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The future is brought into the "Present Tense" in an emotional Arrow installment that provides Stephen Amell with some of his most resonant material yet.
There aren't any flash-forwards or B-plots. The hour is 100 percent focused on this strange, surprising, and heavy family reunion.
Smart, complicated, lively, often funny, with a number of solid performances and one of the single best scenes in the show's history. What a gem.
"Present Tense" does an excellent job of taking a breath and diving in a bit more into the feelings and frame of mind of Mia, William, Connor, Oliver, and Diggle, seeing what 20 years have done to their respective families.
Was "Present Tense" a perfect episode of Arrow? Certainly not. In fact, certain elements of it may make it rank as my least favorite of Season 8 so far... Still, I enjoyed how Arrow continued to handle time travel and parallel universes.
There was actually a ton to like about this week's Arrow, which took the main players from the show's Star City 2040 flashforwards and thrust them into the present timeline.
The Deathstroke plotline was pedestrian: the real, pure emotions of these never should-be reunions were not.
Given how badly this episode misses the mark when it comes to Deathstroke, it's a small miracle it still manages to be the second best chapter of Season 8 so far.
Stephen Amell has been straight-up fantastic the past three episodes, and he truly shined during this hour. He better get some kind of acknowledgment for his performance because it was awe-inspiring.
Stephen Amell has done some of his best work so far this season, and this episode tops it all.
"Present Tense" picked up where that cliffhanger left off, successfully bringing the past and present together in what was yet another strong offering from what is shaping up to be one heck of a final season.
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.