If there’s one simple truth that I’ve learned from the Arrowverse over the past eight years, it’s that Oliver Queen will always take the blame for whatever goes wrong.
Whether that’s the death of a loved one or a villain that oh-so-conveniently appears when the show needs him or if someone loses their car keys, I’m sure. You name a problem, and Arrow will do everything it can to blame Oliver Queen.
Even if he wasn’t forced to do so by these showrunners, which he is. Oliver Queen is the definition of a self-sacrificing hero. Meaning he isn’t doing something for his own gain, as other heroes have done in the past. Instead, he’s sacrificing everything to save the entire freaking universe, as evidenced by this final season.
So watching Oliver blame himself, yet again, after Laurel blamed him for the destruction of an entire Earth was infuriating — like he personally lit a match that destroyed the entire thing. Ugh. Stop, Oliver. You’re far too good for all of these people that don’t appreciate you.
I’m sick and tired of people trashing Oliver or underestimating just how much he’s meant to this Arrowverse. There’s a reason Arrow is in the name, after all. He started all of this. And, when he takes his bow at season’s end, he’ll leave it in the trusting hands of his successors.
Whatever Oliver Queen’s legacy winds up being in the eyes of many, he was a true hero. He never stopped fighting. He never stopped trying to be a better version of himself because he always believed there’s room for growth. He owned up to his faults. And, instead of simply accepting them, he tried to be better because of them.
So, Laurel, let me put this simply for you, since you don’t appear keen on listening to anyone. Stop blaming others for things that are out of their control. Whether it was the death of your father or the destruction of your entire Earth. Look, I get it, you have every right to be fucking infuriated. I can’t imagine losing my entire fucking world. But stop blaming Oliver, because he tried to help your Earth in the first place.
With each passing episode, it’s clear that Oliver Queen is suffering at the hands of his own sacrifice. In agreeing to save Barry and Kara, he sacrificed himself. Only he didn’t realize the effect said sacrifice would have on him. Not that he’d do anything differently. Ten times out 10, he’s choosing the self-sacrificing route, folks. That’s just who Oliver Queen is.
Even as we watched Oliver think about Felicity, who he had to leave behind, and his children, who he also had to leave behind, Oliver knows exactly why he had to leave. When push comes to shove, Oliver will fight to protect his family.
“I need my family to live,” Oliver tells Tatsu in the final season’s second episode.
If he can’t do that, then all of the sacrifices he’s made and all of the sins he’s committed would’ve been in vain. But, most importantly, his family would be safe. Which sure, he has a personally invested interest in the well-being of his family. But he’s sacrificed possibly ever getting to see his family again. What does he have to gain besides some last-moment thought that at least his family is alive?
And it’s not just his family’s lives that are at stake. It’s the entire freaking universe. That’s not lost on Oliver. You’re telling me if the Monitor told Oliver right now that he could give up his life and every life could be spared that he wouldn’t do that? If you say no, you don’t know Oliver Queen.
Oliver Queen has been my favorite hero in this Arrowverse not because he’s perfect. It’s because of his imperfections and his determination to keep growing as a hero and as a person that have made him as relatable as one can be in a comic book universe. Spoiler alert: He doesn’t need superpowers to do that. Oliver Queen is a true hero because of what he does, not what his abilities are.
When all is said and done, actions speak louder than superpowers. Not that the Arrowverse would give a damn.
Arrow airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on the CW.