Arrow: Fallout

“William needs a parent, promise me that you will be his father."

The main theme of this first episode of season six seems to be about parenthood and it’s also going to be a continuing undercurrent running through the whole season, I’d imagine. That’s kind of a surprise, since I thought this opener would have been more focused on the aftermath, or fallout…of the whole island blowing up thing.

Before I get to more reviewing, I first need to clarify that I’m not J.D. Balthazar. I’m not a comic book expert, either. No, I’m just a lady who watches Arrow with interest in the daily lives and struggles of the characters, but who doesn’t know why Black Canary is different from Black Siren. I remember Sara died, so Laurel became Black Canary, then Laurel died and Dinah came on the scene and became… whatever. My point is this: In lieu of a more knowledgeable reviewer, I’m here to keep the reviews coming in not-Balthazarian style (because who could mimic the master?) until someone more suited to the task wants to take over. I really do still enjoy Arrow and didn’t want the reviews to just stop. If you think I’m missing some important plot points or comic lore – please benefit us all with your knowledge in the comments, or even better you can apply to write these reviews yourself. Okay? Moving on.

Since this episode begins with most of the main characters running around trying to stop some weird guy named Faust, I’m assuming that they all survived (pause for a moment to look up how to spell that crazy island name) Lian Yu. Huh, I thought that the island flashbacks were supposed to be over? I do admit that the cutting back between the island and the five-months-later happenings of now – is kind of fun. But… it’s anticlimactic to see that most of the main characters just ran to the plane, which was strong enough to shield them, apparently. Great plan, Prometheus, all those explosives and you only managed to kill the one character that needed to be off the show for reasons, anyway.

There were some more villains on the island, such as Evelyn, so I guess we’ll see who else pops up. Poor Thea tries to stop Samantha from running off after her son, William, and just gets herself hurt. Oliver’s scenes with Thea were effective, but I’m hoping for better material for Thea when/if she wakes up. I really enjoyed her in the first few seasons. I saw a girl who grew up in the wake of the tragic deaths of her father and brother and her reconnection scenes with Oliver were some of the highpoints of the origins of this show.

Once again, Papa Lance is struggling not to drink and is mourning a daughter. This time, he’s dealing with the guilt of his encounter with the alternate Laurel and trying to come to terms with his feelings. He can’t think of the woman, who’s really not his daughter, as anything but his daughter. He feels like a bad father, but then, so does Oliver who feels terrible about the damage that he has inflicted on his son’s life because of who he is and the chaos that surrounds him.

Speaking of William, the jury’s still out on that one. The kid’s supposed to be twelve, now? Am I right on that one? From the way that the boy seems to be hiding and withdrawn, I thought that he looked and acted much younger. Right now, I’m leery of the effect that having a child on the show is going to cause. It depends on the writing for the character and on the charisma and acting choices of the young actor. I’ll hope for the best, but I’m doubtful.

The fighting and action sequences are really not my kind of thing, but I did appreciate the leap from Oliver over the side of the building to save Rene. I also thought that the scenes of the island on fire were well done and visually interesting. Oh yeah, I almost forgot… I’m digging Oliver and Felicity’s personal dynamic. They’re taking it slow, but obviously are getting closer all the while. Personally, I like a happier Oliver and Felicity makes him happy, so I’m good there.

Other Thoughts:

Something’s wrong with Diggle, who can’t seem to shoot straight, anymore.

Slade’s giving Oliver some fatherly advice and then he’s off to find his own son. I’m willing to forgive Slade for the terrible things that he did to Oliver when he was poisoned by that weird concoction, but I still didn’t like the ferocity of his attacks. I mean really, all Oliver did was ask for Sara not to be killed and Slade went ballistic. Drugged or not, that’s one of those weak villain excuses, that always bug me.

Raisa is back to help Oliver with William. Who the heck is Raisa?

I’m not thrilled that Katie Cassidy was added to the regular cast for this season. I’ve just never been a fan of her characters. I do think that she plays evil better than good, though.

Dinah and Black Siren/Laurel look too much alike. When they are fighting in a scene, I can’t tell which one is which.

Oliver told his son that he will never, ever walk away. That's sweet.

Rene gets another hearing to try to claim his daughter and he gives Oliver a bro-hug in the process. I’m a big fan of bro-hugs.

There was a mysterious chopper with an anonymous person who plucked Black Siren from the island. A new evil mastermind, perhaps?

Oliver has been outed as the Green Arrow. Wait, hasn’t that happened before?

Quotes:

Rene: “Seems my promotion came with speech writing duties.”
Curtis: “You can write?”
Diggle: “You can read?”
Rene: “I can kick both y’all asses is what I can do.”

Oliver: “I don’t need a buffer – I could use some company. I know we talked about it and that he’s getting used to me and it might be a little weird to…”
Felicity: “I mean, confusing, right… for him, for us, for me, for you…”

Papa Lance: “The truth is I killed my daughter. I killed my baby girl and just left her for dead – that’s the truth.”

Curtis: “Negative, and shouldn’t you be calling me Mr. Terrific? I am in the field.”
Felicity: “Yeah, but you’re not in your suit – so no suit, no codenames, them’s the rules.”

Goon: “You want me to kill him?”
Black Siren: “I’m not paying you to keep him alive.”

Slade: “Choosing between the man that people need you to be, or the father your son needs you to be.”
Oliver: “What do you mean by that?”
Slade: “You and I walk between two worlds, but we can only do that for so long.”

It might have been nice to have seen more of the island drama, but I’m okay with what we were shown. It’s not as compelling as it could have been, but I still enjoyed this first episode, for the most part.

Three out of five hard to spell mystical islands.

Mallena’s not the perfect choice to review Arrow, but she’s doing her best.

8 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Mallena, thanks for your review and you're doing just fine.

I felt much the same way -- that introducing a kid isn't always a good idea (Dawn Summers syndrome) and that it was sort of disappointing that they dragged out the Island flashbacks making us think that several of the cast might have died. I like what appears to be some rekindling of Olicity, and I'm worried about Dig. And I'm not sure how I feel about evil Lauren. Guess we'll see!

Mallena said...

Thanks, Billie, and if my reviews are missing comic book items of interest than I hope that commenters will enlighten me. I learn things on this site that I never knew before, all the time, and that's a good thing.

Shari Houtman said...

Hi Mallena,

I think you're doing just fine. I'm not a comic book person either but I'm a wee bit obsessed with this show. So, I'll just through a couple of things out there. In case you didn't remember, Raisa was from the pilot where they made a big deal of her and then she was never seen again. Until now.

Also, I think William is 9. Ollie found out that Samantha was pregnant in 2007 (It was a 2014 episode and the flashback said 7 years ago). Sorry, I get a little OCD about these things.

I look forward to reading more.

Phyllis Strickland said...

Your review is spot on. William's character feels a little flat, so I didn't feel much empathy for him. Papa Lance and his drinking problem is getting old, I hope they end that now. I am not on board with the return of Katie Cassidy - Black Siren and Dinah look so much alike that it became very distracting. Glad it wasn't just me who felt that way. And Raisa? Raisa came out of the blue or did I forget something.

I still mostly liked the episode because I am an Arrow fan, but I felt a bit letdown by these issues because I expect better from Arrow. The interaction between Oliver and Felicity at the end did give me a glimmer of hope for better things ahead.

Mallena said...

Shari, Phyllis...thank you for the encouragement. I so appreciate it. Is it okay to watch a superhero show for the characters and not the action? With a few exceptions like Laurel, it's the characters that keep my interest.

I've read an interview of Stephen's where he said that his son is now a young man in the sixth grade which would make him 11-12. Also,the boy who plays William has an age range stated as 12-14 on his bio. Maybe he's gotten caught in one of those age advancing tropes that are prevalent on tv shows with kids.

Profe said...

Raisa is the Queen's maid from season 1. She helped raise Oliver and Thea. She was in episode 1 when Oliver first returned and was how we found out Oliver knew how to speak Russian. She disappeared after season 1, but apparently made enough of an impression on Oliver that he brought her back to help raise his own son.

TJ said...


The only thing I could think about this first ep was - Manu Bennett. And how I have missed him from the early seasons. Come to think of it, Arrow has been best when it had its best side-kicks. Manu Bennett, Colton Haynes, John Barrowman, Susanna Thompson...

Manu Bennett was THE star of Spartacus, he was great in Arrow, he was awesome in the Hobbit movies, and his magical druid in The Shannara Chronicles is the only thing that keeps me watching that show.

So...Arrow feels now like it has lost all its great stars. The show is desperately in need of new ones.

Deborah Gallegos said...

Couldn't agree more with this statement, Mallena.

"I’m not thrilled that Katie Cassidy was added to the regular cast for this season. I’ve just never been a fan of her characters. I do think that she plays evil better than good, though."