Terrific finale. A lot of shows kill off characters to prove "anyone" is vulnerable, but the character they kill off is always exactly who you'd expect. This finale, the people I thought they'd kill off survived (well, except for Malcolm) and a person I thought would survived died. And not comic book dead, real incontrovertible dead.Oliver had to fail, otherwise there would be no more series. He came back to stop this thing from happening, although he didn't know it at first, and if he had he would have put away the bow and hood and lived happily ever after with Laurel.But by failing at his singular purpose, it means that his mission becomes open-ended -- he'll spend the rest of his able-bodied days trying to make up for this failure.At the same time, it wasn't a total failure. I always admired the ending of Deep Impact because it was a realistically imperfect solution; it was neither the best nor worst case scenario. A lot of people are alive who would have died because of what Oliver, his mother and Oliver's team accomplished. The damage was half as bad as it would have been. Their efforts weren't in vain, they just weren't enough.I quibble a lot about the shortcuts the show takes, some of the more iffy performances, and some absolutely terrible dialog. But the plotting on this show is expertly done. Every episode builds off the last, and the show regularly surprises me.