Arrow – Season 8 Overall Review

Arrow Season 8

So after eight-ish years, Arrow has come to an end, and while the many shows that span off from it are pressing forward, it’s a shame to see it go… is how I felt at the end of last season, which felt like the actual final season. Season 8? It was mostly build up for the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover, a backdoor pilot, and then an actual final episode that wasn’t any better than the finale of Season 7, with the exception of having more cameos. Still! Let’s have a final look at an Arrow season (unless I go back and re-watch earlier seasons a fair few years down the line…)

Synopsis:

In order to prepare for the crisis to come, Oliver Queen has been sent into the multiverse in order to gather various equipment and resources, all the while the Green Arrow knows he preparing for his death…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

Arrow Season 8 2

Good old League of Assassins… man has that organisation ever been mined to death in the Arrowverse!

The first seven episodes feel very much like a mix of an Epilogue to Arrow itself, and a Prologue to Crisis on Infinite Earths. Episode 1 is on Earth-2 and so we get some “not how you know them” versions of characters, including dead ones, and some references to Season 1’s plot before the whole universe is erased (apart from that universe’s Laurel Lance, just so we can have a Laurel on the show for the next few episodes), while episodes 2, 3, 5, and 7 take us back to Hong Kong, Nanda Parbat, revisits Oliver’s connection with the Russian mob and ends with a trip to Lian Yu, respectively, with 4 acting as a “how will the present and future versions of Team Arrow co-exist” story after … well, the future Team Arrow was sent to the past. These episode are fine little mini-stories calling back on the series’ past and sowing some distrust between our lead and the all-powerful Monitor, a fear that goes away just in time for the end of all worlds to begin…

During the course of the season Roy returned, despite not wanting to, and then lost an arm, making Diggle (who pretty much forced him to come back) to feel rightfully guilty, and then he declared his love for Thea, who he broke off with off-screen. The two agree to get married in the finale, so hooray, but that was a lot of bollocks to deal with in such a short space of time… Wasn’t bad to have him back in the series, but it was such a footnote that I’ve gone back and written this paragraph after I’d written the rest of the review because I went “Oh yeah! That…” I’ll keep it in the good, but it’s more of a “middle”.

Arrow Season 8 4

The gathering of the side characters for the finale was… perhaps overboard? Does anyone really remember Ragman?

Episode 10 then, the big finale sees everyone sad that Oliver is gone, a flashback to Season 1 where Diggle is still trying to convince Mr. Queen that killing everyone wasn’t the best course of action, and a plot where the present William is kidnapped but saved by the collection of past, present and future heroes that have appeared on the show in the last 8 seasons, minus Green Arrow himself, obviously. It then ends with a funeral scene and some “their adventures continue” scenes, which includes John Diggle finding a Green Lantern ring, finally making the fan speculation a reality, probably just for the hell of it. It was fine, though it didn’t feel better or worse than the Season 7 finale (as in pre-Monitor arriving finale) and generally after a season that felt like it wasn’t doing much other than waiting for the big crossover, it was a bit of an anti-climax. Not bad, but not great.

The Bad:

Arrow Season 8 3

I’m trying… I’m trying…. Nope, don’t care.

There was another flashforward story in the first few episodes, with Future Team Arrow dealing with Future Deathstroke and his gang. I … just didn’t care. I knew the season was just leading to Crisis on Infinite Earths, and so the story wouldn’t go anywhere, and sure enough, it didn’t. They arrived in Present Day Star City, met Oliver, then during the Crisis everything gets reset so the hellish dystopian society we saw them live through never happened. Episode 9 is a backdoor pilot (or really, just a pilot as I believe the spin-off has already been greenlit…) for a Future Team Arrow series where all of Oliver’s work to “save his city” that we see in Episode 10 has worked… hasn’t worked for long, and crime is soon eking back into the city. *shrugs* kind of takes away from the finale a fair bit, and there hasn’t been any part of the Future Team Arrow stories or pilot that has made me want to watch an entire series of it. I’ll pass.

Episode 6 was a take on the old Groundhog Day cliché, where Oliver wakes up in a world he doesn’t recognise and has to live it over and over again until he learns his lesson. Laurel as well, has to deal with it, eventually getting to say goodbye to her father and coming to terms with the guilt she felt over his death. Oliver also had to learn to accept fate before he moved to the final pre-Crisis episode. It was fine, I guess, but it got old fast, and it’s a cliché that’s a little worn by now. Seeing Quintin Lance die over and over was weird, given he is actually dead… or was, he’s now alive in the post-Crisis version of Star City.

Actually, that’s one last thing: in the finale we see that the new version of Earth has Oliver’s Mum, his best friend Tommy and Quintin Lance all back alive and well. Kind of a cop out for the sake of having everyone at his funeral…

Overall Thoughts:

Arrow Season 8 1

Let’s end with a shot of the father-daughter-from-the-future tag team fight club scene, because that’s how weird the series got at the end…

Arrow’s eighth and final season was a bit of a mish-mash of nice callbacks, dull flashforwards, and build up to an event I’ve already covered separately. It also has a pilot to a series I won’t be watching, and a decent, if a little safe and dull, finale. I guess it was just okay. At 10 episodes and most of the plot-threads already neatly wrapped up in the previous season, there wasn’t much else to do but wait until this season ended so we can officially declare Arrow as a whole finished.

3 Star Watch

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