Without any further ado, let’s take stock of who all survived Arrow‘s detonation of the island of Lian Yu… and who did not.
To quickly recap the cliffhanger we were left with:
At the close of Season 5, Adrian Chase drew Oliver and everyone he loves (or works with) to the remote island where the emerald archer spent many a formative year. Though ultimately bested by Green Arrow, Chase aka Prometheus had in place a (quite literal) “dead man’s switch.” So upon taking his own life, scores of C4 explosives were triggered, turning Lian Yu into but jungle and rubble, with Felicity, Diggle, Dinah, Rene, Curtis and Thea… and Lance, Slade, Nyssa and Samantha — as well as Black Siren, Evelyn aka Artemis and Talia al Ghul — all left behind to perish. (Malcolm Merlyn and Digger Harkness had previously and presumably died in a landmine explosion.)
Once the island dust cleared and the premiere had ended, the final tally was this:
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ALIVE AND WELL
Diggle, Rene, Curtis, Felicity, Dinah, Quentin,
Black Siren, Slade and Nyssa
Talia and Evelyn
As for what actually transpired in the premiere….
Over the course of intermittent flashbacks to the immediate Lian Yu fallout, Oliver found an alive Slade, who regrettably led his frenemy to Thea’s lifeless body. Before Oliver could truly confirm his sister’s fate, Samantha staggered into the scene to get Oliver’s promise that he will be a father to William, before she succumbed to her injuries.
Elsewhere on the island, we saw Diggle get caught in a blast, one that apparently left him with a haunting injury, while Dinah and Lance wound up in a face-off with Black Siren. When Evil Laurel gained the upper hand and was about to slice Dinah’s throat, Quentin put a bullet into his fake daughter, presuming her dead. In the premiere’s final moments, we saw how Black Siren later came to and was helped away by an unseen figure.
In current-day Star City….
The “alive” Team Arrow members were surprisingly quickly trotted out — no milking for drama here! Things heated up when a garden-variety perp delivered to the SCPD by the Green Arrow turned out to have an escape plan, in the form of a C4-laden tooth. As he blasts his way free, we see that he is but a stooge for Black Siren. Afterward, Quentin and Dinah hem and haw in front of the rest of the team before the former confesses that they lied about finding Black Siren dead on Lian Yu, when in fact she was for a few minutes alive, until Quentin gunned down his “daughter.” (Oliver late tries to tell Quentin what we wanted to, that Earth-2’s Lauren isn’t his “daughter”, but Lance isn’t a believer in the doppelganger “crap.”)
Quentin wasn’t the only one harboring a secret. As first glimpsed during a highway skirmish with Black Siren and her mercs, Diggle isn’t the marksman he used to be. In fact, it is eventually revealed, he isn’t pulling the trigger of his gun at all. And Dinah knows it. (Sidenote: There is odd but kinda good “chemistry” now vibing from those two. #DontGoThere!)
The Black Siren sitch comes to a boil when she tricks Team Arrow into keeping a tight lid on a police graduation ceremony when she in fact is storming the bunker. Oliver & Co. arrive on the scene to help Diggle fend off the intrusion, but Evil Laurel manages to get away after pinching a prototype for one of Curtis’ T-spheres.
Elsewhere in the premiere:
* While Oliver was visiting comatose Thea, Slade stopped by to say that Oliver’s intel on his long-lost son Joe checked out, and he was off to find his boy.
* In keeping with the theme of fatherhood’s difficulties (e.g. Slade, Quentin, Rene), Oliver is having difficulty connecting with William. When Oliver comes to realize that the “bad man” whom William is having nightmares about, whom he blames for his mom’s death, is him, he is devastated. But after a pep talk of sorts from Slade, Oliver reaches out to William, reassuring him that he will always be there for them, as his father, and a peace is made.
* The episode’s final sting: Felicity calls Oliver to turn on the news, pronto, because Mayor Queen has just been very clearly outed as Green Arrow!