These days, I think it’s important that Arrow not miss a step and constantly remind everyone just how important it is to the universe it’s helped establish. Yes, it is the progenitor of sorts, still 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 have given up on Arrow to give it a second chance.
I say that because while some of you may have checked out after a less than stellar season 4. However season 5 truly got the show back on track. Really, all the suspense, drama and action that made the earlier years so memorable are once again alive and well – and I’m happy to say that show runners Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle have kept the momentum in “Fallout,” this season’s premiere episode.
Heading back from the break, Arrow pulled out all the stops to keep an episode that was essentially playing narrative catch-up from dragging too much. Long-time stunt coordinator James Bamford handled directing duties, with executive producers Marc Guggenheim and Wendy Mericle tackling the script. As a result, the episode was kinetic and packed with fight scenes while establishing what exactly happened on Lian Yu and how it’s affected the team.
Very early on we learn that Diggle, Rene, and Curtis made it off the island okay. It takes a little longer to see Felicity, but it seems pretty obvious that Samantha is a goner well before that’s confirmed. The big hold out is Thea, and we don’t find out that she is alive, but comatose until the end of the episode.
Samantha’s death finally forces Oliver into the role of being a father to William, and he makes a deathbed promise to raise his son in her absence, case it wasn’t clear enough. Oliver’s entire mission started as a way to work through his own daddy issues after learning Papa Queen was working with Malcolm Merlyn to try to destroy the Glades back in Season 1, and we’ve come a long way since then. The reveal about William has been hanging out in the wings for a few of years now, but Season 6 finally brings that story to the forefront. It’s been one heck of a slow roll, but it’s fitting to finally see that arc come to a head here. Seeing Oliver make the transition from son to father should make for a compelling narrative, and one that has been a very long time coming.
That final scene is a big one. Oliver has grappled with keeping his identity secret since pretty much the pilot episode, and as a new photo showing him clearly sporting the Green Arrow armor shows up on the local news, it’ll be hard to bury that theory a hundredth time.