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Arrow kicks off its final season with a cosmic bang, harkening back to its origins and establishing the stakes of its dimensional conflict in emotional, rousing style.
Overall, I liked the premiere. The writers and stars promised it would be an ode to season 1, and it definitely succeeded in that respect. All the nods to the past were really fun and sweet.
The whole thing works because Amell and Ramsey make it work -- particularly Amell, who plays his hellos and goodbyes as though Oliver's heart might burst at any moment, were the stakes not so high.
An episode that both pays loving tribute to Season 1 and finds rich drama in the idea of Ollie confronting his inevitable end. The series can't escape all its familiar flaws this year, but the good far outweighs the bad here.
Everyone creating Arrow, from the stunt coordinators to the writers, is clearly on the same page. They decided to make an episode of fun-ass television, and I sincerely hope this is the plan from now until the Crisis.
"Starling City" is an exceptional start of an ending... Emotional, heartfelt, and brimming with all of the action you'd expect from an episode directed by James "Bam Bam" Bamford.
It's no surprise that the pacing is quicker... But even with that pacing, it's still an enjoyable hour that hits the big moments, reveals, and homages with just enough time to somewhat process it before being faced with the next.
A nostalgic thrill-ride that paid tribute to the past while setting up the future. A thrill-ride that may just be Arrow's best season premiere ever.
One of the best episodes Arrow has produced in a long time. It might just be the series' most well done opening of a season.
The end has begun for Arrow thanks to the premiere of the eighth and final season, and "Starling City" will go down as one of the most game-changing in the history of the entire Arrow-verse.
Oliver also gets some much needed closure with his mother... That scene provided a true emotional tether to Oliver's mission this season, and it was great to see that character receive a final sendoff.
The Arrowverse writers aren't playing around with Crisis and seem determined to treat it with all the seriousness it deserves. Good for them and better for us.
Director James Bamford's deft and cut-throat stunts show that our heroes can readily handle themselves against the average Starling City foes, thorough hand-to-hand combat, bow-to-bow combat, or in quick and easy take downs.