We knew Arrow would have a very different feel for this final season following that devastating, soul crushing season 7 finale. This episode kicks off that tone fantastically as Oliver is surrounded by his past, present and future as he begins work with The Monitor.
It felt fitting that Oliver is thrust back to the beginning of his journey as he relives being saved from Lian Yu and returning home, but this time on Earth 2 where he had been missing for 12 years. This gave plausible and realistic reasons for the returning cast members we had. It was brilliant to have Moira, Malcolm, Tommy and Adrian Chase back for the episode and whilst their faces were familiar some of them had a very different role. He is however given the sad news that Thea died while he was away, overdosing on Vertigo on her 18th birthday.
Oliver is reunited with Laurel who looks amazing in her new Black Canary suit and he soon realises that the Diggle who has been assigned to be his bodyguard is in fact his best pal, the Earth 1 version. He’s travelled in search of Oliver with some help from Cisco and despite warning from Oliver of the dangers he’s about to face, refuses to go home.
Seeing Tommy back always pleases fans of the show. He’s an important part of Oliver’s past and the journey he’s taken since he returned home. He’s probably also one of his biggest regrets. Having Colin Donnell back once again, playing a very different version of Tommy was joyous. Josh Segarra too gets to play a different version of Adrian as on Earth 2 he is none other than ‘The Hood’ himself. Only an even more brooding version. There’s also plenty mention of Felicity throughout the episode and it’s clear that Oliver is desperate to find the other Earth versions of her.
Oliver completes his mission on Earth 2 and after a tear jerking goodbye with his Mother (again) he’s forced to make a quick move as this Earth begins to suffer from what only can be described as the Infinity War snap. As he watches all those familiar faces turn to dust he jumps into a portal with Laurel and Diggle.
We also got more action from our future vigilantes Mia, William, Zoe and Connor as they come mask you face with Connor’s brother John Diggle Jr. This looks like an exciting part of the season too. There is just SO much to look forward to with this final season and with Starling City it has got off to an excellent start. We even got a Bruce Wayne mention. I couldn’t have wanted anymore for the season premiere.