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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Arrow Season 8 Episode 6: Reset

November 27th, 2019 by Todd Black Comments

Dang…I missed Quentin Lance. While he may have seemed just like a prickly cop in Season 1 of Arrow, he over time became one of the most invaluable characters on the roster, and his death at the end of Season 6 proved just great a character he was because his death impacted all the viewers. So imagine our surprise when we learned he would be coming back in Season 8 via “Reset” one of the most bold episodes of Arrow history. Yet one that pulled off what it was trying to do near flawlessly.

In short, after being tranquilized by Lyla in the cliffhanger last episode, both Oliver and Laurel E2 found themselves in an “Alternate Reality Time Loop”. Where the “trigger” for the time loop wasn’t the day ending, or even a specific time coming forth. But rather, it was the death of Quentin Lance.

Which for the records…SUCKS!! Why did we have to see him die over and over again???

*ahem* Anyway, so the question became, “How do you stop Quentin from dying?”, and in typical Arrow fashion it went deeper and deeper as Oliver and Laurel struggled with both solving this mystery, dealing with Lyla who was very much an observer to this all, and dealing with the emotional toll that watching him repeatedly die took.

In my estimation, the reason this episode worked so well was…because of Paul Blackthorne. No, really. Quentin has almost always been well-acted, but here, it was like he didn’t miss a beat! The first time Oliver revealed the time loop, he was fine with it. Stating all the things he’s seen to prove that he was fine with it. That is totally what Quentin would do!

Then, when Laurel E2 revealed that he was dead, and that he died saving her, his “No better way to go” line made my jaw drop because it was so simple, and yet so perfect. As was his scene about dying with Oliver a time loop or two after. It was beautiful.

Not that Amell and Kassidy didn’t have their own great scenes here, they did, and seeing them both “learn their lesson” was very compelling.

As was the ending where Lyla revealed all, that Oliver needed to have this happen to truly understand that The Monitor is not the enemy, and that while all this was his plan, it was to help Oliver accept his fate. And unlike Barry Allen in his temptation tonight, Oliver was willing to make peace with his fate.

So…one more mission, and how perfect that it would happen on the place where everything truly started…Lian Yu.

In the end, “Reset” was a bold move in regards to the time loop trope (though to be clear Legends of Tomorrow technically did it first), but they played it just right to make it unique, hit you right in the gut, and deliver some cool scenes (including a great “hallway” action scene) and emotional ones. I’ll miss you Quentin. Goodbye.

Just remember…a Crisis is coming.

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians (guardians-comic.com). He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!