The Season 4 finale of Arrow delivered a satisfying end to an otherwise rocky season. Overall the episode tied up some loose ends and left Team Arrow some time to recover from the tumultous year. Here is: Arrow 4.23 ‘Schism’ Top 5.
“He gave me hope”
Whilst Season 4 of Arrow ended on a strong note, the end does not justify, or in this case, help us forget the means. Each season of any TV show has ups and downs. Unfortunately, it felt like that Season 4 of Arrow has had more downs than ups. Many of the final events throughout the season felt disjointed from the overall plot of the season and, I felt the use of magic, and “superpowers” this season detract from Arrow’s raw potential as a darker show, that is grounded in reality. However, I am optimistic moving forward into Season 5 of Arrow and I am excited to see what it brings. It must be said that the cast delivered spectacular, heart wrenching, and nuanced performances at every turn and the quality of production, stunts, and score (to name a few things) continues to be impeccable.
“This is our home”
After a rousing speech, Oliver was able to motivate Star City to be their own hope. They became the light. The rousing speech unsurprisingly resulted in Oliver been appointed interim Mayor. Overall, Oliver is now in a far better place personally. He has made change for himself, he has taken the time to work through issues of himself, this is an important distinction. His time apart from Felicity has allowed him to grow independently and he is now in a far better place to pursue a relationship with Felicity, but also in a far better place overall.
“Not a chance”
I stand by the fact that Oliver and Felicity’s time apart has been good for them both. It has afforded them the opportunity to grow independently and reestablish the trust that was broken. This episode ‘Schism’ proved that, regardless of their relationship status, Oliver and Felicity are fiercely loyal to each other, and that they are both there for each other through thick and thin. The episode also finished on a positive note for them both, and paralleled the end of Season 2 nicely. Much like the discussion on Lian Yu in 2.23, the final scene was ambiguous and friendly, but the promise of something more is there. Next season I would really like to see them wholly trusting each other, some thorough heart to hearts and general support of each other careers.
“I’m not going to ask if you’re alright”
Possibly one of the unique aspects of Diggle and Lyla’s relationship is that they both understand the sacrifice of war from first hand experience. Since Laurel’s death, and the death of Andy (at Diggle’s hand), John has been struggling to reconcile with himself. As hard as it was to much it does make sense that Diggle is returning to military service. The military (and its effects) has always been Diggle’s island, and it has being those experiences that have shaped his life, like the island shaped Oliver. Lyla’s reaction, or lack thereof, was also not surprising, she understands better than anybody how people process things differently. It was definitely hard to watch Diggle walk out, but I am interested to see how his time away impacts him, and what his state of mind is at the beginning of Season 5.
“What does a guy have to do to end the world in peace”
As I have discussed previously [here, here and here], I feel that the use of supernatural powers and magic in Arrow is completely unnecessary and ultimately, distracting and frustrating to watch. Arrow has always worked best when grounded in reality. I certainly was not sorry to see Damian Darhk go, nor will I miss him. It must be said though that Neil McDonough did a brilliant job as a villain.
Where we’re left
- Felicity is jobless
- Oliver is the interim Mayor
- Thea is taking a much needed extended spa weekend
- Diggle has returned to the military.
- Donna and Quentin have driven off into the sunset.
- Felicity you wonderful badass.
- I’m glad Curtis is sticking around!
- Little Sara’s “bye daddy, bye mommy” made me tear up.
- Why the heck is Starling City towards the east coast? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have always been under the impression Starling City was on the West Coast…
- I am so glad the flashbacks are over.