The Demon’s Head in Starling City: Arrow Season 3 Finale Review

The CW’s Arrow wrapped up its third season on Wednesday night, not so much with a bang as, well, one explosion and a lot of unusually happy and forgiving people. It has officially been renewed for a fourth season (presumably to start in the fall), and there is also going to be a second spinoff for the Arrow/Flash universe called Legends of Tomorrow! Suffice it to say, Arrow is doing well, and I hope it continues to do so. Read on to hear more of my thoughts about the finale and the third season as a whole.

The finale picks up with Ra’s, Oliver, and Nyssa on a plane on their way to Starling City. Oliver and Nyssa turn on Ra’s, but he gets away with the virus, vowing to destroy Oliver’s home. They learn that he has distributed the virus to four places around the city, and Oliver and his team (rescued from Nanda Parbat by a brief cameo from The Flash’s Barry Allen) track them down, also alerting Captain Lance to mobilize the police. While the team works to stop the virus, Oliver goes to face Ra’s one last time. He bests him in a sword fight, and Felicity swoops in, in the A.T.O.M. suit, to fly Oliver away just as a police sniper almost takes him out. Thea even joins in during the fight to stop the virus, in a modified version of Roy’s Arsenal outfit. With the city now safe, Oliver decides it’s time for him to step down, because there are plenty of other heroes who can protect it. He passes the title of Ra’s al Ghul to Malcolm, and drives off into the sunset with Felicity. Ray Palmer continues to experiment on his A.T.O.M. suit, only to cause a huge explosion at Palmer Industries. In the last of the flashbacks, we see Maseo, Tatsu, and Oliver going their separate ways, all grieving.

Ra's only thinks he's about to win this fight. (Source)
Ra’s only thinks he’s about to win this fight. (Source)

The thing that surprised me most about this season finale was how little I was surprised. It was exciting, and well-paced, but there were no real shocking moments keeping me on edge. I was able to sit back and enjoy it, which was nice, if a little unsettling. I think it goes without saying that some of my favorite moments were when Felicity flew the A.T.O.M. suit, and when Thea appeared shooting arrows in the red outfit. These felt like moments that had been too long in coming. As the A.V. Club’s finale review joked: “At long last, Oliver is done telling the women in his life what they’re allowed to be.”

The Arrow team leaving Nanda Parbat, still not sure they can trust Oliver (Source).
The Arrow team leaving Nanda Parbat, still not sure they can trust Oliver (Source).

I think the things that worked best in season three were the development of deeper backstory for Diggle and Felicity, and a pretty clear arc for most everyone from where they were at the beginning, to where they were at the end (Captain Lance being a prime example of that). The flashbacks, in my opinion, were far too numerous to balance out how useful they were, even if it did become clear by the end why they were there. While I’m still not happy Sara was killed off this season, I’m glad she is being brought back for the new spinoff. There have been promises of continuing crossovers between The Flash and Arrow next year, and the one thing I hope is that the continuity is made a little more coherent. I love watching the two casts interact, and it’s fun to see the two tones lightly clash, with The Flash’s humor, and Arrow’s gravity.

 

My little shipping heart is very happy right now. (Source)
My little shipping heart is very happy right now. (Source)

The only real cliffhanger left over from the finale is the Palmer Industries explosion, but I’m honestly not too concerned about it. I’m guessing this is less of a real cliffhanger, and more of a way to allow Ray to leave Arrow for the new spinoff. There were also some hints towards things to come in Season 4, with the mentions of Damien Darhk, and the setup of Nyssa’s continuing grudge towards Merlyn, now Ra’s. I like that there were some intriguing hints given without any sort of overwhelming cliffhanger for us to stress about until the fall. All in all, I thought this was a very solid season, and I fully plan to continue watching Arrow when it returns. But first, I get to look forward to The Flash season finale next week!

 

What did you think about the finale? Tell me in the comments below, and don’t forget to like and share if you enjoyed this post!

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