‘Arrow’ Recap: The Show Takes Its Final Bow in Series Finale “Fadeout”


One last mission. Arrow has officially ended after eight seasons and a total of 170 episodes. The series finale saw the return of multiple characters, including those who are no longer dead because of Oliver’s sacrifice in “Crisis” and one final mission for Team Arrow. It’s a lot of nostalgia, heart, action, and new beginnings in the Arrow series finale, “Fadeout.”

Image courtesy of The CW

Starting out in Starling City 2014, we flash back (or do we?) to Slade Wilson nearly killing Thea and succeeding in killing Moira while Oliver is helpless. However, just as Slade is about to kill Moira, Oliver breaks free and tackles him, saving Moira. In the present, Moira is talking to a camera crew, saying it’s a strange thing to learn that there’s a whole other world where she died. She heard from people that when Oliver sacrificed himself in the Crisis, he was the reason everything changed. Moira says she’s trying to process it. Dinah is talking to the camera crew, saying she thinks they’re all still trying to process it. “Not only Oliver’s death but what he leaves behind.” Rene says it’s a hell of a legacy, not just a city of heroes, a world of heroes. John says nothing ever happens the way you expect it to happen, and that was the case with Oliver and his mission.

“He always said that he would go it alone and that the mission would never be over.”

At the bunker, everyone is having a drink for Oliver. Roy asks what the plan is after the funeral, and from what Dinah told him, there’s not much need for vigilantes anymore. Rene tells the group Lance’s (yes, Quentin Lance) term ends in April, and he’s endorsing Rene to replace him as mayor. Dinah says Lance offered her a promotion to Chief of Police. John, however, says he just doesn’t feel like this is over. They’re a month out of Crisis, and there are tons that they don’t know.

“But what I do know is this — though Oliver’s gone, his mission is far from over.”

Juliana Harkavy, David Ramsey, Colton Haynes, and Rick Gonzalez in ‘Arrow.’ Image courtesy of The CW

In the bunker in the present, Rene asks John when Felicity is coming to town, but John admits he doesn’t know if she’s coming. “It’s her husband’s funeral, man.” Which is exactly why John thinks she might miss it. He says a nanny is watching Mia, and Felicity hasn’t even made it out of bed. He has no idea how to help her. Later, Dinah finds 2040 Mia in the bunker on the computer, wondering what she’s doing there. Mia tells her that Sara showed up and thought she might enjoy going to her dad’s funeral. As for the research, Mia’s trying her best to channel her mom. Mia apologizes, saying when Sara dropped her off, she gave her this whole lecture about not telling people about the future. She admits that something happened a few weeks before Sara showed up. William got taken right in front of her, and Mia couldn’t do anything to stop it. Mia says she’s already failing at being the Green Arrow. Dinah tells Mia what they do is not easy.

Dinah: “There are setbacks; there are tragedies, but, God, Mia, your father, he would be so, so proud of how you’re carrying all of that.”

Mia: “I can’t even do the one thing that he risked his entire life to do — protect my family.”

The computer beeps and Dinah says Felicity’s Archer Protocol scans news stations for certain keywords. A news feed pops up, saying that William was abducted in his hometown of Central City.

Everyone is back together in the bunker, trying to figure out how to get William back. John and Dinah are both wondering about Felicity when the elevator opens. Felicity is finally back. As she settles back in her seat at the computer, Mia stands off to the side, not knowing what to do. Felicity says when William moved to Central City, she implanted a subnormal tracking device into his arm, which unfortunately went dark as soon as he reentered Star City. Felicity works up a list of possible locations William could be at, which turns out to be a very long list. “Which is exactly why we called everyone.” John then thanks everyone for coming, some on very short notice — including Rory, Thea, and Lyla — and says Oliver made the ultimate sacrifice for his friends and his family.

“Now, a part of his family needs our help. This is our most important mission. Suit up.”

Katie Cassidy, Audrey Marie Anderson, Joe Dinicol, Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, Echo Kellum, Rick Gonzalez, Willa Holland, and Juliana Harkavy in ‘Arrow.’ Image courtesy of The CW

After some of the team have made a few failed attempts at locating William, Mia successfully does so while on a rooftop. She spots William and a guy holding him. In her Green Arrow gear, Mia tells the guy to let him go and asks who he is — John Byrne, a Beer company CEO. He’s someone Oliver had dealt with when he first put on the hood and is now looking for revenge. Byrne tells Mia he brought William up there to throw him off; his whole life ended right there. Oliver thought he was saving Byrne, but he says eight years in Iron Heights never saved anyone. Mia threatens to shoot the arrow at him, but Byrne tells her to do it; he’s got nothing left to live for anyway. Mia stands down and walks towards him, saying if Oliver Queen didn’t kill him, then neither will she. “But your ass is going back to prison.”

Back at the bunker, Mia is teaching William about the bow, going through its different aspects, while Sara and Felicity watch them. John walks up to them, and Felicity tells him that Mia became a hero. “Well, she had good parents.” Sara asks Felicity if she wants to meet her, and Felicity says she doesn’t know, still trying to take it in. She says Mia might be there, but she’s also at home, waiting for her, and she gets to see her grow up. “I’m not sure if I want to rush that.” Dinah comes up to Mia and William, telling Mia there’s something on the news she wants to see. Everyone gathers around the TV to watch the newscast. The reporter says the abduction was revenge for Oliver Queen bringing Byrne to justice eight years ago. She shows footage of the rescue — Mia in the Green Arrow suit along with Byrne and William on the rooftop.

“With Oliver Queen confirmed dead, we can only speculate that he inspired a new generation of heroes to carry on his mission.”

Caity Lotz and Emily Bett Rickards in ‘Arrow.’ Image courtesy of The CW

Laurel goes to the SCPD and finds Quentin, who asks what she’s doing there. Laurel tells him she’s looking for him and asks if he has a second to talk. She tells Quentin it’s about Oliver, who his sacrifice brought back … like Quentin, Tommy, and Moira. But not her, or the other her, rather. Quentin’s Laurel. Quentin tells Laurel they don’t exactly know the rules of this whole resurrection thing, but Laurel says they do. They’re all the people Oliver would have wanted his sacrifice to bring back, and Laurel would have been on that list, too, if it wasn’t for her. “Oliver’s death, it fixed everything else. Why didn’t it fix this, too?” Quentin assures Laurel there was nothing about her that needed to be fixed.

Dinah and Rene meet John in the bunker, and Rene asks him what’s going on. “The end of the line.” John says Rene was right; the mission’s over. It just took him a while to accept that. “I think accepting that meant accepting that Oliver was really gone.” John recounts how Sara said that before Oliver died that he became something else. He’d like to think that somehow, someway, he’s still there. Rene asks John what’s next for him, and he admits that Lyla accepted a promotion in Metropolis, so they’re going to move there after the funeral. Dinah says she is, too. She’s not going to take the promotion. “Just no point being police in a safe city, and there are lots of cities that still need saving.” Rene, however, says there he is, getting to be elected in a few months, and the two of them decide to move away. Kind of hard to not take that personally. John reassures Rene that he’s going to be a great mayor because he’s a great man. “I learned from the best.” The three of them leave, but not before Dinah turns off the lights for the last time.

Rene: “I’m gonna miss this place.”

John: “We all will.”

Rick Gonzalez, David Ramsey, and Juliana Harkavy in ‘Arrow.’ Image courtesy of The CW

Oliver’s family, friends, and other Star City residents show up to a vigil for him. Quentin tells the crowd that for a long time, he hated Oliver Queen. He blamed him for the death of his youngest daughter; he blamed him for the violence in his city, interrogated him, hunted him, and persecuted him.

“I’ve never been more wrong in my life. Oliver Queen wasn’t just a hero. He was a good man. He was an honorable person.”

Quentin says Oliver stands as a reminder that anyone can change and unveils a new statue of Oliver in his Green Arrow suit with “He saved this city” engraved on it.

At Queen Mansion, Moira and Thea are standing by Robert’s grave. Thea says she doesn’t understand. If Oliver could fix everything, then why couldn’t he fix this? Moira tells Thea she thinks Oliver could only change the things that didn’t change him. And if not for her father and what he did for Oliver, her brother would never have become the man that he was. Emiko comes up to them, apologizing for intruding, but she wanted to meet Thea. Emiko tells Thea that Oliver told her a lot about her. Thea says she’s sorry that it took something like this for them to finally meet. Moira tells Emiko she’s welcome there anytime. Laurel, meanwhile, catches Tommy up on what he’s missed after coming to life.

Mia walks up to Felicity and begins introducing herself, but Felicity stops her, saying she knows. Felicity tells Mia that morning she was teething, and now she’s … Felicity’s speechless. Mia tells her Oliver had a very similar reaction when he first saw her. Felicity’s surprised that she met her father. “He trained me; he taught me to be a hero, how to be like him.” Felicity says she can tell Mia’s a lot like him. “I can only hope.” Barry comes up to them and tells Felicity he was there at the end, and every day, he’s tortured with the thought that he could have done more, should have done more. She knows him. Barry leaves, and John and Lyla come up to Felicity and Mia, as does Kara.

Anatoli says there’s no body in there, no? Tommy tells him they buried a casket full of mementos. Sara asks if anybody wants to say a few words, and Felicity says she’s barely keeping it together as it is and after Tommy, Barry and Kara deny the honor — Kara saying words seem meaningless — Felicity tells John it should be him.

“The Oliver that I met eight years ago is not the one we say goodbye to today. Oliver always told me that in order to save his city, he had to become someone else; he had to become something else. I always thought that meant becoming the Green Arrow, but today I realized that meant becoming a better man. He took all of us on that journey. He changed everything. Oliver brought heroes into this world; he inspired heroes, and he inspired all of us here. I was his brother, and Oliver Queen was mine.”

Katherine McNamara and Emily Bett Rickards in ‘Arrow.’ Image courtesy of The CW

John and Lyla, along with JJ and Sara, start moving. Mia is standing by her father’s statue and goes back to her time. John gets thrown into the truck as a meteor strikes down near him. Rene is getting ready to run for mayor. “Oliver may be gone, but his mission endures. That mission lives on, Oliver lives on in the people he inspired. Some will take that mission to the rest of the world, maybe even beyond that.” John gets up and finds a meteorite. Green Lantern?

“This universe is far than any of us could have dared imagine, even if it is a little less bright without him in it.”

In Star City 2040, The Monitor tells Felicity that where he’s taking her, there is no return. Felicity says she’s waited a very long time to see him; she’s ready. Felicity is in an office, and after looking around a bit, Oliver comes in. “Glad you could finally make it.” Oliver says they’re in his mom’s office because he wanted to be where he first saw her. Felicity’s confused; they met in the I.T. Department seven floors down. Oliver tells her it’s a long story, but they have all the time in the world for him to tell it to her.

Katherine McNamara and Emily Bett Rickards in ‘Arrow.’ Image courtesy of The CW.
Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.

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