Arrow Season 8×01&02 Review
Episode 1: Starling City
The beginning of the End. 7 years, and the twilight for Arrow begins. I felt pretty nostalgic. I only started watching Arrow when it was in its third season, and had a lot to catch up on. Despite the many ups and downs, *cough*Season 4*cough*, Arrow has still managed to keep to its roots, that is a show about a Vigilante without any superpowers, just a regular human. And this whole episode was about going back to the beginning.
Starling City was a nice call back to season one. Oliver Queen, this time on Earth-2, has been missing. But this time he’s been missing for twelve years. In that time, Thea died from an overdose, and Malcolm Merlyn and Moira Queen married. Other than the differences, the episode replays itself as the Pilot. Except when we find out that John Diggle followed him from Earth-1 and in typical Arrow fashion, Oliver begrudgingly accepts his help on The Monitor’s mission. Adrian Chase is the Hood, and Black Siren has tried to redeem herself by joining the good guys. Oh and the Batman Mask has replaced Deathstroke’s on Lian Yu.
Though the episode was essentially a rehashing of the Pilot and the ending of Season 1, it was still fresh due to its twists and turns. The fight scenes were good, however there’s only so many times you can make two hooded characters fight and with it remaining a novelty. It wasn’t the biggest deal breaker, just something that had to be pointing out.
As said in the first paragraph, the episode was all about going back to the beginning, and it did it in a way that reminded you of the past and also made you look to the future. I felt very satisfied by it, but also acknowledged the fact that there were 9 episodes left. It was bittersweet. I will miss this show, but also look to the future.
Smallville birthed Arrow.
Arrow birthed the Arrowverse.
Episode 2: Welcome to Hong Kong
Continuing with the theme of returning home we got in the first episode, Episode 2 returned the team to Hong Kong. Still reeling over the shock they’d received at the destruction of an entire Earth, and due to Ollie’s disobedience, the Monitor had to transport they were placed in Hong Kong to fulfil the Monitor’s next Mission, find Dr. Robert Wong. Why exactly a cosmic being needs a biophysicists is beyond me. But hey, it is what it is.
This was very much a case of nostalgia, like before, as it was a new story. Rila Fukushima returned as Tatsu Yamashiro, as did Kelly Hu as China White. However, I feel China White didn’t really need to be a part of the story. She popped out of nowhere, as if the writers had to insert her into the episode out of necessity. I understand the character’s relationship with the Hong Kong era, but I feel if they introduced her properly into the episode, or even used a different character that the episode would’ve been more pleasing. An appearance, even a cameo via a hallucination or something of the sorts, from the late Maseo Yamashiro would’ve been nice.
Lyla Michaels ends up delivering Wong, after the team is able to prevent the Alpha-Omega virus from spreading again, after Oliver gave China White the virus hoping all will be okay. It was, barely. Lyla is seen working with the Monitor which alluded to her role as Harbinger in the Crisis. It was a nice twist to an otherwise average episode.
The flashbacks were decent. They weren’t spectacular, and didn’t add much to the overall episode. They could’ve missed out this weeks flashbacks to be honest. It wasn’t a huge deal, I just felt they could’ve spent longer on the present day storyline of the episode.
Could’ve been better, had they spent longer on the present day storyline and less on the flashbacks. Nice callbacks and allusions to the future, but otherwise a slight disappointment after Episode 1.
Now we just have to wait and see what Ollie will be doing in Nanda Parbat.