Arrow season 8: Oliver Queen’s journey shouldn’t end like this

Arrow -- "You Have Saved This City" -- Image Number: AR722C_0081b.jpg -- Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Arrow -- "You Have Saved This City" -- Image Number: AR722C_0081b.jpg -- Pictured: Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2019 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved. /

Spoilers ahead for Arrow season 8 and Crisis on Infinite Earths! Killing off your main character at the end of an eight-season journey isn’t edgy or cool, it’s just unsatisfying.

Crisis on Infinite Earths ended with Oliver Queen dead, having sacrificed himself, a la Tony Stark,  presumably to save the Multiverse, but in reality, it’s not even that. At least Iron Man got to go out a real hero; Oliver didn’t even manage to take out the Anti-Monitor.

To most people following the show, this “ending” shouldn’t really come as a surprise. TPTB and even Arrow star Stephen Amell have said time after time how death was the best ending for Oliver. In fact, they’ve said it so many times we started to believe they were just trying to trick us.

Who gives away their ending like that, after all?

But perhaps, even more importantly, who really thinks, after an eight-season journey, the thing viewers want is to see the character whose fate they’ve followed all these years dead and buried? Sure, legacy is important, and hey, it’s cool that everyone is finally giving Oliver his due, but did he really have to die to get some respect in the Arrowverse that is literally named after him?

Of course, there are still two episodes of Arrow left, including the backdoor pilot for “The Green Arrow and the Canaries,” the spin-off starring Oliver’s daughter, Mia Queen, and the series finale, which will feature the return of Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak, Oliver Queen’s wife, and you know, Mia’s mother.

All of this makes us think that there’s no way Oliver is actually staying dead. Would they really bring back Felicity just to have her attend her husband’s funeral? Will Arrow really take us on an 80-plus minutes journey of pain during the last two episodes?

Conventional wisdom says no. But then again, conventional wisdom said Tony Stark was going to make it out of Avengers: Endgame, and Game of Thrones was going to have at least some happy endings, so forgive me for not trusting conventional wisdom anymore.

In many cases, showrunners and movie writers alike seem convinced that what viewers want – especially in superhero movies/shows – is reality. That we’re following these super-powered vigilantes who literally dress up in leather and hide their identity because we want realistic storytelling. What?!

Yes, shows and movies need to be somewhat grounded in reality for us to relate. Yes, there are basic storytelling rules to follow. But that doesn’t mean that we watch TV or go to the movies to consume misery after misery after misery, especially when it feels like the misery has no real reason other than to, well, make us feel something.

We’d rather feel happy, okay?

Again, maybe they’re taking it all back. Maybe Oliver will somehow get the happy-ish ending he deserves with the family he fought so much to preserve. Maybe Mia and William will get to truly know their father, and maybe Felicity will get to grow old with her husband.

For now, we’re not inclined to believe it. TPTB are singing a different tune, and we’ve already been burned before. As far as endings go, this is the worst possible one.

I’d rather invest in shows that aren’t going to break my heart.

Luckily, there are two more episodes of Arrow left! Hopefully, the show ends the right way. Then, Arrow season 8 will be added to Netflix shortly after the finale airs on The CW.

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