Arrow Season 8 Episode 4 Review: Present Tense

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Mia finally got to meet the dad she never knew, and William reunited with his dead father.

It should have been a joyful moment, right?

Well, not exactly. If you take two Oliver Queens and try to make them click right off the bat, you are not going to get the expected result.

Two stubborn people do not equal a father/daughter heart-melting occasion. Thankfully, William, as our resident Felicity Smoak was there to give them the push they needed on Arrow Season 8 Episode 4.

Oliver, Diggle, & Dinah - Arrow Season 8 Episode 4

In an emotional hour of television, Future Team Arrow got thrust back into the past where they met their parents.

Talk about emotional whiplash. Zoe had died not two minutes earlier when The Monitor plucked them from 2040 and dropped them in 2019.

Related: Supergirl Season 5 Episode 5 Review: Dangerous Liaisons

It's easy to see why Mia was so cold with her father.

Although it was a bit frustrating, Mia has been through so much. One of her best friends just died, her mother left her not too long ago, she unwillingly time traveled, and then she came face-to-face with the father that abandoned her when she was a baby.

It is understandable as to why she was so angry. And she split that anger between Oliver and Grant Wilson.

Oliver Queen - Arrow Season 8 Episode 4

Thankfully, that anger led to a compromise between Oliver and his daughter.

Mia wanted to kill Grant for creating the organization that would one day lead to Zoe's death. Oliver, having been in similar situations before, prevented her from enacting her revenge.

Mia: You've lost people, right?
Oliver: Yeah, too many.
Mia: Does the guilt ever leave?
Oliver: No. You can learn to live with it. I can help you with that Mia, if you'd like.

Oliver knew that she did not actually want to kill Grant and saved her from herself. They are slowly but surely bonding and find common ground. Cue the "awes" for the vigilante father/daughter duo.

Related: Arrow Season 8 Episode 3 Review: Leap of Faith

Something was bugging me. Wasn't Grant Wilson Deathstroke in the erased future timeline? Why does he still become Deathstroke in the set timeline? Any other character as the first leader of the Deathstroke Gang would have been a bigger shock.

Bonus points to William for telling Oliver to try even harder with Mia. Sure, you could argue Oliver did not try hard enough to keep William in his life. Whatever the case, now he can be a better father with Mia.

Rene - Arrow Season 8 Episode 4

However, Oliver did something that makes him a pretty fantastic parent, no matter what anyone says.

William was finally able to come out to his father, and it was one of the most heart-warming, relevant scenes Arrow has produced in a long time.

Oliver: I get the feeling that I'm going to be really, really really proud of how you turned out.
William: Yeah, well, I didn't just turn out. Um, there's something I should tell you. I'm gay.
Oliver: Yeah buddy, I know.
William: You know?
Oliver: Yeah. Felicity and I knew. And, we just, well we hoped that you were gonna come out to us when you were comfortable. You clearly didn't get that chance. And, that's on me so, I'm sorry.

Oliver revealed to his son that he and Felicity already knew that he was gay and were waiting for him to be in the right place where he could share it with them.

Take notes parents; that is how you should respond when your child comes out to you. Oliver was understanding and respectful, everything you could ever want as an outcome to that situation.

Oliver and William were, soon enough, playing the part of father and son that has so been missed since we last saw them together.

Also, Stephen Amell has been straight-up fantastic the past three episodes, and he truly shined during this hour. He better get some kind of acknowledgment for his performance because it was awe-inspiring.

Dinah and Rene - Arrow Season 8 Episode 4

While Oliver, William, and Mia were coming to terms with their very complicated issues, Diggle was meeting the son that he never knew he would one day have.

It was hard to not feel bad for Connor who tried, over and over again, to connect with the father who has always been like a hero to him.

Knowing what's happened can either destroy us or save us. We've seen our worst. Now, let's be our best.


And Diggle just found out that his currently young son will eventually grow up to be a murderer. While he definitely could have been nicer to Connor -- who had been trying his hardest to do what was right -- Diggle, like the rest of Original Team Arrow, was coming to terms with a future that seemed certain.

Thanks to Dinah, Diggle eventually saw the error of his ways, and there were plenty of parent/child bonding moments to go around.

Dinah - Arrow Season 8 Episode 4

But, while we are at it, didn't it seem like the kids from the future told their parents way too much information about it?

If there is one thing anyone has learned from time travel on television shows and movies, it is that it is quite dangerous to tell anybody anything about the future.

I'm tired of waiting for the day when people stop being afraid of the Glades and start coming here to raise their families. To find opportunities for growth and change. To uplift our brothers and sisters. To be better than we ever were before. If we keep waiting, we might run out of time. That's why, from here on out, we don't wait for our future in the Glades. We make our future now.


It seemed a little ridiculous how easily Future Team Arrow told Original Team Arrow facts about the future. For example, did Rene really need to know he becomes mayor? Or, that Zoe died?

Well, it makes sense if they did it because they want to change their awful future. But will things change? It is doubtful, but only time will tell.

Curtis Holt - Arrow Season 8 Episode 4

Curtis returned, and it was like he never left.

Curtis' bright energy and positivity are things that Arrow needs to balance out the amount of darkness it contains.

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

William working together with Curtis (Holt and Smoak 2.0!) provided enough awkward, unapologetic nerdiness that it almost made up for Felicity's absence. Almost!

Plus, let us rejoice in the number of times Felicity got mentioned and the numerous occasions William referred to her as "Mom"!

Curtis: This is my favorite part.
Oliver: Suit up.

Thankfully, it just got announced Felicity is returning for the series finale. And just like that, Arrow has all the ingredients to maintain its near-perfect season.

Black Siren - Arrow Season 8 Episode 4

The biggest shocker came at the end when The Monitor sought out Laurel. He wore a smirk that told everyone he was up to no good, which got confirmed when he asked Laurel to betray Oliver.

Of course, she will if that means she gets her Earth back. And she called Oliver a dick in a few scenes before that one, so her betrayal is almost a guarantee.

The Monitor: You ache for the world you lost, and I possess the power to restore it.
Laurel: You can bring back my Earth?
The Monitor: The recovery of your universe will require a single task.
Laurel: What kind of task?
The Monitor: You must betray Oliver Queen.

However, is that The Monitor that Laurel is talking to? There was something off about him that makes me wonder if he's the Anti-Monitor in disguise.

Or, maybe the Crisis is going to my head. Anything is possible.

I'll turn it over to you, Arrow Fanatics! What did you think?

Was the conclusion to the cliffhanger from Arrow Season 8 Episode 3 satisfying? How much did you cry? And what do you think The Monitor (or Anti-Monitor) is up to?

Let me know in the comments, and as always, do not forget that you can watch Arrow online right here on TV Fanatic!

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


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Present Tense Review

Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 (21 Votes)

Sarah Little was a staff writer for TV Fanatic.She retired in September 2021.

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Arrow Season 8 Episode 4 Quotes

Oliver: I get the feeling that I'm going to be really, really really proud of how you turned out.
William: Yeah, well, I didn't just turn out. Um, there's something I should tell you. I'm gay.
Oliver: Yeah buddy, I know.
William: You know?
Oliver: Yeah. Felicity and I knew. And, we just, well we hoped that you were gonna come out to us when you were comfortable. You clearly didn't get that chance. And, that's on me so, I'm sorry.

William: Dad, we all have the chance to get to know each other now.
Oliver: If your sister will let me.
William: Mia will come around. You know, she can be a little bit stubborn and hard to read sometimes.
Oliver: Shocker, where'd she get that from?
William: Mom, I guess?