Arrow is officially headed into the homestretch as we reach the halfway point of its 10-episode final season, and things are only going to get crazier in Tuesday's episode. Directed by David Ramsey, "Reset" drops Oliver (Stephen Amell) into an alternate universe where everything is not quite what it seems. Amell previously said the episode will adopt a narrative technique never before seen on Arrow, and Ramsey echoed that sentiment when TV Guide spoke to him about directing the hour.
"It's really exciting. I think it's an episode of Arrow that is very unconventional. I think it's a very interesting plot device of how we help Oliver on his journey to accepting his fate," Ramsey said. "A lot of times Oliver's arc begins with one episode and maybe doesn't end until three episodes, six episodes later, or a full season later. Oliver's emotional arc takes place in 42 minutes, and he starts in one place and ends up in another place. And we travel that with him literally in a way that, I think, we don't normally do on this series. So it's a different type of episode."
What exactly that plot device is you'll have to watch to find out, but we do know it has something to do with the return of Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne), who died in the show's Season 6 finale but is alive and kicking in this alternate reality.
Season 8 has felt like a rundown of Arrow's greatest hits, and the list would not be complete without Lance. Given what we know about so many of the returning characters who came before him, we should probably expect a double dose of emotion to hit us where the fallen detective is concerned.
"I think he steals scenes, man," Ramsey said. "I think Paul was brilliant, brilliant, brilliant in this episode. There are things he had to do and create — a character to not only service his own arc but also the larger arc of Oliver's — and he did it just brilliantly. I thought he was incredibly in this episode."
As you can imagine, there's a lot to do and see in this special episode, which means some things will have to wait, like the inevitable showdown between Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) and Diggle that we've been so desperately wanting since we found out she's in league with the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett). He discovered her affiliation with Mar Novu at the end of Episode 5, but he only managed to confront her about it for about two seconds before he was hit with a tranquilizer dart. The rest of that conversation won't go down in Tuesday's outing, but that doesn't mean Lyla is entirely off the hook either.
"[Diggle and Lyla] are going to have it out soon, but it won't be in this episode," Ramsey confirmed. "Some of those questions you have for Lyla will be answered in this episode, but they'll be answered between Oliver and Lyla, not between John and Lyla."
Something tells us that argument is going to be an ugly one, unless Lyla can pull a pretty excellent explanation out of thin air to account for how long and to what degree she's been allied with the Monitor. Who knows, maybe this is why JJ (Charlie Barnett) turns out the way he does.
Arrow airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.
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