Friday, May 1, 2020

TV Show Review: Arrow - Season 8

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Action, some fun goodbyes
Cons: More bitter than sweet to this ending
The Bottom Line:
Arrow’s journey ends
Short, ten-episode season
Bittersweet ending

Arrow’s Final Battle

I was struggling so much with season 7 of Arrow that I wasn’t sure if I would have continued with the show or not had they not announced that season 8 would be only 10 episodes long and it would be the final season of the show.  Given that, I decided to see how the show would wrap things up.  I’m glad I stuck around for the ending even if I had a mixed reaction to the season.

Part of that mixed reaction is because the season felt weird from the get go.  Instead of a normal season, this season found Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) following the directions of The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) in an effort to stop the coming crisis – the crisis that is going to destroy the entire multi-verse.  You know, nothing major.  This means a trip through Arrow’s greatest hits as we return to key places from the seven-year run of the show to gather things that will be vital to stopping what is coming.  It also means a serious final season as Oliver is facing his fate during the crisis.

And that more serious tone is much of my issue with the season.  Yes, the show has always had a darkness to it, some seasons more than others.  It’s gotten darker as the series has gone on, and part of that is what has bothered me the last few seasons.  I like the characters I’m rooting for to have happy endings.

On the other hand, we had some fun moments, and it was great to see some of the characters we’d gotten to know one last time.  As dark as the season was overall, there were some light moments that were lots of fun.  As always, the cast was great at bringing their characters to life.

Plus, I can’t leave out the action.  The stunts didn’t slow a bit, in fact we got some of best action of the series here.

Part of my problem with season 7 was the flashforwards to Star City in 2040.  We continue seeing those characters here, although I actually enjoyed what they did with them here.  No, it doesn’t redeem last season, but it makes it better.

That definitely includes the penultimate episode, which sets up a potential Green Arrow and the Canaries spin off set in 2040.  I’m definitely intrigued by where they are going to go with the story and would watch the spin off.  That’s how much they redeemed the flashforwards and teased me with the one episode.

A big part of the story for the season was the Crisis on Infinite Earths massive crossover event.  While only one episode was part of Arrow’s season, fortunately, all five episodes are included in this boxed set.  More than ever, you need to watch all the episodes to fully appreciate the final episode of Arrow.

The series left us with an extremely bittersweet ending.  It wasn’t as bad as it could have been, but it certainly wasn’t the happy ending I was looking for.  But I knew going into this season I wouldn’t get a happy ending.  If you’ve been watching the show, you’ll want to see how Arrow ends.  But I certainly don’t recommend season 8 if you don’t already know and love the characters.

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