The sixth season finale of ARROW gives us a big battle against Ricardo Diaz, but opens up a lot of questions for the show’s future!

Previously, on ARROW

It’s been a rough season for Oliver Queen. He’s been investigated by the FBI and charged with being a vigilante; his team fell apart; he was impeached as mayor and he lost complete control of his city, first to a hacktivist and then to pretty common street thug.

And despite the protestations of Ricardo Diaz over the last few episodes, that’s really all he is, though he managed to luck into some prime positions of power before he took over Star City. His plan to separate Oliver Queen from his allies one by one was a pretty good strategy that almost worked. But like the best (or worst) villains, Diaz decided to toy with his targets just a little too long. He allowed Oliver to make things right with Diggle, Black Canary, WIld Dog and Mr. Terrific and made his teammates realize that the only way to take Diaz down was to do it together.

That’s what we get in the season finale. Team Arrow, back together and now working with FBI Special Agent Samanda Watson and friend-turned-enemy-turned-friend Anatoly, goes on the offensive against Diaz. They take back SCPD headquarters and put a dent in Diaz’s army, but almost lose people when they hunt Diaz down in a warehouse rigged to explode. Really, the only members of the main team in any real danger here are the Lance family.

Diaz has Earth-2 Laurel and demands that Mayor Quentin get the FBI out, or else the Black Siren dies. Quentin demands to see her, but before he sneaks out, he mentions a pacemaker no one ever knew about to Oliver, which allows Team Arrow and the FBI to track him and infiltrate Diaz’s compound. But first, Quentin takes a bullet to save Laurel.

Once Laurel and Black Canary get Quentin some help, Laurel shows up on the roof, where Oliver is battling Diaz (and secretly using a skimmer to read the flash drive around his neck) and blows Diaz off the roof and into the bay. Diaz will live to see another day (maybe even a new season of ARROW), but his power base has been stolen from him.

Kirk Acevedo was just so perfect in this role all season. From the misdirect of Michael Emerson’s Cayden James as the main threat to Diaz taking over, Acevedo gave so much weight to the performance. I was glad to see him get such a focus – even an episode detailing Diaz’s backstory – throughout the back half of the season.

Throughout the episode, Oliver takes moments to make final amends with Wild Dog, Diggle and Black Canary. He’s making sure he has allies to protect the city, because of the deal he made with Watson as the previous episode’s cliffhanger: take Diaz down and Team Arrow has immunity, as long as Oliver Queen turns himself in. Watson comes to get Oliver in the hospital, waiting on word about Quentin. With Ollie in cuffs, the doctor comes out to tell the assembled crew that Quentin seized and didn’t survive.

Th finale delivered on all counts – had tons of action, resolved the running plots of the season and set up some conflicts for the confirmed season 7, with Oliver going to a supermax prison and Diaz still posing a threat. I’m not really a fan of Oliver going to prison, but after the show hit a home run this time around, I’m looking forward to what they do next year.

Show Notes

• While the team waits on word about Quentin’s status at the end of the episode, Earth-2 Laurel calls Quentin’s other daughter, Sara, to let her know what’s happening so she could be with Quentin. After an awkward meeting with her not-quite-sister, Sara reunites with Oliver and Felicity just as Ollie is arrested and she finds out her dad is dead. I would have liked a little bit more from the appearance, but it’s always nice to have Caity Lotz show up on ARROW.

• After Team Arrow and the FBI take out the SCPD stronghold, Oliver learns that DIaz has called on a trio of killers called THE LONGBOW HUNTERS to protect him. Oliver says they’re a group even the League of Assassins are afraid of, but everyone thought was a myth. THE LONGBOW HUNTERS is a reference to a classic Green Arrow miniseries written and drawn by Mike Grell from 1987. They didn’t really make much of an impact here other than the name drop, so maybe they’ll have more prominence next season…