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For an episode that follows up the cliffhanger from the end of the excellent fifth season, “Fallout” struggled to explain why leaving its audience on edge was the right choice to make. Arrow is now in its sixth season and the need for a major shake up is an all time high. Now would have been the time to do it. Instead, we got a safe opening that felt like more of the same then a dramatic new twist. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The season premiere was still good and full of awesome moments, but it’s hard to ignore the opportunity for change.
Consequences are important. Leaving all the characters in a dire situation where not everyone will make it out alive is a bold move. As we find out in the premiere, the only major casualty is Samantha, a predictable choice and one that presents the least amount of mix up that the show should be looking for. Yes, Thea is in a coma and Diggle has some form of lingering physical trauma. Other than that, the explosion left few lasting repercussions and that is probably the most disappointing aspect of the show going forward.
It wouldn’t be fair to say that the explosion on Lian Yu brought nothing new to the show. William is now under the care of Oliver and this new father and son dynamic is a refreshing and interesting storyline. I wasn’t too big on the performances here, but I can see this taking off after the two get through their rough starting point. I get it, William’s mom died suddenly and unexpectedly, but I’d expect him to act a little older than he seems. Having Raisa return after last being seen in the pilot was a nice throwback as well.
Black Siren is back and this time she is front and center. And that’s great! It was always a shame to see Laurel Lance sidelined and thrown into the background during her tenure as the Black Canary. Now that she’s back in the form of her evil doppelganger, Laurel finally has an ongoing story and it’s definitely working. While she might not be the big bad of the season, her presence is felt through and through and the emotional connection is still there. Reintroducing her character was a great move.
Quentin and Dinah also get to shine with the big focus on Black Siren. Quentin, who seems to go through the same traumatic experience year after year, is getting new life breathed into his story as his relationship with Black Siren got even more complicated. Dinah acting as a surrogate daughter to Quentin is also very compelling. Dinah is a great counterpart to Laurel, as both an enemy and a potential ally. Their fights are fun and exciting and I really hope to see these two continue to go at it as the season continues.
Flashbacks aren’t gone just yet! For this season, flashbacks won’t tell a continuous story like they have in the past but will instead focus on individual stories that relate back to the present day. This usage sounds loads better than what they have done in recent years, and it’s exciting to think of all the history we’ll get for each of our beloved characters. For the premiere we got to see glimpses of what happened after the bombs went off on the island. It was a great way to catch us up on what happened in the five months that have passed, although for this particular episode the flashbacks cut in and out of the present plot in a strange and odd pace. Some flashbacks, like Samantha’s death scene, felt too short, while others, like our heroes escaping the explosions, felt just right.
The episode ended on the reveal that Oliver was spotted as the Green Arrow. As this is likely the focus of the next episode, let’s just hope this story pans out differently than the last two times this happened.
Arrow left us on such a high note last season that it would have been very difficult to repeat such success. That said, a lot more could have been done to convey that the explosion on the island left lasting consequences on our favorite characters. Looking past that, the premiere introduced several new plot points that give hope that this season is looking just as good as the last one.
And a note for our readers: With Arrow now so far into its run, we’ll only be checking in with reviews periodically throughout the season. So, check back for the next review during the annual November CW Superhero Crossover.