Arrow season 8, episode 10 series finale review: Fadeout

Arrow -- "Fadeout" -- Image Number: AR810C_0147b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Katherine McNamara as Mia, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, David Ramsey as John Diggle/Spartan and Audrey Marie Anderson as Lyla Michaels -- Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Arrow -- "Fadeout" -- Image Number: AR810C_0147b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Katherine McNamara as Mia, Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, David Ramsey as John Diggle/Spartan and Audrey Marie Anderson as Lyla Michaels -- Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW -- © 2020 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

“I have all the time in the world to talk to you.” Spoilers for Arrow season 8, episode 10 follow.

Oliver Queen is dead and his city has been saved. As Team Arrow mourns his sacrifice, they celebrate the new world that he has given them.

But in a city without crime, who needs a hero?

The mission never ends or does it?

As was learned in “Green Arrow and the Canaries,” crime in Star City has pretty much been eliminated in the wake of the Crisis. And while that quickly went out of fashion in the future, it’s something that’s great to see Team Arrow grapple with in the present. Not only do they have to mourn Oliver’s death, but they have to come to grips with who they are now. With a city in no longer in need of heroes, who will Team Arrow become?

In unsurprising fashion, this can’t last that long with every member of Team Arrow now present. As such, the idea of who these people will be post-Oliver isn’t presented in the best way, it’s wonderful to see every legacy character that the show has had back in the field, from Ragman to Mia. It’s also a great way to honor each of these characters, as well as what has been built up for the past eight years.

Not only that though, it brings young William back into the fold organically. Yeah, he’s kidnapped, but this gives each and every character motivation to suit up and while also giving William a moment to see how much everyone cares for him, and by extension, how much his father cared for him.

But while the rest of the team is asking, “What do they do now?” Laurel is asking “Why me?” Moira, Quentin, Tommy, and even Emiko have all been brought back to life, but the original Laurel Lance hasn’t. This leaves our Laurel, originally from Earth-2, wrestling with “Why?” And this is where it’s wonderful to have Quentin back in the fold. He has always been one of the beating moral hearts of the series (much like Joe West in The Flash), so with him telling Laurel that Oliver didn’t think she needed to be change, it’s a heartwarming reminder of how far Laurel has come. This is one of the few moments that works on a thematic level in this episode.

To the past we go

And for one last time, we go back to the flashback format that permeated the first five seasons of Arrow. This time though, we flashback to season 1 to explore an untold story from the time of Oliver hunting down those on his father’s list. This is a story beat that was essentially thrown to the wayside ninety-nine percent of the time after season 1 so, as a fan of that story element, it’s great to see it return one last time.

Honestly though, it also is a bit jarring to see Oliver to return to his killer self that he was in the first season. This is definitely the point though as it really puts into perspective how far the character has come since the series began. The guy who began as a murderous vigilante became the savior of a universe. That’s one heck of a character arc.

This story ties very well into the main storyline of the episode in two ways as well. First off, the message the Diggle keeps saying in the present is “The mission never ends,” which is also espoused by Oliver in the flashbacks.

More from Arrowverse

However, much in the way that the best flashbacks that show has had, the philosophies have very different meanings in both timelines. For Oliver in the flashbacks, the mission is an obsession. Self-destructive and criminal. In the present, it’s a responsibility. Selfless and heroic. It’s the perfect ideal to end this show on.

As for the second, it ties into what Mia wants to do. After the events of “Green Arrow and the Canaries,” she thinks that she is not worthy of her father’s mantle. But by sparing William’s kidnapper’s life (named John Byrne after the comic book writer/artist), she learns that she is exactly who her father wants her to be. Because of this, when Mia finally interacts with Felicity, it’s an incredibly emotional moment.

The funeral and the future

In the end though, this episode is about Oliver. Oliver’s death and his life. We have been through all the ups and downs throughout the entirety of the show, both character-wise and quality-wise and this finale pays tribute to that as best it can.

The most meaningful part of this episode comes during the funeral when Diggle gives his speech. He’s been there since the beginning, so it’s only fitting to have him give the final speech at Oliver’s funeral. It’s a heartbreaking, yet uplifting tribute to the character who, if you’ve been watching for eight seasons, you have come to love and is a fitting send-off for Oliver to the characters in this universe.

Furthermore, the fact that Diggle was given a Green Lantern ring at the end of the episode, intercut with his speech, proves how important the character truly was. If any character in the Arrowverse deserves a Lantern ring, it’s Diggle. Almost every character is given a relatively open-ended ending, but Diggle’s has the most potential to it.

But, it’s impossible to conclude this without talking about the final scene. Oliver and Felicity reunited once again. The journey for these two has been filled with happiness, heartbreak, and everything in between, so to see them finally get a happy ending? It’s a joyous moment. They finally get the happy ending that they deserve.

While not a perfect finale, with some small thematic hiccups, Arrow ends on an emotional high-note that leaves you with the feeling that this won’t be the last time that these characters will appear.

dark. Next. Green Arrow and The Canaries is the Arrow sequel we deserve

Are you going to miss watching Arrow? Did you enjoy the series finale? Let us know in the comments below!