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The CW’s OG superhero series is no more. Arrow has finally come to an end, but it saved plenty of shocks, tears, and hope for the big finale.
Spoilers ahead for “Fadeout,” the series finale of The CW’s Arrow, which aired Tuesday, January 28, 2020!
As expected, the series finale was a largely quiet and somber affair — providing a hopeful, fitting farewell to Oliver, his mission and the world he spawned that will live on far after he’s gone. The episode is framed around a few farewell mechanisms, including the recent documentary about vigilantes in Star City (with the footage and concept now being retooled as a memoriam) and Oliver’s literal funeral. The brunt of the episode follows a few final character interactions and plot points, as characters mourn Oliver while also looking ahead.
There’s also a quick kidnapping subplot, as Oliver’s son William (the present day “kid” version) is kidnapped by one of Oliver’s former victims he spared and put in prison. Mia tracks him down and, just like Oliver, spares his life. Rescuing William also seemed to be a good way to bring him back into the fold to reunite him with Felicity and his baby sister, since we know they do grow up together in the new Earth Prime future.
But arguably just as important, we get a peek into the Star City of Earth Prime, which saw even more changes than we could’ve foreseen. When Oliver took his last gasp to restart all reality, he planted some major rewrites in his own world. First of all, there’s basically no crime. You know all those deaths that broke your heart over the years? Most are undone. Oliver’s mother Moira is alive, Oliver’s long-lost best friend Tommy is alive, and Quentin Lance is back and the retiring mayor of Star City (preparing to recommend Rene as his replacement, which aligns with the Future Star City we already know).
Roy and Thea are also back, and despite being estranged, Roy has realized Thea is what’s missing from his life in this new, Earth Prime. So he proposes, and it seems they’ll be getting hitched. Roy also has his robo-hand (a comic book staple), after losing a hand during his last appearance. Mia also makes a trip back from 2040 (thanks to the Legends) to bid farewell to Oliver at his funeral. Barry and Kara show up to offer condolences. Even Nyssa and Talia al Ghul are there, along with Emiko.
Laurel also gets a great moment with Quentin, as she’s questioning her continued existence in this “perfect” version of Star City created by Oliver. She can’t figure out why she wasn’t “rebooted” back to Earth 1 mode, like the restored Tommy and Moira (and we learn Tommy and Laurel are married in this Earth Prime reality, though that’s news to Laurel). Quentin always has the right thing to say, and tells Laurel there’s nothing “wrong” with her that needed to be fixed. Oliver knew that, and he knows that. Laurel wasn’t replaced because she’s a worthy version of the character, living up to that legacy.
The real show-stealer, though, was Diggle. Not having him around for Oliver’s death(s) during Crisis was brutal, but he finally got his chance to truly say goodbye to his brother. With everyone standing around the graveside, no one can find the composure or words to close the book. So Felicity calls on Diggle, Oliver’s brother, to give the eulogy. It was the moment Diggle deserved, and a fitting tribute to their brotherhood and bond.
Then we got the Diggle payoff that certainly had fans geeking the eff out. There had been teases for years that John Diggle might actually turn out to be John Stewart, aka the Green Lantern. Well, as he talks about the adventures they have left to come, we get a flash to Diggle’s future — where he sees a green package crash. He opens it and is bathed in green light. Yeah, Diggle gets called up to the Green Lantern Corps. As for his more immediate future, Diggle and Lyla are relocating to Metropolis, where Lyla has a new job offer. Could they be setting up Dig and Lyla as supporting players in the upcoming Superman & Lois series? It certainly seems like a possibility, and if it’s not, it’s a clear missed opportunity.
The episode’s final scene finally pays off the set-up of future Felicity leaving to go meet Oliver with the Monitor from last season. Turns out she was basically heading off into the afterlife, or wherever Oliver ended up after birthing the universe, to spend their eternity together.
Rest in peace, Oliver. You’ve earned it.