Arrow: Fadeout
January 28, 2020 7:16 PM - Season 8, Episode 10 - Subscribe

I'm going to rush through this:

--Barry, you idiot, you messed up again. Let Mia and Felicity have their moment.

--Felicity, I understand your approach to Mia (not ready to see her grown up), but might I suggest that you either get two-sided tape or a pin to help tame that bust gap.

--Why is Dinah there? Didn't the monitor take her to the future?

--I understand why (for plot reasons) Sara brought Mia back for the funeral, but she should have brought William along as well because he's Oliver's kid too.

--This show really deserve some kind of industry awards for the fight scenes--something I'd never have predicted saying during season one.

--It was nice seeing some old faces (dead and not dead) brought back.

--So, John seems to be getting his ring. That's nice, but sadly intergalactic space-cop responsibilities don't mesh well with family and daddy duties.

--So Sara is still "Beloved." I wonder what Ava thinks about that. And if Nyssa knows about Ava?
--Could they have repeated John Byrne's name a few more times? (Although why they went with Byrne over say Mike Grell or Dennis O'Neil or [insert your favourite GA writer here] is worth some debate.)

--Salmon ladder, you were sorely missed (although what was Diggle doing with his shirt on. That's not how that is supposed to go.)

I'll likely be back later with more to say. Got to run now.
posted by sardonyx at 7:30 PM on January 28, 2020 [1 favorite]

--Why is Dinah there? Didn't the monitor take her to the future?

One of the recaps for last week's episode said that it took place after the events of the finale.
posted by oh yeah! at 7:33 PM on January 28, 2020

Apparently I wasn't paying enough attention. Thanks, oh yeah!

When this began, I would have never predicted that it would have lasted eight years. I would have never expected it to have spawned an entire interconnected universe of shows. I wouldn't have believed that the bad acting demonstrated by some of the key players would improve to the degree that I now have to consider those same people pretty good actors. I certainly wouldn't have said that this show was going to be one of the properties on TV that sets the bar for fight and action scenes.

Even though Arrow's Oliver Queen isn't the light-hearted and joyful Oliver Queen that I enjoyed reading about in the comics, Arrow, somehow, exceeded all my expectations. Well done to the cast and crew of Team Arrow. Nice job!

And thanks to the MeFites (current and former) who shared their thoughts on this show. It was nice having a group of people to watch this with. See you over in the rest of the Arrowverse.
posted by sardonyx at 4:18 PM on January 29, 2020 [5 favorites]

Apparently I wasn't paying enough attention. Thanks, oh yeah!

No problem - and I didn't understand until reading the 'more burning questions answered' TV Line link that the Dinah & Laurel in last week's episode had been to a funeral that Mia hadn't attended; that Sara brought Mia back after the events of episode 9.

I was not expecting all the un-deadifications of Quentin, Moira, or Tommy, that was a really nice surprise. I was especially happy for Quentin's return -- his death felt gratuitous to me, and so harsh for poor time-traveling Sara to have to have yet another dead family member that she's not allowed to alter the timeline to save.

Arrow hasn't been my favorite of the Arrowverse for a while (that fucking Diaz arc, ugh), but watching the "Hitting the Bullseye" special and this finale gave me the warm fuzzies for the series, and I was tempted to go on Netflix and start a rewatch. I think this sets the bar high for the rest of the Arrowverse shows' finales.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:02 PM on January 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

Sara couldn't bring William back because he has been kidnapped. I mean, she could have gone to a slightly earlier point in his timeline but that would introduce unnecessary complications.

Does this mean there is a chance we could see Quentin in future Legends episodes?
posted by plastic_animals at 5:29 PM on January 29, 2020

Oh, Quentin interacting with the Legends! That would be sublime and really needs to happen. As I said, I understand for plot (and laws of time travel) reasons why William couldn't be there, but it was still odd watching it play out (and in the real world, I'm sure Mia would have said something like, "are we going to pick up William, too?")

Yeah, that Diaz arc. During the pre-show bit where they interviewed the actors and production team and the Mia actress (don't know her name) said Diaz was her favourite villain, my eyes rolled so far back in my head it wasn't funny. I think I snarked something about being a good little corporate shill and saying whatever the people who issue paycheques want you to say because nobody would think Dias was the best villain. Nobody.
posted by sardonyx at 5:45 PM on January 29, 2020

Sara couldn't bring William back because he has been kidnapped. I mean, she could have gone to a slightly earlier point in his timeline but that would introduce unnecessary complications.

But also Sara didn't need to bring 2040 William to the funeral since present-day teenage-William could attend himself, it was only Mia that needed the time-travel assist, since she's still a baby in 2019.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:55 PM on January 29, 2020 [4 favorites]

I'd love to know how anywhere suddenly just stops having crime. That seems like a tall order even for magic redoing the universe. That's like, rewriting human DNA in the entire species or something.

The EW recap seems to think the same thing:
"For Oliver to have rid the city of crime, he would’ve had to use his godlike powers to either fundamentally change people by enforcing his will on them, which is very dictatorial in a way that’s reminiscent of season 3 Oliver, or he somehow just removed every criminal from the city, which isn’t totally great either. Part of the problem is that the episode doesn’t explain what “there’s no more crime in Star City” means. Are we just talking major crimes or all crime? Clearing up that ambiguity could help alleviate some of my concerns about this new city."
I enjoyed those who were brought back from the dead (and Felicity, of course). And Laurel-2's angst about it all and how it was clarified that only folks who didn't make Oliver into who he is in the same way could be brought back. Interesting.

Good for Roy and Thea, finally getting it together.

I love the happily ever afterlife.

It was a good sendoff. I always thought this show was a mixed bag and I was mostly here for Felicity, and I doubt I'll miss it, but I look forward to seeing how the world continues with others.

I also enjoyed the Olicity coverage in the "Hitting the Bullseye" special.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:38 PM on January 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Haha yeah, what do they mean by "no more crime?" Kinda glossed past that one pretty quick! How great would it be that if after 8 seasons of ignoring Oliver Queen's very definite left wing politics from the comics, the finale had time-traveling Spectre Oliver manipulate history to gradually transform Star City into an anarchist collective? Still do the scenes with Mayor Lance and Dinah, but in the background all the police are packing up their desks. Still do the manor scenes and the funeral, but in the background they're setting up the dining halls and bunks. "Capitalism!! You have failed. this. city."

The John Byrne name drop was deeply weird. I was pretty distracted that scene trying to figure out when Byrne had worked on Green Arrow. Turns out Marc Guggenheim wanted to do it just to do it.

"I've been trying to name check John forever, and this literally was my last opportunity," Guggenheim told "He doesn't have a Green Arrow presence, but I had written him into an episode of Law and Order -- actually, my last episode of Law and Order, as it turns out, many, many, many years ago -- and I always wanted to name check him in Arrow. So I reached out to him, and he said he was into it, and we went from there."

Huh. Fair enough. But now if they want to do that in that post-Crisis Superman show they're working on it'll be like "oh yeah John Byrne, like that human trafficker from Star City!"

I came to Arrow expecting to hate it. Sneering at it, watching for flaws, and by god it had more than a few. But even as I looked forward to complaining about this dumb cable show to my friends, the vibe was quickly becoming "Haha that was ridiculous ... let's watch another one." Somewhere around season 2 or 3, I realized I was watching a show with Deathstroke and Deadshot, and it hardly went more than an episode without someone doing a motorcycle jump, and I loved it. This cheap, goofy, sometimes barely written show was fucking going for it. I fully agree the stunt team deserves some official recognition for what they accomplished on a CW budget. There are shows that cost twice as much and look half as good as Arrow's action.

It took some liberties with the source material, and I never did stop missing comics Ollie's contempt for the rich, nor did I ever stop holding out hope to see him whip up a big batch of spicy chili. Turns out I wasn't too attached to the goatee.

If I'm not mistaken, Stephen Amell has acted Oliver Queen longer than any single comics creator has even written or drawn him. I thought Mike Grell would have had him beat, but looking back through my comics and poking around online seems to only be turning up a 5-6 year run, from about 88-93. I'm not sure if he stayed on Green Arrow after Ollie died. Am I wrong? And if not, has this ever happened before, an actor working on a comics character for longer than anyone from comics? Interesting times.

I read that run as back issues around 2000, maybe 2001. I've loved Green Arrow ever since, and thought him generally underutilized in the comics. Likewise I was bummed when that movie about him going to supervillain prison didn't happen. Turns out he had to reach Earth-TV to thrive. Thanks for making that happen, Arrow.
posted by EatTheWeek at 9:47 PM on January 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

Looked around a bit more, and I'm right!- looks like Grell's last issue was #80, in 93! Chuck Dixon took it from there.
posted by EatTheWeek at 10:00 PM on January 29, 2020

I was also really surprised when Diggle said "8 years" near the beginning and I had to double check to be sure, and yep!, the show started in October 2012. Geez that's damn close to a decade!

It was a good finale, I thought, with a proper send off for Oliver. I'm glad that almost everyone made it to the funeral. I was hoping Malcolm Merlyn would make an appearance, but unless Spectre Oliver somehow undid his death on Lian Yu to save Thea, there was no way.

I really liked that we got some of the best things about this show in this episode: that long fight scene with a one-take shot; emotional speeches with Diggle (twice!); full character developments (!Laurel somehow has become one of my favs); cheesy Olicity stuff (and also Roy & Thea); time-travel shenanigans; callbacks that I was waiting on (Felicity ready to die and going with the Monitor at the end of last season); hints at awesome new stuff (Green Lantern Diggle!); and old team ups (Ragman!).

It's unfortunate that this finale was overshadowed by The Good Place finale, but it'll have a place in my memories as the standard for TV Superhero shows. Even if it started out questionable, it improved so much, and spawned a vast universe that rivals even the best.
posted by numaner at 2:56 PM on January 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

Well I feel dumb. I went complaining in the previous episode discussion about how the crossover shenanigans robbed me of my goodbye to Oliver, including having the funeral in some non-Arrow episode. Guess I was wrong. They had a very satisfying funeral here. And a nice long goodbye to everyone. A bit maudlin, a bit too many cameos, but that's the nature of these things. I'm just sad we didn't get to see Dhark one last time.

And then a surprise mission and fight scene in the middle with John Byrne. WTF? It felt totally out of place in an otherwise thoughtful and calm episode. Which I guess is why it wast here, Arrow was always about the punching and the shooting and the theatrical jumping around. So one last time for old time's sake, I can give them that. Shame they didn't have a more meaningful villain.

Except, well, the symmetry that Byrne was the first villain Oliver didn't kill. Just put behind bars. And even that mercy ends up coming back and harming his family. I did like how this whole episode focused on Oliver's arc to stop with the murdering, and Diggle's role in being the paragon of justice who brought him to that change.

The only loose end I can think of is they never addressed what happened with Evelyn / Artemis, the failed recruit from a few seasons ago. She briefly looked set to be an interesting villain, but then she ended up in a cage on Lian Yu when the whole place got blown up. I suspect the producers didn't think she was important enough to bring back for one last cameo.

Well, thank you to Arrow for eight seasons of entertainment. I started watching it as perfect middlebrow TV. Not bad, but not particularly prestige either, just fun soap opera romances and shirtless beefcake and choreographed fight scenes every week. The show turned into something more than that, first by making Oliver's moral story much more complex and then by turning up the comic book weirdness with the League of Assassins and the Arrowverse and just all the silliness. But good silliness, and entertaining, and really I should have more TV like this in my life. Prestige TV is great but sometimes you just want a comfortable snack.
posted by Nelson at 7:14 AM on February 9, 2020

and then by turning up the comic book weirdness with the League of Assassins and the Arrowverse and just all the silliness. But good silliness, and entertaining, and really I should have more TV like this in my life.

Are you not watching Legends of Tomorrow? If you need something to fill the Arrow-shaped hole in your schedule, I don't think any show can beat Legends when it comes to good silliness and comic book weirdness. It doesn't find it's footing until after season 1, but once it does, it's really something.
posted by oh yeah! at 8:44 AM on February 9, 2020 [4 favorites]

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