Oliver Queen is back from Lian Yu – AGAIN – along with most of the people he went there with, and he’s got another set of challenges to face in the sixth season premiere of ARROW. Will Oliver become someone else? Will he become SOMETHING else? Let’s find out… 

As the fifth season of ARROW came to an end, Oliver and his son, William, were on a boat with the season’s big bad Adrian “Prometheus” Chase as Chase blew up Lian Yu, with Oliver’s allies and enemies still on the island. After a summer of wondering who survived and who died, the sixth season premiere.

We don’t have to wait long to find out, as we see most of the team in tact during the show’s opening moments. Over the course of the episode, we see that the only casualties from Team Arrow’s side on Lian Yu was William’s mother, Samantha, while Oliver’s sister Thea ended up in a coma. The rest of the team was saved by the timely reappearance of Slade Wilson.

Slade, we find out, is off to find his son, Joe, though I’m sure he’ll be back sometime this season.

The shadow of the season 5 finale looms large over this episode, as the threat of Black Siren – the alternate Earth version of Laurel Lance/Black Canary – emerges. Black Siren has one of her minions cause an explosion at the Star City Police Department (with a C-4 tooth bomb) and generally spending the episode torturing Quentin Lance, who already suffered through his daughter’s death once in season 4. In a flashback to Lian Yu, we discover Quentin shot the Black Siren before escaping, but we’ll have to see what it was that brought her back to life.

Given that Oliver already has a lot on his plate as mayor of Star City and newly-full-time dad to William, the return of his former girlfriend’s multiversal counterpart probably isn’t easy. He seems to have a little bit more back-up, though, as it was implied that Oliver was back with former fiancee Felicity Smoak. After breaking off their engagement because Oliver wasn’t honest with her about having a son and then dating a cop who Oliver was tricked into killing last season, the two of them getting back together seemed unlikely, but it IS a TV show based on comic book characters. Suspension of disbelief is a necessary tool. For the first time in a long time, though, Oliver and Felicity seem to be working well together, and when they’re clicking, the show moves along a lot better. Instead of dragging the show down in made-for-TV interpersonal conflict, we can focus on moving along other parts of the plot. For that alone, I’m OK with the potential return of their relationship.

Speaking of support, the show’s replacement Black Canary – police officer Dinah Drake – is called on to back up two other members of Team Arrow in the season premiere. First, recovering alcoholic Quentin reaches out to her when he skips out on a meeting to stare at three shots at a bar, as he struggles with the return of Black Siren. Later in the episode, Dinah calls out Diggle’s PTSD and how he refused to shoot at any of Siren’s henchmen when they invaded the team’s HQ.

By the way, I full support Juliana Harkavy’s portrayal of Dinah Drake. She feels so much more like the Black Canary of the comics than Katie Cassidy’s Laurel Lance ever did. And honestly, Cassidy is doing great as a villain, so everything seems to be working as it should.

Th biggest disappointment of what was a strong series 6 premiere, in my opinion, was the reveal of the latest trouble for Team Arrow – footage released to Channel 52 News of Oliver Queen dressed as Green Arrow. The show has used this trope a couple of times already, doing ridiculous backflips to get out of it. Doing it again seems tedious, though I’m willing to give them a shot to see how they handle it this time around.

Show Notes

• Oliver brings in his former maid, Raisa, to help him take care of William, who is having some trouble adjusting to his new life with Oliver. Kathleen Gati was last seen playing the character in the pilot, with the intention of her playing a larger role in the show as a confidant to Oliver, though the producers obviously decided to go in a different direction. I assume she’ll be playing a similar role to Batman’s Alfred going forward, bringing more comparison’s between the CW’s Green Arrow and the Caped Crusader.

• In the comics, Slade Wilson’s son Joseph, his middle child, was the Titans hero known as Jericho. A mute, Jericho also had the power to possess anyone he could make eye contact with.

• Rene Ramirez, Wild Dog, gets a promotion on Oliver’s staff in the Mayor’s office, which gives him some speechwriting duties. The usually terse Rene proves he has “the heart of a poet” with impressive remarks for the Police Academy graduation.

The Super Cinco

This season, we’re introducing weekly Power Rankings to the Arrowverse recaps. Each recap will include an individual ranking, with an overall ranking posted every weekend that shows air. Let’s take a look at who had the best week in ARROW‘s season premiere:

  1. Black Canary / Dinah Drake – The team’s newest member was proving her worth in this episode, serving as support to both Quentin and Diggle and going toe-to-toe with Black Siren.
  2. Mr. Terrific / Curtis Holt – The team’s tech genius was instrumental in getting things done this week, using his T-spheres to disable a bomb and track down the bad guys. Also, his comics-accurate suit looks amazing.
  3. Black Siren / Laurel Lance – She may not be the biggest threat the team faces this season, but she definitely established herself as a threat here.
  4. Green Arrow / Oliver Queen – For the first time in the show’s run, Oliver seemed to be at peace with his lot in life, though the latest reveal that he’s the Green Arrow in addition to being mayor of Star City could prove problematic.
  5. Wild Dog / Rene Ramirez – Speechwriting is hard, man! Plus, Rene gets a new chance at getting his daughter back after things were botched last season.

That’s all for this week, be sure to check out my recaps of the season premier of SUPERGIRL, along with Joe’s looks at both THE FLASH and LEGENDS OF TOMORROW! And be sure to come back this week for the kickoff of the ARROWVERSE POWER RANKINGS for the 2017-2018 season.