Arrow Season 8 Episode 1 Review: Starling City

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Well, here we are. The last season premiere Arrow will ever have. And, it did not disappoint.

Arrow Season 8 Episode 1 was one of the best episodes Arrow has produced in a long time. It might just be the series' most well done opening of a season.

The only problem I have is all the tears running down my face on account of all the nostagic moments that could make any die hard fan cry.

But, it also contained scenes that made my heart burst with joy.

Oliver Queen2 - Arrow Season 8 Episode 1

With what could only be called a tribute to Arrow Season 1, the Arrow Season 8 premiere was a gift to the fans that have been here since the beginning.

We all knew that Tommy, Moira, Malcolm, and Adrian would be back for this episode but, it was anyone's guess as to how all these deceased characters were going to make their cameos.

It's because they were on Earth-2!

Black Siren - Arrow Season 8 Episode 1

To be honest, I am now hitting myself on the head for not thinking about other Earth's as a possibility.

It seems obvious now, however, it is still such a smart way to not only include the looming Crisis into the story but, beloved past characters as well.

Oliver: Mom, when we were growing up, if you had to leave me and Thea, to protect us, would you have done it?
Moira: Oliver, whether right or wrong, everything I've ever done was to protect my children. It's all a parent can do. And someday, when you have children, you'll understand.

Oliver's reunions with his mother and best friend were heart-clenching to say the least. And then, in the final moments of the episode, he had to watch them die all over again. Why must he suffer so much?

Related: Supergirl Season 5 Episode 2 Review: Stranger Beside Me

Sidenote: How terrific was Stephen Amell this episode? He has always been a strong leader for Arrow but, every time his face popped up on my screen, I was engrossed and there were usually tears in my eyes.

Oliver and Tommy - Arrow Season 8 Episode 1

There were too many good, yet sad, reveals on Arrow Season 8 Episode 1.

First was that our Oliver was actually on Earth-2. Then, there were Earth-2 Thea's death, Tommy as the Dark Archer, and Adrian Chase as Earth-2's Green Arrow.

Oliver: I know how devastating it must have been to lose Thea. Because we're only as good as the people we have in our lives. I've lost people too, Tommy. I've lost people closer to me than I can possibly explain to you. Every one of those losses brings within a choice between darkness and light. Make the right choice. Are you going to kill thousands of innocent people or are you going to be the man I know you are?
Tommy: That was a pretty good speech.

It was genius to have Tommy be the Dark Archer. It was surprising, yet made sense when we found out that Thea's death is what made him go down a dark path.

However, it was a little too easy when Tommy surrendered to Oliver. I mean, Oliver gives great speeches and all but, it felt rushed.

Tommy Merlyn - Arrow Season 8 Episode 1

Adrian Chase was a whole new man this episode. Like Diggle said, he was like a mixture of Oliver, Felicity, and Curtis in one person.

It was definitely interesting to see arguably one of the best villains Arrow has ever had play the good guy. It gave me chills when Oliver told him that he was ten steps ahead of him.

We love a good throwback.

John Diggle - Arrow Season 8 Episode 1

Later on in the episode, Diggle from our Earth shows up to help Oliver with the help of the already greatly missed Felicity.

This was a great way to remind the viewers that even though the episode does not take place on Earth-1, it is still there and is still where Arrow is based.

Related: Arrowverse: Who Might Give Up Their Life in the Impending Crisis?

Plus, seeing Diggle trying to stop a stubborn Oliver from doing something stupid is always a delight.

Oliver: John I appreciate the assist but I still have to do this on my own.
Diggle: Right, because you think you have to die, right?
Oliver: No, I know I'm going to die.
Diggle: And I know that I don't have to accept that.
Oliver: If I let you help me, you will get hurt or you will get killed and it will be because of me.
Diggle: You don't know that!
Oliver: I do know that! Because everyone else in my life is either dead or alone! Look at the Earth that we are on. I've been gone twelve years. My mother is alive. Tommy's alive. Laurel's alive.
Diggle: Thea is dead. And yes, Tommy's alive. But, he's trying another undertaking with Rene and Dinah helping who, if you haven't noticed, are very bad people here. Oliver this world isn't better. It's much, much worse. You know why? Because you weren't in it.

Does this mean that Diggle will be joining Oliver for all of the missions The Monitor gives him? Laurel too? She is sure going to be wanting to avenge her destroyed Earth.

Dinah and Rene - Arrow Season 8 Episode 1

Also, who blew up Earth-2? The Anti-Monitor is the only one who comes to mind since that was his mission in the comics.

I have so many questions that I cannot wait to be answered.

(Actually, I can wait because that means that I can stay in denial about Arrow ending.)

Malcolm Merlyn - Arrow Season 8 Episode 1

On the other side of Arrow Season 8 Episode 1, William, Mia, Connor, and Zoe were shown trying to thwart the Deathstroke Gang from kidnapping a wealthy Glades citizen in 2040.

And that is where the infamous John Diggle Jr. comes in.

I believe that fate brought the four of us together for a reason. Just like it did our parents when they decided to save this city. Now it's our turn. We don't want to mess it up, do we?

William

After the wall separating the Glades from the rest of Star City fell, the crime rate rose because of the actions of JJ's crew.

The new Team Arrow (not to be confused with Dinah, Rene, and Curtis back in Arrow Season 6) have not seemed to find their rhythm and fail their mission.

Dinah Drake - Arrow Season 8 Episode 1

To be honest, this is mostly because Mia is too stubborn and independent to be a part of a team. Like father, like daughter.

But, it is also because Connor has unknown complicated history with his brother. Which is understandable because JJ is straight up a bad dude. It just makes one wonder how he got to where he is.

Here's to hoping it was not a parental death that sent him down this path of destruction.

Given his mother is going to become Harbinger on the Crisis of Infinite Earths, it is not looking good for him.

Oliver Queen - Arrow Season 8 Episode 1

Let's talk about the fight scenes in this episode because they were pretty badass. The stunt choreography for Arrow has always been nothing short of amazing, and Arrow Season 8 Episode 1 was proof of that.

There was the fight scene between Oliver and Adrian, the scene where Oliver kicked Tommy's ass, and so on.

Related: Enjoy UNLIMITED access to thousands of Movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video. WATCH ANYWHERE. CANCEL ANYTIME!

However, the thing that made my jaw drop to the floor was when Oliver pulled himself up his chains and dropped to the floor so that his weight could break him free and then proceeded to fight.

Like, what?

Oliver and Moira - Arrow Season 8 Episode 1

Arrow just keeps on surprising me.

For example, there were not one, but two mentions of Batman! We were truly blessed by the heroes of Arrow, the writers, this episode.

Given the strength of Arrow Season 8's premiere, I expect the rest of the season to be just as shocking and tear-jerking.

So, what did you think Arrow Fanatics?

Did you cry as much as I did? Was the mere mention of Felicity's name enough to make you not miss her? Did the cameos live up to your expectations?

Let me know in the comments! And do not forget that you can watch Arrow online right here at TV Fanatic.

Watch Arrow on Tuesday's at 9/8c on The CW.

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Starling City Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (35 Votes)

Sarah Little is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Arrow Season 8 Episode 1 Quotes

Oliver: I know how devastating it must have been to lose Thea. Because we're only as good as the people we have in our lives. I've lost people too, Tommy. I've lost people closer to me than I can possibly explain to you. Every one of those losses brings within a choice between darkness and light. Make the right choice. Are you going to kill thousands of innocent people or are you going to be the man I know you are?
Tommy: That was a pretty good speech.

I believe that fate brought the four of us together for a reason. Just like it did our parents when they decided to save this city. Now it's our turn. We don't want to mess it up, do we?

William