The battle between Team Arrow and the Ninth Circle comes to a head, as old friends return to Star City to help with the coming fight. Meanwhile, over two decades later, the next generation of Star City's heroes must save their city - and the world - from a corporation intent on empowering a new police state.
The Green Arrow comics of Benjamin Percy (battle with Ninth Circle) and Judd Winick (destroying a wall that separates the rich and poor parts of Star City.)
The Ninth Circle leadership expels Emiko from their ranks and kills her because of her vendetta against the Queen family exposing the group to the public. Yet they are perfectly willing to keep that vendetta going once Emiko is dead, because... reasons?
For that matter, even if the Ninth Circle were going after Oliver and Felicity for being thorns in their side, why not go after the whole of Team Arrow? All of whom have public identities now!
Emily Bett Rickards gives it her all one last time and steals the show in both the modern day and future segments. Somehow, Stephen Amell seems all the stronger playing against her and he's hardly a slouch. Their final moments together are Emmy-worthy.
The fight scenes are fantastic, even for this show.
The episode's ending is absolutely perfect - both as a send-off for Felicity Smoak and as the series in general, as it seems that all of Season 8 will be devoted to Crisis on Infinite Earths.
The female Ninth Circle member who seemingly takes over after Emiko is kicked out of the group is identified as Beatrice. In The Divine Comedy, Beatrice was the name of the poet Dante's ideal woman, who acted as his guide to the nine spheres of Heaven, just as Virgil had been his guide to the circles of Hell.
While the original Green Arrow comics introducing the Ninth Circle didn't include a member named Beatrice among the Ninth Circle's ranks, the name fits their convention of their leaders taking the names of important figures from The Divine Comedy.
Emiko somehow finds a way to block Felicity from tracking the Cygnus X-1 bacteria by its chemical signature.
Someone using a signal-bounced untraceable number calls in a fake bomb scare to a local shopping mall, to force people out into the open where they can be attacked by a Ninth Circle drone.
The Ninth Circle use a scrambler to make it impossible to track the detonation signal for their Cygnus X-1 bombs.
Curtis builds a number of optimized cryogenic chambers to that can be used to freeze the Cygnus X-1 bacteria.
Felicity determines all the Cygnus X-1 bombs and droves are hooked up to the same detonator. This means they only have to neutralize one target rather than over a dozen.
In Star City 2040, Penal Code Statute 10101971 governs vigilante justice.
Smoak Tech invented a line of flexible restraints, easier to store than traditional handcuffs.
The Archer program is revealed not to have a server room - its server is built into the wall that separates The Glades and Star City.
Felicity built a backdoor into the original Archer system so that anyone who had both her DNA and that of Oliver Queen would be invisible to the system. This is why Mia was able to fight the Zeta soldiers so effectively - Archer could literally not predict her next move, like all the other vigilantes.
When the wall between The Glades and Star City was built, explosives were planted in each control tower in case it ever had to be destroyed. The signal can only be activated from inside the tower.
William: What are they gonna do with us?
Rene: You mean before they torture us to find out what you stole off Keven Dale's computer or after?
William: I'm gonna stop asking questions now.
Felicity: (sadly) This is not the life that Oliver and I wanted for them. They're supposed to be living happy, normal lives right now. That was the only thing that Oliver asked me to do. It was the only thing that I promised him I would do. And I failed. Some mother I turned out to be.
Oliver: You have every right to be angry. I was angry, too, because you let our father die. And that led to a ripple effect in my life of loss. I lost Tommy, my mother, Laurel, Quentin. And I wanted to kill you for all of it!
(The two struggle as Emiko tries to stab Oliver. He flips her and takes away her knife, holding it on her.)
Oliver: I know his death affected you, too.
(Oliver releases the pin and stands up, allowing Emiko to stand.)
Oliver: Instead of finding the hero that I really believe is inside of you, you went down a dark path. And it killed your mother.
Emiko: Dante killed my mother!
Oliver: No, he didn't, Emiko. Your allegiance to the Ninth Circle killed your mother. Your hatred of our father killed your mother. His worst impulses drove you away, and it led to every terrible moment in both of our lives. I think that together, we can be better.
(Oliver holds the knife out to Emiko.)
Oliver: So if you're gonna kill me, do it.
(Emiko hesitates, as Virgil enters the room with a squad of Ninth Circle soldiers)
Virgil: Well, if you're not gonna kill him, we'll gladly oblige.
Oliver: I've spent a long time thinking about my legacy as the Green Arrow. I always hoped it would be saving the city. But now I know that my greatest legacy is this team. I started this mission alone. I was certain that I would end it alone, but the truth of the matter is that every bit of success that I've had along the way is because of all of you.
Diggle: You know, the spirit of this place will live on long after we're gone. You've inspired so many people, Oliver. They will carry on your legacy.
Oliver: Sounds like a cycle for good.
Diggle: Far better than that. A cycle of heroes. Who will fight to defend this city with every fiber of their being.
Felicity: Anyone ever told you you always know exactly what to say?
Digg: (stone-faced) I have been told.
(Oliver and Felicity laugh ad Diggle cracks a stoic smile.)
Oliver: So what bargain have I made? What does the multiverse require?
The Monitor: That you assist me as we seek to prevent the inevitable.
Oliver: But that sounds impossible.
The Monitor: The multiverse is more complex than you could fathom.
Oliver: What are you not telling me?
The Monitor: I've seen your future, Oliver, inexorable and unavoidable. I have watched you die.
(Oliver just stares at The Monitor.)
Oliver: During this crisis?
The Monitor: (nods) I am truly sorry.
Felicity:No. You are not taking him!
The Monitor: I am not here to bring harm to you or your daughter. Trust me, the world needs her.
Felicity: You think that I'm just going to let you leave here with my husband's life?
Oliver: This is bigger than us... Than all of us.
Felicity: Why does it always have to be you?
The Monitor: I cannot prevent his passing, but he can prevent the deaths of countless more, including you and your daughter. But he needs to come with me tonight.
(Oliver exits Mia's room to find Felicity sitting in their dining room.)
Felicity: (softly)This is why we can't have a normal life. This is why our children will never have normal lives.
Oliver: I had to make the deal.
Felicity: (holding back the tears) Oh, there's always gonna be some danger or some threat. The league of Assassins or HIVE or the Ninth Circle or the end of the friggin' universe.
Oliver: I need you to make me a promise.
Felicity: (drying her tears) Yeah, okay.
Oliver: No matter what happens to me... No matter what... You need to do everything in your power... You...You need to keep William and Mia safe.
Felicity: (standing, moving to feel Oliver's face) I will keep them safe. But wherever you go? Whatever happens to you? You'll never leave me. On our wedding day, you told me that I was the best part of you, but the truth is... we are the best parts of each other. And that is so much bigger than the friggin' universe.
Oliver: When I came back to Star City to start my mission, I didn't think that I was... capable or deserving of love.(sobbing) But you opened up my heart in ways that I never thought were possible. My only regret is not telling you I loved you sooner.
Felicity: (hugging him tighter) No regrets.
Oliver: Would you tell Mia that I love her every day? And I know that she will grow up to be as smart and as beautiful as her mom.
Felicity: I will find you... again. I promise.
Oliver: I love you.
Felicity: I love you so much.
(The two kiss passionately and hug each other for several seconds. Reluctantly, Oliver lets go of Felicity as she feels his face one more time before he lets go and walks back to the living room.)
(Felicity walks through the woods near Queen Manor. She stops and The Monitor approaches her.)
Felicity: I'm ready.
The Monitor: Where I'm taking you, there is no return.
Felicity: I have waited a very long time to see him. I'm ready.
(Felicity twists her wedding ring as The Monitor opens a breach. The two step forward into it as it seals behind them, with no indication they were ever there.)
Sergeant Bingsley passes out and is in the back of am ambulance. As such, he can't confirm that Team Arrow didn't attack the police.
Team Arrow escapes from the SCPD thanks to Oliver's timely use of a smoke arrow.
The whole of Team Arrow have arrest warrants put out for their real names.
Curtis Holt and Black Siren return to help fight The Ninth Circle.
Ben "Bronze Tiger" Turner, last seen in 715, is revealed to have been paroled. He helps calm the crowds during the drone attacks.
Ben Turner agrees to help stop the Ninth Circle.
Lyla picks up John Jr., Zoe and Connor and takes them to an ARGUS safehouse.
Felicity tracks the signal to trigger the Cygnus X-1 release to the top floor of Palmer Technologies - what was Robert Queen's office when the building was still owned by Queen Consolidated.
Virgil tells Emiko that the rest of The Ninth Circle's leadership is concerned that her vendetta is bringing too much heat down upon them. He asks her to detonate the bombs now but she refuses.
Sergeant Bingsley tells Mayor Pollard that Team Arrow is innocent. He and several other cops join the team to swarm Palmer Industries.
Oliver offers Emiko another chance for them to work beyond their father's life and be better people together. When she refuses to take it, he offers her a dagger and tells her to kill him.
Before Emiko can make a decision, Virgial arrives with a group of Ninth Circle soldiers and a woman named Beatrice, who informs Emiko she has been cast out of the Ninth Circle.
Beatrice throws the knives that fatally wound Emiko.
With her dying breath, Emiko warns Oliver that the Ninth Circle know that Felicity is pregnant an they will stop at nothing to kill him, her and their child.
Oliver escapes from Palmer Industries just before a fire bomb destroys the upper floors.
Black Siren returns to Earth 2.
Bronze Tiger is offered a place on Team Arrow by Diggle. He turns it down, saying that he wants to focus on being with his son now that he's free of prison. Diggle understands but says ARGUS may approach him about a job anyway.
Curtis announces his intention to propose to his longtime boyfriend, Officer Nick Anastas and go back to his new job in Washington D.C.
Roy says he's going to take some time to be alone and figure out a way to atone for the two guards that he killed before he joins back up with Thea Queen and Nyssa Al Ghul.
Oliver says he and Felicity are going to leave town for a while, leaving Diggle in charge of the team while they are away.
Before everyone parts ways, Oliver says he is going to design a Mark of Four based around The Four Pillars of Heroism he thought up ad that the six of them (Oliver, Felicity, Diggle, Rene, Dinah and Roy) will be able to use it as a signal if they ever need help. This symbol was first mentioned and seen in the flash-forwards of 708 when Dinah revealed she had a tattoo of the symbol to William Clayton.
Diggle helps Felicity and Oliver find a home in a rural community called Bloomfield, which is a sort of retirement community for ex CIA, ARGUS and DIA personnel who need to go into witness protection. The entire city is basically one gigantic safe-house.
Several moinths pass during which Oliver and Felicity enjoy their time together, Mia is born and Oliver and Felicity both enjoy being the parents of a young baby.
The Monitor appears in Oliver and Felicity's living room and confirms the time has come for Oliver to fufill the bargain he made in S409.
Oliver explains that he agreed to give the Monitor "whatever the Multiverse requires" to save it during the coming Crisis, in exchange for the means to save Barry and Kara during the battle with Dr. Destiny. The Monitor reveals that this means that Oliver must come with him and help him to "prevent the inevitable."
The Monitor reveals that he has seen Oliver die and that there is nothing that can be done to avert his fate. He does say, however, that it is possible to make Oliver's death mean something and that he can use it to save the uncountable lives, including those of his wife and daughter.
The Monitor also says that it is important that Mia Smoak's life be saved, but does not explain why.
Oliver is allowed a chance to hold Mia one last time and to kiss Felicity before he leaves with the Monitor.
Mia is somehow able to fight several of the Zeta droids before they focus on her and overpower her.
The rest of the Zetas are finished up by a disguised Connor Hawke.
William and Rene are saved from Galaxy One by Zoe.
Felicity reveals that Mia is able to fight the Zetas because a backdoor in Archer stops her DNA from being analyzed and her movements predicted.
This prompts William to come up with a plan to destroy Archer by using the delay caused by Mia's presence at a gate scanner to upload a virus into the system.
The virus doesn't destroy Archer but triggers a system-wide reboot which shuts it down for four minutes.
Mia volunteers to activate the self-destruct on the wall during that four minute window.
William is able to code a 60 second delay into the self-destruct so Mia can escape in time.
Rene, Dinah, Roy and Felicity agree to take the rap for the destruction of the wall.
Dinah officially makes Zoe the new head of The Canaries.
Roy thank William for getting him off of Lian Yu.
Roy says how he got on Lian Yu in the first place and a long story when William asks him how he got there.
Felicity meets with Mia and William in the woods behind what was Queen Manor at Robert Queen's gravestone.
It is revealed that there are two new gravestones there. One for Emiko Queen, who is buried on Robert's right. The other is on Robert's left and is for Oliver Queen.
Oliver Queen's tombstone identifies him as The Green Arrow and says he died in 2019.
Felicity says that this is the last time she'll see Mia and William, as she is going on a journey of her own - one that she can take now that she is satisfied that Mia and William can take care of themselves.
The episode ends with Felicity meeting with The Monitor, who asks if she is prepared because she cannot return from where they are going. Felicity replies that she has been waiting a very long time to see him as she twists her wedding ring. The implication is that The Monitor is taking her to see Oliver, but with no indication of where or when.
The Bottom Line
The first two-thirds is a bit of a rushed mess, which has no purpose but to finish up Emiko's storyline and everything involving the Zeta soldiers. The final third, however, contains some of the best moments in Arrow history and a fantastic farewell to the character of Felicity Smoak. For once, the episode is more than the sum of its part and the perfect finale more than makes up for the weak start. It will be interesting to see how the show goes on in Season 8 without Emily Bett Rickards but it will be an interesting train-wreck if nothing else.