Jessie Robertson reviews the season 7 finale of Arrow…
It pains me to say that when this show, Arrow, running for 7 seasons now and over 150 episodes, gets it right, I’m just as surprised as when it gets it really wrong. I think, overall, they got this one right.
Let’s start with Emiko; a character that had a cool look, cool backstory but everything about her trajectory felt forced as the season progressed. Surely she wasn’t our big bad this season? Yes, in fact, she ended up being that, but only because she was a Queen. A arguable manufactured plotline was added that she had been somewhat culpable in the death of Robert Queen, her rejecting Father, that either landed well with the audience or flat. The Ninth Circle, a mysterious group, unlike the one Ricardo Diaz fought to be apart of, a different secret society, also felt recycled and stale and not a serious threat, even with the Cygan gas weapons. No, the big bads of this season were not any one enemy, not the police force of Star City, although it looked that way several times. It was simply time itself. The Green Arrow, and his team of vigilantes, whether employed by the SCPD or not, were only going to be able to maintain what they had been doing for so long at this point. So, once they were back on Team Arrow’s side, and the bio weapon had been neutralized, and the Ninth Circle kept at bay for now, what was next?
The beauty of this season finale feels so simple but this show works best when it keeps it that way. The title “You have Saved this City” says so much about who Oliver Queen is in this last episode. Emiko, his blood, wants to destroy his family, murder his wife and unborn offspring and kill the legacy of the Queen family name and he doesn’t give up the fight for her soul. He wants to change, finally. And here you can see, he has. He pulls her back from the brink. Her arc never really paid off but even if, for Oliver, it was about pulling her back, for us, the audience, after 7 years, it was seeing and finally knowing the flip-flopping was done: Oliver Queen is 100% a good man now.
What about Felicity? It’s well known this is Emily Bett Rickards last episode as the quick witted, sarcastic computer genius Felicity Smoak. How would that be handled if there’s a whole other season left? It was done very well. Felicity played an important part in our future storyline, which ultimately, could also be called a mish-mash of success and failure. I finally felt good about both Queen children (William stood out as a success quickly; Mia, not sure). The plot line got hokier and hokier as the season moved on and there was a bit of that Tony Stark God complex stuff worked in with how Archer was used and Felicity’s original intent with it but some good action, a quick wrap up and we get our older generation of Team Arrow moving on, leaving it to the younger ones. (That Star City didn’t seem teeming with prospects of a great life, just saying.)
When our final destination hits (the first thing we saw this season- Felicity giving birth to Mia, with Oliver by her side) the “new normal” as Oliver puts it, them actually being a family for real this time, the other shoe drops. And it hits wonderfully. For once, the crossovers left a breadcrumb or two that would come back to give us an ending we could both accept and admire. The Monitor returned, just as this family unit was thriving, and called Oliver to duty. And he didn’t mince words: He has seen Oliver’s death, fighting in this upcoming “crisis.” Felicity and Mia would not see him return. Both Rickards and Stephen Amell nailed this final scene with Felicity and Oliver saying goodbye. It hit all the right emotional chords you would want. And later on, in the future Star City, when Felicity strangely says goodbye to her children, whom she just got back, the Monitor returns again, this time to lead Felicity back to the man she lost all those years ago and never stopped loving. A rightful, comic book-y, beautiful way for her to finish off.
Rating – 9/10 – Once we get through the messy business of cleaning up our season long storylines, the emotion and weight of Felicity and Oliver’s future hits full force and we’re left with a fitting conclusion for the most unlikely of heroes on TV.