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ARROW Season 6 Premiere Review

By on October 13, 2017

Arrow — “Fallout”– Pictured (L-R): Stephen Amell as Oliver Queen and Jack Moore as William Clayton — Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

 

ARROW “FALLOUT” REVIEW

By Justin Carter

 

The last season of Arrow was a great return to form after an inconsistent year or two, finally embracing the silliness of its lead character and adding in some new faces for some much needed fun. It’s quite impressive how the show still managed to find ways to bring in pre-existing characters and put its own little spin on them, with Josh Segarra’s Prometheus being the clear standout.

Of his many convoluted, yet entertaining moments, none were quite as grandiose as the finale wherein he rigged an entire island to blow if his heart stopped beating. The show’s spent the past five months playing coy about the fate of Team Arrow on the island, and the answer at first initially is…they’re all alright! Even though it’s a good thing in concept, it also makes the episode feel more like an epilogue that the CW could’ve aired just randomly during the summer rather than a grand season opener of the sort we’re used to from this crew.

As the episode opens, Green Arrow is back in action, ditto Spartan, Wild Dog, and Mr. Terrific, and it’s a welcome sight to know that no harm befell these characters. Except, no, not really. Even though many of Team Arrow are still active on the field and kicking ass like before — give or take some new wardrobe changes, as Wild Dog’s ditched the hockey jersey for full body armor — none of them are really fine. Nearly everyone’s got their own PTSD or secrets they’ve been keeping for the last five months, all of which are coming out (or are in the process of doing so). The most egregious example being that Quentin and Dinah have been lying to the team about Black Siren dying on Lian Yu. Instead of being dead when Quentin shot her, she was healed by someone who has now sent her to Star City to stir up some trouble.

The return of Black Siren means more Katie Cassidy, which is a welcome thing in this instance. Looking back, it’s clear the show didn’t really know what to do with Laurel Prime until the back half of the third season. Even leading up to her death, she seemed all over the place, but turning her into Siren was a breath of fresh air. Cassidy’s definitely having more fun as a Laurel who hates everyone because of how they treated her on her Earth, while simultaneously wanting some kind of approval from all of them. And Quentin, being as full of guilt as he is, is just so powerless against her both physically and emotionally, making it easy to understand why he’d lie about killing her.

By now with over a dozen seasons of television under its belt, it’s becoming all too clear how no one in the Arrowverse can tell the whole truth until they’re forced to. Oliver was the worst at this by far, but now that the flashbacks have peeled back every part of his past life, it’s difficult to imagine what else he can lie about. Having the other team members lie, however, is a clever workaround that also allows for more character dynamics to come into play. Diggle suffering from PTSD after the island explosion allows him and Dinah to have a good rapport over their secret keeping without it feeling tedious as it would with Oliver and another character. Last season went a long way in forming relationships between the various team members outside of Oliver, and this season looks to be continuing that trend.

“Fallout” is a solid return to the Arrowverse on its own, but it must be said the episode stumbles when it focuses on Oliver on his own. It’s understandable that he’d have custody of William after his mother Samantha died on the island — even though the show thinks this death means more than it truly does — but the scenes between father and son are too heavy handed, and William still emanates little more than “a kid Oliver knows” vibes. Maybe this will change now that the two are under the same roof? 

And then there’s the immediate end, wherein Oliver’s secret is under threat of being revealed to the public yet again. This would probably be a more effective end if the show hadn’t done this plot about four times, including last season. At this point, it’s a wonder how the FBI is just now hearing about this, let alone how Oliver and company have managed to keep his identity under wraps for half a decade. But that’s just nitpicking, and Arrow earned enough goodwill last year to make me interested in what’s coming next, even if this episode does feel more like an epilogue than a true season opener.

Additional Notes

  • Slade’s still alive, obviously, and beginning the search for his son. Which is probably not going to end well, given that it’s Slade we’re talking about.
  • Thea’s also alive, but she’s currently in a coma. Hopefully she comes back soon, because this show isn’t the same without Willa Holland’s snark.
  • Wild Dog’s body armor is impressive, but he also looks like he’s more ready to take on the Punisher than simple street thugs.
  • The guy who brought Siren back is clearly our Big Bad for the season, who’s played by Michael Emerson, but I’m not sure if his name was ever revealed yet. I’m fairly certain he’s with Helix from last season, though.

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