“To save my city, I had to become someone else… I had to become something else…” — Oliver Queen
These words from Oliver’s opening monologue on all eight seasons of Arrow have a different ring to them, since Crisis. A different shade of green, you might say. Upon his death, he assumed the otherwordly role of The Spectre, a supernatural cosmic entity who observes, guides, and dispenses justice. Oliver’s sacrifice during the Crisis resulted in a reboot of the universe that saved his city; crime has stopped in Star City since the Crisis. Oliver arranged for many other changes have to be made in this new reality as well. Most are good, but some were unavoidably bad (like Lex Luthor striking a quid pro quo deal to have his criminal history wiped and be perceived as a good guy).
Sarah Lance uses Legends time portal tech to gather Oliver’s friends and family from across time and space for his funeral on this final episode entitled "Fadeout." But first, a new mission requires all hands on deck; Oliver’s teenage son William has been kidnapped. Why Sarah brought Oliver’s grown daughter Mia to the present but did not grab grown William is a mystery. He is the only person from Oliver's life that is not present.
Several flashbacks to previous seasons with Oliver are used to illustrate plot points…some are existing footage, some are newly created, especially some final epic fight scenes, with the battle choreography that the show is famous for. All are appreciated to give Oliver screen time in the finale, and remind us that Stephen Amell was the talented, charismatic glue that held this show together.
One of the lingering fan questions concerns the future of John Diggle. For the last couple of seasons, hints have been dropped in episodes that Diggle is a Green Lantern in other universes, and may become one in the newly rebooted, post-Crisis Arrowverse, where a brief scene confirmed that the Green Lantern Corps do still exist. Other clues: a green lantern spotted on a tabletop in a warehouse, his stepfather's last name is Stewart, the interior lighting of Spartan’s helmet was switched from light blue to green, and Diggle has been wearing more green clothes, including in this final ep. Fans will be very satisfied by Diggle’s final scene.
It was wonderful news to hear that Emily Bett Rickards would be back on this farewell episode to reprise her role of Oliver’s widow and Team Arrow’s tech wiz Felicity. She jumps right in to relieve Curtis and show him that she hasn’t lost her touch. She is a sight for sore eyes. It would have been a travesty if she and Oliver weren’t together in the end, and through some Monitor cosmic magic, they are.
The series finale was an appropriately emotional and satisfying episode, with a very meta acknowledgement during John’s eulogy that Oliver/Arrow inspired and created many heroes (and CW spinoffs). All loose ends were tied up, relationships repaired, and a few open ends left for future adventures. Have tissues handy, Arrow fans, you will need them.
• an Easter egg about Bruce Wayne’s cousin Van Wayne from the short-lived tv series Powerless)
• “JOHN BYRNE, you have failed this city!”