The Arrow Farewell Tour has checked in with a lot of important places and characters as we say a long, gradual goodbye to the show that’s given us eight seasons of heroics and action. One important player we haven’t seen yet makes their return in this episode for their (probably) final bow. David Ramsey, Diggle/Spartan, directs as the Crisis comes closer and Oliver discovers something important in “Reset.”
Considering how the last episode ended, with apparent betrayal and capture, Oliver wakes up in confusing circumstances: on the couch in his apartment in a suit. Things don’t get much clearer when the future kids stroll in, debating the merits of Big Belly Burger now versus then, and tell him he’s late. Stumbling his way through an almost but not quite familiar reality, Oliver gets a big shock. At a fundraiser to take the Star City Vigilante Program global, he needs to talk to the Mayor of Star City… Quentin Lance. A lot more details stack up that don’t quite make sense to him as he tries to figure out what in the world is going on.
His attempts to make sense of it all get put on hold when the inevitable emergency erupts- a hostage situation at the Star City PD. The sole demand so far: talking to the mayor. Quentin and Green Arrow respond, there’s a lot of action, and then a big surprise that should be the end of everything… except the show lives up to the title and Oliver wakes up back on his couch.
Going through the same events again, a situation familiar to fans of time travel stories and some video games, Oliver avoids some of the earlier issues, pulls Quentin aside, and tells him what’s happening. Citing all the weird stuff in their lives, Quentin believes him and likens it to Groundhog Day, which really is the go-to shorthand for this kind of thing now. Oliver tries a new tactic and goes straight to the problem that ended things last time. He runs into Laurel, who is also aware of the timeloop. The two of them are so jaded about strangeness in their lives, they “die” debating what to wear to the gala.
Things play out again, slightly differently, with a touching reunion between Laurel and Quentin before it all goes wrong again. The next go around spawns some new tactics, and a confrontation between Laurel and Lyla. Laurel easily gets all the good lines in this one. Showing she’s a bit different than everyone else, Laurel’s movie of choice for the situation is Tom Cruise’s Edge of Tomorrow. Arriving at a different point this time, Diggle listens to Oliver’s explanations of what’s going on and just accepts it. Let’s face it, Team Arrow has seen a lot in their time. They last a lot longer this time, but the group gets stunned by blast and a very unexpected killer gets Quentin this time.
Once again changing tactics, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Lance (the poor guy really should have gotten a codename somewhere over the years) try and figure out who is behind the seemingly endless attacks they keep wading through. Someone is seriously depleting the mercenary/henchman labor pool to pull all this off. Things end tragically again, but Laurel gets some closure and decides she’s done. This changes things for the next go around as Oliver is once again going through the motions. He gets some enigmatic advice and hears something he won’t accept.
Side by side, Oliver and Quentin get a truly impressive action sequence as they face off against a seemingly endless horde of mercs. I mean, really, this is unrealistic, video-game mob numbers of bad guys. While Oliver is determined and focused, Quentin is more philosophical and accepting, and makes some very insightful comments. He takes action to prove his point to Oliver, triggering another reset.
Everything he’s been through is starting to sink in, and Oliver does things slightly differently this time. He takes the time to thank the future kids for who they are, weirding them out some and getting a food offer from William that was entertaining. Sidestepping all the action, Oliver pulls Quentin aside at the gala and asks him some questions about their shared history. Not the “prove you’re not a fake” type questions, more seeking to understand things. It’s a very nice scene with a final handshake and feverant hope expressed by Oliver. This time when things change, Oliver is in a somewhat different setting, and has a conversation with Lyla. They talk about what’s happened, what will happen, what’s coming, and why this is so important. Oliver gets told his other missions, while they were tests, weren’t just that, and the time with his future kids was a gift.
We get a final sudden scene shift, but it’s not a replay, it’s setup for next time. Oliver is not on a couch at his place, but a cot in a large tent, with Laurel on the next one over. Going outside, they find Diggle, Mia, William, and Connor. Most of them are confused about where they are, but Oliver recognizes it, and, when the camera pulls back, so do we. I guess if we’re revisiting Arrow’s Greatest Hits, we had to end up here eventually. I have to admit, I haven’t missed it.
What I liked: I’m glad we got to see Quentin again. I think all the major, and many of the minor, characters have made it back for a curtain call. Aside from Felicity, who is rumored to show up again before it’s all done, I think we’re just missing Ricardo Diaz, Walter Steele, Slade Wilson, Yao Fe, and Shadow for significant players. And yes, there are a lot of minor ones that at this point I don’t think we’ll see again, which is too bad. Paul Blackthorne did a great job as Quentin over and over. The action was well done. I’d say David Ramsey has a good eye for this, and future as a director if he wants it. I’m glad Laurel got a better goodbye with her father figure. The future kids didn’t get a big part, but William managed a few good lines, and Laurel totally dominated her brief clash with Lyla. The purpose to all this, revealed at the end, actually made sense to me.
What I didn’t: While the action was all good, a few of the battle scenes didn’t quite make sense. Then again, I’m not sure they were supposed to. There were a lot of moving pieces, but I keep feeling like Dinah and Rene are getting shortchanged this season.
This was another good piece of an outstanding final season. I’ll give it a high 3.5 out of 5.