- "I am the Green Arrow. I realize that I've denied that claim with the same conviction with which I'm speaking now. I have let good people stand accused of things that I've done. Roy Harper is not the Green Arrow. Tommy Merlyn is most certainly not the Green Arrow. These are two names on a long list of people who have given so much and sacrificed everything in the name of my crusade. Some of them gave their lives in the pursuit of one simple objective— to save our city. Star City still needs saving. Last night, we dealt our enemy a critical blow, but there is still work to be done, so I'm looking to the people of this city, I'm looking to my allies, to my friends, to my partners... and I'm asking them to continue, to keep fighting. I'm asking them to complete our mission... to save our city."
- —Oliver Queen
"Life Sentence" is the twenty-third and final episode of the sixth season of , and the one-hundred-thirty-eighth episode overall. It aired on May 17, 2018.
|With a new ally on his team, Oliver engages Diaz in an epic final battle.|
Inside the corrupt SCPD, reconciled Team Arrow assaults the precinct with Samanda Watson and the FBI. They manage to overpower the corrupt police force and capture remaining members of the Quadrant. However, Diaz is nowhere to be found. Elsewhere, Anatoly meets with Diaz and Diaz tests his loyalty. However, with Anatoly having seen that Diaz has no honor or morals, he decides to side with Oliver. He joins him in the liberated precinct.
Due to this setback, Diaz blackmails Quentin to get rid of the FBI, or else he will kill Laurel. Laurel is full of contempt and hatred towards Diaz, but can't do anything, since Diaz has suppressed her meta-human powers with a power dampening collar. Quentin is unwilling to let Laurel die, but Oliver dissuades him from trying anything stupid, as he is not overly concerned over Laurel's fate, considering her past actions, and that she is not "the Laurel". Quentin doesn't want to hear it, and intends to take matters into his own hands. Watson suggests that they can use Quentin to set a trap for Diaz.
As Team Arrow and the FBI prepare for the ambush, Oliver talks with Rene, Dinah and Curtis separately and formally apologizes to each of them for his unfair treatment of them. Since all three have also seen the error in their ways towards Oliver and Team Arrow, they make up, with Rene and Dinah telling Oliver they both hold a strong admiration towards him.
At the ambush site, Anatoly acts as the frontman along with Quentin, but Diaz doesn't show up. Realizing Diaz played them, everyone are back to square one. Quentin intends to go alone. Oliver is unable to stop him, and the two then talk about some things. Quentin finally asks Oliver about the one thing that left him wondering six years ago: how did Oliver manage to pass the lie detector? Oliver answers it's about maintaining a steady heart rate. Quentin then tells Oliver he is a good father, and Oliver says he had a great role model. Quentin thinks he means Robert, but Oliver actually meant Quentin.
Quentin goes to Diaz's hideout, and is imprisoned alongside Laurel. Laurel considers him a fool for coming, but Quentin would do anything for his "daughter". Meanwhile, as the FBI attempts to find Diaz, Oliver tells everyone that Quentin left, shocking everyone. Since they have absolutely no idea, where Quentin was taken, it seems it's over. But then Oliver recalls how Quentin explained that he has a pacemaker for his heart. This causes Felicity and Curtis to realize they can track it's power. Since Diaz is unaware of this, they can finally catch him unaware.
Diaz tortures Quentin, and tells him that if he doesn't use his authority to get rid of the FBI, he will kill Laurel. Quentin refuses, and just when Diaz is about to shoot, the hideout falls under attack by Team Arrow and the FBI. Diaz's thugs are quickly overpowered, and he attempts to shoot Laurel, but Quentin jumps and takes the bullet. Diaz escapes and Oliver gives chase. Dinah comes down to Quentin and Laurel, and Laurel looks at Dinah, thinking she is going to kill her. But to Laurel's surprise, Dinah frees her from her collar and bindings, and both meta-humans use their sonic screams in unison to carry Quentin to safety. As Diggle, Rene, Curtis and the FBI take out Diaz's remaining thugs, Oliver catches Diaz on the roof, and they fight. Oliver manages to defeat him, but Diaz tells him the only way to get rid of him is to kill him, and he knows Oliver won't do it. Suddenly, Laurel arrives and despite Oliver's pleas, Laurel uses her scream to blast him out from the roof. He falls to the river. Oliver is outraged at Laurel, but Laurel claims she had to end it, but Oliver thinks the fall won't kill him. Laurel says she can only hope. Watson is upset that Diaz wasn't taken, thinking that now there is no way to expose his corruption ring. But Oliver shows a device on his wrist, which was able to copy the contents of the flash drive Diaz wore on his neck. Felicity obtains the data and it does indeed reveal all those Diaz had on his payroll.
The next day, in Star City General hospital, everyone are there for Quentin's support. Oliver talks with him and they have a heartfelt discussion. Sara Lance also arrives, having been summoned by Laurel. When Sara meets her deceased sister's doppelganger, she is at first amazed until she realizes it's not her Laurel. Laurel tells Sara Quentin is in surgery and that she called her, thinking that Quentin's daughter should be here now. Sara asks Laurel is she like her Laurel, and with a disappointed expression she answers "hardly at all".
Oliver is then being escorted by Watson, and everyone are baffled. Oliver then explains that his deal with the FBI included that once Diaz's corruption is has been brought to light, Oliver will surrender to the FBI for his actions as the Green Arrow. In return, Oliver was able to get immunities for the rest. As Sara and Laurel appear and are also shocked about Oliver's arrest, Dr. Schwartz arrives, and is sad to inform that Quentin died during surgery, since his brain was deprived of oxygen for seven minutes. Everyone starts to mourn for him, and Oliver apologizes to Sara. They also mourn as Oliver is taken away, with Felicity hugging Sara.
In the precinct, Watson has given Oliver one last talk with Felicity and William. As Felicity arrives, she blacks out the camera and explains how they can get Oliver away from this. However, Oliver refuses as if he runs away now, he will become a fugitive and his deal about immunity for Felicity and the team will also be erased. Felicity openly cries as she doesn't want Oliver to go, but Oliver has made peace with it. William enters and Oliver explains why he must go and tells William to be strong and look after himself and Felicity.
Oliver is escorted outside the precinct, and reporters are there waiting for him. He then reveals his identity as the Green Arrow to the whole world and urges his friends and allies to keep fighting for a simple goal: to save Star City. Oliver's friends, as well as now wanted Diaz watch over the broadcast, while Sara and Laurel mourn over Quentin next to his corpse. The FBI rounds up all the corrupted officials in the city.
Oliver is then escorted into his cell inside the Slabside Maximum Security Prison. Nearly all the inmates claim he is going to die there.
- Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen/Green Arrow
- David Ramsey as John Diggle/Freelancer
- Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak
- Echo Kellum as Curtis Holt/Mr. Terrific
- Rick Gonzalez as Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog
- Juliana Harkavy as Dinah Drake/Black Canary
- Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance
- Paul Blackthorne as Mayor Quentin Lance
Special guest star
- David Nykl as Anatoly Knyazev
- Sydelle Noel as Special Agent Samanda Watson
- Venus Terzo as Dr. Elisa Schwartz
- Jarryd Baine as Reporter
- Josh Byer as Officer Parks
- Shayne Elliott as Prisoner #3
- Hamza Fouad as Cyrus Broderick
- Aaron Harrison as Prisoner #1
- Andrew Hedge as Guard
- Thomas Hum as Prisoner #2
- Jeremy LaCombe as FBI Agent
- Jack Moore as William Clayton
- Rochelle Okoye as Rookie
- Ron Robinson as Prisoner #4
- Bennett Taylor as Crosby
- Nathan Yan as FBI Tech
- The title refers to Oliver volunteering to serve life in prison at the Slabside Maximum Security Prison for his vigilantism as the Green Arrow as part of a deal he made with the FBI in order to protect the team's identities the moment he outed himself to the public.
- In addition to Paul Blackthorne's final appearance as a series regular, this episode also marks the last to be co-written by Wendy Mericle at the time she and Marc Guggenheim stepped down from their duties as showrunners.
- Quentin's death mirrors Laurel's Earth-1 counterpart's from ""; both Lances were sustained a mortal wound to the abdomen from the season's main antagonist and later died after having an abrupt seizure in the hospital after a heartfelt talk with Oliver.
- Diaz references the 1957 film adaptation of Old Yeller after he shoots Quentin, who took the bullet for Laurel. Laurel later mentions it by name when she knocks Diaz off of the roof.
- Quentin mentions the time he interrogated Oliver in "".
- The Longbow Hunters mentioned in this episode would play a major role in the next season. They are also a nod to the 1987 limited comic series Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters. draws a lot from this series, as it was the first to move the character Green Arrow in a darker direction, away from trick arrows and gimmicks to traditional arrows, just like the show.
- When Oliver speaks with Rene about their first meeting, he says, "I thought you were just a thug in a ridiculous costume." Rene's original costume consisted of a hockey mask and street clothing; the same kind worn by the vigilante Casey Jones, who Stephen Amell portrayed in the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.
- The season ending with Oliver imprisoned in a super-max prison where everyone knows he is the Green Arrow appears to lifted from the film project Green Arrow: Escape from Super Max (also just listed as Supermax). A planned film written, and potentially directed by David S. Goyer, it was to feature Green Arrow being wrongfully incarcerated in a super-max prison filled with super-villains and having to escape before they kill him.
- The cast and Guggenheim called Oliver's outing "a game-changer for the series filled with long-lasting ramifications and things that cannot be undone." According to the latter, it acts more of an unconventional kind of finale that still feels like a season finale.
- Amell jokingly hoped the finale is "3/10th's as good as Parenthood's" series finale, where the entire Braverman family appeared in the final scene of the series together except for Zeek.
- This is the last episode to credit Kirk Acevedo as a special guest star. From the next episode onwards, he is a series regular.
- Felicity is clearly just tapping her fingers on her keyboard at one point, not even pressing the keys while typing.
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