Disclaimer: This article includes spoilers from Arrow season eight, episode one, so read this at your own risk if you haven’t seen the recent season premiere titled “Starling City.”
The CW is back with the majority of the Arrowverse shows including the series that started it all: Arrow. The season eight premiere officially began the show’s countdown toward not only Crisis on Infinite Earths but also the end of the series. With ten episodes for its eighth and final season, the story of Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) will take the Green Arrow on one final journey before facing his destiny. According to the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) in the Season Seven finale, Oliver is meant to die during the Crisis. It remains to be seen whether or not the Emerald Archer will survive the final season and the coming crossover.
The eighth season premiere kicked things off with a bang as Oliver goes on his big journey. With everything that happened in Starling City, there’s a lot to break down from the episode. These are the five best moments from the premiere as well as five questions that were raised during the season opener.
10 BEST MOMENT: Batman Mask on Lian Yu
While it’ll be a while till we can actually see him in the flesh, it’s definitely a victory for the Arrowverse to be able to name drop Bruce Wayne and Batman. With Batwoman part of the franchise, that opens the door for the Bat-universe to be part of the Arrowverse.
What was a big surprise, though, was Batman’s cowl being seen on Lian Yu the same way fans saw Deathstroke's mask in the pilot.
9 QUESTION: Where Was Earth-2 Diggle?
As Oliver explores Earth-2, he meets several doppelgängers of the people he knows back on Earth-1. When he meets Diggle for “the first time," it’s revealed that it’s his Diggle from Earth-1. As great as it was to see our Diggle, what is his Earth-2 counterpart like?
At no point does it seem to be addressed what his status is in this universe or if he is even alive.
8 BEST MOMENT: Pretty Bird
One of the characters who really got to shine is Laurel Lance a.k.a. Black Siren/Black Canary (Katie Cassidy) as we followed her new life on Earth-2. Throughout Starling City, it’s revealed that she is now fully operating as a hero for the city and working with Adrian Chase (Josh Segarra) who is operating as The Hood.
It’s a small thing, but still really meaningful to a lot of Green Arrow/Black Canary fans. During the premiere, Laurel was called “Pretty Bird” by Adrian. In the comics, that’s the nickname Ollie calls Dinah Laurel Lance, which is something that fans had to wait eight seasons to hear her be called.
7 QUESTION: How Did J.J Go Down the Deathstroke Path?
The 2040 flashforwards continue the next chapter for the kids of Team Arrow, as they are now dealing with the Deathstroke Gang. The big surprise though is when it’s revealed that Diggle’s son J.J. (Charlie Barnett) is their leader.
For starters, what went so incredibly wrong in the future for Slade Wilson’s symbol to be used this way? But most importantly, how did J.J. end up on the dark side? The fact that the flashforwards have yet to address Diggle’s status in the future has us thinking that perhaps it’s because of him that J.J. went down this path.
6 BEST MOMENT: Earth-2's Dark Archer
The premiere came with more than one reveal as viewers were treated to a good amount of surprises. One of them is what became of Earth-2’s Tommy Merlyn (Colin Donnell) and it’s a biggie. As Oliver battles the Dark Archer of this world, it’s revealed that it’s none other than Tommy underneath that mask.
For long-time viewers, it’s definitely a pay-off after it was heavily speculated that Tommy of Earth-1 would become Oliver’s antagonist in season one. Instead, Malcolm (John Barrowman) served that role on Earth-1.
5 QUESTION: Wasn't Robert Queen the Arrow on Earth-2?
Despite the season premiere revealing that Adrian is the Emerald Archer of Earth-2, it contradicts what The Flash established a few seasons ago. During a season two episode, it was revealed that Robert Queen of Earth-2 was the one to become the Arrow on in this universe. In fact, he had his identity revealed to the public at some point.
But yet in “Starling City”, Adrian is the one wearing the hood. So whatever happened to Robert being the Arrow?
4 BEST MOMENT: Final Oliver Vs Tommy Showdown
While we didn’t get it in season one, for anyone who always wanted to see Tommy and Oliver clash, they were rewarded. As Tommy was planning on leveling the Glades, just like Malcolm did on Earth-1, Oliver has to take him on. An amazing showdown takes place followed by one of Oliver’s best scenes in the whole series.
Instead of trying to kill Tommy, he delivers a powerful speech in an effort to get Tommy to stop the Undertaking. Thankfully, Tommy listens to his best friend and stops it.
3 QUESTION: Where Did Oliver's Suit Upgrade Come From?
Who doesn’t love it whenever one of these heroes gets a suit upgrade? For Oliver, this will be his final Green Arrow upgrade. But there is still the question of where did he get it?
It definitely doesn’t seem like anyone on Team Flash of Felicity had anything to do with it. Did the Monitor perhaps hook him up with a new look?
2 BEST MOMENT: The End of Earth-2
If one thing is made abundantly clear in Starling City, it’s that the Crisis is definitely on its way. As Oliver and Diggle are about to return to Earth-1, we see an anti-matter wave destroy Earth- 2. It gets even more heartbreaking when Moira (Susanna Thompson) and Tommy turn into dust right in front of Oliver.
Having no other choice, Laurel leaves with Oliver and Diggle as Earth-2 gets taken away. While it’s 100% devastating, it was still an insanely big moment.
1 QUESTION: What Happened to The Flash's Earth-2 Characters?
While Oliver was visiting Earth-2, we never get an update on the characters from The Flash that lives in this world. As Earth-2 gets destroyed, there is no way of telling if anyone else in Earth-2 managed to escape through a breach. Two of the biggest characters on Earth-2 that are relevant for The Flash are Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) and Harry Wells (Tom Cavanagh.) Given Jesse’s big role in the speedster line-up, were we meant to believe that she possibly died when Earth-2 was destroyed?
It would be controversial of Arrow to kill off one of Flash’s recurring characters, especially off-screen. So while we’re hopeful she survived, will viewers get answers on what happened to Jesse and Harry?