Title: Arrow: “Fallout” Review
Release Date: October 12th, 2017
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
The sixth season of The CW’s Arrow returns on the heels of one of the most dramatic, cliffhanger endings in the series. So the first question headed into the season revolved around the aftermath of the explosions of Lian Yu.
“Fallout” opens up set five months after the finale with a pretty spectacular scene of Oliver shooting mercenaries from literally under water, having me question as to whether he is Aquaman on his day off (Aqua Arrow has a nice ring to it). It doesn’t take long before I was disappointed though, as pretty much everyone from the main cast is revealed to have survived the “devastation.”
While this is a problem in its own right, and its certainly something that has been hinted at because of casting, its the pacing of how Arrow did it that the biggest issue. Throughout the six seasons, flashbacks have been a staple of the show’s storytelling, but it just doesn’t work anymore. Flashbacks made sense previously, when they were flashing back to years before events, but know they don’t fit, flashing back only five months prior to this episode.
Using them throughout “Fallout” as a method of drumming up suspense did the exact opposite. It’s revealed immediately almost everyone survived, instead of building up to it by using a chronological order of events. Even the reveal of Samantha Clayton’s death and Thea’s induced coma didn’t really have the impact it should of when revealed later in the episode.
All of this comes after forgiving the fact that those massive explosives should have wrecked the entire damn island. Yet it only managed to kill about two people.
Once I did get past the frustration of the laziness and lack of reasonable explanation, there were still other frustrating bits in this episode as well. Olicity seems to be all but confirmed to be happening again, which feels like a dangerous path to go down considering how their relationship has affected a lot of situations in the past (Like how if it wasn’t for Barry’s time traveling, they’d all be dead because Felicity was mad at Oliver).
Add William to the equation and things are already kind of groan-worthy with “The Bad Man” story. At least with William though it seems a bit more merited for a young boy to be as traumatized as he is by the events. The problem is that blaming Oliver just plays up the everything against our hero cliche. With all that being said, I think the relationship between the two could be a really endearing story if done right and could mean a lot of growth for Oliver.
I’m really happy to see that Katie Cassidy will be returning as Evil Black Canary, but I hope they develop her character a bit better in this season. From the majority of what we’ve seen of her, she has no real character outside of being the bad version of Laurel. That makes it a bit harder to get invested in her story right now with Quentin, with no fault to Paul Blackthorne’s phenomenal acting.
Though I’m not entirely invested in all of them, “Fallout” has done its job with introducing overarching plot lines for the season. In classic Arrow style, the one that has it’s hooks in me the most is figuring out who the main villain of the season would be. Plenty of different people have been speculated to be the man walking off the Helicopter near the end of the show and resurrecting Evil Laurel. Ideas range from old characters like Tommy Merlyn and Vigilante, Comic book favorite Richard Dragon (Ricardo Diaz), and even the unknown character to be played by Lost alumni Michael Emerson.
So far, this season of Arrow is playing out pretty similar to the start of this seasons The Flash. Each have had pretty lazy starts, both really failing to explain why the Heroes escaped trouble other than plot armor. Yet both have also shown promising storylines that could flesh out in the future. I’ve been burned by Arrow more than once, but if they can get things together this season like they managed to last season – more Manu Bennett as Slade Wilson please – then I look forward to seeing what the true repercussions of the destruction of Lian Yu are as things progress.
Verdict: “Fallout” gets out to a confusing and sputtering start, getting rid of almost all of the tension created by the finale almost immediately. Very little actual fallout and repercussions lessen the significance as well. While certain characters and storylines are introduced that have promise, specific ones need far more fleshing out in certain departments. Overal the episode does its job well enough to set things up, but is a disappointing jumping off point from the phenomenal season 5 finale.
- Paul Blackthorne
- Future storyline possibilities
- Flashbacks need to go
- Cheapens last seasons finale
- The world being against Oliver
- Evil Laurel needs more depth