It seems as if every episode of Arrow Season 8 is designed to leave you speechless in the last few minutes.
Arrow Season 8 Episode 3 was no exception.
In a twist that almost no one saw coming, Arrow continued to surprise and gift the fans with the very best they've got. And, Katie Cassidy proved herself to be a formidable director with an episode that people will be talking about for a long time.
Let us start at the beginning.
Oliver and Thea reunited in classic sibling fashion -- by fighting one another.
Once they realized who they were fighting, they dropped their fists and embraced. Great, it was three minutes in, and tears were already being shed (by me).
Thea: You know, I've been thinking a lot about Mom and Dad lately. Wondering what they would think about the lives we've chosen. All of the mistakes they made, all the lies they told in their own very, very messed up way. They thought they were protecting us.
Oliver: Well, they weren't, they didn't.
Thea: No, but it did help us become the people we are today. It turned us into heroes. We can't change the future Ollie. The past teaches us you might as well not bother trying to.
Oliver: When did you stop being my baby sister?
Thea: No, I never did. I just grew up a little bit.
It has truly felt like a lifetime ago that Thea was an integral part of Team Arrow. And, oh boy has she been missed.
Thea's relationship with Oliver will always be one of the best parts of Arrow. It was complex and trying yet felt like an authentic sibling connection.
Oliver and Thea were soon joined by Talia al Ghul who, no surprise, betrayed them the first moment she got.
When are they going to learn that the only trustworthy al Ghul is Nyssa?
Of course, Talia, as well as Athena of the Thanatos Guild, were after some never-before-heard-of sword that would be the catalyst to restart the League of Assassins.
Why can't everyone just let the League die once and for all? It has never proven to be a force for good in the world, which makes sense as to why the villains of the show want it back.
It is almost as if the final season is made up of the show's greatest hits. And, by greatest hits, I mean some of their most interesting characters and villains.
However, it would have been amazing for Nyssa to appear, as well. Maybe that would have been overwhelming with Talia and Athena there, but Nyssa is too good of a character not to get revisited during the last season.
Oliver and Thea, in the end, managed to defeat both Talia and Athena without Nyssa. Thea even propositioned a strangely apologetic Talia with co-leading a new league, a League of Heroes.
As cheesy as it sounds, it was a more than satisfying end to the ever-present League of Assassins storyline on Arrow. And, it was a fitting end for Thea's character as well.
Oliver, meanwhile, found out that The Monitor might not be the good guy after all.
But, of course, he is as we all know that the Anti-Monitor exists. And, with just one look at him, anyone could tell that the Anti-Monitor is the bad guy.
But, Oliver does not know that. Given the very little information he has gotten from the god-like being and his history of hesitance to trust others, Oliver's feelings about The Monitor are valid.
Before Oliver could process this new information about The Monitor, he had to say goodbye to his sister.
Thea: I'm going to miss you. Everyday I miss you.
Oliver: Goodbye Speedy.
Thea: Bye Ollie.
Oliver truly believes that he will die in the upcoming crisis, which makes their goodbye ever the more painful because his death, at this point, is a huge possibility.
One can only hope that they meet again someday and that we will be able to see Thea one last time on the series finale.
Diggle and Lyla had a small, but important storyline.
They were tasked with saving their future adopted son and his mother from another blast from the past -- Gholem Qadir's son. Who, if you do not remember, was killed by the Bronze Tiger himself while trying to save Lyla.
Nothing substantial happened, except Lyla remained slyly suspicious even during the first meeting between her, Diggle, and Connor. But, even that was brief.
We have waited long enough; it is time to find out why Diggle and Lyla adopt Connor. Perhaps it has something to do with the Crisis, but time will only tell.
Now, let's get to the surpisingly most exciting part of the hour.
In the future, Mia, Connor, and Zoe returned to the bunker to find that William had kept himself safe from the Deathstroke Gang. His personality and ability to take care of himself is so reminiscent of Felicity that it makes her absence that much more poignant.
Mia, as a result of almost losing her brother, recklessly decided that the team would storm Deathstokes' headquarters. And, with that, she proved so like her father it was scary.
The future Team Arrow was so close to thwarting the ruthless gang when, tragically, JJ stabbed and killed Zoe.
We were so worried about characters dying in the present timeline that it did not even cross our minds that a character in the future could be just as expendable.
Mia: We're going to get you out of here.
Zoe: Tell, tell, tell my dad, tell him I'm sorry about everything. That I love him.
Mia: Hey, hey you're gonna tell him yourself. Okay? You are because we are, we're gonna get you safe. Okay? I got you. Zoe, I got you. Zoe? No, no, no, no, Zoe?
Zoe was one of the purest and level-headed characters Arrow had. Losing her is sure to be devastating not only for Rene, Mia, William, and Connor but also for Arrow fans.
But, just when you think Arrow could not make you cry any more than it already has, Arrow Season 8 Episode 3 ended with a cliffhanger that will change everything going forward.
Many thought that the future timeline was too random and did not fit into with the final season.
Well, who would have thought that the writers would be the ones to get the last laugh?
In a twist that is easily in the top five of Arrow's complete series run, a flash of light brought together Oliver, Mia, Connor, and William in present Team Arrow's bunker. Of course, Diggle, Dinah, and Rene were waiting there for them.
Oliver: What's going on?
Rene: That's a very good question.
William and Mia, obviously still distraught from witnessing Zoe's death, met their dead father with faces full of shock and emotion that let alone deserve Emmys.
Arrow truly is bringing out the big guns this season with clever twists and jaw-dropping cliffhangers that will make any die-hard fan shake and scream.
Who would have predicted that, presumably, The Monitor would bring the present and future timelines together? What is his purpose? Other than making all of us cry, of course.
The next episode of Arrow is sure to bring even more tears to our eyes as Mia meets the father she never knew, and William reunites with the dad that left him years earlier.
We are all in for a wild ride that has already proven to produce some of the series' best episodes.
What did you think Arrow Fanatics?
How are you feeling after that shocking twist? Did you miss Thea and her relationship with Oliver? And, how sad are you after Zoe's death?
Tell me all about it in the comments and do not forget that you can watch Arrow online right here on TV Fanatic!
Arrow airs on Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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Sarah Little was a staff writer for TV Fanatic.She retired in September 2021.