ARROW Season 8×02, “Welcome To Hong Kong” recap

23 Oct

Welcome back, Arrowheads! Ollie is running errands for The Monitor, trying to avoid the possible destruction of the entire multiverse, and that brings him to Earth-2, where he interferes in events there while completing his mission, and gets help from our Earth’s Diggle and Evil Laurel. Maybe he should have focused on his task at hand because just as he and Diggle are about to breach a portal home, Earth-2 gets wiped out of existence! Evil Laurel caught the same way out our duo did, but…now what?

Before we learn “what”, let’s deal with what’s happening in 2040…

A Chat Between Brothers. Future Team Arrow meets back at the Arrow Bunker to pick their wounds and figure out what has happened. JJ has kidnapped that guy from the previous episode to get access to his safe, which seemed to have a lot of sensitive information that could be dangerous in the wrong hands. Zoe figures out what back alley meeting place JJ would try to sell all that info, and the Team stalks out the place…only to find JJ waiting for them! But first, he wants to chat with Connor and maybe get him to change his mind about joining the Deathstroke gang. He says “no”, and then JJ let’s the Team know he wanted them to show up there because he’s interested in taking out the people looking to revitalize Star City, which includes William! And guess who’s gang members show up to the Arrow Bunker to collect him? Diggle’s actual son is turning out to be a real smart thorn in Future Team Arrow’s side.

“Hey, I’m Evil Diggle. How are you all doing?”

Back In Hong Kong. In the present, Ollie wakes up in what appears to be a hotel room, and waiting to talk to him is The Monitor, who shuffled him away from his friends during that breach. The Monitor confirms pretty much what we suspected from last episode: Earth-2 is GONE! Then the Monitor chides Ollie for going off mission since time is running out for pretty much everything, so while he collects those dwarf star particles, Monitor gives him a new mission: find a scientist and bring said scientist to him. More to the point, where are they?

As Ollie is leaving said dingy hotel, he runs into Diggle and Evil Laurel (and some violent gang members) and figures out where he is: back on his Earth, in Hong Kong! Evil Laurel just wants to get back to Earth-2 and bolts off to get some help, even after Ollie tells her that her Earth doesn’t exist anymore. Ollie and Diggle head to an ARGUS monitoring station to track down some info on this scientist and maybe why The Monitor wants him, but run into more of those angry gang members. Lucky for them they get help fighting off those gang members from an old ally: Tatsu, aka Katanna!

When A World Dies. Ollie, Diggle, and Tatsu reconvene at an ARGUS safe house (and call up Lyla to stop by) and discuss what everyone’s been up to since last they saw each other. Tatsu has been out doing vigilante stuff, Ollie just watched a universe get snuffed out, you know, lots of stuff. She notes she’s heard of someone in ancient lore referred to as The Monitor, so she knows if this mission is important, she’ll offer her help to Ollie and Diggle. There isn’t much information on why he’s important to The Monitor, other than the government is secretly moving him around.

Meantime, Evil Laurel gets found by Lyla as our former Black Siren is hunting down an old associate she thinks can fix the breach device so she can get back to Earth-2. Of course, she learns like we already know, it’s not broken at all, there’s just no Earth-2 to breach to. Evil Laurel is obviously distraught knowing her entire Earth is gone, and Lyla tries to get her out of this existential funk by telling her how when she faced unimaginable tragedy losing her own team many years ago, she soldiered on. We’ll see later if that talk works.

Diggle: “Just like season three all over again, right guys?” Ollie: “Don’t bring that up again.”

Question the Mission. Our trio of Ollie, Tatsu, and Diggle find out when the scientist, Wong, is being transferred, and intercept it. The problem is, so does some other goons and China White! China’s goons snatch up Dr. Wong and escape, and now our heroes have no leads, except one: if they know what Wong was working on, maybe they can use it as a bargaining tool to retrieve the doctor. Ollie sneaks into the scientist’s secret lab and finds out exactly what Wong was working on: remaking the lethal Alpha-Omega virus! If you remember season three, you know that is just a world of trouble!

Ollie takes the vial of Alpha-Omega that Wong created and suggests using it as an exchange for the doctor, which everyone is really prickly on. Obviously, Ollie isn’t planning to let either Wong or the vial of virus go, but Tatsu has to ask why the Monitor really needs Wong to begin with. Our hero is a little weirded out from the last time he didn’t follow the Monitor’s order to the letter, but he has to wonder himself what this whole grand scheme of The Monitor is.

One More Exchange. Our Team sets up an exchange with China giving up Wong for the virus, and things get dicey when China brings out the doctor strapped to a bomb vest as insurance! As can be expected, the whole exchange goes squirrely, and the Team splits up, with Ollie and Diggle securing Wong and the virus, while Tatsu faces off against China White. China White seems to get the upper hand on Tatsu and is about to kill her, when Evil Laurel shows up to use her scream to send China flying into the bay! The good guys win again!

The Harbinger. Back at the safe house, Tatsu is healing up from her injuries, and Wong is now in ARGUS custody. Before Ollie considers handing over the doctor to the Monitor, he takes Tatsu’s advice and wants to find out more about his mysterious benefactor. And with Evil Laurel now onboard with helping Ollie out, he knows there’s only one group who may have further and more ancient information about the Monitor than Tatsu’s clan…and it probably is you think it is. Yeah, the League of Shadows. Great.

Later on, Lyla is meeting someone outside and telling said person they have Wong, and asking why he was even needed. That mystery person is The Monitor! And now he wants Lyla to keep a tighter leash on Ollie, so…why is she working with The Monitor, anyway? More questions and hopefully some answers next time!

Yeah, I wouldn’t trust Alien Muttonchops here either.

–Comic book connections: So it’s been a loooooooong time since I’ve been waiting to drop this bit of trivia. Lyla is also known as Harbinger in the classic Crisis on Infinite Earths mini-series, hence her code name used by Diggle earlier in the episode. And if you’ve read that mini-series, then you know we are in for a lot of drama involving Mrs. Lyla Michaels.

–So there is the possibility of a spinoff with Mia and some of our Black Canaries, but what it will entail (time travel? A good amount of our cast in old age makeup?) beats me. I guess we’ll see if it goes beyond just a planning stage.

–Fun little note after that fight in the elevator as Ollie takes a second to compose himself. It’s only been his fourth fight and next to last fight in the whole episode!

–So we get a lot of info about Connor and JJ’s relationship growing up, and it’s clear JJ has been a bit resentful of his adopted brother. Not enough to let it blind him from holding William hostage, though. He’s got a mission to complete.

–“Thank you for reconsidering.”

–Ollie told about not taking this whole watching Earth-2 die too hard: “What about my behavior in the last seven years would give you the impression I would?”

–“It was never a mask.”

That’s it for now, but come back next week for the recap of “Leap of Faith”…

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