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And that’s a wrap! Arrow Season 4 came and went, not without our qualms and frustrations, but it held a swagger for a while. On the scale of 1 to pleased, I’m hovering around mildly-amused. While I was stuck at work with some late-night shenanigans, my wonderful co-hosts took the reigns for the reactionary Arrow finale review! Thank goodness someone has something to say, right? The Shadow and Podcast Overlord discuss Arrow Season 4 Episode 23 “Schism”, which originally aired on May 25, 2016.
While we don’t have to dig deep to understand the title of this episode, because Felicity clearly called it out toward the end, it is very interesting to me that this finale is labeled schism. Season 1 Finale = “Sacrifice”; Season 2 Finale = “Unthinkable”; Season 3 Finale = “My Name is Oliver Queen”. Previous finale titles have been descriptive about the events contained within, but this one is descriptive of everyone’s state of mind. As this season has had its frustrating character nuances, I guess I shouldn’t be entirely surprised. Literally the only person not schisming (my word) was Damien Darhk.
Let’s get the negatives out of the way, what do you say?
1) We know Donna is not a stupid person. She’s had enough screen time this season for us to learn she is a resourceful woman who is willing to make tough decisions. She’s not afraid to be herself, as quirky as taht person might be. So it wasn’t entirely believable to me that we didn’t get more of an indication from her that she knows who the main cast of Star City’s vigilante crew are. I would really like to see, in a season 5 episode, some inidcation that she is keeping their identities a secret (even her knowledge of them a secret) in order to avoid drawing attention. Maybe similar to how Moira revealed to Oliver that she knew who he was masquerading around as!
2) Thea threatening to kill Damien’s daughter…and then immediately releasing her once Damien “let her people go”. It seemed like they needed a profound reason to have Thea go her own way for a bit, but can’t the death of her boyfriend be enough?? And again… no mention of that death.
3) Lyla sending men in after Darhk, only to have them slaughtered. Did her near death experience a couple weeks ago not influence any decision making around this?? How many senseless murders does Damien Darhk have to commit before these people realize guns won’t kill him? Well, it doesn’t matter anymore because Oliver finished him off.
4, 5, 6) Flashbacks.
Surprisingly, there were more things I liked in this episode than I didn’t like. I think the lack of redemption this episode had on the whole season is another discussion entirely, but for the episode being what it was and being a finale, it did it’s job to kill the bad guy, save the city, establish our heroes, and set up for the next season.
1) Non-repetitive dialogue. We heard some new conversations in this episode… I feel like the last, oh, ten or so episodes our characters have been having the same conversation over and over. The added component of losing Laurel seems to have inspired everyone to approach their present circumstances in a very raw way, and I like the really frank declarations that came out as a result. Particularly from Oliver and Thea. A lot of good moments.
2) I love the parallel to last season’s finale; instead of Oliver and Felicity leaving town, everyone else does. I want to see them have a solid friendship by the beginning of next season. And not so much the beginning of season 3 friendship, but the friendship that comes after having been through the stuff that they’ve been through. I can think of two friends with whom I have this sort of relationship (restoration after having suffered trust issues), and those friendships are some of the most incredible ones I have. They mean so much more to me because of how overcoming those issues have helped me grow as a person. I want to keep investing in them because they bear so much good fruit!
3) I’ve surprised myself with how many times I took Oliver’s side this season and as such I really like how the present-day Oliver character was presented in this finale. I really like that they’re inducting him as mayor and I really like that he has to learn to rebuild without his team.
No new episodes of Arrow for awhile, but we did think it’d be fun to have another conversation in a couple weeks! We’ll all let the season stew for a while, reflect on the show as a whole, and come back with fresh eyes on Wednesday June 8 @ p.m. ET. Bookmark this bad boy and be ready to have some fun!
Arrow might have ended, but we never stop talking about it. Seriously. Never. And it’s never to late to react! Send in your thoughts, written or audio, and we’d love to hear what you’ve got to say. Head to our feedback page and send that straight to our inboxes!