Once again Mar Novu a.k.a The Monitor has sent Oliver on a seemingly impossible mission, but this time, Oliver’s failure to complete the mission doesn’t allow him to come back to his own reality. Instead, Oliver’s constant failed attempts at his mission, simply act like a videogame, where failure causes a reset of the story, with Oliver stuck in a time loop, similar to the Bill Murray movie ‘Groundhog Day’ or if you’re Laurel, similar to the Tom Cruise movie ‘Edge of Tomorrow’, with one returning character playing a key factor to the story.
Back in season 6, in the final episode, Quentin Lance, father of Sara and Laurel Lance, and portrayed by Paul Blackthorne, was shot by Ricardo Diaz and died later in the hospital. He has been seen once since that episode, and now this latest episode marks a second return for the character, though it seems not a permanent return sadly. Blackthorne has always portrayed an excellent father figure in the series to Laurel and Sara but arguably more importantly to Oliver who of course lost his own father all those years ago after the Queen’s Gambit was sabotaged. It’s great to see Quentin return even if it is just for one more episode as he plays a pivotal role in multiple lives in the show and to see him return with a story focused on his impact on these characters, is really heartwarming, but also incredibly emotional to watch because you want him to come back into the series for the final four episodes that remain.
This episode does well not to repeat itself too much, as it cleverly skips over the minor details as Oliver and Laurel learn more about what goes on, such as the party attendees joke about the difference between the police and Green Arrow. We learn that Laurel and Oli are caught in this time loop to learn a lesson, and so it becomes increasingly more obvious as to what that lesson might be, as Oliver being the stubborn man he is, tries constantly to save Quentin’s life, only to be reset and forced to watch Quentin die multiple times. This episode has so much heart and builds towards the inevitable conclusion that we’ll see sometime next year, as we’ve learned that Oliver cannot escape his fate, and that whilst he still tries to remain determined to change it, it’s starting to look highly unlikely that he can.
Overall, this was a somewhat slower paced episode in the series, that really allowed you to think about everything The Monitor was doing and what it all means for Oliver and the other characters. Laurel, Oli and Quentin take centre stage and deliver excellently emotional performances, with Oliver’s stubborness shining through, Laurel’s heartbreak and reconciliation, and Quentin bringing back the voice of reason and fatherly love for Laurel and Oli. Another great episode and with only four left to watch, it’s going to be a truly emotional ride for the fans.