Arrow – Season 6 Overall Review

Arrow S6

Arrow Season Six is an odd one. On the one hand it had better pacing thanks to changing the lead antagonist half-way through, but on the other hand it still made several of the same mistakes they always seem to do… Well, lets take an overall look at the season, and see how the quality balances out…

Synopsis:

Oliver Queen, current Mayor of Star City and the Green Arrow, is struggling to balance these parts of his life with the fact he now has to take care of his son William, who was left motherless during the island explosion at the end of the previous season. Meanwhile the rest of Team Arrow are moving forward with their lives, though one member is hiding a secret that could cost them all dearly, and a secret cabal of villains is slowly building its portfolio…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

Arrow S6 2

Three of the original cast members, still going strong… and Nyssa al Ghul.

Oliver Queen / Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) – Mayor of Star City and the Green Arrow, Oliver is struggling to balance these parts of his life with the fact he now has to take care of his son William. (Yes I just copied that from above, but it is a good sum up…)

Felicity Smoak / Overwatch (Emily Rickards) – Felicity is continuing to oversee the operations of Team Arrow from the bunker, but is also looking to do something legitimate outside of it…

John Diggle / Spartan (David Ramsey) – John was wounded in the island explosion several months ago, and he’s been hiding it from his fellow allies because… he’s apparently learned nothing.

Quentin Lance (Paul Blackthorne) – Quentin has lost both his daughters, and although one came back to life (and then went time travelling) he still found it hard to move on and conquer his drinking problem. Now deputy Mayor, he is finally feeling good about himself and moving on with his life… that is until an evil doppelganger of his still dead daughter keeps popping up…

Curtis Holt / Mister Terrific (Echo Kellum) – Nerdy computer guy who is also out fighting on the field, though mainly with gadgets than hand-to-hand. He is also soon looking into starting a new company with Felicity…

Rene Ramirez / Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) – Rene would love nothing more than to see his daughter again, but the process is hard and he doesn’t know if he can do it anyway. Oh, he’s also helping the Mayor and fighting crime as the masked “Wild Dog”, but you know, that bit’s easy…

Dinah Drake / Black Canary (Julia Harkavy) – The second woman to take the mantel, she coincidentally has the metahuman power to do a canary cry much like the now deceased Laurel Lance did with the sonic device. She is also a lieutenant in the police, which is handy if Team Arrow need a new piece of evidence!

Slade Wilson / Deathstroke (Manu Bennett) – Formally a deadly agent, then a deadly foe of Oliver’s, Slade is now reformed, the drug that turned him a bit insane now finally out of his system. He wishes to be reunited with his son, but he may not like it when his wish is granted…

Black Siren (Katie Cassidy) – The Laurel Lance of Earth-2 who coincidentally ended up with the same sonic cry ability via metahuman means that the Earth-1 Laurel used via technology. She is also evil, though somewhere deep inside, there may be a glimmer of hope…

Cayden James (Michael Emerson) – Cayden is a master hacker and a great strategist, and he’s forming a cabal of agents and villains in order to bring down the government as revenge for how they treated him in the past…

Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo) – Drug lord who is part of Cayden James’ cabal, though rumour has it he has his eyes on a much bigger role…

Vincent Sobel / Vigilante (Johann Urb) – Sobel was believed to be dead by his former police partner Dinah Drake, but he survived his seemingly mortal wound and began a masked crusade against all criminals as the masked vigilante known as… Vigilante.

Anatoli Knyazev (David Nykl) – Anatoli is a member of the Bratva, and is trying to make headways into the US, where he former ally-turned-enemy Oliver Queen is currently the Mayor…

and many more!

The Good:

Arrow S6 3

The whole Cayden James storyline seems like ages ago now…

“Our heroes” are a mixed bag, more bad than good, but there were some positive points. When the team split due to the court drama surrounding Oliver it was actually well written and believable, with their big showdown against each other in Episode 14 standing out as a good moment. Quentin and his on-off relationship with the “evil” Earth-2 doppelgänger (look at that, spell-check just added the accent over the a! Classy!) of his dead daughter Laurel was a bizarre storyline, but it worked. By the final episode I completely believed that “evil Laurel” had changed and become a nicer person. It’s a genuine shame that Quentin was killed off in the finale, the show will seem strange without him.

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, splitting half the season with Cayden James as the lead villain and half with Ricardo Diaz was a good idea, and the two antagonists flowed well into each other. James was an interesting “baddie”, devoid of actual combat ability and all about surrounding himself with people who have it while he concentrated on the hacking-side of things. It was good, I really liked the end of pre-Christmas episode cliffhanger of him revealing his cabal of troopers. Diaz was a more standard thuggish, arrogant type, but he ended up well fleshed out thanks to Episode 19, though that kind of went out the window by the end of the season…

There were many really well shot large fight scenes, often with sweeping shots of everyone doing a bit of fighting or shooting in one take. Really can’t tip my hat enough to the fight choreographer and directors this season, looks like they took a page out of Daredevil Season 1’s play book, and that’s a good thing!

A couple of mini-arcs involving returning characters Deathstroke and Roy Harper, respectively, were really good. The former featured Slade Wilson visiting his son, only to find out that his kind-hearted off spring was just as bad as he used to be. Roy returning coincided with Thea leaving with Nyssa al Ghul and being written out of the show (or the rest of the season, I should say…) and it had some good moments.

The story with Black Siren and her old believed-dead cop buddy being the Vigilante was… fine. Didn’t offend me, but didn’t particularly care when it came to an end. It was… alright. Same goes for Curtis and his new cop boyfriend and Wild Dog and his love for his daughter. They were harmless sub-stories.

The Bad:

Arrow S6 1

The guy in the glasses isn’t a new character joining the group by the way, though it really does look like it!

Lots of repeat storylines here, not just from Arrow past but from the simultaneously airing Flash season. Oliver gets backed into a corner and alienates himself from all his friends, so decides that the best course of action is to “go it alone” … AGAIN. Wouldn’t you know it, he only beats Ricardo Diaz because he teams up with his old team mates and the FBI to take him down. Lesson re-learned for the 1000th time. The deal with the FBI ties into Oliver Queen being put on trial (including a really boring trial episode) only to get out of it thanks to an actor with unique rubber mask ability, directly mirroring Barry Allen / The Flash getting out of prison thanks to his rubber-powered friend taking the shape of someone else in an episode that only aired a few months prior to this one…

Oliver ends up in prison as the end-of-season cliffhanger, ignoring how telegraphable that was, it’s just going end with a Season 7 episode or two of his friends working out how to get him out, just like when Barry Allen was in prison at the start of the second third of this year’s Flash, so… not exactly exciting.

Speaking of The Flash, John Diggle may give Mr. Allen a run for his money in the really stupid decision stakes this year. He suffers nerve damage and has trouble aiming with his hand, so ends up going to a shady underground drug dealer for help, instead of the friend who he sees all the time and in the past has given Felicity a microchip that allowed her to walk again… What an idiot.

Didn’t care for a lot of the mayoral politics and the dull trial stuff. Oliver getting away from all that bollocks will hopefully make the show less dull next season…

Overall Thoughts:

Arrow S6 4

It would have been wrong not to include a picture of Mr. Diaz in this season review… so here he is!

Arrow Season Six had some of the best fight scenes in the show’s history, and two antagonists that helped carry the season together, but it also had some really stupid character actions and a very familiar core plot thread. Somewhere in the middle, then. It wasn’t bad like the Damien Dahrk season, but it wasn’t all that exciting either.

3 Star Watch

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