Arrow: 8.06 Reset
So you're telling me we're-we're in some kind of a alternate reality based on the plot of a Bill Murray movie?
I love a good Groundhog Day-style episode and with Arrow upping its game with a fun, somewhat bonkers final season, this feels like the perfect place to throw this kind of episode in. After the dramatic showdown with Lyla last week, Oliver wakes up in some kind of alternate world where the only thing that has changed is Quentin Lance still being alive. And he keeps on dying. Again. And again.
With Laurel also reliving the same day, there was certainly an element of fellow Groundhog Day-esque series Russian Doll, which pitted two people working together as they share the same day lived over and over again [side note, it's a terrific show and you should definitely check it out on Netflix]. There was less humour than the format usually provides, but the dialogue was sharp, with Paul Blackthorne making the latest welcome return as the centre of Oliver and Laurel's journey, wise from his experiences - even death - and full of conviction as he helped Oliver and his alternate daughter from Earth 2 try and solve the mystery of who was trying to kill him.
As good as Stephen Amell has been in his final season, the secret weapon to Arrow season eight might in fact be Laurel Lance. Katie Kassidy was terrific here as she has been across this latest run. Having found her redemption after Quentin's death is season six, this year's she's had to face the destruction of her world, the battle between good and evil and now this week, she faced the opportunity to say goodbye to Quentin and close the door of her path to redemption. Kassidy and Blackthorne were terrific in his dying scene, her moment of realisation as she completed 'her mission' demonstrating just how much growth she has achieved.
But that wasn't to say Amell's Oliver didn't get some really meaty emotional work to handle too. With Laurel out of the game, his conversation with a dying Quentin was full of nostalgia and reflection on the show's past, while his 'proud of you' talk with his kids and Connor was equally packed with the weight of his journey up to now. But it was the scene where Oliver asked Quentin the point in which he changed from Oliver's enemy and said his goodbyes, that measured up to Laurel's own goodbye to Quentin, allowing him to realise that his fate was sealed.
Lyla's involvement continues to intrigue. Learning that she has been an ally of The Monitor for a while, her purpose in Arrow - and indeed the Arrowverse - suddenly seems paramount, the secret ally pulling the strings and guiding Oliver and the others to the upcoming Crisis on Infinite Earths. It was also great to see the disconnected story threads of this season coming to a head with Oliver's final mission set, building on the momentum of everything that has been building since Oliver left with The Monitor at the end of season seven.
Of course, after the quieter, reflective moments of Reset, they has to end up on Lian Yu at the end; this is where Oliver's journey began and it seems fitting that he should return one last time before his fate in the biggest crossover the Arrowverse has had yet.