Arrow: Series Finale – "Fadeout" Review

Arrow: Series Finale – "Fadeout" Review

Warning: this review contains full spoilers for the series finale of Arrow! If you need a refresher on where we left off, here’s our review for Season 8, Episode 9 and our full review of the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. [poilib element=”accentDivider”] It’s a strange experience writing the final review for a series that’s been a part of my personal and professional life for eight years. Before Arrow existed, Smallville was the closest thing to a fully realized, live-action superhero universe on TV. Now we have a whole Arrowverse, one that keeps getting bigger and crazier and comic book-ier with each passing year. Oliver Queen changed a lot over the course of eight years, as did world around him. It’s fitting that the series takes its final bow not by putting Ollie in the spotlight, but by examining how his crusade affected the lives of everyone around him. To be frank, Arrow didn’t even necessarily need a series finale in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Ollie already made his grand, heroic sacrifice and finally achieved his goal of saving Star City. What more even needs to be said at this point? But in a way, that works to the benefit of “Fadeout.” The hardest part is already over. There’s really no way to unstick the landing, so the finale is less an epic climax to the series than it is a quiet epilogue and an opportunity to spend one last hour with old friends. Quite a few old friends, as it turns out. “Fadeout” shows us Lex Luthor wasn’t the only one to manipulate reality and create a new Earth more to his liking. Ollie apparently tweaked Earth-Prime so that doppelgangers of nearly all the loved ones who died over the course of the series are now living in the reborn Star City. It’s a clever twist that allows the series to end on a very upbeat and hopeful note despite, you know, everyone grieving for the dead main character. It says a lot about Ollie that he went through the trouble of giving all these people – his mother, Tommy, even poor, twisted Emiko – a second chance without trying to reclaim his own life. And perhaps most importantly, the method behind these “resurrections” dances around any concerns about cheapening their original deaths. Those deaths still happened, just in a universe that no longer exists. [widget…
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