In Review: Arrow – Starling City

Arrow's final season gets off to an explosive and confusing start

Synopsis: While trying to decipher The Monitor’s mission, Oliver returns to Starling City where he encounters familiar faces. Meanwhile, Mia and William’s team clash with a new foe.

Review: The final season of Arrow gets off to both and explosive and confusing start as Oliver finds himself on Earth-Two where he gets to see how things turn out without him as Green Arrow.

The Story

The episode begins with Oliver being rescued from the island where he has been missing for 12 – years, but in reality that was just where the Monitor had left him on Earth 2.

As he returns home. Oliver finds himself in Starling City where he reconnects with his mother who is now married to Malcolm Merlyn, who in this version of Earth isn’t the Dark Archer. He also reconnects with Tommy Merlyn, who we learn is broken up over the death of his sister Thea Queen. So broken up that we learn that it is, in fact, Tommy that has become the Dark Archer.

In short, Oliver finds himself reliving The Undertaking from the shows first season, but with a few key differences. In this version of events, he is helped by this universes version of The Hood and Laurel Lance aka Black Siren.

In the future segment, Oliver’s daughter Mia and her team of vigilantes, which includes Oliver’s son William have managed to restore some sense of sanity to The Glades, but there work is not done given that The Deathstroke Gang is about to set off a huge initiative to take over the city.

The Acting

This episode saw the return of several cast members from the show’s past, which included John Barrowman as a rather less twisted Malcolm Merlyn and Susanna Thompson as Moira Queen. Of course, both actors put in solid performances for their role in the episode, but most surprising of all was seeing a return for Josh Segarra Adrian Chase, who turns out to be The Green Arrow of Earth 2 and not the villain he was on Earth-Prime.


This was both a fun and strong opening episode for the final season, which begins much of the set up for the Crisis on Infinite Earths event that we’ll see in December. It sort of felt like ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’ with Oliver cast in the George Bailey role as he gets to see a version of Earth where he wasn’t there as the Green Arrow to prevent a lot of stuff.

The ending was shocking, to say the least, and is a very strong indication of how big the Crises storyline is going to be as the series moves forward.

Arrow - Starling City
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI & Stunts
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
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