Arrow (2012– )
18 user 3 critic

Present Tense 

When a mysterious new Deathstroke appears in Star City, Oliver and Team Arrow insist on taking down this villain themselves. Meanwhile reeling from the loss of one of their own, the future ... See full summary »


Kristin Windell


Greg Berlanti (developed by), Marc Guggenheim (developed by) | 4 more credits »




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Amell ... Oliver Queen / Green Arrow
David Ramsey ... John Diggle
Rick Gonzalez ... Rene Ramirez / Wild Dog
Juliana Harkavy ... Dinah Drake / Black Canary
Katherine McNamara ... Mia Smoak
Ben Lewis ... William Clayton
Joseph David-Jones ... Connor Hawke
LaMonica Garrett ... Mar Novu / The Monitor
Katie Cassidy ... Laurel Lance / Black Siren
Echo Kellum ... Curtis Holt
Jamie Andrew Cutler ... Grant Wilson / Deathstroke
Venus Terzo ... Dr. Elisa Schwartz
Keri Adams Keri Adams ... Bethany Snow
Andrew Chin Andrew Chin ... Perp
Jason William Day ... Officer (as Jason Day)


When a mysterious new Deathstroke appears in Star City, Oliver and Team Arrow insist on taking down this villain themselves. Meanwhile reeling from the loss of one of their own, the future Team Arrow figures out a new way to try and stop JJ. Written by sarah_l91

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








Release Date:

5 November 2019 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In a scene near the end, Curtis is using a computer/device in Ollie's lab with a 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)-style label on it reading "HAwryLiw 3000", a call-out to the "HAL 9000" computer in A Space Odyssey. Ken Hawryliw is the series property master. See more »


Oliver Queen: You okay?
Mia Smoak: I would have killed him.
Oliver Queen: I know. And I know you didn't want to.
Mia Smoak: Thank you.
See more »


References The Shawshank Redemption (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

The Future Is Now!
6 November 2019 | by highmarksreviewsSee all my reviews

One of the most fascinating parts of "Present Tense" was the fact that it didn't fully deliver on the homages it planned on. It totally bummed the Deahtstroke tribute act in my opinion. Alas, Manu Bennett is an irreplaceable part of Arrow. On the other hand, the flash-forwards are finally, FINALLY fixed.

With the game-changing twist of Team Arrow 2.0 being transported to Star City 2019, the show really made the most of its extended cast and their complicated family dramas this week. This was some of the best dialogue written to date. Whether it was Oliver-William, Diggle-Connor, Curtis-William, Mia-Laurel, the dialogue landed and meant something. The acting was also spot-on, with the displaced 2040 characters strengthening their game significantly. No more annoying flashes forward to a bleak Star City for meaningless, dull side-missions. Bringing all the major players together in one room and one mission really worked.

Now, in terms of the Deathstroke treatment. Wasn't great, but serviceable enough I guess. The conflict felt rushed and minor in comparison to the far-superior dramatic material going on elsewhere. The action scenes weren't particularly memorable either. They were quick and admittedly, a tad choppy at times.

There was also an annoying final scene that just felt worthless. I won't spoil who is involved, but the twist comes with a head-scratch. It would be familiar ground for the show and the character in question. Their arc is near-complete. I would prefer it kept that way.

"Present Tense" ultimately squanders the Deathstrokes and their new leader with limited action scenes and zero care devoted to its true threat. On the other hand, it absolutely nailed the merging of 2019 and 2040. The family drama propelled the episode forward with shocking and touching revelations. It just felt right and made sense considering the weight of the twist at hand. Yes, this episode is imperfect in a lot of ways, but come on. The flash-forwards are finally fixed and over for the foreseeable time the show has left.

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