After eight years and 170 episodes, Arrow has come to an end. Of course, the show birthed a shared universe of six (so far) other series so we’ll have plenty of opportunities to see these characters again. We’re really saying goodbye to one of them – Oliver Queen.
The finale had a pretty tall order to deliver a satisfying conclusion to this saga. SPOILER ALERT The Green Arrow died in Crisis on Infinite Earths. That meant this episode needed to serve as a crossover follow up and a fitting goodbye without its title character for most of the hour.
Thankfully, “Fadeout” does a phenomenal job concluding Oliver’s story and highlighting the legacy he’s leaving behind. The finale brings in many many familiar faces, both old and new, to help memorialize the Green Arrow and really outline the results of his sacrifice.
We do still get some great scenes from Stephen Amell in the finale. They chose to focus the flashbacks on Arrow’s first year as a vigilante, where Oliver is just learning to trust Diggle and beginning to accept input into his father’s mission. When the episode opens, Star City is completely crime-free. Does that mean this episode is a bit of a snooze? NOPE.
The finale delivers one of the best action scenes of the entire series as Arrow runs through a gauntlet of mercenaries to take down another name on his list. The scene is full of long tracking shots that were clearly coordinated very carefully. Bringing it back to the unrestricted violence of season one Oliver really allowed them to go all out with this scene. It’s amazing to see how far the show has come in the stunt department.
In present day, Team Arrow gathers to remember Oliver. Then, the 13-year-old William is kidnapped and brought to Star City, this causes them to call in the ENTIRE Team Arrow to help. We get Spartan, Wild Dog, Black Canary, Black Siren, Arsenal, Speedy, Mister Terrific, Ragman, Lyla, Mia’s Green Arrow, and the return of Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity! This offers opportunities for a big reunion between Roy and Thea (including a proposal!) and for Felicity to meet her grown-up daughter.
Thanks to Oliver’s sacrifice in Crisis and the new Earth created, many characters are brought back from the dead. We see the return of Moira Queen, Tommy Merlin, Quentin Lance, and Emiko Adachi Queen. Earth-2 Laurel has a great interaction with Quentin where she feels guilty that the Earth-1 Laurel wasn’t resurrected too and Quentin reassures her that there is nothing wrong with her. Oliver’s funeral also brings Barry Allen, Kara Danvers, Anatoly Knyazev, Sara Lance, Nyssa and Talia al Ghul.
John delivers a great eulogy about change and how Oliver worked to become a better man through his eight years as a vigilante. This serves as a voiceover showing where everyone ends up. Mia returns to 2040 (and possibly to her spinoff?). Rene begins his mayoral campaign. Dinah leaves town.
And then the best ending of all. After John and Lyla move to Metropolis, a meteor strikes down nearly on top of Diggle. After investigating the crash site, he finds a small box with a glowing green ring…Come on, the Arrowverse isn’t too crowded for us to get one more show is it? Even if this was just a little something for the fans, it was phenomenal.
The true ending brings us all the way back to the Season 7 finale where the Monitor is ushering a 2040 Felicity to meet Oliver. She passes through into the afterlife and finds Oliver in a recreation of his mother’s office, the place he first set eyes on Felicity. This is a really touching final reunion for the two. It was great we got Felicity back for one last episode to see this through.
The finale managed to break some new ground on the action front, pack in a ton of tear-jerking moments, and bring what seemed like the entire cast of Arrow together for one last farewell and did it all in a really sweet and enjoyable episode. While the Arrowverse isn’t going anywhere and the Green Arrow’s legacy is firmly cemented in the universe, it was really special to get a fitting conclusion to their flagship show.