‘Arrow’ Season Finale: A Death, an Explosion and an Unmasking

Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen searches for a new identity in season finale of CW superhero drama

The CW’s “Arrow” concluded its third season by wrapping up a major chapter of Oliver Queen’s life, giving rise to a new super-villain and leaving the fate of at least one major character in question.

The episode kicked off with the rather expected reveal that Team Arrow and friends – Diggle (David Ramsey), Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards), Laurel (Katie Cassidy) and Ray (Brandon Routh) – had indeed not perished by the biological weapon their seeming former friend and ally Oliver (Stephen Amell) inflicted on them in last week’s episode.

Oliver had been playing an even longer con than last week suggested, and it’s all part of a plan to take down Ra’s Al Guhl (Matt Nable) once and for all. When Oliver reveals his mission was a suicide mission, however, Diggle and Felicity were less than impressed.

When Ra’s lets his biological weapon loose upon Starling City after all, all of Team Arrow, plus Thea (Willa Holland) and Nyssa (Katrina Law) spring into action, while Oliver faces off against Ra’s one on one.

In a brutal scene, Oliver finally manages to defeat his enemy at swordpoint, seemingly taking on the mantle of becoming his successor, a fate he had tried desperately to fight all season long.

In a later twist, Oliver hands the title over to Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), putting the longtime villain of the show back into enemy territory though he spent the last several episodes aiding Team Arrow.

Elsewhere, Ray Palmer teased his spinoff show “Legends of Tomorrow” by testing out new technology on his Atom suit. He’s hoping to achieve nanotechnology that would allow him to shrink down in size. He ends up blowing up his skyscraper with himself inside instead. Ray’s fate is in jeopardy, but the aforementioned spinoff series is a nice bit of insurance that we haven’t seen the last of the Atom.

In the most shocking moment of the finale, Oliver decides to give up being a superhero once and for all. Resurfacing his oft-used line to Felicity that he can’t be with her while also being the Arrow, he tells her he’d rather be with her.

The last shot of the episode shows the two driving along the California coast, destination unknown.

“I’m happy,” Oliver says. Until Season 4, that is.