ARROW Season 8×01, “Starling City” recap

16 Oct

Welcome back, Arrowheads, as we start the final season of Arrow! In case you need a reminder of what happened in the season finale, here’s the short version: Oliver has been recruited by The Monitor to save the entire multiverse from destruction, but it’s a mission that will end in Ollie’s demise (he did make a deal with The Monitor to sacrifice himself for his comrades, after all)! But what is this mission exactly? Let’s find out in a second, but first, let’s deal with the flashforwards to 2040 and the Queen siblings and get that out of the way, okay?

Deathstroke(s). Future Team Arrow is keeping eyes on some gala event when hearing the Deathstroke gang is going to hit the place, and turns out thanks to not the best team cohesion, happens. They snatch one guy, and it’s obvious to the Team that the gang is lead by…Diggle’s son, JJ! This is a slight problem with our Future Team, because Connor is a bit conflicted in dealing with his brother, and Mia knows it. Well, it turns out she’s right because when they track the kidnapped man down, JJ gets the better of the Team, and takes off with access to some rather foreboding tech that may be trouble. Soooooo…that happened. Anyway…

Suiting up again, one more last time.

 

Going Home Again (Again). Back in the present, we go to Lian Yu, and everything seems oddly familiar: someone lighting a giant pyre to signal a fishing boat, just like in the premiere. But then there are oddities, like instead of Deathstroke’s mask stuck to a spike, there’s…a Batman cowl? And the man is Ollie…but not as scraggly as when he was first found on the island? And we learn that Ollie has been gone for…TEN years?

And Moira is alive…married to Malcolm Merlyn? And Tommy’s alive? And Thea’s dead? And this is Starling City? WHAT IS HAPPENING??

Okay, what we learn is Ollie is OUR Ollie, but this isn’t OUR Earth, but Earth-2! Ollie has been sent there by The Monitor on a mission to retrieve some dwarf star particles for part of the big plan to save the multiverse, and those are located at a lab run by Moira and Malcolm for some clean energy project. He arrive DOJ his Green Arrow gear to find the particles gone, the scientists dead with arrows through them, and…the Green Arrow? Before things get too dicey with our two archers, Evil Laurel shows up (with a new look to boot!) and breaks up the fight. And this Earth’s Green Arrow? Um, it’s Adrian Chase! Our bad guy from season five is a good guy on this Earth!

The World Is (Not) The Same. Ollie goes to Evil Laurel and The Hood/Chase’s HQ, and we learn since she came back to Earth-2 that she’s been fighting crime and trying to track down the “Dark Archer” who killed those scientists. Ollie believes that Malcolm is clearly the Dark Archer, because, duh, why wouldn’t he be? Ollie tries to find out more about Malcolm’s clean energy project and it seems…it’s above board. Plus, the Monitor shows up to remind him that the mission to retrieve the dwarf star particles is the priority, not this Dark Archer hunt. Well, Ollie hangs around the family office as Malcolm gets attacked by the Dark Archer, which causes Ollie to intervene. And as the Dark Archer escapes, we discover that our baddie is…Tommy!

The next morning, Malcolm is being interrogated by Earth-2’s Dinah, and getting the cold treatment by Rene, who represents the Queen family. Thanks to the attack on Malcolm, Moira gets Ollie a bodyguard in the meantime…John Diggle! Only surprise to Ollie as he discovers when they are both alone, it’s OUR John Diggle! He found out about Ollie’s trip via Felicity, and thanks to one of those portable breach devices, tracked Ollie down. Ollie’s not okay with Diggle following him on this mission, but better to have back up in this case.

Later that night, Ollie and Diggle go to Tommy’s club and Ollie decides to confront Tommy without backup from John. Big mistake, since Tommy has Ollie knocked unconscious…and with help from Earth-2’s Rene and Dinah!

“By the way, thanks Tommy. Your dad did this to me too, but he took my shirt off then. No concern for whether I’d catch a cold or not. You’re a true buddy.”

 

History Repeating Itself. Ollie finds himself chained up, as Tommy tries to figure out why he’s back. But what we learn is that Thea’s overdose in the Glades thanks to her grief of losing their Ollie was so traumatic to Tommy, he put a plan in the motion to make the Glades pay for it. Yep, you guessed it, Tommy Merlyn has created his own Undertaking, and it’s happening soon thanks to those stolen dwarf star particles. While Tommy goes to start that up, Ollie manages to escape with the help of Diggle.

Ollie and Diggle meet up with Evil Laurel and Chase, and lay out what’s going on. It’s clear that Tommy wants the Glades to be destroyed, so Ollie figures that the device would be set off wherever Thea died. Makes sense, I guess.

A Better Way. Our heroes head to the building and run into some goons, but Ollie runs off to go confront Tommy on the rooftop with his machine. They fight, but Tommy tells him there’s no way to stop the machine unless he does it. Instead of beating the code to switch if off out of Tommy, Ollie appeals to Tommy to be a better man than this, to be the good friend he remembered him to be. And…it works? Yeah, Tommy is convinces to shut off the machine. That was easy.

After Tommy and his cronies Dinah and Rene are arrested, the heroes meet up where Ollie gets those dwarf star particles. It seems it’s time to go home, and Diggle offers to join Ollie on his mission, even knowing there may be no way to save Ollie from his fate. But there’s a stop they have to make before they head back to their Earth…

(A) World Ends. Ollie visits Tommy in holding at the Earth-2 police station to offer up consolation before he leaves. And of course, he says goodbye to Moira, even if she doesn’t realize he’s not going to be hanging around. As Ollie and Diggle are about to leave the station and breach back home, things get weird. Alarms and cell phones start going off, and Evil Laurel rushes in, saying she’s needs their help. With what, exactly? Well, a red wave starts to creepy through the station, enveloping and destroying people! Ollie gets to see Moira and Tommy vanish into the red wave, as Diggle hits the breach device so they can escape. Dig, Evil Laurel, and Ollie go through the breach just as it seems EVERYTHING is enveloped by the red field!

I guess they are now…SLIDERS? Nah, that’s a silly name. BREACHERS?

If you watched the other CW superhero shows this week, you might recognize that wave from The Flash, as that same field as the one Barry saw in the future…that destroys his Earth! Sooooo…Earth-2 is G-O-N-E FOREVER! What a way to start the final season!

–Series connections: In a change of pace, let’s talk about the connections to the previous seasons than the comics since there’s way more meat to the former this time around. You got several lines of dialogue from the series said by different actors than the people who said them (“Why don’t you find him and ask?” “I’m thinking ten steps ahead of you.”). There’s a nice callback to Diggle’s first encounter with Ollie, and how Dig finally gets to keep him in the car this time! And of course, how Ollie’s escape plays almost exactly like it did in the first season (down to Diggle’s way of tracking Ollie).

–We get some salmon ladder action…but by Adrian Chase. Can’t blame Ollie for being a little jealous.

–I’m not sure what the ramifications of Earth-2 being wiped out of existence will mean for The Flash yet, seeing as how one of the Harrison Wells comes from there, as does his daughter Jesse Quick. Not that they have their own set of problems on that show, as Barry learns he’ll die saving the universe. Lots to consider as we get closer to the big winter crossover.

–Ollie has Felicity and baby Mia still on his mind (maybe William, but he doesn’t have a photo with him on this trip), even thinking he sees Felicity in the family office.

–Evil Laurel turns out to have turned over a new leaf after all, but how is she going to take that her entire universe has been eradicated? I’m just saying, that will be interesting to see.

–Some fun differences in Earth-2 is Curtis is running the Queen tech department, Felicity is running her own company, and Adrian was trained by Bruce Wayne? I hate to know who’s Bat cowl was back on Lian Yu, then.

–“On my Earth, you had a better teacher.” Lesson learned after you got your butts quickly kicked, Evil Dinah and Evil Rene.

–“I didn’t know they had WiFi on Lian Yu.”

–“No one listens to the tech guy!”

–“That was a pretty good speech.”

That’s it, but come back next week for the recap of “Welcome To Hong Kong”…

 

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