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‘Arrow’ Series Finale Review: “Fadeout”

Arrow review, season 8, episode 10, “Fadeout”, Aired Jan. 28, 2020.

The series finale of Arrow aired, and while my biggest gripe of the episode was it’s pacing, I find it gleefully easy to shrug and laugh at anything nonsensical or otherwise frustrating. About the finale itself, and about the show as a whole.

Characters that we’ve lost were rebirthed and rejuvenated and able to review the two truths of their lives. They lived, they died, and now they’re living again with infinite possibilities at fans exposal.

Second chances were abundant in this finale. And regardless of whether or not you think they’re deserved with certain characters, that highlighted perspective makes sense within the confines of Arrow‘s mission statement.

Arrow has always been a show with a clear path in route, and given it’s arguably more character driven than other Arrowverse shows, it’s easy to say Arrow is story of self improvement. And they definitely honored that thread of hope in the series finale.

A Sweet Bean

If you have read any of my reviews/recaps of Arrow in the past, you might of noticed I refer to Oliver as my “Sweet Bean Oliver Queen”.

And he’s my Sweet Bean because he tries so hard (I understand that sounds condescending, but bear with me here). He tries so hard to make it okay for everybody. And I love him for that.

So, amongst the many reasons I fell in love with this show, one of the most prominent reasons was Oliver Queen. Once he starts adapting to the realities of what being back in Star City entails, and his subsequent efforts to save it, Oliver truly started living again beyond crossing names off a list.

Therefore, admittedly once I saw the first promo pictures of this series finale, and saw the familiar faces of those who were supposed to be dead, I had my doubts. At first, I thought having these people return would cheapen the shows integrity. However, Arrow‘s explanation of how they returned is SO Oliver Queen, I couldn’t even be mad. Not even a little bit.

My Sweet Bean made it okay for everybody, and for Star City, one last time. It was Oliver who made this new reality with the powers of Spectre, while still making the other reality true.

A Eulogy

John Diggle is always the one with sage advice and wise words at his exposal. So, when Felicity Smoak said, “it should be you,” I felt that.

And it’s perfect of course. One final speech, one final bow:

The Oliver that I meant eight years ago is not the one that we say goodbye to today. Oliver always told me that in order to save his city, he had to become someone else. He had to become something else. I always thought that meant becoming the Green Arrow, but today I realized that meant becoming a better man. The best man he knew how to be. And he took all of us with him on that journey. He changed everything. Oliver brought heroes into the world, he inspired heroes, he inspired all of us here.

I was his brother, and Oliver Queen was mine.

Of course life will go on. It always does. But how, what twists and turns it will take, I can’t say. I don’t know what the future holds, except to say, expect the unexpected. Oliver may be gone, but his mission endures. That mission lives on, Oliver lives on, in the people he inspired. Some will take that mission to the rest of the world, and maybe even beyond that. Because if the past eight years has shown us anything, it’s that this universe is far bigger than any of us could have dared imagine. Even if it is a little less bright without him in it.

Self improvement, that things can get better, you can be better, even in the face of terrible loss.

And A Red Pen

While this ending wasn’t necessarily a surprise for fans given the end of 7×22, we were however gifted with context and more than one confirmation.

  1. Yes, when Felicity entered the portal she met with Oliver.
  2. Yes, Oliver remembers the first time he ever saw her.

They met here, in this Queen Consolidated office because this is where it all began. Felicity has always reminded Oliver of his humanity. And when he first saw her here, and when he fell in love with her here, this is where he’s reminded of home. As Felicity runs into Oliver’s arms you can literally see the life being breathed back into her. You can feel Oliver once again be anchored and at peace with Felicity by his side.

They can both breathe again.

There was no other way to end this show. They’re each other’s home, and now that Oliver is now Spectre, that can look like whatever they want. They can look in on their kids, FINALLY manifest a vacation in Aruba, and be happy. They’re okay. And that means I can be okay too.

He has all the time in the world to tell her… that she’s his happy story.

Stray Musings:

  • I still think Thea can do better.
  • Tommy is so delightful. It was nice to see Colin Donnell play Tommy, and not Earth-X Tommy, or Fake Face Guy Tommy, or Angel Tommy, just Tommy.
  • We were robbed of a Moira and Felicity moment!
  • Also, where’s Mama Smoak?
  • I love my Mia and William, but I could have honestly done without a last mission. I think the episode would have been stronger if it was flashbacks (with Felicity included), funeral/statue unveiling, then Olicity reunion.
  • P.S.: Felicity Smoak is not dead, she did not kill herself, Spectre Oliver created another plane for them. Olicity is immortal, thems the facts.
  • P.P.S.: Felicity Smoak is not a bad mother for going to Oliver. Her kids are grown ups, and want their mom to be happy.
  • Looks like John Diggle is the new Green Lantern!
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Lynsey Neill

Lynsey is a Gryffindor Primary and a Hufflepuff Secondary. Find her watching anything from BoJack Horseman to Grey's Anatomy. She loves to read... especially if it features dragons and a good cry. If you ask her what she's doing she will most likely respond "I probably should be writing." Find her on Twitter, to theorize, geek out, and to obsess about Olicity.

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