This review is based on the season premiere.
These days, I think it’s important that Arrow not miss a step and constantly remind everybody just how important it is to the universe it’s helped established. Yes, it is the progenitor of sorts, but it could be argued that The Flash has passed it up in terms of popularity in recent years. To be honest, I would agree with that, although I do urge those who may have lapsed from this particular series to hop back aboard.
I say that because while some of you reading this perhaps checked out after a less than stellar season 4, do know that none of us who said season 5 recaptured this show’s former glory were spewing hyperbole. Really, all the suspense, drama and action that made the earlier years so memorable is once again alive and well – and I’m happy to say that showrunners Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle have continued running with the ball in “Fallout,” this season’s premiere episode.
In fact, we’re driven to the edges of our seats in the opening minutes, for James Bamford’s directing and choreography are both on point. Not only does the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) himself continue being a supreme badass, but it quickly becomes apparent that Team Arrow 2.0 are no longer simply the recruits we knew from last year. No. They’re now fully worthy of standing alongside the Emerald Archer, with newly promoted series regulars Black Canary (Juliana Harkavy) and Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) being granted some fresh, incredible looking costumes.
On the flip side of that, Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) establishes herself as a credible threat in the first quarter hour as well when she and her goons blow up an SCPD precinct. Suffice it to say, I think Earth-2 Laurel Lance may be far beyond redemption because this girl is just straight up evil. Still, she’s not the big bad of this season, as we’re given hints that someone considerably powerful is backing her.
Getting back to the title of “Fallout,” you can probably surmise that the, um, fallout from last May’s finale is a key focus. Despite serialized flashbacks being a thing of the past, that method of storytelling is utilized in kind, as we slowly learn exactly who survived the blast on Lian Yu. And, not surprisingly, the only confirmed kill was that of Oliver Queen’s baby mama. Let’s just say the fate of a lot of guest characters remains up in the air (never count out an al Ghul).
Speaking of which, we experience the first taste of an ever complicating status quo, for Oliver must juggle three lives, those being the Green Arrow, mayor of Star City and, last but not least, father to William (Jack Moore). We’ve been told time and again that season 6 will be all about the idea of family, and that point has thus far been hammered home.
My only genuine concern at this point is the relationship that the internet has dubbed “Olicity,” or, in layman’s terms, Oliver Queen and Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards). Being someone who doesn’t champion this case of “shipping,” I can’t help but worry about the producers possibly repeating the mistakes of the past. But knowing that a full-blown relapse is probably in our immediate future, all I ask is that a decent balance is found and that “Olicity” not hinder the development of other characters as it once did, or derail the whole freakin’ show as was the case in season 4.
Finally, I’d like to mention how Oliver was publicly outed as the Green Arrow on the evening news in the closing minutes of the premiere. In all honesty, this is a direction I expected the series to take at some point, but full disclosure can’t happen in the same way as it did with Smallville‘s version of the character because it’s pubic knowledge that the vigilante has killed. Then again, this could just be a multi-episode arc and our hero will find some crafty way to dance around it.
So, while viewers may still be abuzz over the respective premieres of The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow – and rightfully so – it’s my opinion that Arrow has left both in the dust. What I’ve seen so far is every bit as thrilling as season 5 and has no major faults to speak of. If anything, there’s no place to go but up because foundations for several key subplots have already been laid, so rest assured that this city has not been failed.
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