The season six premiere of Arrow is possibly the most disappointing of all of the CW DC Universe shows for failing to live up to the previous season’s finale. With the whole of Team Arrow on Lian Yu as it exploded it put the characters in very real jeopardy. Who would be returning for the new season?
It’s very quickly revealed that the answer is… everyone. Whilst I do like all of the new members of the team and am glad that they’re still around, I can’t help but feel it’s a bit of a shame that the show didn’t have the nerve to actually kill off any of it’s characters. Yes, Samantha died, but she was a character that we didn’t really know or care about.
Whilst the characters did survive the explosion, some of them came out of the events of the season finale very different. Diggle (David Ramsey) has been injured and possibly has some kind of mental scarring that has affected his aim to the point where he can’t even shoot someone four feet in front of him. For a character that has been defined as the gunman for five years it’s going to be interesting to see how the show explores this storyline over the coming weeks. Hopefully it’s not just going to be the events of Lian Yu that have led to this post traumatic stress for Diggle, but will be a culmination of his experiences as a soldier and vigilante that have finally caught up with him.
We also learn over the course of the episode that Thea (Willa Holland) is now in a coma following the explosion on the island. For the last season or more it feels like the show doesn’t really know what to do with Thea since she hung up her costume, having removed her from the show for half a season last year. Putting her in a coma feels like a cheap way of keeping her out of the picture and not having to figure out storylines for her without having to kill her off. Whilst the show has a poor reputation for putting female characters through horrible things for the sake of Oliver’s story, it does feel like they took an easy way out of just killing her off. Hopefully the writers will figure out a way to make the character interesting by the time she eventually wakes up.
The most interesting developments from the end of last season is the relationship between Quentin (Paul Blackhorne) and Dinah (Juliana Harkavy). Having been together to fight the villainous Earth-2 version of Laurel (Katie Cassidy) following the explosion they’ve formed something of a strong relationship. We learn that this is because Quentin shot Laurel in order to save Dinah, something he believed killed her, and it really cements the two of them as being something of surrogate father and daughter.
This is possibly one of the best developments that has come out of the last season, and with Laurel back in town it means that the two of them will undoubtedly have many more scenes together; the two of them having the strongest connection to this other worlds Laurel. Bringing Laurel back as the first villain of the new season, and one that looks like they’re going to be sticking around for a long while, is a good choice. It connects to past events and draws upon the history of not just the show but the characters too; something that definitely benefits a show in its sixth season. It remains to be seen who the mysterious figure rescuing her from Lian Yu is, though it’s sure to be a mystery that will play a part in the larger season long narrative.
The scenes with Oliver (Stephen Amell) and his son William (Jack Moore) are easily some of the weakest moments of the episode, possibly due to some less than stellar child acting. With William having nightmares most nights and unable to see his father as anything other than ‘the bad man’, it does raise the question of whether or not he’s had any therapy following the season finale. Bearing in mind that he was kidnapped by a crazed assassin, saw a man shoot himself in the head three feet from him, learned who his father is, and lost his mother all on the same day – this kid needs some professional help.
With the episode ending on a surprise reveal of Oliver’s identity as the Green Arrow being made public (I honestly didn’t see that coming) it sets up for some potentially exciting developments for upcoming episodes. However, with the characters having found a way out of similar spots in the past, hopefully this will be a big development and won’t be quickly swept under the rug.
Arrow Season 6 is now airing on Sky every Wednesday. Let us know what you think of the season.