."
Mia will get her memory back of her previous life in the episode, which brings up a whole mess of problems for her, and a whole new set of instincts and memories to deal with.
"It really is two separate people living in the same body," McNamara says. "She has both sets of memories, both realities that she's emotionally attached to given that she lived through them both. And what that does is it smacks her in the face with all of this trauma, and having this relationship with her father, and also with the joy of being a hero, and getting to feel that rush and the passion and fire that she's never felt, but also the loss and the tragedy and the sacrifice that comes with that."
After we see tonight's spinoff episode (which really does fit in with the show as a whole, for those who were worried), all that's left is the series finale.
"It is so beautiful, and so well done," McNamara said of the show's ending. "It really does honor everything that [Stephen Amell] built, and everything that the show has built, and the Arrowverse as a whole. It was amazing to see how many people lent a hand and came out of the woodwork to really make the finale special, and I think the audience is really going to love it, because we really get to tie up the loose ends that we can, and look to the future of so many characters, and also to go back to those moments of nostalgia and those character relationships and really take a look at what Oliver has done and what the show has meant to people, and what the journey has been, and the effect that Oliver Queen, the character, has had on the world at large."
You can see the first photos from the finale below, including the highly anticipated return of Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak Queen.
Arrow airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW, for just another week.