REVIEW: Arrow, S6 Ep01 – Fallout

Last season of Arrow concluded with main antagonist Adrian Chase killing himself, thus triggering a series of explosions on the island of Lian Yu leaving the fate of Team Arrow up in the air. Since then, fans have patiently waited to find out which members of Team Arrow kicked the bucket, if any. Now, Arrow is back for its sixth season with the premiere episode, “Fallout,” which takes place a full five months after the events in Lian Yu. So, who lived? Who died? What lasting ramifications were caused from Adrian Chase’s sinister plan? Now we find out.

Worst… Parent… Ever

“Fallout” makes a big mistake right off the bat, by giving us too many answers way too soon. Rather than milking the suspense and anticipation of finding out which Team Arrow members made it home safely, we are quickly shown one by one who is alive. The opening scenes show us that Diggle, Curtis, Rene, and Felicity are all alive and well. Soon after Quentin Lance is revealed to be alive, as well as Dinah Drake, though she was already present in the promos beforehand. Additionally, Slade is seen via flashback after the explosions occurred, so even though he isn’t fully revealed in the present day scenes until later, it was safe to say his life wasn’t threatened either.

While I would’ve enjoyed it more if the episode took its time showing us these characters’ respective fates, there is still some room for a bit of suspense. Oliver’s ex, the mother of his son, we quickly learn is dead, as we see Oliver having to care for his son. His sister’s fate isn’t so clear. Towards the middle of the episode we are made to believe that Thea did not make it out of Lian Yu alive, though the episode concludes with us finding out she is in a coma. Unfortunately, this direction for Thea’s character carries little weight or emotional resonance. As great of a character as Thea has become since season one, her appearances on Arrow vastly diminished last season, mostly due to actress Willa Holland scaling back her acting duties on the series. Viewers of the show may not feel much for Thea’s current state, considering she already hasn’t been in the series much. While I wouldn’t have wanted it to happen, the death of any other member of Team Arrow, with the exception of Dinah Drake, would have been more emotionally impactful.

The lack of suspense is already a negative criticism of “Fallout,” but there is more that makes this season premiere one of the series’ weakest so far. Overall, the episode was dull, the flashbacks were uninspired, and the fight scenes just didn’t have the same excitement of ones from past seasons. The addition of Oliver’s son into the mix of his already complicated life, seems like an unnecessary step forward for Oliver. Also, his son’s mental state is never explicitly defined. Does his son remember his father is the Green Arrow? How scarred is he from the events on Lian Yu? Will watching a baseball game with his father help him in any way? Also, how is Oliver supposed to juggle being the Green Arrow, the mayor of Star City, and the responsibilities of being a father? This just feels like way too many unnecessary complications that ultimately won’t even matter a season from now.

Black Siren v. Black Canary

I don’t want to spend too much time on this next point, but it is something I notice constantly on the series and it is something I’ve increasingly grown more and more annoyed with. That being the Arrow Cave’s absolutely horrendous security. It seems like the series can’t go a handful of episodes without a super villain finding their way inside. This time it was Black Siren. Who will it be next week?

Sadly, “Fallout”really was a weak start for Arrow‘s sixth season and doesn’t fill me with much hope for the remainder. That being said, there were some bright spots. Quentin Lance being unable to comprehend the concept of multiple universes and feeling guilty over shooting his daughter’s doppelganger, Black Siren, is definitely one of the episode’s more compelling plot points. In addition to that, new developments regarding Diggle’s island injury and Rene’s second chance with his daughter are also two plot points I look forward to seeing get expanded.

The episode’s final conclusion proved that the series’ writers may be beginning to run out of ideas, and I really hate saying that. The episode concludes with Oliver being accused of being the Green Arrow. Oliver has literally been in this same exact situation back in the series’ third season. We are literally seeing the same story that happened two seasons ago unfold yet again. Even if Oliver gets out of this somehow, the idea that the citizens of Star City will not believe he’s the Green Arrow after being accused twice is baffling. Hopefully, this plot thread ends differently than it did before in order to make it feel more unique. We’ll have to wait and see in next week’s episode, “Tribute.” Check out The CW’s full trailer for “Tribute” below and feel free to let us know what you thought of “Fallout” in the comments.

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