Arrow Season 6 premiere recap: The one with daddy issues

Stephen Amell on the Arrow Season 6 premiere
Oliver (Stephen Amell) tries to comfort his son on Arrow Season 6 Episode 1

Whew! I have to say, Arrow fans, this was an intense premiere. After a subpar Season 5, the CW hit show returned tonight firing on all cylinders in an explosive opening. I’ll be honest and say that I nearly jumped ship last Season, but it was that amazing Season 5 finale that pulled me right back in.

As you all remember, that episode ended with Chase killing himself and, thus, activating a dead man switch, which blew up Lian Yu with the entire Team Arrow — minus Oliver — on it.

We had an entire summer to ponder about what happened and who survived the explosion after our screens faded to black, but the Season 6 opening scene already showed us many survivors.

As the Green Arrow took out a group of mercenaries that were trying to launch a missile Star City bound, basically the entire team was there and accounted for. The only ones missing were Felicity, Thea and Lance, but our IT queen showed up shortly after, and we also saw Lance less than ten minutes into the premiere.

So it seemed that the only one that had their fate up in the air was Thea, which felt kind of underwhelming, but it didn’t take away from the episode itself. As I said before, Season 5 was hard, but I can only hope that this solid hour I have just watched is a sign of good things to come.

Oliver seems to be in a better place now, with a much more mature, level head on his shoulders, and — even if things did not get off to a good start in the premiere “Fallout” — I am positive that he is now ready to deal with whatever comes his way.

But first, let’s break this episode down, shall we?

The Aftermath

I was really curious about how they were going to handle the flashbacks part of each episode, as they have been such an integral part of the show until Season 5. But as last year concluded the five years in hell flashbacks, I couldn’t help but wonder what they had in store for us for this season going forward.

And I was glad to see that they are going to show us the aftermath of what happened on Lian Yu through flashbacks. While that might drag it out a little bit, it is still a very clever way of storytelling and, for the first time ever, I am actually excited and looking forward to them.

We already found out how Samantha died, and that she asked Oliver to take care of William; we also found out that Slade survived because he ran for the bunker, but Thea did not have the same lucky fate. She ran after Samantha, and got caught in the blast. They actually played it out as if she was already dead, but we saw her in a coma at the end of the episode, so fingers crossed that everything is going to be okay for her.


Diggle seems to be the one that was most affected by post traumatic stress following the events of Lian Yu. We saw in the first flashback that he also got caught in the blast when he went back to get Felicity, but I am very curious about what can possibly be the trigger for his PTSD.

He seems to have a complete aversion to firing a gun, which begs the question — is this being caused because of the explosion, and the sound of a gunshot is what triggers it, or is it because something happened on the island with a gun, that might have traumatized him this badly? Could he maybe have shot someone that he didn’t mean to shoot?

Now Lance is another story. He actually shot evil Laurel to save Dinah and left her for dead on the island. But the fact that he shot someone who looked and sounded exactly like his own daughter has been haunting him for months now. When Black Siren strikes again, he finds himself completely incapable of taking a shot at her, because all he sees is his Laurel.

I have never really been a Lance fan, but I’m curious about how this storyline is going to play out. It can’t be easy for him to see an evil version of his beloved daughter prancing around town killing people, so I think this is going to be a great aspect of the whole Black Siren arc.

Evil Laurel Lance

Black Siren seems to be the gift that keeps on giving. She also did not perish on the island, as Lance and Dinah had led the team to believe — and it looks like she is going to be the villainous pain in the ass of the season.

That said, I have to say that Katie Cassidy is so much better as a villain than she ever was as goody two shoes Laurel Lance. Honestly, she should have been evil from the start, and that would have saved us a lot of time and energy.

The fight sequences between Black Siren and Black Canary were absolutely fantastic, even though when they started those ridiculous shouting matches (or canary cries, whatever), I was rolling my eyes so hard, because it just looks stupid. That said, both Katie Cassidy and Juliana Harkavy were amazing in those stunts and I enjoyed every second of it.

I am curious about what her end game here is, though. She attacked a police station and the lair, so is she just trying to get revenge on Team Arrow and Lance, or does she have a bigger goal in mind? I am willing to bet that she is working for a way bigger fish and that the dude in the suit that rescued her on Lian Yu is Michael Emerson’s mysterious character.

And I couldn’t. Be. More. Excited.

Daddy Oliver

Let me tell you something, this was probably what I was most excited about for this season. The fact that William now lives with Oliver opens up so many possibilities for his character, and I can only see a fantastic potential here. Even though I hated William’s introduction in season 4, I am definitely looking forward to seeing what he brings to the table.

Oliver definitely has his hands full with a traumatized 12-year-old kid who just lost his mom. William does not make things easy for Oliver, as he eventually tells him that he is the “bad guy” who got his mother killed. Raisa — God bless Raisa, I missed her! — is helping him take care of his son, but it really hurts Oliver when William keeps calling for her and basically ignoring his father’s existence.

Stephen Amell played this so well, that when William told him he was the bad guy, the look on his face felt like a punch to the gut — like the kid had just broken something inside of him that he didn’t know how to fix. It takes Slade telling Oliver that he needs to be the father that William needs him to be, and not the father who he wants to be, for him to finally realize what he needed to do.

That final scene where he talks about his own father, and how he had his issues with him, but at the end of the day his father still loved him — and that was exactly how he felt about William, and that he would never walk away from him — was what finally broke the ice between Oliver and the 12-year-old.

I can’t wait to see how their relationship develops and how they’re going incorporate the fact that Oliver is the Mayor by day and Green Arrow by night. When will he have time to be a Dad? That and the fact that he has just been outted as the Green Arrow, which should make for a pretty interesting episode next week.

But I am also curious about how they are going to handle Oliver balancing all that, and rekindling his relationship with Felicity. Which brings us to…


Oh yeah, we all know we were just really, really, really excited to see how this was going to play out. After all, TPTB have made us suffer watching our babies Oliver and Felicity be miserable while they were apart for a season and a half now. However, things took a turn for the better in the last couple of episodes last season, as they both finally talked and decided that they were open to give their relationship another go.

Of course, Chase kidnapped everyone and the island exploded, and Oliver suddenly found himself as the single father of a traumatized kid, so it would be understandable if Olicity took a backseat for the first couple of episodes of season 6. However, I am glad to report that this is most definitely not the case.

Olicity is alive and well, my fellow shippers. We can all breath easy again.

While it was not clear whether they are in a relationship again or not — that adorably awkward Felicity babbling did not give us many answers — I think it’s safe to assume that if they’re not, then they are well on their way to getting back together again officially. And if the spoilers that have been floating around this entire past week are anything to go by, I’d say it’s a pretty safe bet that Olicity will get their happy ending much sooner than we expected.

Other things to note

– What’s up with Oliver’s new place? I love it! When did he have time to find a new apartment and expertly decorate it? So many questions! I can’t wait to see more of it, and I can’t wait to see Felicity in it.

– “I’m not taking refuge from a hundred bombs without you”. That line from Dig obliterated my heart and resurrected my love for this amazing friendship. Here’s to a lot more Delicity moments this season.

– What’s up with Diggle and Dinah? Was I the only one who noticed those little moments between them? Whatever that was, stop now. Or so help me God, John Diggle, I’ll send Lyla and Felicity to kick your ass.

– And as a final thought, I just wanted to put it out there that Felicity’s wardrobe was stellar in this episode. Absolutely on point.

Arrow returns next Thursday, October 19, at 9/8C on The CW.

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