Folks, I’ve been charged to recap the Arrow portion of this crossover event, but unfortunately I find it a rather difficult task. Is it me? Do I just not get the complexities of this beloved comic book story? Or is it that this plot was conflated and hamfisted into this 45 minute episode of TV? I’m going with the latter.
However, I think I get the skinny of it. Oliver is Spectre, and now has the tools to defeat the anti-monitor, so that’s what Oliver and company try to accomplish. And amongst the numerous unneeded scenes of fighting reject-dementors, (I honestly think 75% of this entire crossover event had them doing just that) Spectre Oliver saves the day. The multiverse is restored, and Oliver dies. Again.
What happens in regard to Oliver Queen’s story is anything but surprising. In fact, the entirety of season 8 was spent telling fans that Oliver was going to die during Crisis. What I didn’t expect was that they were going to kill him twice, just to stick the knife in further.
And I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I appreciate Oliver getting the big hero moments in this crossover. On the other, killing him twice to me conveys a lack of trust in your actors and in your storytelling. Trust that your actors can communicate everything that needs to be felt so the scene resonates. And trust that your writing will communicate the momentousness of this moment. Having two death scenes was like, “we didn’t know how to write Oliver’s death so we give you two options to choose from, and you get to decide which is your favorite.” For me, it comes off as lazy.
They could of had Spectre enter his body by just saying “this is the key to saving the multiverse”, and Oliver would have done it. Because he’s Oliver and he’s a hero. His stint in Purgatory was not necessary.
And also, Oliver Queen’s death in 3×09 remains superior. It respected Oliver’s legacy and loved ones, and it trusted Stephen Amell to convey everything you can imagine feeling as you die, and he delivered.
P.S: Emily Bett Rickards AKA Felicity Smoak, was also not physically there during this death in 3×09. And yet, she is integral to the scene… Arrow writers wrote this death in 3×09… so don’t tell me you’re not capable of connecting back to his family even though you cannot get the actress.
All in all, I’m cautiously optimistic about the Arrow series finale and what it will mean for Oliver Queen. I’m just disappointed in this crossover as a whole.
What do crossovers lend your audience?
I’m sure our resident Legends recapper will get into the future of the crossovers in the Legends recap, but let’s get into what crossovers have served us thus far.
Because this crossover provided an end to the chapter that started it all, I was compelled to think about what is the actual goal of crossovers.
In my opinion, after years of watching the various highs and lows of each Arrowverse crossover, I think the ultimate goal is to create a community and kinship between the heroes. And I think COIE achieved this overall goal. However, this one had to be executed differently because it was an end to a chapter.
Yes, cool comic book call backs are okay, but they shouldn’t overshadow earnest character moments, or well executed explanation of plot. And yes, bonding moments between the heroes is okay, it’s expected, and it’s the goal of crossovers.
But when a character is dying, especially without their family by their side, goals need to be shifted. You can have the ultimate goal in mind without leaving the character behind. And as a result, COIE didn’t have heart. It had cool cameos, comic book tie-ins, but heart it was lacking.
- “Dying is the easy part” that’s always been true for Oliver.
- Can we take a moment to HOWL at the fact that Oliver booping Barry on the head is what unlocks his potential?! I… can’t … stop… laughing…
- Also, so anyone can be a paragon? I guess that’s inspiring and underwhelming at the same time. Meta statement for this crossover I think.
Arrow returns for the final two episodes Tuesdays at 8 PM on The CW!