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"Someone told me the only way to change the future is to start doing things differently now."
Rene Ramirez on changing the future.

"Present Tense" is the fourth episode of the eighth season of Arrow, and the one-hundred-sixty-fourth episode overall. It aired on November 5, 2019.



Oliver takes William and Mia back to his loft and the three try to get up to speed. Naturally stirred up by the new turns of events, Mia grapples with what's happening. William comes out to his dad, who says that he and Felicity knew and were just waiting on him to be comfortable with it. Meanwhile, a woman wheels a man into a hospital and tells a doctor she needs help. When the doctor examines his chest, she sees a bomb underneath his skin that promptly explodes. The camera pans away to show someone in a Deathstroke mask watching the explosion. ARGUS tells Oliver it's not Slade or his child, driving Team Arrow to give finding out who has copied the Deathstroke mantle.

As they're working, Curtis Holt returns. Oliver asks him to try to find a way to block the anti-matter wave and theorizes that the wave could be powerful enough to kill the Monitor.

2040 Team Arrow set out to find the HQ of the Deathstroke Gang. There, they discover the new Deathstroke — Grant Wilson, the other child of Slade that Oliver and Connor had recently met. The group unintentionally sets off a trigger for a bomb, driving Oliver, Laurel, and Dinah to show up and save them. They discover that Grant's attempting to level the city.

The two crews' failure to cooperate sparks an argument, where 2040 Team Arrow gives everything away about the future — how Star City is in chaos, how JJ is the new Deathstroke, and how JJ killed Zoe. The groups split up to do different parts of the investigation — Laurel and Mia head to the emergency clinic while Curtis, Oliver, and William chip away at decoding information they found at the Deathstroke gang's headquarters. This allows Diggle and Rene to spend time with their children after learning about the future. Oliver tries to convince Mia to not go out alone, and Mia angrily accuses him of abandoning her and Felicity for his mission. When she threatens Oliver, Laurel offers to accompany her.

After the information is decoded, they discover Grant's full plans. Diggle and Dinah discuss their knowledge of future events. Diggle is despondent over what is to come but Dinah is convinced they can change the future. Laurel and Mia investigate the bombed hospital. Laurel tells Mia that vengeance is not going to make her better. Laurel tells her about how she stopped Felicity from killing Ricardo Diaz and that Felicity never regretted that choice.

William tries to get Oliver to talk about Mia. Oliver admits that he abandoned Mia by choosing to go with the Monitor. William convinces him to try harder to connect with Mia. William tells him that he is glad Oliver is in his life when Curtis interrupts and says that he's found something.

Curtis tells both teams that the new Deathstroke is trying to out do his father and has placed a series of bombs around the city. Oliver splits the teams up: one will go after Grant and one will disarm the bombs.

Curtis walks Connor through disarming the bombs while Oliver and his team attack Grant's position. Oliver stops Mia from killing Grant and he is arrested. Back at the Nest, Oliver compliments his children and Mia admits that she would have killed Grant but Oliver says that she didn't really want to, which she accepts. Diggle tells Connor he is family and Connor apologizes for not telling him the truth when they first arrived. Dinah, Laurel, and Rene discuss their futures and they agree to stay their course.

Oliver and Mia visit Oliver's father's grave. Oliver admits that he never really knew his father until after he died. He tells Mia that he doesn't want things to be like that between them and Mia agrees. Rene gives a speech in the Glades while Diggle and Connor spar, Dinah and Laurel share burgers. Rene's speech is well-received.

Back at Oliver's loft, Oliver and Mia are chatting when Curtis calls and says that he has a solution to the antimatter wave, but it is very illegal, very difficult, and will require them to go to Russia.

Outside the police precinct, the Monitor meets Laurel. The Monitor says he can restore Earth-2 if she performs a single task: betray Oliver Queen.


Main cast[]

Special appearance by[]

Special guest star[]

Guest starring[]




  • Diggle says that Connor is 6 years old in the present. However, it was previously stated in "Welcome to Hong Kong" that Connor is younger than JJ.


Preparation ran from August 6 until August 14, 2019. Shooting ran from August 15 until August 27.[2]