Arrow season eight may have opened on a high, but it certainly seems like episode two drops to an instant season low. In “Welcome to Hong Kong”, Oliver reunites with an old friend and comes across an old enemy while we learn that apparently everyone knows about the multi-verse and time travel and the Crisis – no secret is safe.
Following the horrific attack on Earth-2, Oliver finds himself waking up in Hong Kong. The monitor warns him not to disrespect his orders again, and demands he find and deliver a man called Dr. Robert Wong. Reuniting with John and Laurel, the latter is quick to lecture Oliver about following the Monitor’s orders blindly. She refuses to believe that her universe, as well as the people she loves, have been destroyed. She takes off in hope of finding a way back to Earth-2.
Enter Lyla Michaels, who, (of course) is in on the upcoming crisis. She follows Laurel to a contact in Hong Kong who might be able to fix her breach device, but the Black Siren is left broken-hearted when she learns that her Earth is no longer traceable, confirming it has been erased.
Meanwhile, Oliver and John use Lyla’s ARGUS connections to gather information on Dr. Wong. They find out the man has been missing for a week, but before they can follow up on that lead, they end up in the cross hairs of the mob. Thankfully the men are saved by a masked hero – Tatsu Yamashiro, better known as Katana. Oliver shares the news of the Monitor’s crisis with Tatsu, who apparently is already aware of the impending doom. She questions why Oliver refuses to challenge the Monitor’s authority, but ultimately offers her services.
During their search for Dr. Wong, Oliver, John and Tatsu come across China White, who somehow seems to know all about time travel, and has been after a virus Dr. Wong has been creating. It turns out Wong has found a way to recreate the Alpha-Omega virus that killed Tatsu’s son and hundreds more. A fight ensues, and with the help of Lyla and Laurel Oliver is able to beat China White, save Dr. Wong and eliminate the threat of the Alpha-Omega virus.
Despite having secured Dr. Wong, Oliver decides not to deliver the other man over just yet, but rather investigate who the Monitor really is. And to do so, he decides to head off to Nanda Parbat. Finally, we learn that Lyla has been working with the Monitor all along, and has already handed over Dr. Wong. Gasp.
In 2040, Mia, Zoey, and Connor have just escaped the hands of JJ Diggle, but not without taking a little souvenir – Mia has been able to swipe a hard drive from the Deathstroke gang’s main frame, which William believes could contain important information, even though it was completely destroyed.
Connor and Mia approach JJ for a second time, somehow less prepared than before, but hoping for a better outcome. JJ offers to have a civil conversation with his brother, who agrees, much to Mia’s dismay. The two end up stepping right into JJ’s trap: the flash drive was planted, allowing the bunker to be compromised and leaving William unprotected.
The second episode of Arrow’s final season does not contain Collin Donnell, or John Barrowman, or Susanna Thompson, but instead some of the less excitable aspects of season two, namely Oliver’s time in Hong Kong and the Alpha-Omega virus. It’s a frustrating dip for Arrow’s last season, and with only 10 episodes to wrap the series up, one can’t help but wish this episode had focused on more interesting aspects of season two – Sara Lance, Slade Wilson, even Anthony Ivy.
We get it, we understand where Arrow is going with the format of this season, so can we please just skip to episode five and hopefully bring back Prometheus? Oliver has already teased that next episode will find him seeking out advise from Nanda Parbat – thank you next.
Catch Arrow Tuesday at 9/8c on The CW.
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