ARROW Season 8×04, “Present Tense” recap

6 Nov

Welcome back, Arrowheads! Last time, Ollie and friends were trying to figure out more about the mysterious Monitor and what his intentions really are, while in the future, the assault on JJ and his Deathstroke gang went sideways as Zoe got killed in the ensuing battle. But none of that matters because, shockingly our Future Team Arrow of Mia, William, and Connor find themselves transported to now in the Arrow Bunker, literally in front of their dads, Ollie and Diggle, respectively! What is going on? Is this the Monitor’s doing? And what could happen as a result of this combo of present and future heroes?

All Grown Up. We pick immediately from where we left off, as Ollie recognizes his kids and hugs William, while Mia kind of shrugs him away. Diggle of course has no clue about Connor, even though Connor knows Diggle as his dad. No one knows exactly what is going on, but it’s clear at least to Ollie this has something to do with The Monitor. Oh yeah, and he has to explain to Dinah and Rene why exactly he has two kids. It’s a lot of awkward moments of having to explain things.


Both present and future groups have little convos to themselves, while the present Team is considering getting whatever information they can about the future to maybe avoid any mistakes, the future Team bristles at telling them anything about their time, especially the part where Diggle’s actual son murders Rene’s daughter. Meanwhile, while Evil Laurel is on route to Star City and Curtis (!) arrives because Ollie needs answers figuring out this whole Monitor mess, we get another problem. A violent act of terrorism involving a rich man with a bomb sewed into his chest explodes in the local hospital, and we learn it’s the work of…Deathstroke? Slade Wilson? Somehow, JJ brought into the present?

Knowing Your Future. After a night of Ollie chatting with William and not much chatting at all with a defensive Mia, and Diggle learning about who Connor is to him, the Team recombine at the Bunker to learn about the Deathstroke related bombing, and William let’s slip the Deathstroke gang started forming at this time with some killings of the rich in Star City, but not that JJ is leading them in 2040. Of course, our future Team is thinking JJ is in the present like they are, so in order to get ahead of Ollie and company, Connor and Mia suggest a little free time out in the city, but the real task is to hunt JJ. They go back to the Deathstroke lair they were at before they got whisked away, only now it’s circa 2019, and…the Deathstroke gang is there! Only thing is, it’s not JJ running them at all, but Grant Wilson, Slade’s mad son! Good thing our Team (along with Evil Laurel) was tracking them, and save Mia and Connor while that lair gets blown up.

Later at the Bunker, Ollie gets to chide Mia and Connor about not calling for backup if they knew where the Deathstroke gang was. And then, everything starts to slip from our future heroes: JJ, Zoe’s murder, the whole thing, and as you can imagine, everyone is rattled by this news, especially Rene and Diggle. While Curtis and William are busy hacking the data cache they found at the Deathstroke gang’s lair for info on their next attack, Mia gets impatient and wants to go after Grant and his new gang. Ollie tries to get in her way, but she goes off on Ollie for leaving her and Felicity behind all these years, and he has no answer to that. Good news is, Evil Laurel goes to keep watch on her, but man, Ollie is smarting from that.

It’s Father-Child Bonding Over Running From Explosions Day on ARROW!

Fathers and Kids. Everyone’s got some angst to work out around here: Ollie’s fear of not being there for Mia when she needed him, Mia’s anger about not being able to save Zoe, Diggle about his future adopted son turning out better than his actual flesh and blood, and Rene contending with knowing he might outlive his own daughter. It’s a lot of stuff to deal with, but everyone gets a moment to reflect on all this madness and realize maybe they can change these events in the future in some way now. By now, Curtis and William have learned Grant’s master plan is some coordinated bombings all over the city tonight, and all of it will be controlled by Grant via a remote detonator and a relay transmitting across the city. So while Rene and Dinah help keep things calm in town, Diggle will take Connor and Evil Laurel to dismantle the relay, while Ollie and Mia will go after Grant and his detonator.

Siege 2.0. Our teams are out and about, doing their thing, and finding some hurdles to get through. The major thing though is Ollie and Mia go after Grant, and before Mia can just kill Grant out right, Ollie stops her. He knows that killing Grant might stop the Deathstroke gang from being the threat it is in 2040, but he also knows Mia wouldn’t be able to live with herself if she killed him. And thanks to Connor disabling the relay, none of the bombs go off. Big win.

With Grant being sent off to prison, it looks like things are quiet now. And thanks to this glimpse into the future, our present day Team realizes maybe they can try and change the future.

“I ever tell you about the time your mom and I had this company and things went bad? Man, that was an odd time.”

Creating The Future Now. We see everyone taking positive steps forward: Ollie bonding with Mia, Rene running for city councilman, Diggle sparring with Connor, and Dinah and Evil Laurel sharing a dinner. Ollie is having a little midnight snack with Mia and William at his old loft when he gets a call from Curtis. He asked Curtis to help him make a weapon to fight The Monitor if it comes down to that, and Curtis has some kinda bad news. He can replicate the antimatter wave stuff Ollie saw be used on Earth-2, but can only do it with nuclear material, and the only person who can do that is in…Russia.

Before we leave things, Evil Laurel is leaving that dinner with Dinah at the precinct house, and the Monitor shows up. She guesses right who he is, and he gives her an offer to restore Earth-2, but only on one condition: she has to betray Oliver Queen! Oh, that is a tempting offer, and I guess we’ll find out soon if she takes it.

–Series connections: we get a reference to Slade’s mad plan to destroy Star City back in season two being duplicated by Grant, Diggle’s killing of his brother Andy in season four, and even the first season of Legends of Tomorrow is brought up, which also had Connor and Grant (and a one armed Ollie).

–No calling up Felicity to let her know about what’s happening, but if you’ve kept up on news, you know she’ll be appearing in the series finale (along with a character long since dead).

–Considering Barry Allen had a problem with future offspring last season on The Flash, I have to say Team Arrow is dealing with this weird scenario better than most.

–Great scene where William lets Ollie know he is gay, and Ollie’s acknowledgement he always knew. He has his good dad moments here and there.

–Curtis and Smoak 2.0. Kicking back on the chairs and sharing gummi bears.

–“Mom really played fast and loose with the Fourth Amendment, huh?”

–“Kids are a miracle, or whatever.”

–“No human would wear something that ridiculous.”

–“The fate of the universe is in my hands? Cool.”

–“Those are my kids.”

That’s it for now, but come back in two weeks for the recap of “Prochnost”…

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