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"Oliver, I've seen one daughter die and come back to life twice. I've seen another come from some other Earth. I've seen a guy in red run so fast he can reverse time. This is not exactly outside the norm, is it? Also, I'm done learning my lesson about doubting you because that always bites me in the ass."
Quentin Lance to Oliver Queen
"Reset" is the sixth episode of the eighth season of Arrow, and the one-hundred-sixty-sixth episode overall. It aired on November 26, 2019.

Synopsis

After being double-crossed by Lyla, Oliver finds himself facing a life or death situation that seems very familiar. Laurel has the opportunity to make amends with the past.[src]

Plot

We open with Oliver waking up on the couch in his home. Mia, Connor, and William come in and are surprised to see him, wanting to know what he's doing there. They gloss over most of what happened previously with Lyla tranquilizing them and it becomes pretty clear that something is off. Oliver is expected at a fancy event, but he meets up with John who reveals that they were tranquilized two days ago. Lyla and Diggle try to smooth things over as well, but Oliver is aware something is wrong -- especially since Palmer Tech is back and Quentin Lance is alive and well and also the mayor.

But it's weird. Quentin is aware of Oliver going to prison. He was also shot by Diaz, but in this timeline -- Quentin survived. Oliver says he remembers things different. Rene interrupts his conversation with Quentin to reveal an issue at the police station, so Quentin and Green Arrow go to help. Quentin decides to go in and speak with the criminals as they have demanded while Green Arrow goes around back to help. Quentin distracts the criminal and Green Arrow arrives to save the day but that's when things are revealed: Oliver is stuck in some sort of Groundhog's Day-like loop and it won't be over until he stops it.

The day starts over. A bewildered Oliver approaches thing a bit differently and heads to the party, again trying to talk to Diggle about the situation. He tells Diggle he thinks he’s in a time loop and that there’s a bomb in the police precinct. He also tells Quentin about it, with Quentin asking him how he can help as Quentin actually believes him. He also discovers, in the course of this second loop that he’s not alone. Laurel is also trapped in a time loop, and when time resets for a third time they attempt to work together. They manage to stop the bomb, but it doesn’t stop the time loop. Oliver wakes up at home again.

They figure out that Quentin’s death is the reset point and Oliver figures out that saving Quentin is how the stop things. That makes saving him their new goal. As Laurel is leaving, Lyla approaches her, and Laurel is not having it. She says that she’s going to expose her once this time loop is over. Oliver goes to try to defuse the bomb and Diggle goes to talk to him and, yes Oliver tells him about the time loop again. Turns out the bomb isn’t the key Oliver thinks he is. Diggle gives him a pep talk and then agrees to get him into Argus. At the bunker, Laurel stays with Quentin and she tells him the truth of her reality – Laurel tells him about his death. Quentin tells her that his death, saving her, was the best way he could have gone. When Oliver calls with information about the merc’s hideout, they go to assist him. Turns out, it was a trap. Everything goes boom and then out walks Lyla. She tells Oliver he’s missing the point and can’t fight things – and then she shoots Quentin. We reset.

This time, Lyla isn’t at the party and Laurel and Oliver try to figure out how they get out. Oliver is trying to connect how it all works and he sorts out that this time loop is a test. They go back to the merc’s hideout and disable the bomb and then do the next step of their investigation into who wants Quentin dead. It leads them to a company down by the docks and Quentin promptly gets shot. Quentin has a tearful goodbye with Laurel, with Laurel telling him that he is the reason she’s become a better person and she tells him how much he means to her. She gets a chance to say goodbye. It ends Laurel’s time loop.

But Oliver is still trapped. Lyla comes to him in the Bunker to tell him that and tells Oliver that Mar Novu needs him to learn his lesson – things are inevitable. He can’t fight his fate. Oliver and Quentin start directly at the business on the docks and quickly come under attack with Oliver still bent on saving Quentin. Quentin tries to talk some sense into Oliver and tell him that maybe he needs to make his peace with things – he has. Oliver remains stubborn but Quentin takes off his vest and gives in. We reset.

This time Oliver approaches things differently. He stops to appreciate his children and tells them he’s proud of them. At the party, he is somber and goes to speak with Quentin. They have a moment together and Oliver thanks Quentin and says goodbye. He then meets with Lyla who reveals that he has finally understood. He can’t change his fate. Lyla also reveals that she’s been working with The Monitor for awhile and for the same reasons Oliver is. And she tells him that Oliver is the only chance they have to survive Crisis – and every mission he’s been on has been a test, but all his missions have also had a purpose to face Crisis. And now, one last mission.

Oliver and Laurel wake up. They’re back in the right timeline. Laurel’s time with Quentin was a gift, a reward for not betraying Oliver. Oliver’s lesson was that he had to learn that he couldn’t fight his fate. The episode ends with Oliver and Laurel discovering that they are definitely not in Star City. They’re on Lian Yu.

Cast

Main cast

Special appearance by

Special guest star

Guest starring

Co-starring

Trivia

  • This episode marks the screenwriting debut for Maya Houston, and her only Arrow episode she has co-written to date.
  • The title references Oliver going through a time loop.
    • Quentin likens it to the Bill Murry movie Groundhog Day. Laurel however, references the movie Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise, which also features a character living through a time loop.
    • This is the third time someone within the Arrowverse has been stuck in an time loop with Zari being the first (as seen in the DC's Legends of Tomorrow episode "Here I Go Again") and Nora West-Allen being the second with the repetitive use of her ability to reverse time (as seen in The Flash episode "Cause and XS").
      • Like Quentin did in this situation, when Zari told Nate she was stuck in a time loop, Nate was quick to compare her predicament to Groundhog Day.
  • Unlike the previous episodes of this season, this episode didn't include so many noticeable callbacks to previous seasons.
    • More so, this episode included themes of Season 6, mostly the relationship Oliver and Laurel had with Quentin; how both saw him as a father-figure.
      • Laurel's test was to say goodbye to Quentin, after he saved in "Life Sentence". The time loop of this episode showcases what happened if Quentin survived the events of the same episode.
  • Dinah uses Sara's canary cry device she gave to her.
  • In their last conversation, Oliver and Quentin recall their messy personal history, with Quentin attributing their later alliance to Laurel and Sara's trust in Oliver.
  • Foreshadowing: Quentin refers to cheating death during his first meeting with Oliver, and John later calls attention to Oliver's absolute refusal to give up. These are the exact reasons why the Monitor placed Oliver in the time loop, although Oliver's stubbornness keeps him from putting two and two together until the very last loop.
  • The note doc contained several references including a Stranger Things Easter egg.
    • The name Jay Nedra combines the first names of co-writer Maya Houston's real-life brother and mother.
    • Bean, Bauer, Callie, Watson and Cofax are the names of the real-life dogs that belong to several Arrow crew members. Showrunner Beth Schwartz is the Bean's owner.

Gallery

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References


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