Last week on Arrow, Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) was trapped in a time loop by Mar Novu, aka The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett)! In order to escape, Oliver was forced to come to terms with his own mortality, and his imminent death in the coming Crisis! Having freed himself, he found himself with the rest of Team Arrow (including his children from the future) transported to the island where Oliver’s journey started: Lian Yu! But wait, wasn’t Lian Yu destroyed a few years ago? This week’s episode, Arrow S8E7, “Purgatory,” brings all the elements of the preceding six episodes into focus, as heroes make gut-wrenching sacrifices and Oliver prepares to meet his destiny.
On the shore of Lian Yu, Oliver asks Mia (Katherine McNamara), William (Ben Lewis), and Connor (Joseph David-Jones) how they ended up on the island with he, Laurel (Katie Cassidy), and Diggle (David Ramsey). Connor describes A.R.G.U.S. agents abducting them, and Lyla (Audrey Marie Anderson) emerges from a nearby tent and apologizes for the inconvenience. She tells them The Monitor needs them to build a weapon on the island. Diggle objects, still believing Novu is their enemy, and Oliver explains what happened in the time loop and that he realized they need to work with The Monitor.
Lyla says the materials they need to build the weapon—the dwarf star particles, the schematics for the Pulse Wave Generator, the plutonium, even Dr. Wong—are all waiting for them outside. She says Lian Yu has been experiencing energy spikes that have restored it to its past, not-destroyed state, and that they need to harness that energy for the weapon. Mia asks if building the weapon will stop the crisis, and Lyla says there’s no stopping it, which causes Oliver and Diggle to share knowing glances. Mia asks what’s going on, and Oliver tells his kids that he’s destined to die. Mia accuses him of giving up and storms off.
Soon, underground, Diggle confronts Lyla about her role helping The Monitor. She explains to him how The Monitor saved her years earlier from the IED blast she told Laurel about a few episodes back. She says The Monitor tasked her with finding heroes strong enough to face the coming crisis, and that she has faith in Novu and his intentions. Diggle says he hasn’t accepted The Monitor as his personal lord and savior yet, and leaves.
In the sky, Dinah (Juliana Harkavy), Rene (Rick Gonzalez), and Roy (Colton Haynes) are on their way to the island in a cargo plane. As they approach Lian Yu, Dinah sees something incoming. On the ground below, Oliver, Laurel, and Diggle see a missile strike the plane, sending it crashing down.
The Hunting Party
Back in the tent, the rest of the team makes a plan to find the crashed plane and save Dinah, Rene, and Roy. William tells them he’s found the plane, but that the plutonium landed in a different spot. Diggle, Connor, and Lyla head out to rescue the people, and Oliver and Laurel go out to find the plutonium, Mia staying behind to pout (and, as Oliver says, to protect William).
Out in the jungle, Oliver says he’s glad Laurel’s there with him, and she accuses him of avoiding Mia, suggesting that he not do anything he might regret later. Meanwhile, in the underground bunker, William is working on building the device while Mia broods. She says she was right all along about Oliver, and that she should never have trusted him.
Elsewhere in the jungle, Lyla and Connor are getting to know each other. Diggle makes a snide remark about Lyla being in league with “an evil deity,” and the two snipe at each other some more. Just then Dinah and Rene emerge. Rene’s leg is badly injured, and they don’t know where Roy ended up. Lyla takes Rene back to the camp, and Diggle, Connor, and Dinah set off to look for Roy.
The Cost of Living
Oliver locates the plutonium, but while his back was turned Laurel was captured by a man wearing a Deathstroke mask. Oliver is then confronted by Edward Fyers (Sebastian Dunn), a man who’s been dead since Oliver’s first year on the island. Fyers says he’s been resurrected somehow, and a group of armed men appear alongside him. Oliver, who’s carrying a gun, takes out the gunmen, and Laurel turns the tables on the Deathstroke before saving Oliver from another gun-toting assailant. Fyers and the masked man escape, and Oliver identifies the latter as Billy Wintergreen (Jeffrey Robinson), another man who died years ago. He tells Laurel to take the plutonium back to William while he goes after Fyers and Wintergreen, saying they’re his responsibility.
The two split up, and as Oliver makes his way further into the jungle, he’s attacked by Yao Fei (Byron Mann), the man who trained Oliver in archery years ago, and who’s also supposed to be dead. Yao Fei tells Oliver that Fyers and Wintergreen want the weapon for themselves, and tells Oliver that the people who were with him at the beginning have been resurrected. He warns Oliver not to be distracted, and Oliver assures him he won’t be.
Elsewhere, Diggle, Connor, and Dinah find a badly-injured Roy, his arm pinned beneath some of the wreckage. They’re unable to move the wreckage, and Roy can’t feel how bad the damage is. Nearby, fuel from the plane is leaking out, and sparks are flying which could ignite the fuel at any moment. Connor suggests they may have to amputate the arm in order to free Roy, but Diggle insists they find a way to move the wreckage. Laurel arrives with the plutonium, and they bring each other up to speed. With Diggle and Connor unable to move the wreckage, Roy makes the call that they should amputate his arm. Connor grabs his med kit, and he and Diggle set to work while Laurel and Dinah hold off the mercenaries who were following Laurel. Diggle applies a tourniquet, and with a swing of his sword, Connor cuts off Roy’s arm.
Oliver and Yao Fei are making their way to Fyers’s camp, which they find abandoned. Just then they’re captured in a pair of nets that spring up from the ground. Dangling above the ground, they try to figure a way out.
Back at the camp, all of the team save for Oliver has returned. Mia asks where Oliver is, and when no one knows she decides to go out and find him. William tries to get her to stay, saying Oliver knows the island better than anyone, and tells Mia that it’s okay to be afraid of losing their father. Mia says she refuses to let him die, especially after they lost him once before. William says he doesn’t want to waste his time being angry with Oliver, and Mia softens.
Because You Left
As Oliver tries to cut his way out of his net with a pocket knife, Yao Fei tells him to breathe and think. He says Oliver’s avoiding his family because of his fate, and Oliver says he doesn’t know what to say to them. Yao Fei suggests ‘goodbye,’ and Oliver replies that he doesn’t know how. He’s always tried to survive, and Yao Fei suggests that he can survive this through his children, his legacy. With that, Fei uses a mirror and a knife to burn through the ropes holding up their nets, and the two fall to the ground.
At the camp, Diggle checks on Roy. He apologizes for what’s happened to Roy, blaming himself for bringing Roy back into the fold. Roy says he would rather be here with the team than back in Hub City all alone, and that this is the sacrifice he had to make as part of being a hero. Dinah then enters and says they have a problem. Fyers’s men have surrounded the camp, Rene says. William has finished building the Pulse Wave Generator, but it’s still charging thanks to the island’s energy. They don’t know when it will be ready, and Oliver arrives saying they need to buy William more time. He suggests that activating the device while it’s connected to the energy of the island will destroy the resurrected mercenaries. Rene argues that the plutonium could destroy the island, but Lyla and Oliver say it’s their best shot.
Later that night, Oliver, suited up as Green Arrow, confronts Fyers, Wintergreen, and their men. He tells them to surrender, saying he’s not alone, and the rest of the team emerges from the woods behind him. Back in the bunker, Roy, Lyla, and William have stayed behind. William tries to power on the device, and it doesn’t work. William noticed a DNA code in the schematics, and suggests that the device will only work in contact with a specific person’s DNA. Lyla radios out to Oliver that they need him back, while outside, a huge brawl ensues. The team fights their way through Fyers’s men, Yao Fei engaging Wintergreen and buying time for Oliver and Diggle to return to the bunker.
They arrive, and William tells Oliver the sphere will activate once he picks it up. Oliver removes a glove and grabs the sphere, but nothing happens. William realizes that the DNA matches Lyla’s. Diggle asks if that means she’s the weapon, and says he understands why she has to do this. Lyla takes the sphere from Oliver, and the weapon hums to life. As it does, the army of dead men outside disappears, and Lyla’s eyes go wide. She puts the sphere down and tells Diggle she has to go. A breach opens up, and Lyla walks through it.
The Beginning of the End
Later, the team packs up the camp. Oliver says Lyla had arranged an A.R.G.U.S. rescue boat for them that would be there soon. Connor asks if Lyla knew what was going to happen, and Diggle says she didn’t, but that she can handle whatever Novu has planned for her. Mia asks how much time they have before the crisis, and Oliver says not long. He thanks Dinah and Rene for always being there for him, and they refuse to accept it as a goodbye speech and exit the tent.
Oliver and William find Roy underground, and Oliver apologizes for what happened. Roy thanks Oliver for setting him up with an A.R.G.U.S. doctor. William offers Roy the arrowhead he used to find Roy in the future, but Roy says it should stay in the family and lets William keep it. Oliver calls William a hero for what he was able to do, and says it’s meant a lot to him to get to see William as a man. William tells him that he understands what Oliver was doing for all those years, and they both say they’re proud of each other.
Back topside, Oliver talks to Diggle about Lyla. Diggle says he knows she had to make a sacrifice, even if he didn’t know what it would be. Oliver tells Diggle he wants his kids to return to 2040 before the crisis arrives, and Diggle says he’ll make sure they get home safely. Oliver then asks Diggle to track down Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and ask her not to separate Mia and William, which he promises to do. Diggle says he’ll stay by Oliver’s side as long as he can during the crisis, and Oliver tells him he couldn’t have done any of this without Diggle. The two embrace, and Diggle heads for the boat, Oliver saying he has one thing he has to do first.
Mia finds Oliver near the stone graves of Yao Fei and Shado. She tells her father she regrets being angry with him when she grew up, and Oliver says he never meant to cause her or William any pain. He tells her that this island turned him into someone who was better than he once was, and that as much as he hates it there he wouldn’t be here talking to his daughter if he hadn’t ended up on Lian Yu in the first place. Mia thanks him for letting her be part of the story of Green Arrow, and the two hug. Oliver says she needs to get to the boat, and as they stand there the skies turn red. In a flash of light, Lyla returns, decked out as Harbinger. She tells them the crisis has begun.
In completely unrelated news, beneath the streets of Central City, Nash Wells (Tom Cavanagh) stands before a metal door adorned with seven icons. He addresses someone, presumably The Monitor, saying that he’s worked for years to kill him, but that now he’s saved Nash’s life. A booming voice tells Nash to hand himself over and begin his new life. Pressing the symbols on the door in a sequence he somehow knows, Nash steps back and the door opens, flooding the underground chamber with bright white light. Suddenly white energy rushes out of the door, grabbing a screaming Nash and pulling him in. The door slams down behind him.
To Be Continued in Crisis on Infinite Earths!
As an ending to a story arc that’s felt like Oliver’s greatest hits tour, bringing him back to the place where it all started was a nice way to tie things together for the series. The conflict with Fyers and Wintergreen ultimately amounted to very little, but thankfully it took a backseat to the more character-driven drama of the events (I would’ve liked to see more of the philosophical debate between non-believer Diggle and believer Lyla, though). As the final episode before Crisis, this episode tied up the loose ends of the season well. We’ll see what’s next for Oliver, Mia, and company on Sunday as Crisis on Infinite Earths kicks off on The CW!