Welcome back to Arrow! As the episode title suggests, the season 6 premiere is mainly concerned with dealing with the fallout from that explosive finale and establishing the new status quo.
Thus, the premiere might not be the most exciting episode, but director James Bamford’s kinetic direction makes the throat clearing and table setting more exciting and engaging than it would’ve been without it.
Let’s get down the question on all of our minds: Who survived the bomb? Well, almost everyone on Team Arrow, save Samantha. However, that doesn’t mean that Team Arrow left Lian Yu without scars. Thea, who was found by Slade, is still in a coma five months later. Quentin is drowning under the guilt of (a) having to kill Evil Laurel before she could kill Dinah shortly after the explosion on the island, and (b) lying to the rest of the team that he and Dinah found Evil Laurel dead beneath some rubble. Diggle, who got caught in the explosion, has a tremor in his arm that he’s hiding from the team (because that’s totally a good idea. Lying always works out for the best on this show). William is having nightmares and blames his mother’s death on Oliver, with whom he now lives because Samantha asked Oliver to raise him. Felicity, Rene, who has new armor, and Curtis are fine.
Season 5 was a big year for Oliver, who went through some growth and achieved a new level of mental clarity. When we meet up with him in the premiere, it’s clear that he has not recovered from everything that happened on Lian Yu, but he doesn’t spend the episode self-flagellating and brooding. He realizes he’s doing his best (his best is feeding William Big Belly Burger for dinner and showing up to take him to school some mornings). The episode kicks off with an obviously awesome action sequence (boy, does Bamford know how direct action scenes!) that sees Green Arrow take down a mad-bomber type who threatens to blow up Star City with a missile. Luckily, Mr. Terrific’s T-Spheres are able to disarm the missile before it causes any real damage.
In the past five months, Dinah has been promoted to lieutenant — hence why she wasn’t out in the field with the rest of Team Arrow. When the bomber is brought into the station, she gets ready to interrogate, but gets called away when Quentin doesn’t show up for the a meeting about the police academy graduation. So she heads off and finds Quentin at a bar staring down shots he wants to take but knows he shouldn’t. Meanwhile back at the station, a guard brings the bomber a soda into which Alex drops a piece of C4 he had in his teeth, blowing a hole in the building that allows Black Siren and a bunch of goons to storm the place and kill and maim a few police officers.
Obviously, Oliver’s first question is: How the hell is Evil Laurel alive if Quentin and Dinah swear they saw her corpse under a bunch of rubble? Dinah sticks to the story; Quentin starts to cave but stops himself. Instead, he insists Oliver allow him to accompany the team when they find her, which they eventually do with ARGUS’ help.
Cue the Black Canary vs. Black Siren fight we’ve been waiting for. Dinah heads out into the field in her badass new costume and takes on her nemesis, who makes easy work of her and Quentin. Meanwhile, the rest of Team Arrow trade blows with Black Siren’s goons. Diggle tries to save Rene from one of the goons, but his hand starts trembling and he misses the shot. Rene falls off the bridge and crashes onto a car below, his lung collapsing in the process.
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