The Arrow finale was, in a word, underwhelming. A lot gets resolved and settled, and it’s all well and good, but this episode wasn’t particularly exciting, especially as a season finale. Merlyn reveals to Team Arrow that he and Oliver have been planning this for a while, and that it had to look like Oliver betrayed them in order for Ra’s to trust him. This makes perfect sense and Team Arrow should probably have figured it out themselves, but they’re a bit too busy feeling actually betrayed. Elsewhere, Oliver reveals himself to Ra’s pretty immediately. Ra’s is heading to Starling to unleash the bioweapon- against which Team Arrow is already conveniently inoculated. He’s aiming not only for the city Oliver loves, but also for Damien Darhk, because another rushed subplot was exactly what this episode needed.
The final showdown between Ra’s and Oliver is also pretty underwhelming. They duel on a bridge while the SCPD looks on, a sniper waiting for a “clean shot.” The sniper’s kind enough to wait until Oliver and Ra’s hash it out; Ra’s gives Oliver his ring and his title, then dies. Oliver’s then shot by the sniper fellow and tumbles off the bridge, and it’s Felicity in the Atom suit who saves him. I’ll admit that bit was pretty sweet.
This episode had a few other good points. Barry makes a very brief appearance. Lance shows up for the first time in a couple episodes- I think it’s been at least three since we’ve seen him. Thea works the Arsenal suit, and even gets Oliver’s blessing to become yet another Starling City Mask. I enjoyed the little exchange where she says she’s considering going by Red Arrow and Oliver replies that he’s already told everyone to call her Speedy.
In the end, Oliver’s vigilante days are behind him; it’s time for him to leave Starling, and Felicity’s going with him. I know many are excited and/or relieved that they’ve finally gotten together, and I’d include myself in that, though I’m kind of amused that he’s still technically married to Nyssa. And as per their “deal,” Oliver gives the Demon’s Head ring and title to Merlyn, which can’t possibly go wrong.
Overall, the finale did well wrapping up all the loose ends, but that’s about it. Despite packing so much into one episode, it really dragged and did little to hold my interest.
Arrow 3.23 – “My Name Is Oliver Queen” Watch Arrow on the CW, Wednesdays at 8/7c.