Arrow Season 3 Finale Sets Up CW Spinoff, New Villain, New Superhero — Read the Recap!

Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen in the Arrow finale
Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen in the season 3 finale of "Arrow" Cate Cameron/The CW

A happy ending? Season 3 of Arrow has ended, and with it, one thing we never thought he would see the end of: Oliver Queen’s (Stephen Amell) misery. That’s right, the season didn’t just end with Oliver finally becoming free of the clutches of Ra's al Ghul (Matt Nable), the League of Assassins, and Malcolm Merlyn’s inconsistent allegiances. It ended with him happy — proud, even — and finally letting himself get the girl. How exactly did it get there?

Hi, Flash. Bye, Flash.

If you were wondering how Team Arrow was going to get out of the bind they found themselves in at the end of last week’s episode, as Ra's and Oliver left them for dead in Nanda Parbat, the finale answered it pretty quickly early on. First, Malcolm had spent the entire trip to Nanda Parbat inoculating the group with the cure for the Alpha/Omega virus, just in time for Oliver to “safely” dose them all with it. Then, when Oliver found time to help Barry (Grant Gustin) out over in Central City in this week’s episode of The Flash, the favor he apparently asked for was in regards to this situation and making sure to safely break his friends and acquaintances out.

Sadly, Barry didn’t stick around to keep helping for the rest of the episode because of the problems he’s dealing with on his own show.

The Clash at Demonhead

This season spent a large portion of its time with Oliver trying to figure out how to reconcile his double life, and these past few episodes, it went so far the other way that he developed a third life in the League of Assassins. But we all should have known better than to count out Mr. Queen, and on his and the League’s way to Starling City, he finally struck on Ra's — with the help of his wife Nyssa of course. However, this attack — which Oliver later admitted to Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) was originally a kamikaze mission — did little more than tip Oliver’s hand and get him back on the head of the demon’s hitlist.

While the rest of Team Arrow was eventually working on saving the day from the Alpha/Omega virus that Ra's had scattered around Starling City, it was Oliver who had to go one-on-one and finally finish this chapter, once and for all.

Honestly? It was kind of easy to take down Ra's al Ghul after all that time. Maybe it was an instance of “if at first you don’t succeed, try again,” but all that had really changed from this time and the last time was Felicity telling Oliver to fight Ra's with his heart. If it had been that easy, maybe that’s why Malcolm could never challenge the guy. But Oliver still ended up doing his dirty work, as the death of this Ra's al Ghul meant the rise of a new one, and Malcolm (John Barrowman) became the one to take that role.

The Ballad Of Speedy

As Ra's al Ghul’s plan to destroy Starling City with the Alpha/Omega virus came to a head, Team Arrow — Oliver, Malcolm, Laurel (Katie Cassidy), and Diggle — had to split up and take preventative measures. Everything was quiet until Diggle spotted a runner, chased him down, and almost got shot. Almost — because he was saved by a hero in a red hood. Only this time, it wasn’t Roy (Colton Haynes), it was was Thea (Willa Holland), finally donning the costume and iconic color. She looked better in the getup than her boyfriend had, if we’re being completely honest. It took three seasons and it was a bumpy ride, but Thea absolutely deserves to be in the same hero category as the rest of her friends and family.

Did you need more proof that Oliver Queen was ready to move on and live a happy life? The last thing he did for his little sister was make sure everyone started calling her “Speedy” instead of the less goofy “Red Arrow” name that she’d hoped for. We’re going to miss these brother-sister talks over the hiatus.

Suit Up?

Even though Diggle came to the conclusion fairly early on that Oliver hadn’t really betrayed all of them, that didn’t mean he had forgiven Oliver for his actions. In fact, while Felicity and Oliver had so many tearful, candid conversations about the situation and their relationship, and everyone else just seemed happy for Oliver to be back, Diggle reacted the way he had every right to act: He punched Oliver in the face and refused to forgive him for not letting Team Arrow in on the plan.

Then, Oliver made the announcement to the team that he was going to retire — seeing as how Starling City was crawling with heroes at this point — and leave town to be with Felicity! Diggle took it the hardest, as it again looked like Oliver was turning his back on him and his life. But Oliver made it clear that Diggle was not just his rock, he was the city’s rock and he would be needed now more than ever. Diggle didn’t seem quite sold by his best friend’s speech, but Oliver left him with one more piece of advice, just in case he did decide to keep being a hero — conceal your face and wear a mask. That was probably the best parting gift Oliver could have given him.

Kaboom Goes the Spinoff

Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) officially lost the girl — he had already lost her, but it was worse to hear the confessions of love two feet away — and his vice president in the finale, but he did help save all of Starling from the virus, so he at least deserved a pat on the back for that. Instead, while doing his first (and possibly only) miniaturization test on the A.T.O.M. suit, he and the top floors of Palmer Technologies found themselves as collateral damage in the resulting explosion.

It was already bad enough for him to be present when Oliver told everyone that he and Felicity were literally going to ride off into the sunset. This was almost worse.

Tell Us: How did you feel about the Arrow finale? Will you watch the spinoff? Should Oliver and Felicity be together?

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