Damien Dahrk is no more. The world is saved. Apocalypse crisis averted and all that. We had an almost happy ending and, considering that this is ARROW, I’d say we got a pretty good deal out of this finale.
However, Dahrk has gone completely mad when the episode starts, so – even though Felicity and her father had successfully disarmed Rubicon last week – the villain attacks Felicity, Donna and Curtis and distracts them long enough to steal the computer with all Rubicon access codes. So he launches 15,000 nuclear missiles all over the world, because he has nothing else to lose. His wife is dead, but he is all powerful, so ending the world will only make him more powerful, right? The dude’s crazy, that’s for sure.
Felicity and Curtis manage to stop the missile that was going to hit Star City and then need to race against time to stop all other 14,999 missiles in the air. It all seems hopeless and that the end of the world is inevitable, but then Curtis, of all people, is the one who inspires Oliver to go and talk to the people about not panicking and having hope and all that. That moment is what saves him afterwards, because when Dahrk tries to kill him, these people’s hope is the one thing that helps Oliver repel Dahrk’s magic and then, ultimately, beat him.
That wasn’t really a surprise, was it? It was the season finale; the chances of a resolution for the season long arc with Damien Dahrk were pretty high, so - even though, for a while there, he seemed to be completely unstoppable - we all knew the Team would somehow defeat him. That final fight scene was all kinds of fantastic and it did not disappoint. But that is the norm with ARROW – they’re always amazing at fight scenes – so that wasn’t a surprise either.
What did surprise me, however, was that Team Arrow has been disbanded too. Unlike last season – when Oliver left with Felicity and the team stayed behind, trying to protect the city on their own – this time everyone left. When it was all over and Dahrk was officially dead and they could finally move on with their lives, the entire team just sort of imploded and each member went their own separate way. Watching those final ten minutes of the episode just got more and more heartbreaking, because this season has not been easy for any of these characters. So when they all left and Oliver was standing all by himself in the middle of a completely destroyed lair, you could feel how helpless and alone he felt at that moment.
Even later, when he accepts the title of mayor of Star City, you can see that his happiness doesn’t reach his eyes. He may be on his way to doing good to the city, but he feels all alone. It is only in the very last scene that some of his hope is restored. Despite everything that has happened, Felicity hasn’t left. They’re partners, no matter what, and she makes that very clear to him. The last shot of the episode, when the camera pans out and shows just the two of them in the middle of a broken lair, it felt like this is what we can look forward to next season – Oliver and Felicity against the world.
Stay tuned for an in-depth roundtable about the season 4 of ARROW this summer.