There is a TV trope called the “Pseudo Crisis.” It’s usually a cliffhanger leading into a commercial break that is easily resolved following the delivered info on how to brighten our colors and whiten our teeth. It’s a cheap manipulative device meant to keep us watching whatever we’re watching. Done too often, it loses its power over us, and we no longer trust whoever’s presenting the story.
Arrow has made a serious misstep at the beginning of Season 6. While “Fallout” is far from a terrible episode—I personally scored it a 3 of 5 stars—it fails to deliver on the terrible promise of the Season 5 finale. The implication at the end of last season was that several of our favorite characters were in danger of dying as the bombs began exploding on Lian Yu.
This didn’t happen. It was false drama.
The mother of Oliver’s son died. Conveniently, this allows him to act like a dad in the new season. Also, Thea was left in a coma, certainly to recover at some point in the season. That’s it. Everyone else was fine.
Okay, I’ll admit I’m three episodes into the new season now. John Diggle has some nerve damage from the explosion and is apparently using illicit drugs to combat the effects. So, that’s something. But…
Come on, guys. I didn’t want any of my favorite characters to die, but I wanted there to be consequences. Or, at least more consequences than you’re giving me. Even Black Siren is still alive in the new season.
Then, the premiere episode ends with another pseudo crisis, as Oliver is outed as the Green Arrow. Again. Okay, I know he was outed as “The Hood” in that previous season, but it’s the same thing. Another false cliffhanger, because this supposed crisis is not even a main plot point going forward. The photo revealing Oliver to be the Green Arrow is easily discredited by Felicity and Mr. Terrific. Even though Oliver really is the Green Arrow.
I no longer trust the writer’s room of this show. And, while I will keep watching, it’s going to take some fancy footwork to keep me on this bandwagon. If things continue as they have begun this season, this may be Arrow‘s last. I don’t want it to be. I want the show to be truly great again.
This premiere episode was just okay, not truly great.