HOLLYWOOD—I cannot believe it, after eight seasons, the hit CW series “Arrow” is coming to an end. The CW has been known for its TV lineup including superheroes, which was first ushered in with the fantastic “Smallville,” which was originally on the WB, which became UPN before becoming the CW. That show was amazing and when it ended, I was wondering what would fill that void.

It was “Arrow,” which focused on the origins of Oliver Queen aka the Green Arrow portrayed by Stephen Amell. The first season of the show was fantastic, season two was just as good, and season three, four and five were respectable entries. However, as we entered season six and season seven, I sensed the show was losing its steam. Key characters would die, but always find a way to come back and then it got a bit too goofy for my liking with that intergalactic element that takes the level of realism out the series if you ask me.

Season seven did set the stage for where things are headed for this eighth and final season which has been cut down to only 10 episodes. I think that is a wise choice as it doesn’t attempt to have episodes that are filler material, which so many TV shows tend to do. The premiere episode, ‘Starling City’ felt like a ton of déjà vu for me. That may have been a direct result of me not watching season seven from episode to episode as it aired.

Oli was simply following the Monitor’s orders to travel back in time to complete a mission appointed to him. There is one major problem, Oli knows in the near future he dies and he’s grappling greatly with that reality. Traveling back in time, Oli meets his mother (as you all recall she was killed by Slade in season two), Malcolm Merlyn (who is Thea’s father, and Tommy’s dad), as well as his buddy Tommy (who died at the end of season one).

Yeah, this is not a series that you can just jump into America. If you do, you will be quite lost, so at the very least, you should have watched most of season seven if you want to follow what took place in season eight. The difference is back on this Earth, not all is as when Oli actually lived it. How so? Thea died of an overdose in the Glades and is not present in this universe. We have Laurel Lance aka Black Canary who is patrolling the city with the assistance of the Green Arrow, this time portrayed by Adrian, and not Oli.

The Dark Archer is NOT Malcolm Merlyn, it’s his son Tommy seeking vengeance against the Glades for being culpable in his sister’s death, yes Thea is the love child of Malcolm and Moira Queen people. The episode had a lot and I mean a lot going on because we were flashing between the past, the present and the future. The past involved Oli, the present involved Oli, but in the future, it was our hero’s kids who were tackling crime in Star City. It’s still taking me some time to get used to those characters, but I can see where the series is headed: to a potential spin-off after “Arrow” culminates.

While everyone was so happy to see Oli in the past, only Laurel, Adrian and John Diggle were aware they were living in an alternate universe; everyone else, not so much. Tommy pegged Oli was the person who attempted to halt him from stealing items from the Dwarf Star Project. So you had two buddies fighting one another, both for different causes. I was certain Oli was going to kill Tommy, but he managed to prevent that reality from transpiring.

I did like the fact that in this alternate Earth that Rene and Dinah were villains. It’s always fun when you see your favorite characters in a different light. So just when the audience thought all was good, Oli, Laurel and John discovered that this new Earth literally desecrated right in front of our heroes eyes as they returned back to the present. Ok, so with this alternate Earth destroyed I’m wondering how this impacts Oli, his allies, his adventures and our heroes in the future. This should be a fun and intriguing final season. “Arrow” airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.