Having to keep track of so many series these days, there are very few that I make it a point to acquire each and every season. After all, a person has only so much time, money and shelf space. But when it comes to Arrow, I can’t help adding the next chapter to my collection once it arrives on home video.
That said, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed taking in season 6 in its entirety over the past week or so. Though I did originally tune in to watch it live, I certainly didn’t mind a second tour on Blu-ray because there was just so much going on this year.
Long story short, the saga resumes not long after Team Arrow and friends were caught in the blast caused by Prometheus on Lian Yu, with pretty much everyone except the mother of Oliver Queen’s (Stephen Amell) child making it out alive. Thus, the Emerald Archer must now juggle fatherhood along with being the mayor of Star City and his nighttime vigilante duties.
What probably threw everyone for a loop when these episodes first aired was when Ollie tried to walk away from the hood for a brief period, with John Diggle (David Ramsey) actually taking up the mantle. Though this lasted for only the few weeks, it was kind of cool seeing the team reconfigure itself before their eventual split.
Speaking of which, that creative decision proved rather divisive amongst the fanbase. Basically, when you have supporting characters like Black Canary (Juliana Harkavy), Wild Dog (Rick Gonzalez) and Mr. Terrific (Echo Kellum) butting heads with the titular hero, viewers will naturally side with the guy they’ve tuned in to see for the past half-dozen years. The veterans and newbies may all arrive on the same page once it’s all said and done, sure, but it can’t be taken for granted that people won’t check out midseason if they don’t like what’s going on. Even I got sick of folks talking smack about Oliver, hardass as he may be.
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Something else that a percentage of the audience didn’t cater to were the newest big bads that arrived in the form of Cayden James (Michael Emerson) and Ricardo Diaz (Kirk Acevedo). I think the problem that most had with these guys was that they were more “real world” than the likes of Deathstroke and Ra’s al Ghul, but I didn’t mind that at all because Arrow is one of the more grounded DC TV shows around. Hey, if you’ve got a non-superpowered vigilante prowling the streets, then it’s within reason to pit him against a supreme computer hacker and a crime lord.
Furthermore, when Diaz fully steps into the light and makes his plans known, he proves to be one of the most calculating and truly dangerous foes that Oliver and company had ever faced. On top of that, Acevedo brings his A-game, thereby making his origin episode, “The Dragon,” one of the absolute highlights in this four-disc set.
One other crucial element that I must touch on is the situation involving Black Siren (Katie Cassidy), whose character arc is just as riveting as that of the one belonging to Green Arrow himself. Not meaning to spoil much, you’ll want to pay close attention to Earth-2’s Laurel Lance as she goes from ruthless villain to possible hero – and you’ll definitely see why she starts down the path to redemption.
One thing that I think we can all agree on, however, is that the latest Arrowverse crossover, “Crisis on Earth-X,” was freaking awesome. Joining together Supergirl, Arrow, The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow, this four-show tale plays out like a seamless miniseries, as the heroes of each must unite in order to take down their Nazi doppelgangers from a parallel dimension.
Now, what’s especially worth mentioning is that all four parts are included here, as opposed to only the second chapter that was originally advertised. Therefore, you need not collect every show on Blu-ray if you’d like to own the entire crossover event, as was the case last year.
On that note, now would be a good time to say that the featurette devoted to “Crisis” puts the various showrunners in one room, letting them chat with moderator Hector Navarro for nearly an hour about this massive undertaking. I just thought I’d throw in that detail in case you were concerned about getting only something having to do with Arrow‘s contribution to the mashup.
As for the rest of the supplemental content, there are some brief extras focusing on the likes of Deathstroke and Cayden James, though I didn’t find them to be too probing. But, as usual, there’s footage from San Diego Comic-Con panels included, this time folding each respective one pertaining to Supergirl, The Flash, Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow and Gotham into one oversized featurette. It appears as though this will be included on each series’ Blu-ray set this summer, so if you buy only one, you won’t miss out on anything in this regard.
When it comes to the package as a whole, I must say that it’s worth every penny. Arrow: The Complete Sixth Season may have just barely failed to achieve the heights of its immediate predecessor, sure, but it’s certainly no slouch. Plus, there’s all that extra material that I just mentioned, so it’ll certainly keep you entertained for some time.
Packed with more content than originally advertised, Arrow: The Complete Sixth Season is a solid buy for any DC fan.