For the eponymous Earth-2 counterpart of Star City, see Starling City.
For various uses of Starling City, see Starling City (disambiguation).
"Among the many misconceptions humanity holds dear is the fallacy that all beings are created equal. In truth, there are those who are greater. They are called heroes. But even among heroes, there are different echelons. The highest belong to those known as the paragons. And they are the only hope of all creation."
Mar Novu
"Starling City" is the first episode of the eighth season of Arrow, and the one-hundred-sixty-first and most recent episode overall. It aired on October 15, 2019.


While trying to decipher The Monitor’s mission, Oliver returns to Starling City where he encounters familiar faces. Meanwhile, Mia and William's team clash with a new foe.[1]


  • This is the first episode of the series not to feature Emily Bett Rickards (Felicity Smoak) in 6 years, since the season 1 episode "Betrayal".
  • This episode feature many references to past episodes of the show, mainly from Season 1:
    • At the start of the episode, Oliver experiences events in extremely similar ways he experienced the same events on Earth-1 in "Pilot", but with a few changes, notably Malcolm Merlyn taking Walter's role as well as Tommy Merlyn taking Thea's role.
    • The scene where Oliver is rescued from the island is mostly made of archive footage from "Pilot" with some changes notably such as Oliver's hair and beard and instead of having a Deathstroke mask, the island has a Batman cowl.
    • Oliver tries to escape Diggle's car but Diggle beats him to the chase, revealing he is the Earth-1 version. He tells Oliver that he fooled him once which refers to when Oliver first tried it and got away with it in "Pilot".
    • After Oliver leaves a party at Verdant, Diggle points out he's going the wrong way. The same thing happened in "Pilot". Also, Oliver ends up stopping Diggle the same way he stopped him in that episode, even pointing out that he always falls for that move.
    • Oliver and Tommy mention that Thea used to say "The dead don't want anything. It's one of the benefits of being dead." Earth-1 Thea said the same thing in "Honor Thy Father", and Oliver referenced that quote to her in "Legacy".
    • Oliver thinks he found Felicity and mentions "the pen should be red" in reference to when he met her during "Lone Gunmen" where she was using a red pen.
    • Moira mentioned that Thea died from a Vertigo overdose on her 18th birthday. This is a reference to "Trust but Verify", where Thea drove after taking Vertigo on her 18th birthday which resulted in her going to court.
    • The fight scene in the hallway has some resemblances to the one Oliver had in "The Undertaking".
    • The first fight between Oliver (as the Green Arrow) and Tommy (as the Dark Archer) is similar to the fight between Oliver and Malcolm in "Darkness on the Edge of Town". When Oliver finds out Tommy is the Dark Archer, he reacts similarly to how Malcolm did in that episode when he found out Oliver was the Hood, except Tommy wakes up and promptly escapes.
    • Malcolm discusses the fight between the Hood and the Dark Archer to Dinah in a similar way Oliver told Quentin about the Hood saving him in "Pilot".
    • Oliver gets chained up by Tommy the same way he got chained by Malcolm in "Sacrifice". He later gets out of the situation the same way he did in that episode, while Diggle saves him and jokes that he found him from a tracker in his shoe the way he originally did in that episode
    • The final fight between Oliver and Tommy on a roof with the climax of the Undertaking at hand is exteremly similar to the final fight between Oliver and Malcolm in "Sacrifice".
    • Oliver says to Adrian that he's 10 steps ahead of him, the same thing Earth-1 Adrian used to tell Oliver in Season 5.
  • The city where Oliver and company reside has not been called Starling City since the fourth season premiere "Green Arrow", when it was renamed Star City as a method of rebranding after the repeated tragedies and in honor of Ray Palmer who was believed dead. However, its Earth-2 counterpart never underwent the change, albeit the timeline being pushed backwards to which the present-day events mirror that of season 1, when it was in fact called "Starling City".
  • Bruce Wayne's quote shared by Adrian Chase, "once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth", is taken from Sherlock Holmes.
  • This is the only episode to credit Katie Cassidy Rodgers in the special appearance bill despite being a series regular[2]. In addition, she was also billed as simply Katie Cassidy..
  • Beth Schwartz sought permission from The Flash writers to destroy Earth-2.[3]


  1. - "Arrow Season 8 Premiere Description: “Starling City”" - GreenArrowTV
  2. Although Katie Cassidy Rodgers was credited with "Special Appearance By" in "Starling City", she is confirmed to still be a series regular for season 8.[1]
  3. "Arrow Had to Clear the Destruction of [SPOILER with The Flash Writers" - CBR]
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