‘Arrow’ S8E1 “Starling City” Breakdown and Review!

The end is near! At the end of last season Oliver and Felicity went into a secluded life for the birth of Mia where they ended up spending several months at peace before the Monitor came calling to collect on the deal that Oliver made during the Elseworlds crossover. He has seen the death of Oliver Queen, something that is inevitable, and now it is time for Oliver to help the Monitor in the upcoming fight.

This has Oliver landing on Lien Yu for an Earth 2 redo of his origin story with tons of call backs to season one. He is rescued in the same manner as in the pilot episode but instead of the Deathstroke mask like on E-1, this time it was Batman. We know from a few seasons back that Oliver from this Earth did die in the Queen’s Gambit crash and it was Robert Queen who become the Green Arrow. In this version of events it was Bruce Wayne that he spent time with and not Slade Wilson.

At the hospital he gets a dose of the reality where he no longer existed. Malcolm and Moira are now married with Tommy still around, but Thea died several years back of a Vertigo overdose. This is something that Oliver helped her with back in Season one, apparently his intervention is truly what saved her.

Oliver really struggles with leaving behind his family on E-1 knowing that he is going to die very soon. He even asks his mom what she would do to protect her children. However, the hug they share also comes with the purpose of getting Moira’s access card to Queen-Merlyn Consolidated. However, when he arrives several of the guards are already dead and he then must fight a Green Hood. This turns out to be Adrian Chase from E-2 who has teamed up with Laurel Lance, this is the same Laurel we have had on Arrow the last several seasons. If you remember, she left for Earth-2 last season for a fresh start. She is the one running this Arrow operation with Adrian as her partner.

While Adrian suspects that Oliver is the one that killed the guards, Laurel knows that this is the work of the Dark Archer who was Malcolm Merlyn on E-1. Laurel tells him that they were able to rule out Malcolm but Oliver is set on this being the guy.

Oliver heads to Queen-Merlyn where he runs into the Monitor instead of Malcolm. He reminds Oliver that he is not here to interfere with E-2 business but to get Dwarf Star particles and this is the only Earth in all the Multiverse that has them. However, it was those same particles that the Dark Archer stole which is why Oliver is trying to get to Malcolm. The Monitor though wonders if maybe Oliver is starting to doubt the mission.

Oliver talks with Malcolm then about the particles and what the project is really about and although Malcolm tries to assure him that it is all legit, Oliver isn’t buying it. He then looks for Felicity in the IT department but she has already made her way over to Smoak Tech and it is Curtis that runs the department now. Oliver then goes after Malcolm as the Green Arrow but the Dark Archer arrives and they have it out. This later ends up with Malcolm being questioned by Dinah until Rene steps in as a bodyguard to stop her.

Now for some real nostalgia, Moira then insists that Oliver have a security guard which turns out to be John Diggle. Oliver assumes this is an Earth- 2 Diggle but it is E-1 Diggle that followed him here after Felicity was able to track him here. Oliver tries to explain the importance of him doing this alone but they have been through too much together and Diggle isn’t going to leave his side now, even if the Monitor says he is going to die.

At Oliver’s welcome home party, Oliver follows Tommy out to his car and at this point he is already suspicious of Oliver but it is now confirmed. We also learned from a dart to the neck that both Rene and Dinah are teamed up with Tommy. Oliver is taken where he is hung and questioned. This is where Oliver realizes that Tommy is planning an Undertaking just like what Malcolm did in season one. This time it is in revenge of Thea’s death and he is going to use the Dwarf Star Particles to make it happen.

Oliver gets out of his restraints and Diggle shows in time to help him get out of there. They head back to Laurel’s bunker and I loved that Oliver got to use the “10 steps ahead of you” line against Adrian just like E-1 Adrian used on Oliver. Oliver assumes that Tommy is going to set up in the same building that Thea died in and they suit up and head out. Here he fights both Rene and Dinah before getting to Tommy. They fight with Oliver winning and speeching Tommy into stopping the attack. He then gets the particles and is ready to bounce back home.

Before leaving her has the chance to say goodbye to both Tommy and Moira. However, as they are walking out Laurel comes in warning them of an attack. Just like over on the Flash, this Earth is being hit with a wave of Anti-Matter disintegrating everyone it touches. Only Diggle, Oliver and Laurel make it out alive.

There are some scenes that take place in 2040. These events all take place after Mia and William helped Felicity, Dinah, Rene and Connor take down the Glades wall and the Archer program. Felicity has left to be with Oliver wherever it is he ends up after the crisis. Rene, Dinah, and Roy all went off on their own since they took responsibility for taking down the wall. Now Star City is left in the hands of William, Mia, Zoe, and Connor as they start their own team to take one the bad guys and repair their city.

At a party they are attending there is an attack by the Deathstroke gang which is headed by Connor’s brother and John Diggle’s son, JJ. Connor goes after JJ and fails in getting him making Mia step in to make the plans since Connor is blinded by his feelings.

Road to Crisis

Leading into the Crisis I am doing these ‘Road to Crisis’ additions as the way is being paved to this massive crossover event. This season of Arrow, like the Flash, is going to be consumed by this since this is going to be the end for Oliver Queen and how the Arrow series ends. Obviously, the Monitor is wanting the Dwarf Star Particle, but what I can’t understand is why did he need Oliver to get it? This is a God-like creature. Anyway, this is most likely for a weapon that can be used against the Anti-Monitor. I do think that this may end up involving Ray Palmer since he is an expert in the field, plus he was just mentioned in the last season of Flash which never seems to be a coincidence. For the most part that is the big take away from this episode, but if you are looking for more information make sure you check out my Flash episode 2 breakdown linked below.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Obviously, I loved this episode and I can’t imagine that this is going to change all season. They are really taking care to bring in all elements of different seasons of Arrow to really pay tribute to the show itself. I am looking forward to this Crisis!

Check Out ALL of my Arrowverse Breakdowns!

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