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Last week’s episode of Arrow ended on one of the show’s biggest cliffhangers to date, bringing Oliver and Diggle face to face with their future children in a time travel twist that still hasn’t actually been explained. Tonight, we got to learn what happened next.
Spoilers ahead for “Present Tense,” the latest episode of The CW’s Arrow, which aired Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019.
Future Mia, William and Connor got whisked away to 2019 — a far cry from their native 2040 — which made for plenty of extremely awkward family reunions. Where William already at least has a relationship with Oliver, Mia has no memories of ever having known her father. In classic Queen fashion, she is standoffish and angry at her estranged father, which culminates in a heartbreaking scene where she finally lets all her anger and resentment out — blasting Oliver for leaving her to go save the world. Sure, it makes sense on paper, but it doesn’t make the hurt any less real. She finally does soften up and spend some time with Oliver, after the two get a chance to earn each others mutual respect on the battlefield.
As for William, this trip to the past gave him an opportunity to finally have a chat with his dad he never got to have in his original timeline: He comes out as gay to his father. But, Oliver says he and Felicity already knew, they were just waiting for William to be comfortable enough to tell them. It’s a touching moment, and interesting to see from the perspective of the confident 30-something, proudly bonding with his father in this moment.
Things don’t go quite so smoothly for Connor, Diggle’s adopted son that he hasn’t actually adopted at this point in the timeline. Future Team Arrow tries to keep the details of their world a secret from Original Team Arrow, but that plan falls apart when Dinah hears Connor call the present day leader of the Deathstroke gang “JJ” in a case of mistaken identity. So, Diggle now knows his son grows up to be a terrorist; and that future-JJ kills future Mia (a point Rene understandably takes pretty hard at first blush). They also come clean about how Future Star City is a train wreck, and that even future Rene has become corrupted in the middle of it all.
The mission of the week finds both teams joining forces to avert the founding of the Deathstrokes in the present, putting Slade’s son Grant Wilson in prison in Gotham, a move they all hope will go a long way toward rewriting the future we’ve been following the past year in the flash-forwards. Which begs the question — does this trip to the past effectively erase the future we’ve been following? We know from Legends of Tomorrow that history can definitely be rewritten. It certainly seems possible, especially since Future Team Arrow is sticking around in the past for the foreseeable future. Does that mean the proposed spinoff series actually takes place in the present, with Future Team Arrow permanently displaced to the present day? It certainly seems possible.
Amidst all this future chaos it’s easy to almost forget that Curtis Holt is back! Sure, it’s a fun cameo to see this character one last time in the final season, but he also serves a critical
purpose on the path toward Crisis. He cracks the details of the mysterious energy that erased Earth-2 from existence, in the hopes it can be used against the Monitor if they need it as a weapon down the line. He thinks it’s possible, but Oliver will need to go steal some plutonium in Russia first. Because, of course.
One more twist: The Monitor appears to Laurel and claims he can restore Earth-2, she just needs to do him a favor first — betray Oliver Queen. Does the Monitor really have the power to do this? What’s his full plan? So many questions.
Up next: The team is headed to Russia, but remember the show is taking a bit of time off, returning on Nov. 19.