Arrow- Season 8- Ep 4:”Present Tense”: A Review

Posted: 11/10/2019 in Uncategorized

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Ok, another volley which offers that team Arrow 1.0 is just so much better than the 2040 crew. A lot of emotional sequences were offered and most of the old to new guard interactions were solid. Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara) continues to cause me to question how she could take point in a Canaries series as not only is she not ready, she is just not good enough. Her belief that facts from the future should not be shared with the present crew, however, was just plainly sensible. My review follows below.

Ok, whatever anomaly occurs as Connor Hawke (Joseph David Jones)  is about to frag JJ/Deathstroke (Charlie Barnett ) brings team 2040 to the present –  and we get a current Team Arrow  meets 2040 2.0 version  – event. This does not favor the 2.0 group. Mia Smoak (Katherine McNamara) is horrid. She has two defaults, insolent and spiteful. Her telling Oliver (Stephen Amell) that she had been taught by Nyssa Al Ghul (Katrina Law) and that she’d like to see him try and stop her in a later segment made me laugh openly. Her technique is sloppy. Her character is unlikable and the notion of her headlining a show when Arrow heads off into the sunset is just well….a bad idea.

Ben Lewis’ William is mvp in this episode. Accepting Oliver and Co are the team better suited to eliminate a current Deathstroke threat, he is grateful to see his father once again. Moments between William and Oliver are solid. The two even sharing a laugh is superior. Even William’s working with Curtis Holt/Mr.Terrific (Echo Kellum) was smile inducing. Curtis’ return however brief brings a welcome greater levity to the show and the moments between the the two characters, with very similar backgrounds, allows for a fun Smoak/Holt 2.0 pairing.

Wayyyy too much got revealed in this run and the notion of time travel is again …violated….vigorously. Strangely enough, Mia seems to be the only one who believes sharing anything from the future is a terrible idea. Altering the future with foreknowledge of the past always plays out poorly. I cite Flash…continuously…as evidence. Here, Connor approaches John (David Ramsey) calling him Dad out of the gate. Mia’s counsel is disregarded but for the first time it is actually solid.

In next to no time, Rene Ramirez/Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) learns he will be future mayor…which inspires him to keep campaigning. John learns he adopts Bronze Tiger’s (Michael Jai White) son and Oliver learns that while his son is delighted to reunite with him, by equal measure  Mia aka Ms. Cranky is furious with him for abandoning her and her mother. This is with the knowledge that his action lead to saving the universe…ah well….

The threat of a ‘new’ Deathstroke/Grant Wilson (Jamie Andrew Cutler)  is the narrative that allows for the corruption of JJ and the path into darkness he takes in 2040. Naturally, both William and Connor spill everything…and I mean everything…to the original team and nearly cause a fragmentation from within. The end game later becomes an attempt to undo the future…which as we know usually works poorly.

A final credit sequence featuring a new alliance was unexpected however and stands to keep this season on point for the grander conflict. Arrow’s latest run was engaging enough and maintains the course toward what I expect to be a superior series finale.

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