Arrow Season 8 Episode 2 Review: Welcome to Hong Kong

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It would be nice to say less tears were shed during Arrow Season 8 Episode 2 than Arrow Season 8 Episode 1, but that would be a lie.

And, we only have Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy Rodgers to blame.

After losing her entire world, Laurel is understandably devastated as is Oliver because he is still processing his separation from Felicity.

Will our heroes ever be happy?

Oliver Queen2 - Arrow Season 8 Episode 2

Laurel goes through pretty much all the stages of grief while in Hong Kong. She puts herself and us on an emotional rollercoaster that was fascinating to ride.

Katie Cassidy Rodgers has always shown quite the range as an actor on Arrow, playing two different versions of Laurel Lance.

Laurel Lance2 - Arrow Season 8 Episode 2

And, while Earth-2 Laurel has rarely shown a softer side to her, Cassidy Rodgers made her grief quite believable and heartbreaking on Arrow Season 8 Episode 2 with her denial and, later on, her defeat.

Laurel: How am I supposed to move forward, when everyone I've ever loved is gone?
Lyla: By not giving up. By doing the right thing. We honor the dead by fighting for the living. This world needs you too.

It was a welcome surprise that will hopefully be a major part of her character going forward.

However, how many versions of Laurel and Sara have to lose one another? It is as if they are heartbreakingly doomed to never exist in the same space at the same time.

Oliver Queen - Arrow Season 8 Episode 2

Oliver, on the other hand, was still dealing with his grief following leaving his family.

Through flashes of Felicity (we'll take any Felicity we can get) and his other lost loved ones, Oliver, as always, silently suffers. Even when he is arguing with The Monitor or talking about his mission with Tatsu, he is holding back the full extent of his pain.

Related: Arrow Season 8 Episode 1 Review: Starling City

Oliver's anguish is sure to keep on building up until, eventually, he breaks.

Again, Oliver needs to stop getting hurt. He deserves to find peace by the end of Arrow Season 8. After all these years of pain, I refuse to accept anything less than he and Felicity retired, sitting on a beach sipping cocktails.

Oliver and Diggle2 - Arrow Season 8 Episode 2

Oliver and Diggle meet up with Tatsu, who has become a vigilante following her betrayal of the Crescent Order by giving Nyssa the lotus cure to use on Thea. (Loving all the throwbacks!)

Surprisingly, she is the one to talk some sense into Oliver regarding his blind faith in The Monitor. We all know The Monitor is supposed to be the good guy, but he has not done much to prove it.

It was refreshing to see Oliver interact with Tatsu, reminding us of not only his life-changing time away from Star City, but also of Oliver's faults.

Oliver Queen3 - Arrow Season 8 Episode 2

It is never good (or very interesting) when the main character of a show is put on a pedestal.

That is a place Oliver has never been throughout Arrow's run, but he has been regarded more right than wrong in the past few seasons. It was reassuring to see that he can still make mistakes.

Tatsu: Sometimes, the mission is not worth the cost. You know that. So, why are you still doing what he asks?
Oliver: Because if I'm wrong, if I'm wrong then all of this is for nothing. Do you understand Tatsu? I left Felicity, I left my children. So if, if The Monitor can't fix this and if he is not here to help then all of these things that I have sacrificed and all of the things that so many other people have already sacrificed will have been for nothing! I need my family to live. Which means that I need this to work.
Tatsu: You are risking too much.
Oliver: There is no other choice.
Tatsu: There is always another choice.

Tatsu, bless her heart, was able to knock some sense into Oliver and help him on his mission. She deserves more credit.

As does Laurel, who saved Tatsu from being killed by surprise returning character China White. It will be interesting to see who else will show up unannounced on the rest of Arrow's run.

Lyla Michaels - Arrow Season 8 Episode 2

One thing is for sure, Lyla has started her role as Harbinger a lot earlier than expected.

Lyla showed up on Arrow Season 8 Episode 2 after Diggle called her in for backup. She was very helpful in getting Laurel to come to terms with the destruction of Earth-2 and with understanding her survivor's guilt.

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

However, she made a comment that makes one wonder how long she has been Harbinger even before we saw her interact with The Monitor on the last scene.

Lyla: When I was in Afghanistan, my unit got sent out on patrol on a day I drew base duty. It was a routine op, we'd done it a hundred times before. Only this time, there was an IED in the road. None of them made it back. I used to lay in bed at night asking myself, why them? Why not me? And, I made every deal I could think of with any god I thought might listen.
Laurel: And, did it work?
Lyla: Not exactly.

The Monitor being a god-like figure, might have been one of the gods who answered her. Has Lyla been Harbinger even before her time on Arrow? If so, hats off to Arrow's writers. It truly has been in the making for a while.

The Monitor - Arrow Season 8 Episode 2

Speaking of The Monitor, he was again cryptic with his missions for Oliver.

Oliver has had enough with blindly trusting the god-like being, and with new information from Tatsu, he decides to seek answers in Nanda Parbat at the end of Arrow Season 8 Episode 2.

Arrow Season 8 continues to be a season for the fans. First, we get beloved past characters. Then, we get a parallel to Arrow Season 3 with appearances by Tatsu and China White. Now, we are going to revisit the League of Assassins.

What a way to end the show!

Mia, Connor, and Zoe - Arrow Season 8 Episode 2

Flashing forward into the future, Connor and JJ sit down for a not-so-friendly chat with the Deathstroke Gang, Mia, and Zoe looking on.

We learn more about the once inseparable brothers that have now joined two different sides of the same fight. Connor still believes there is good in JJ, but he does not want to hear any of it.

Related: Get HBO via Prime Video Channels for Addictive Dramas, Hilarious Comedies & Hit Movies!

There is finally a mention of Diggle, and it is a bit heartbreaking to hear that he was there to witness JJ's journey to darkness.

Although, there is no talk of Lyla still. It feels as if the theory of her dying in the Crisis is getting more and more likely with every episode.

Mia Smoak - Arrow Season 8 Episode 2

Connor and JJ's talk ends up just being a distraction so that the rest of the Deathstroke Gang can break into New Team Arrow's bunker and seemingly kidnap William.

We do not see anything happen to Oliver and Felicity's son, but the group you are trying to thwart entering your vigilante cave is never a good thing.

Oliver: What the hell happened back there?
The Monitor: A herald of what is to come. An entire world erased from existence.
Oliver: Where's my mother? Where's, where's Tommy? Where's, where's Rene? Where's Dinah?
The Monitor: They are no more.
Oliver: Did you hurt John and Laurel?
The Monitor: They are alive, and nearby. But, now you know that if we fail to stop the coming Crisis, what you witnessed will occur on infinite Earths across the expansive time.

As she is extremely protective of her brother, Mia will be on the warpath to get to anybody who hurts William.

Which, strangely, makes my heart all warm and fuzzy.

What did you think Arrow Fanatics?

Have Stephen Amell and Katie Cassidy Rodgers proved to you yet that the Academy needs to start recognizing CW actors? Really, how good is The Monitor? And, was the new opening underwhelming to anyone?

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

Watch Arrow on Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

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Welcome to Hong Kong Review

Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

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

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Arrow Season 8 Episode 2 Quotes

Lyla: When I was in Afghanistan, my unit got sent out on patrol on a day I drew base duty. It was a routine op, we'd done it a hundred times before. Only this time, there was an IED in the road. None of them made it back. I used to lay in bed at night asking myself, why them? Why not me? And, I made every deal I could think of with any god I thought might listen.
Laurel: And, did it work?
Lyla: Not exactly.

Oliver: What the hell happened back there?
The Monitor: A herald of what is to come. An entire world erased from existence.
Oliver: Where's my mother? Where's, where's Tommy? Where's, where's Rene? Where's Dinah?
The Monitor: They are no more.
Oliver: Did you hurt John and Laurel?
The Monitor: They are alive, and nearby. But, now you know that if we fail to stop the coming Crisis, what you witnessed will occur on infinite Earths across the expansive time.