Since 2012, Arrow has entertained millions of viewers and paved the way for a new era of superheroes on television. The hit CW show has had its fair share of poor writing, but rest assured that the series ended as strong as it started. Directed by the now legendary James Bamford and written by co-creator Marc Guggenheim and showrunner Beth Schwartz, this episode is the perfect ending to the beloved series.
“Fadeout” takes place in the immediate aftermath of Crisis on Infinite Earths. If you haven’t seen the crossover yet, prepare yourself and then check it out online for free. Don’t read any further, spoilers ahead!
Because Oliver Queen made the ultimate sacrifice (again) as the Spectre, there is no longer a multiverse. In its place is a single universe with a single timeline, Earth-Prime. This means that just about anything goes in the Arrowverse and “Fadeout” uses this to its every advantage. Characters we mourned in previous seasons—Quentin, Tommy, and Moira—never died to begin with and are living their best lives, considering they just found out about Oliver. With this sort of revival, we get to see our favorite characters be all that they can be. Mayor Quentin Lance is about to resign as Rene gets ready to put on the mayor’s hat, Sara Diggle is real with her baby brother JJ, and William and Mia get to grow up together. Everyone, including future Mia thanks to time-traveling Sara Lance, prepares for Oliver’s funeral and the new lives ahead of them.
With a somewhat happy ending in present day, Arrow treats us to an alternate past that shows us why this present is so different. We see season two Oliver cut out of the chains Slade put on him to save Moira from certain death. And as if we haven’t been spoiled enough, we’re even treated with season one Arrow! Donning the classic minimalist suit, we see Oliver and Diggle test out their dynamics after Oliver reveals himself to be the Hood. With there being no official Team Arrow yet, the partnership between the two is hesitant to say the least. Oliver is hellbent on killing everybody on his father’s list while Diggle urges him that there are other ways to defeat the bad guys. A human-trafficking bad guy I don’t think we’ve seen before puts Diggle’s moral to the test. After some good old Bamford fight scenes, Oliver ultimately spares the criminal’s life, opting for imprisonment instead.
That was a mistake. In present-day, the bad guy is out of prison and kidnaps William because apparently this boy is just destined to be a victim. Saving William then becomes Team Arrow’s final mission. Fittingly enough, it’s adult Mia that saves young William. I don’t think this will affect the timeline because I honestly think the Arrowverse is over that, but it’s still poetic justice to have Oliver’s child don the hood to save his other child from the bad guy he showed mercy. Mia also makes the brave decision to show the bad guy the same mercy as her father before her.
When William is safe and it’s finally time to properly mourn Oliver, the city officially honors him as the Green Arrow with a tall statue appropriately looking over Star City. Then close friends and family gather for his funeral at the Queen mansion. Barry, Kara, and even the al Ghul sisters make an appearance. It’s only fitting that Diggle gives the eulogy, praising the man that he witnessed Oliver become.
And it’s true. From not-so-charming playboy to the fantastic hero, father, husband, and honorary Justice League member, Oliver’s journey makes us fans just as proud as Diggle is. Personally, I had a love-hate relationship with Oliver in the early seasons. I hated how extreme and obtuse he could act at times, but couldn’t help but love the way he did it with such style and confidence. It was this kind of writing and Stephen Amell’s superb performance that made me fall in love with Arrow in the first place.
If you’ve noticed a pattern in my articles, it’s the Arrowverse that this show fostered. It’s given me so much material to write about, and more importantly, it’s given so many people so much entertainment and excitement. So while we tip our hats to the incredible cast and crew of Arrow, we also know it’s not the end at all. The Arrowverse lives on.
What did you think of the series finale? Which stage of grieving are you in? Do you need a minute to process too? What do you think of Green Lantern Diggle? Let me know in the comments down below!
Nothing but love.