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Review: 'Arrow' Season Six Finale

It’s called "Life Sentence" for a reason.

Where does Season 6 leave Oliver?

You’ve had a few days to let the events of Arrow’s season six finale to sink in. Though it wasn’t the show’s traditional kind if finale, not leading on directly from the penultimate episode’s events, it did give viewers a few nods towards the show’s future and a shock cliffhanger. So, let’s get talking...

Oh, but first, if you haven’t seen Arrow’s season six finale yet, major spoilers are obviously about to follow on from here so...

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Last chance!

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Team Arrow and the FBI

Oliver and Watson team up.

A running storyline through season 6 was FBI agent Samantha Watson’s vendetta against Oliver Queen. To be honest, hats off to Watson for being the only Arrow character EVER to fully trust her gut in terms of believing Oliver is Green Arrow and lead with it for an entire season.

Even though Oliver was acquitted of all charges, the season’s Big Bad, Ricardo Diaz, become just as dangerous as before in his drive to control Star City. The penultimate episode’s cliffhanger had Oliver going to Agent Watson and asking for her help as Team Arrow isn’t enough to stop Diaz. Watson has two conditions at this point: for Oliver to admit he’s Green Arrow, and... well this finale answers the second conditions commands. 

The episode sees Oliver and his team of vigilantes truly working with the FBI as they track down Diaz to bring him and his men to justice. Unfortunately, certain ideals from each side don’t match. When Laurel Lance of Earth-Two is threatened with death, Quentin Lance, ever the loving father, even for doppelgangers of his deceased children, stops at nothing to save her, going against Watson’s orders and helping Diaz escape back to his hideout. 

Watson appears in this episode as cold as ever. You’d think that by working closely with Oliver she’d loosen up and be on the same page as Team Arrow fully. Unfortunately not. But more on that later.

Diaz Escapes

Will we see more Ricardo in October?

In the final showdown between Oliver and Ricardo Diaz, Earth-Two Laurel’s meddling sent Diaz off into a river, and from the montage at the end of the season, we know he survived. Was this good? In my opinion, no. 

Diaz’s presence in this season has been strange, he didn’t become the Big Bad until way after even the mid-season premiere and now he’s easily survived to continue wreaking havoc next season. 

I have theories on how he could pave the way for season seven’s villain (or villains maybe?) but that's a different type of waffling on for a different article for another day.

Goodbye, Quentin Lance

Paul Blackthorne bows out.

Yes, "Life Sentence" took away one of the remaining original characters of the show. Quentin took a bullet for his (kind of) daughter when Diaz took a shot at her. What followed was Lance getting to have the ultimate heart to heart with Oliver that Arrow fans have been longing for for years. 

Now, the fact Lance exited? Sad. Very sad. Blackthorne is a fine actor and has thrown us a very realistic, unsuspecting performance. This episode’s performance from him included. But the way it was executed? It didn’t fly with me. 

The doctor who performed surgery on him simply walks into the waiting room and just says there were complications and he didn’t make it? Then in the episodes montage we see both his daughters (oh yeah, Sara Lance’s forgettable cameo) sitting with his corpse. Lance deserved a better execution on screen. I felt slightly cheated. But the reveal of his death did add to something that tugged at my throat...

Inmate Oliver Queen

Time to escape from SuperMax, Mr Queen?

It happened. I predicted it, so did half of the internet, and it happened. But, did expecting make it less surprising? Hell to the no! Oliver Queen finally got his ‘I am Iron Man’ moment and outted HIMSELF as Green Arrow. 

The end of the penultimate episode had Agent Watson having one last condition in order to help Oliver and his team take down Diaz. Also, as Felicity began to notice, Oliver took certain moments through the episode to made ammends with each member of his team that he wronged in some way. As I’m sure everyone was clicking onto it, Oliver was clearly trying to start fresh with everyone before he met Watson’s final demand: to go to prison for his activities as a vigilante with blood on his hands. 

A heart wrenching moment that I’m sure hit everyone? The news of Lance’s death just after his heart to heart with Oliver and also just AS FBI agents get the cuffs on Oliver. Watching Watson say that the emotional moment doesn’t change their agreement, as Oliver walks away holding back tears? How dare you, Arrow writers? Hard to watch. 

Then there's the exciting moment. Felicity visits Oliver to tell him Team Arrow are already plotting his escape. Then Oliver says what kind of prison he is going to: a SuperMax. Again, that’s for another article. Of course, we then had the final moments of the episode where Oliver is finally put behind bars. A lovely place to leave season six.


On the whole, it's a 7/10 from me. It wasn’t a traditional finale. I get that the writers need to keep things fresh but consider this a lesson learnt. The episode felt like a normal episode with one or two plots tied up and a shock death and something we seen coming from a mile off. Having said that, this season’s theme was family. Oliver made amends with his Arrow family, he lost a father figure, and then left everyone he loves to go to a prison he can’t escape from. A great season, but a finale that could have closed a tad better.