Arrow: Present Tense review S8 E4

Present Tense was a return to the earlier high quality form of Arrow’s final season despite a few hiccups.

One big challenge that’s becoming more obvious for the writers is how to properly send off Oliver while setting up the Green Arrow and the Canaries spin-off. Imagine if the FRIENDS writers got so focused on setting up Joey they neglected the rest of the cast. At times that’s how this season has felt like.

Present Tense mainly dealt with Team Arrow meeting Future Team Arrow as they eventually teamed up to stop Grant Wilson and the Deathstroke Gang.

Arrow present Tense review - team arrows

This season has really struggled with the absence of Manu Bennett’s Slade. As one of the series’ best villains it seems weird not to prominently feature him while making Deathstroke such a major figure this season.

The best part about Future Arrow being in the present? No future subplot. Ha! Just kidding. Their act just moves from the future to the present. Of course that doesn’t stop Mia from being in her standard all-attitude mode with a touch of teen brattiness thrown in for good measure.

My favorite part of this episode is how Mia, William and Connor decide not to tell their parents about the future or Zoe’s death yet Mia wants to be pissy at Oliver for dying to protect the multiverse. Even in the future it’s better to tell half truths than be real with your family.

And there’s little incentive in not getting help from the original Team Arrow (…Er Vol.7)

William tells Oliver he’s gay as a big bombshell, but in a twist from how this normally plays out in the Arrowverse, Oliver is disgusted and distraught at this shocking revelation. What’s that? Oh wait, he was completely understanding and didn’t have any kind of issue with it? Carry on.

Much like Nora, William’s sexual preference is more a designation than something that’s actually incorporated into storylines. Clumsily throwing out his envy of Curtis’ perfect husband — did we all miss the wedding?? — and mentioning his ex-boyfriends (as most people would just say exes) doesn’t earn them a gold star simply for being able to say there’s another LGTB character.

Speaking of, Curtis makes a random appearance as apparently Renee is beginning his run for political office.

Arrow present Tense review - curtis

Mia’s line of “at least we didn’t die” came off real cruddy since the last time they fought the Deathstroke gang one of their friends actually did die.

After the big confessional, Renee not surprisingly blows off and is mad at Diggle. Diggle then gets rightfully made at Connor for lying while Mia doesn’t want to reflect on JJ being a murderer and coincidentally ignore her role in Zoe’s death. Mia is such a dick.

Laurel rolls with Mia and for some reason is hating on Oliver. Is it because he still remembers when Laurel killed Vince and didn’t spend a day in prison. Maybe. I dunno guys. I’m getting less interested in watching that spin-off with every scene.

Arrow present Tense review - Mia, laurel and Dinah

Grant and his crew get taken out with amazing ease. These lower tier villains are consistently a joke. Oliver really needs to battle The Monitor to have an interesting fight.

We wrap with everyone vowing to change the future. I fail to see how with no cheerleader to save…

Renee announces his campaign at night for some reason. Dinah and Laurel are on BFF mode, Connor and Diggle train while Oliver makes grilled cheese sandwiches for William and Mia. Is the greatest failure of the series not having Oliver’s cooking speciality chili?

In the stinger scene The Monitor keeps acting shady offering to restore Laurel’s world if she betrays Oliver. Again this could provide an iota of suspense. It’s not like we would have any interest in this spin-off if Laurel’s actions led to Oliver’s death.

Despite some issues Present Tense had enough interesting developments to be an improvement on some of the more recent episodes.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: The CW