Sunday, December 8, 2019

Arrow Episode Guide: Season 8, Episode 7 - Purgatory

For a summary of the episode guide layout & categories, click here.


Once again stranded on Lian Yu, Oliver and his allies must face a familiar enemy alongside Oliver's first ally in the battle against evil, as they struggle to build a weapon to aid the Monitor in the coming Crisis.


The flashbacks of Arrow: Season 1 and the comic-book storyline The Rise of Arsenal.


As Roy, Rene and Dinah are flying to Lian Yu, Roy comments that it looks beautiful from above, saying that he's never seen it before. This contradicts the Arrow: Season 2.5 tie-in comic, where Roy and Oliver went to Lian Yu to check on Slade Wilson in his cell in Issue #19. (The canonicity of the comics has always been in question and this could be explained as something  Barry Allen's time-travel changed.)

It never is explained just who resurrected Fyers and his men or how Yao Fei came to know all about what brought them back. The obvious answer is that the Anti-Monitor brought them back in the same manner that the Monitor resurrected Lex Luthor and the Monitor brought Yao Fei back to mentor Oliver again, but the actual forces trying to stop Oliver are not named beyond their being responsible for the odd energy spikes.


The scene where Roy has to have his arm cut off is tensely directed and tightly shot.


As a result of the events of this episode, Roy Harper loses his right arm. In the pre-New 52 comics, Roy Harper lost his right arm just before the Rise of Arsenal mini-series, in a battle with the supervillain Prometheus. Roy officially lost his arm in Justice League: Cry For Justice, but the aftermath was explored in the Fall of Green Arrow and Rise of Arsenal mini-series.

This episode ended with a scene involving Nash Wells from The Flash, setting up Crisis on Infinite Earths. This scene is described in detail in the entry for F608.


The past few days have seen several odd energy spikes on Lian Yu. Somehow, this has restored the island's vegetation, which had all been killed after Adrian Chase firebombed the island in 523. The device which Dr. Wong designed should enable them to harness those energy spikes for some undefined purpose.

Mia knows the formula for calculating the volume of a sphere by memory: 4/3 pi times radius squared. She does not, however, know the Pauli exclusion principle of quantum physics.

William says the coding and design sequences for Dr. Wong's device are more complicated than anything he's ever seen, including 2040 technology.

There is a double helix genetic sequence in the code for Dr. Wong's device. William thought it was an error at first, but he now believes a person with a certain genetic sequence needs to trigger the device. After Oliver tries and fails to activate it, they seize upon having Lyla Michaels try it.

Dialogue Triumphs

Oliver: (voice-over) The name of the island they found me on is Lian Yu. It's Mandarin for "purgatory". Now I understand why. The memories, the pain... I've never escaped them. They're always with me; a reminder of what I had to endure with only one thought, one goal... Survive. To save the multiverse, I must become something else. To do that, I have to return to where my journey began. Purgatory.

Oliver: There's no easy way to say this. Mar Novu has seen my fate. I don't survive Crisis.
William: What do you mean?
Oliver: I mean that he told me what would happen to me the day that he walked in and asked for my help.
Mia: And when exactly were you planning on telling us?!
Oliver: I've been fighting my fate because of the two of you, and I can't fight it, I can't change it.
Mia: So you're just giving up?!
Oliver: I am attempting to save the multiverse, and I'm trying to keep the two of you safe. We're gonna build the weapon, we're gonna finish this mission, and that's the way that it has to be.
Mia: (cooly) Well, then I guess we better get to it.

Lyla: I'm sorry our first meeting had to be this. I envisioned getting to know my future son over a meal, not en route to a plane crash.
Connor: This... this feels about right for our family. Most of our milestones got interrupted by some sort of international emergency or another.
Lyla: Yeah. I guess your dad and I weren't really there for you and J. J.
Connor: You were there when it counted. Besides, I was beyond proud to be the son of the two superspies that co-founded Knightwatch.
John: You never mentioned that.
Connor: I.. think maybe I wasn't supposed to. Time travel rules and all.

Oliver: Yao Fei? Are you real?
Yao Fei: As real as the men you hunt.
Oliver: Why'd you try to shoot me?
Yao Fei: Like the first time. To keep you from danger.
Oliver: No one can keep me from danger. Okay? Not even you.
Yao Fei: Because you are fated to die? There are forces at play that want you to not succeed.
Oliver: Fyers and his men know about the weapon, and they want to use it for themselves? 
(Yao Fei just nods.)
Oliver: All right. Well, who else has, um, returned?
Yao Fei: Only those who were with you from the beginning, but you must not let the evil that tempted you at the start distract you at the end.
Oliver: He's coming after more than my mission, Yao Fei, you understand? I'm not gonna let that happen.
Yao Fei: Last time you tried to do alone did not end well.
Oliver: I'm not that person anymore.
Yao Fei: I will hope.

Digg:  How you feeling?
Roy: I... I've been better.
Digg: I'm so sorry, Roy. I should have found another way to get you out.
Roy: This wasn't your fault.
Digg: Yeah. Well, that's where you're wrong. I mean, you wouldn't even be in this situation if I hadn't come to find you in Hub City. (sighs) Roy I can't protect the people I care about.
Roy: You know I worked with you and Oliver for a really long time. And if I've learned anything, it's that this team has each other's backs no matter the cost. Things just didn't exactly go as planned.
Digg: That's an understatement.
Roy: No, but I would rather be here. I would rather be here with you and with the team than back in Hub City, living a life all alone. Heroes make sacrifices, John, and for better or for worse, this just had to be mine.

Digg: You know, Oliver, I once told you a long time ago that a soldier never lets a brother go into battle alone. I think that's why it was so hard for me to accept the idea that you weren't gonna make it out of this. I felt like I'd be failing you.
Oliver: You could never fail me, John.
Digg: I'm gonna stick by your side for as long as I can, but I know you have to do this alone.
Oliver: Every mission has an end.
Digg: I wish this one didn't.
Oliver: I couldn't have done any of this, any of it without you. You've always been my rock.
Digg: Don't mean the best man you've ever known?
Oliver: I also mean that.
(The two hug.)

(Oliver is looking over the graves of those he left behind on Lian Yu. Mia emerges behind him.)
Mia: Um, William said I might find you here.
Oliver: Figured you'd be the first one on the boat. You okay?
Mia: My whole life I heard nothing but stories about you, you know, this legendary Green Arrow and his team. I should have been proud of you, because you were a hero, and All I could see is that that is the reason that you weren't with me, and it's it's kind of hard to let that go.
Oliver: I never meant to cause you any pain. Your mom and me just wanted to protect you.
Mia: I know. I, uh I understand that now.
Oliver: For a very long time, I have hated this place. Just I'd think about all the people that it took from me. It would just It would just make me so angry.
Mia: But you're not now?
Oliver: I'm still a little bit angry. This island taught me to survive. It turned me into someone else, somebody better than the person I was before. So despite my feelings... There are no stories about the Green Arrow to tell if I don't make my way to Lian Yu. And I'm also not standing at this moment, looking at my daughter.
Mia: Thank you for letting me be a part of your story. Even if it was only for a little while.
Oliver: (smiling) Mia, something tells me you're gonna create your own stories.
(The two hug.) 

(As Oliver and Mia head toward the beach, the skies suddenly turn read and thunder fills the air. Lyla Michaels appears before them, wearing odd armor.)
Oliver: Lyla?
Harbinger: Not anymore. I'm now a Harbinger of things to come.
Mia: And that's-?
Harbinger: Yes. The Crisis has begun.


William refers to his first trip to Lian Yu, as seen in the flash-fowards of 701.

William, Connor and Mia were brought to Lian Yu by ARGUS agents storming the Bunker, under Lyla's orders.

Lyla reveals that Dr. Wong from 802 has been experimenting with the dwarf star particles Oliver retrieved in 801 and has devised schematics for something they need William to build.

Dinah, Roy and Rene are flying in from Star City with the plutonium John and Roy retrieved in 805.

Oliver tells William and Mia about how the Monitor said he is fated to die during the Crisis.

Lyla explains that she first saw the Monitor years earlier when she survived an IED explosion that took out the rest of her unit in Afghanistan. The Monitor revealed that he had saved her for a purpose and that she would have to help him years later to find heroes strong enough to fight the coming Crisis.

Dinah knows how to fly a plane.

Roy has apparently never been to Lian Yu before.

Some kind of missile shoots down Dinah's plane.

Something is jamming the radio signals, preventing Team Arrow from communicating across Lian Yu.

William is able to pinpoint where the cockpit of the plane wound up as well as where the plutomniu, canister went.

Diggle, Connor and Lyla go to find the rest of the team, as Oliver and Black Siren go to get the plutonium. 

Connor lets it slip that Lyla and Diggle go on to found Knightwatch in the future.

They find Dinah helping a limping, wounded Rene to walk away from the crash site. They say they have no idea where Roy is.

Lyla helps Rene back to their base camp, while Connor, Dinah and Diggle go to search for Roy.

Oliver and Black Siren find the plutonium, but are attacked by Eddie Fyers and Billy Wintergreen and their men.  They are able to fight them off, but Fyers and Wintergreen get away.

Fyers says that he was given a new lease on life but does not elaborate how he is alive.

Oliver sends Black Siren back to camp with the plutonium while he goes chasing after Fyers alone.

Oliver runs into Yao Fei, who is also somehow alive again.

Dinah, Diggle and Connor find Roy trapped near a puddle of fuel that is near sparking plane wiring. His arm is pinned by a piece of the plane's landing gear and he says he can't feel it.

Connor has a medical kit in his pack that could allow him to safely amputate Roy's arm. Diggle, however, refuses to give up on trying to lever the landing gear off his arm.

Dinah leaves to investigate someone crashing through the brush nearby. It turns out to be Black Siren.

Dinah and Black Siren move to distract Fyers men as Connor cuts off Roy's arm.

Oliver and Yao Fei find Fyer's camp, but get caught in a pair of steel wire net traps.

Mia goes after Oliver on her own when she learns he went off on his own.

William tells Mia about how Felicity let him watch their dad in action through a video monitor in 611 and how that showed him how Oliver could cheat death better than anyone.

Digg apologizes to Roy for not being able to save his arm but Roy says he's happy to be here with his friends doing something to save the universe than living an ordinary life along in Hub City.

Lyla activates the device, which causes all the previously dead people on Lian Yu to vanish. She then says she has to go and vanishes through a breach.

Lyla arranged for an ARGUS boat to come pick everyone up before she vanished.

Oliver says his goodbyes to Dinah and Rene and Roy.

Roy says John has arranged for him to get to see a fancy ARGUS doctor about his missing arm.

William tries to give the Queen family Hozen back to Roy Harper. Roy says it should stay in the family.

Oliver says his goodbyes to Digg, but makes two requests: make sure their kinds get back to 2040 safely and tell Felicity that she needs to make sure William and Mia grow up together. Diggle agrees.

Oliver goes to visit the graves of those he left on Lian Yu before going. Mia finds him there and they make their peace.

Mia and Oliver are confronted by Lyla, as the skies turn red and lightning fills the air.


Lian Yu.

The Bottom Line

A bit lackluster in terms of action, but absolutely essential in giving all the regular players a chance to take a final bow and Oliver to make peace with everyone he hadn't had a chance to talk to yet. Also pivotal to Crisis since it sets up Lyla's transformation into Harbinger.

Apart from that nothing really notable happens, which makes it all the stranger they chose NOW of all times to adapt The Fall of Arsenal into the Arrowverse. Maybe they're setting up Colton Haynes to appear as Cyborg Roy in Green Arrow and The Canaries? Either way, it's am unpleasant addition to the canon,

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