REVIEWED: SEASON 8 (EPISODES 1 - 3) | WHERE TO WATCH: SKY GO, NOWTV
Eight seasons of a TV show about a mid-tier superhero must have seemed unthinkable back in 2012, but here we are in 2019, entering the final furlong of an inconsistent Arrow run. When the show has been good, it’s been very good, but that hasn’t been all that often. Mostly, it’s been middling stuff, but - as with all these shows - still thrilling to see characters you never thought you’d see on your TV.
Season 7 ended with a hell of a cliffhanger: having made a deal with the godlike Monitor to save The Flash and Supergirl as part of the Elseworlds crossover, Oliver Queen finds himself recruited to do the Monitor’s bidding, preparing to avoid the end of all existence that is coming in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, this year’s crossover.
To this end, Oliver is sent to Earth-2, to retrieve dwarf star particles that the Monitor deems necessary to avoid the Crisis, and encounters characters from the show’s early seasons, in what appears to be a running theme for these final ten episodes. Yes, this is Arrow’s greatest hits, and the show is having a whale of a time as a result.
One of the main criticisms of the Arrowverse shows is the season-long villain, more often than not meaning that the shows’ heroes have to appear weak and dumb to prolong the storyline. That’s not happening this year, at least not on Arrow, and we’ve already been treated to the returns of the Dark Archer, China White, and Athena and the League of Assassins, alongside some friendlier faces such as Tommy, Thea, and Katana.
Season 7 was also notable for having flash-forwards, to a future without Oliver Queen, and Season 8 continues the story of that future, with Oliver’s daughter Mia, his son William, and their crew of freedom fighters still battling to make Star City a safe place. Without spoiling too much, these parallel stories do converge, after a shocking turn of events in the future.
Despite its shortcomings, Arrow has always been a worthwhile watch due to Stephen Amell’s assured charisma in the role of Oliver Queen, and it’s only right that the show is bowing out on its – and his – own terms. Before we get to that point, though, they’re giving us a ride through the show’s history, and each week’s new episode is eagerly anticipated. And that’s something you never thought you’d hear about Arrow for the past five years…