Star City’s worst kept secret is out. Channel 52 news has a picture of Oliver Queen himself in the Green Arrow suit. No doubt Oliver will spend at least a few episodes pretending it was a Halloween costume, but the clock is ticking on Oliver’s dual identity. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, as Oliver struggles to make a stable life for his son in the “Fallout” of the Lian Yu explosion.
The Arrow premiere wastes no time throwing every narrative trick it has at the set-up for Season 6: mini-flashbacks revealing the answer to who died on Lian Yu! So many fight scenes! Oliver and Felicity back together again! But will it be enough?
There’s a lot to like about this episode, which relies more than ever on the ensemble nature of the cast, picking up five months following the events of “Lian Yu” to check in with Team Arrow.
Who lives? Who dies? Let’s get this out of the way. The death list definitely includes: Samantha. It seemingly includes: Evelyn, Nyssa, and Talia. (But, let’s be real, no one is ever dead on this show unless you see an arrow driven through their eyeball… and even then they might come back with an eye patch.)
Where does that leave Thea? Though Arrow spends much of the episode trying to convince us that Ollie’s baby sister didn’t make it off the island (which would have been unacceptable), she’s actually lying comatose in Star City General. I look forward to many an Oliver voiceover monologue dictated from her bedside.
Of course, Lian Yu had repercussions even for those who made it off. For Oliver, it means being thrown into a life of single parent-dom that he is wildly unprepared for. Considering how bad he has been at relationships for most of the time we’ve known him, though, he’s doing swimmingly. However, he does spend the entire episode talking to everyone besides William about their relationship and seems to think five months is enough time for William to be bouncing back from the death of his mother. But, by Thor, he’s trying.
For John, Lian Yu means the loss of his identity as a soldier. Throughout the episode, he has a hard time shooting. It’s PTSD or a recurring injury or both, but Spartan is not what he once was. It’s gotten to the point where he’s putting other members of Team Arrow in danger. When he shoots and misses a mercenary during a fight, Rene almost dies. Dinah confronts John about it at the end of the episode, but the discussion will no doubt go on past this episode.
What would Team Arrow do without Dinah, who continues to be the most stable member of this team? She is the one Lance texts when he’s at the bar, staring down some shot glasses. She’s the one who notices Diggle’s troubles. Her one semi-flaw in this premiere episode is enabling Lance’s delusions that he should be ashamed for shooting Black Siren, a woman who may look like his daughter, but who decidedly is not.
It’s Black Siren who plays the Big Bad for much of this first episode, blowing up the Star City police department before going after the Arrow Lair. She’s obviously working for someone else, which is pretty much her M.O. at this point, but we never see his face. Whoever he is, he’s after Curtis’ T-spheres. Sound off with your theories in the comments below.
Rating: ★★★ Good
“You look troubled. As if detonations stir unpleasant memories.” This random goon has Oliver’s number.
“I have the soul of a poet.” Rene continues to be my favorite new Arrow team member. He even goes in for an Oliver hug at one point this episode. Brave soul.
Can we talk about the random return of Raisa? Oliver’s maid/nanny-type figure is back from the Arrow pilot. And boy does Oliver need her. She’s more or less raising William while Oliver is out attending mayoral and Team Arrow business. He better be paying her well.
While they play it chill, Oliver and Felicity are totally back together. Oliver wants Felicity to be part of William’s life, but she is nervous about taking such a big step. I think it may be the time for big steps, Felicity.
This episode gets extra points for the Tommy mention.
If William hadn’t gone to school that one time I would be unsure if he is capable of existing outside of his bedroom.
The episode when William inevitably calls Oliver “dad” is going to make me tear up. It’s a manipulative move, but I am OK with that.
“Swords aren’t really my thing.” — Lance
“I would love to talk about it, but we have more pressing business.” Guys, Oliver Queen would love to talk about it. Look how far he’s come!
“The truth is I killed my daughter.” No, Lance. No, you did not.
“Promise me that you will be his father.” — Samantha’s dying words. If only she had let Oliver be a part of William’s life roughly eight years ago.
“No suits, no code names. Thems the rules.” — Felicity
“I know because you’re a better father than I could ever hope to be.” Oliver, making Lance’s freakout about his own parenthood problems.
Lance: “When are you gonna stop taking on every one else’s sins, huh?”
Oliver: “No time soon.”
Rene has to get his kid back so he and Oliver can take their kids on playdates together. This show has gotten hella domestic.
Slade stops by Thea’s hospital room to let Oliver know that he found his son (because everyone on this show has kids now), and he’s off to Calgary to hang with him. I would watch Due North: The Slade Wilson Edition.
Slade warns Oliver that, at some point, he will have to choose between being the man other people need him to be and being a father. Welcome to the theme of this season.