In 2012, Greg Berlanti’s Arrowverse officially began its run with Arrow, following the story of Oliver Queen a.k.a. the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) as he returned to Star City to protect his home. Through the past seven seasons, Oliver and his team have faced many challenges and antagonists. This fall, however, will mark the end of an era with Season 8 set to be the final year of the series.
We have no doubt that Arrow's series finale will end with a big bang. There is also the major Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover that Arrow will take part in before the story of the Emerald Archer ends. With the end coming up, it’s time to rank the past seven season finales while also reflecting a bit on each season.
7 Schism (Season 4)
Promising to be a brighter season than usual for the series, Arrow's Season 4 did slide into the dark with Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough) as the prime villain for that year. Unlike the seasons that came before and after, Season 4 was the year when Oliver faced an antagonist who used magic. Damien definitely wrecked a lot of things up for the team that season. Among other things, Damien murdered Laurel Lance a.k.a. Black Canary (Katie Cassidy), temporarily paralyzed Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) and planned a major terrorist attack. Damien made sure to make his presence known.
However, the final showdown had a rushed feeling to it since it felt like the finale just wanted to have that season be over with. It all came to an end after Oliver and Damien fought for a few minutes while citizens took on what was left of H.I.V.E.
6 My Name is Oliver Queen (Season 3)
Season 3 became one of Arrow’s darkest seasons with the introduction of Ra’s al Ghul (Matt Nable) as Oliver’s big bad that year. With Ra’s set to want to have Oliver on his side, the head of the League of Assassins did everything he could to achieve that. Ultimately, Oliver made it clear that he was against Ra’s in every way as the Demon’s Head was set on destroying Starling City (before it became Star City.)
However, this is where the finale ultimately didn’t live up to the hype, mainly due to an attack on the city already happening in the previous two finales. This version of Ra’s also didn’t have that spark that his comic counterpart is known for, causing Season 3 to end on a weak note.
5 You Have Saved This City (Season 7)
To make a long story short: Emiko Queen and the Ninth Circle did not live up to expectations as the big bads. Even though the takedown of the Ninth Circle wasn’t too memorable, it was the final minutes of the finale that stole the show in “You Have Saved This City," as the episode marked Felicity’s final appearance as a series regular. Furthermore, it also set up Season 8 in a massive way with the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) reemerging to take Oliver with him after they made their deal in the Elseworlds crossover.
Revealing Oliver’s ultimate fate, the Green Arrow bid farewell to his heartbroken wife before leaving with the Monitor. The final scene shows what happens to Felicity and is a real tear-jerker.
4 Life Sentence (Season 6)
Season 6 had, without a doubt, the series' biggest amount of baddies of its entire run, with several new and old villains teaming up against Team Arrow. However, after a run with Cayden James (Michael Emerson), it ended up becoming the Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) show. But what was pushing Season 6 to its fullest was Oliver having to deal with the FBI trying to expose that he was the Green Arrow. As Diaz’s corruption kept rising, Oliver had to make a deal with the FBI that would change his life forever.
In exchange for their help and in granting immunity to the whole team, Oliver ends up revealing his big secret and, willingly, goes to prison. The finale also marked the tragic end for one of the show’s long-lasting characters as Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) passed away.
3 Sacrifice (Season 1)
After a strong first year that effectively set up this universe while being the first chapter in Oliver’s life as a superhero, the first season finale was one of Arrow’s strongest conclusions. Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman) still stands as one of the show’s best masterful villains. As Oliver was finding himself as a hero in Season 1, the finale had everything you could ask from a season finale.
With a stellar showdown between the two archers, massive stakes, and the devastating death of Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell); “Sacrifice” lived up to its title and then some.
2 Unthinkable (Season 2)
To many fans and critics, Season 2 is one of the most highly regarded seasons of the series. After establishing itself in Season 1, the subsequent chapter continued to flesh out the universe through the growth of Team Arrow, various flashbacks, and a formidable antagonist in Slade Wilson a.k.a. Deathstroke (Manu Bennett).
Season 2 did a solid job of executing the story between Oliver and Slade and what led to the clash between the two. The finale also had one of the best showdowns of all time with Team Arrow taking on Slade’s Mirakuru army as well as Oliver taking down Slade.
1 Lian Yu (Season 5)
Season 5 is traditionally the year where many shows play some of their biggest cards and raise the stakes. That was definitely the case for Arrow’s fifth year, with the season serving as a bit of a soft reboot for the series. However, the thing that kept Season 5 going strong was Adrian Chase a.k.a. Prometheus (Josh Segarra), a big bad that Oliver was responsible for creating. Similarly to Slade and Malcolm, Adrian didn’t hold back and pushed Oliver on every level.
His ultimate act, however, made that finale unforgettable. Adrian had trapped Oliver’s allies and loved ones at Lian Yu, the island that played an instrumental part in Oliver’s journey. Forced to choose between his son or the people back on the island, that was set to blow up if Adrian died, Oliver was trapped. After being seemingly defeated, the baddie killed himself as Oliver and William (Jack Moore) witnessed the massive explosions on the island, leaving everyone’s fate up in the air.