A brand new ally joins the struggle towards Ricardo Diaz.
Warning: Full spoilers for the episode under.
Greater than with most exhibits, the finale episode actually appears to make or break a season of Arrow. Season Three and four have been dangerous by any measure, however they have been rendered that a lot worse as a result of they each totally failed to stay the touchdown. In the meantime, I look again extra fondly on Season 5 as a complete as a result of it ended on such a excessive be aware. With Season 6 being maybe probably the most uneven within the present’s historical past, it actually wanted a powerful end of its personal. And for probably the most half, it received one.
“Life Sentence” is an odd beast in that the stakes have been comparatively low in comparison with most finales. The unlikely alliance of Crew Arrow and Agent Watson’s FBI crew mainly lower Diaz’s operation off on the knees within the opening sequence. From there, Star Metropolis’s security was assured. With no looming doomsday assault or omnipotent villain threatening town, the battle narrowed to contain the hunt for Diaz and the necessity to stability bringing him down with saving Laurel.
Thankfully, that smaller scope didn’t appear to hurt this episode in any respect. Diaz has at all times been a nontraditional villain in most respects, and it is sensible that the finale wouldn’t observe all the standard tropes. There was one thing unhappy and determined to his position this week, with Diaz coming throughout as a feral, cornered animal lashing out as his enemies encompass him. For sure, it’s enjoyable to observe Kirk Acevedo play the character in that frazzled, deranged state.
Essentially the most stunning factor about this episode is the open-ended means it resolved the Diaz battle. That is the primary time an Arrow villain has eluded justice in a finale and lived to threaten town one other day. On one hand, there was a barely anticlimactic high quality to the way in which Ollie and Diaz’s last battle performed out. There undoubtedly wasn’t as a lot closure on that entrance as viewers might have been hoping for. To not point out that the precise struggle didn’t impress a lot on a visceral degree. The dim lighting and darkly clad characters resulted in a muddled struggle scene the place it was usually robust to tell apart one character from the opposite.
Alternatively, there’s so much to be mentioned for permitting these hero/villain rivalries to proceed creating over the course of a number of seasons. I argued as a lot after I wrote about how a lot mileage Legends of Tomorrow has gotten out of Damien Darhk, and it’s the identical precept right here. And a minimum of we all know that Diaz will evolve as a villain now that the Longbow Hunters are being introduced into the combo.
I’ll say, although, that it was irritating to have that crew name-dropped after which by no means talked about once more. Certain, it’s neat when the present makes use of a finale to set the stage for the subsequent large battle (a la Damien Darhk in Season 3), however it simply appeared unusual for Diaz to brag about his new crew after which not hassle to really deliver them to bear towards Crew Arrow. It’s a Chekhov’s gun situation. Or Chekhov’s longbow, slightly.
The short, unceremonious fall of Diaz makes extra sense when you think about that Ollie’s “farewell tour” was actually the crux of this episode. I do want this episode had completed a greater job of disguising the massive twist (together with not utilizing the identify “Life Sentence”), however that didn’t diminish the influence of those character-driven scenes. Ollie’s varied heart-to-heart chats helped wrap up an uneven however finally efficient character arc this season. He’s been desperately looking for a solution to be the chief and hero and father he must be, and throwing himself below the bus for the sake of William and Crew Arrow appears pretty much as good an answer as any.
It helps that the appearing and writing have been so robust in these scenes. The Ollie/Diggle scene performed splendidly on their lengthy historical past, serving as a counterpoint to their bitter falling-out from a pair months again. Even higher was Ollie’s tearful goodbye to Quentin. It doesn’t truly really feel like there was any nice motive to kill off Quentin (I’m assuming Paul Blackthorne was simply prepared to maneuver on), however his farewell was nonetheless dealt with with grace. Ollie admitting that he considered Quentin as a father actually sealed the deal there.
One disappointing component this week is that we didn’t get extra from Anatoly. The character has made a dramatic shift in current weeks as Ollie appealed to his higher nature. However after serving to Crew Arrow and formally turning himself on this week… nothing. You’d suppose he’d have a much bigger half to play, whether or not that concerned Diaz murdering him in retaliation or just taking part in a extra lively position within the battle. Hopefully we’ll see Anatoly stick round subsequent season.
The identical for Laurel. I haven’t been notably thrilled with how her arc has been dealt with this season, what with the fixed back-and-forth of betrayal and supposed redemption. However a minimum of she made her last alternative this week. The awkward interplay between Laurel and her “sister” was sufficient to justify Caity Lotz’s visitor position all by itself. Laurel might have been a perplexing character in Season 6, however there’s a whole lot of room for her to develop subsequent 12 months now that she’s seemingly given up the villain life-style for good.
This episode additionally did precisely what it wanted when it comes to organising an intriguing established order for Season 7. As a lot of a slog because the sequence was for many of this 12 months, a minimum of it regained its momentum on the finish. I’m very a lot wanting ahead to Season 7 giving us the Inexperienced Arrow/Tremendous MAX story we by no means received in film kind. Among the new story developments are issues the sequence has flirted with and danced round prior to now (Diggle taking on the mantle, Ollie’s id being outed), however the hope is that this marks a extra everlasting shift in route. Let’s simply hope we’re not in for a repeat of Season 6’s early errors when the sequence returns within the fall.