REVIEW: ‘Arrow,’ Season 8, Episode 10 – “Fadeout”

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Arrow, CW’s long-running Green Arrow series, has finally reached the end of the line in its series finale ‘Fadeout’.  After perishing in Crisis on Infinite Earths event and rebooting the multiverse, Oliver (Stephen Amell) finally rests in peace. In the much brighter Star City of 2040, Mia Queen (Katherine McNamara) finds her memories restored and takes on her father’s mantle as – The Green Arrow.

After last week’s episode showed us what the future of the Arrowverse could bring, this final episode of Arrow acts as a farewell and a reminder of the legacy that Oliver has left behind. Whether that’s through the lives of our heroes like John Diggle (David Ramsey), Laurel Lance (Katie Cassidy), Rene (Rick Gonzalez) and Dinah Drake (Juliana Harkavy), or how his noble actions helped inspire other heroes like Barry Allen (Grant Gustin).

It must have been an extremely daunting task for the writers to wrap up this show without being able to use the main character, and for the audience – it’s understandable why some may be frustrated that Oliver isn’t here to say goodbye with the rest. Thankfully, the writers managed to find the perfect way of having their cake and eating it too. Paying homage to the flashbacks, which were featured heavily throughout the series’ history, we can see Oliver Queen during his heyday. It’s a great way of tying everything together while allowing the emotional bonds and repercussions of Oliver’s actions to tell the story during the present.

Like any series finale, there are plenty of fun surprises that feel truly earned and are emotional to watch unfold onscreen. For example, when rebooting the universe Oliver was able to erase the deaths of his mother Moira (Susanna Thompson), his sister Emiko (Sea Shimooka), Mayor Lance (Paul Blackthorne) and best-friend Tommy (Colin Donnell). These revivals alongside other returning characters like Thea (Willa Holland), Roy (Colton Haynes), Curtis (Echo Kellum) and Rory Reagan (Joe Dinicol)’s presence help celebrate the show’s history while also having an emotional purpose. For those resurrected, it’s proof of how far Oliver was willing to go to save his city – changing the world for the better in the process. While for his family and friends, it’s a reminder of the impact and inspiration that he had given to them over eight years.

The fact that the entire season was framed as a final farewell to themes and aspects of the shows’ entire run also allows the finale to carry less of the weight that usually comes with ending a long-running TV show. Instead, this episode lets the audience and characters grieve and celebrate the life of Oliver Queen. Both beloved and controversial by fans in the fandom, Arrow’s farewell would not be the same without the return of Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) who does a great job fitting back in the computer chair, so to speak. Much like other returning actors this season, Emily fits back into the role effortlessly and her presence in the episode helped to fill the hole left without Oliver.

Quite frankly, everything about this episode feels just right. From the fantastic direction, which featured perhaps one of the best Arrow fight scenes of all time, to the spellbinding performances given by all the actors, and the beautiful music crafted by the genius that is Blake Neely. Everything about Oliver’s journey feels complete so that by the time the episode finishes, the audience feels satisfied in the entire journey. That’s all you can ask for in a show, but in true Arrow fashion, the finale also helps kickstart new stories and expand the universe in interesting directions.

Overall, “Fadeout” is a fantastic ending to Arrow, a show that redefined what superhero television can be and kickstarted a whole universe of DC stories in the process. It’s an episode that rewards fans for sticking for the journey while promising more stories for years to come.

“Oliver lives on in the people he inspired…”

Thank you, Stephen Amell.

Rating: 10/10