Arrow-323-MyNameIsOliverQueen-3J5173A-CW-Stereo_ab5e13f5_CWtv_720x400

There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

This was a great finale, but considering the rest of the season has been such a mess, I’m wondering if my expectations were just lower than usual. It was on a slightly lower scale in terms of how dangerous it was. This isn’t like the bombs in season one, or the hostile take over by Slade in season two. Only a few people were infected by the disease, and then it was handled cleanly enough. The only real battle was between Ra’s and Oliver, which was a good fight, but not the best they’ve had. I think I liked it because the ending did surprise me. Who knew that they would end on a high note? I know everything is dark and gritty these days, which is why the optimism of Supergirl appeals to me, and it was refreshing to see Oliver come to a good place. I know it won’t last for long, but I’m a big fan of earn your happy endings, and for the time being, he’s earned his. It felt like true character development made its round, and here’s hoping it doesn’t get backtracked immediately in season four. Previously onĀ Arrow, Oliver agreed to become the next Ra’s al Ghul, but only because he knew from Merlyn that Ra’s would keep destroying everything until he did. And that he planned on destroying Starling City. Everything’s been a ruse, and they implied at the end of last episode that the team was dying, which of course we knew they weren’t. Important note: this episode takes place after the last Flash, and that’s why Barry shows up right away.

Barry zips in and has very little trouble knocking out the league. They’re not really impressive or intimidating, are they? They barely put up a fight for the Arrow team, and now Flash is dancing around them easily. He does have two hilarious lines: “you have a jacuzzi?” and “this is a dungeon-dungeon.” Felicity gives away Barry’s identity, good job, Felicity. Now Merlyn knows who he is, and I feel like that will be coming back around. The group were inoculated in the plane like we suspected, so they survived the virus. They are all sent back home. Meanwhile Oliver, Nyssa, Ra’s, and the rest are in a plane headed toward Starling. It starts to go down, and Ra’s blames Nyssa at first, but Oliver finally reveals himself as a traitor. He says “I am Oliver Queen!” after using his fake name, and it was a good moment. Ra’s jumps out with the only parachute (seriously, the only one?) and the biological weapon. Nyssa and Oliver manage to pilot the plane down and not get themselves killed. It’s quickly discovered when he reunites with his friends that Oliver never intended to survive; he fully planned on going down with the ship with Ra’s in it. Ouch. He believed he was so far gone and his friends wouldn’t forgive him, so sacrifice was the best way to go out. Ollie, honey, you need to have more faith in people. Diggle’s frustration this episode is very relatable, all things considered. He’s not even close to forgiving Oliver for what he did to his wife, but I think Oliver’s lying and tendency to give up didn’t help either.

ar323b0353bjpg-a6e9cc_624wAnyway they realize Ra’s is partly after his nemesis Damian Darhk, who will be a bad guy for season four. The team has to figure out where Ra’s plans on sending out the biological weapons, and they’re surprised to find out he’s simply sending it out IN his minions, not in a briefcase or anything. So they need to stop the minions without killing them or spilling their blood. Thea’s officially joined the group in Roy’s red, and she looks fantastic. While Team Arrow works on that, and Ray works overtime to find ways to inoculate everyone and stop the virus, Oliver takes on Ra’s for a final battle. He manages to kill the man finally, and gives him the death prayer as it happens. Ra’s looks pleased before dying. Right after, the police open fire, and Quentin has a moment of redemption in that he warns Felicity the police are going to kill Oliver. Felicity takes Ray’s suit and goes and saves him, which was a fantastic reveal and made me applaud loudly. I’m glad to see that she doesn’t have hold over of anger or resentment to Oliver, especially after figuring out his suicidal intentions. Instead she offers him love, support, and hope, and it’s one of many reasons I’m a fan of their relationship and the good things it brings out in each other. I know not all fans are pleased with the love drama this season, and I do hate triangles, but I’m a firm believer that characters can still be interesting in relationships and in love.

So Team Arrow wins, and it’s somewhat anti-climatic. But then Oliver surprises everyone by saying that he’s retiring (temporarily, no doubt). He trusts the team to carry on and protect the city, and he wants to try and explore who he is without the Arrow and without the man he was. He and Felicity drive off into the sunset together, and he says he’s happy. It touched my heart, I’m not going to lie, because Oliver has struggled over several seasons to get to a better place. The idea of him exploring who he is now instead of who he was appeals to me, both as a fan and as a writer. And the fact he supports Laurel and Thea entirely to become vigilantes in their own right is a good arc for him. However he let Malcolm become the new Ra’s in exchange for his help; that bothered me more. Nyssa should have it, but I guess she’d rather have revenge herself, and to take over in her own way. Go Nyssa go! Diggle ends on the more sour note, indicating he’s not sure if he wants to keep fighting, and that he’s still angry at Oliver. But he does support him leaving and finding a new path; he can be angry at his best friend and still want the best for him. It’s bittersweet. Ray “explodes” while working on his super suit, but just like Barry’s accident, everyone knows what’s coming. If people are going hey isn’t that like Ant-Man, yes. Yes it’s exactly like that.

This was a good finale. While it was not a big exciting battle like I expected, I have a strong appreciation for completed character arcs and new beginnings. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like next season, but I wouldn’t mind focusing on the other characters and giving some space with Oliver and Felicity. I suspect they’ll be back sooner rather than later though. I plan on writing an overall review of season three so I’ll get into that. I wonder what they’re going to do with Coast City (Green Lantern’s city) and Oliver’s flashbacks there; hopefully they will be a lot better than this season’s flashbacks. I saw the trailer for Legend of Tomorrow, and how exciting to see Sara Lance back! I wonder if that will be addressed in Arrow at all, I’m guessing it will be. It looks okay, so I’m adding it to the list. The show has won me over for another season, but I hope it gets more focus next year.

 

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