Arrow Season 8 Episode 1 Review

Here we go, after seven years, and seven previous phenomenal seasons, Arrow, the show that spawned the Arrowverse begins its final season. After last season’s ominous ending, I’ve been dying to know just what the showrunners for Arrow are going to throw into this season. Especially with Crisis looming. Here’s my review of the first episode:

Lian Yu, that island that spawned so much of what became of Oliver Queen and Arrow, features here, with the Monitor narrating about heroes. But wait, this isn’t Earth 1, and this isn’t the normal set up. As Oliver is picked up by some fishermen, we see a Batman mask buried in the sand where previously we’ve seen a Deathstroke mask, a clear sign something is different-and a potential hint that Kevin Conroy’s Batman might make an appearance- from there, we get other curveballs. Mainly that Oliver’s mum Moira and Malcolm Merlyn are married and that Thea is dead from a drug overdose.

From there, it feels a bit like deja vu, there are some brilliant little winks and nods to season one here, with Diggle making an appearance, with the Arrow being referred to as the hood, the use of dwarf star and so many other things. You can tell the showrunners are giving it everything they’ve got. Stephen Amell acts brilliantly throughout the episode, displaying the emotion of being reunited with parallel versions of his friends and family magnificently well. And for a time, the viewer is left wondering just what the actual fuck is going on.

All is made clear when the Monitor appears to give a lecture to Oliver about interfering in the events of Earth 2, to which Oliver replies, he doesn’t want to, but he has to, because the thing he needs is missing. That spawns a hunt which reveals, much like season one that the undertaking is happening, except this time it’s not Malcolm but Tommy who wants it, and much like his father he wants it out of revenge for a lost loved one.

As the drama unfolds on Earth 2, we move to 2040 on Earth 1, and the things there are equally WTF. The wall has come down, but corruption doesn’t stop. The Deathstroke gang are causing all sorts of trouble, and you can see growing pains in this episode. Not the most interesting part of the episode though.

No, that comes at the end of the episode, the bad has been sorted, and they’re preparing to go home, when anti matter approaches, and well, consumes the entire precinct on Earth 2. Damage is coming.

Overall a brilliant opener and one that sets the bar quite high for this season. I look forward to more.

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