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After the destruction of Lian Yu Oliver and his crew must deal with the aftermath. With Oliver now taking care of William, the whole team must grapple with their own demons as they fight to keep the city safe from a new crime boss who has his sights set on controlling Star City.

Tropes specific to Arrow Season 6 are as follows:

  • Aborted Arc: Slade's quest to find his lost son Joe was infinitely put on the back burner after Justice League (2017) introduced the character in the DCEU, meaning Slade is off limits, again.
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  • Affirmative Action Legacy: For much of the first half of the season, John Diggle, a black man, takes over as the Green Arrow. However, the racial aspect is never explicitly brought up on the show. Also, much like many other examples of this trope, Diggle eventually relinquishes the mantle back to its original older.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: This season is unique in that there is a roster of villains (who are not mere one-shots) giving Team Arrow hell. Each of them also has a specific animosity for one particular member of Team Arrow. This is later subverted when it's revealed that it's actually a Big Bad Duumvirate with James being in charge.
    • Ricardo Diaz aka the Dragon — a Star City crime lord. His beef is with Diggle, because as the Green Arrow II, Diggle led the attack that set back Dragon's drug-dealing operation. On Diggle's part he was using those drugs to deal with his tremor and saw them represent how far he fell.
    • Black Siren, Evil Doppelgänger of the deceased Laurel — hates Dinah Drake's guts for "replacing her" on Team Arrow and in Quentin's affections. She later kills Vincent making it very personal between her and Black Siren. This season she's working as the "partner" of Cayden James.
      • Another personal enemy for Dinah is Vigilante, who is revealed to be her old partner and lover Vincent Sobel she thought died years ago.
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    • Anatoly Knyazev, Oliver's former friend in the Bratva now his bitter enemy since the two inevitably went down different paths; he's no loner in charge of the Bratva, making even more dangerous.
    • Cayden James, leader of Helix. Felicity blames herself for his reign of terror since she helped Helix bust him out of ARGUS custody.
  • The Bus Came Back: Raisa, the Queen family's maid who made her last (and only) appearance on the show back in the pilot made her return...five seasons later!
    • Colton Haynes returned this season as Roy Harper, who was last seen in a Season 4 episode.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Many of the villains this season are motivated in some way by the actions of one of the heroes.
    • Black Siren holds a particular animosity towards Dinah Drake and Quentin Lance because Lance shot and almost killed her to save Dinah's life.
    • Anatoly Knyazev wants to destroy Oliver Queen due to the falling out between them that occurred as a result of Oliver's actions last season.
    • Played with in the case of Cayden James. He is motivated by revenge against the Green Arrow for killing his son. However, it turns out that he was being manipulated by someone else into believing that Green Arrow was responsible, with faked evidence. It is played straight in the sense that Cayden is only active because Felicity broke him out of ARGUS custody last season.
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  • Divided We Fall: Team Arrow and the New Recruits spend most of the second half of Season Six fighting each other as they do Cayden James. It eventually gets to the point where the two teams can't be friends anymore. This all works in Ricardo Diaz's favor. He's able to work on his goal of controlling Star City with no opposition.
  • Hidden Villain: Somebody killed Cayden James' son using one of Oliver's arrow, with fake footage knowing it would send James into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Oliver. This same somebody also leaked the doctored image of Oliver as Green Arrow which brought Agent Watson's wrath down on Team Arrow. Turns out the culprit is Ricardo Diaz. He eventually kills James and reveals himself to be the true Big Bad all along.
  • Inspector Javert: In addition to crime lord Ricardo Diaz, Oliver has to deal with a tenacious FBI agent Samanda Watson who is determined to figure out his connection to the Green Arrow.
  • ReTool: The first five seasons were about Oliver's journey into becoming the Green Arrow. Now this season is more of an ensemble affair with each Team Arrow member getting their own sigil in the opening credits.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • For much of the first half of the season, Thea is in a coma due to the explosion on Lian Yu at the end of the previous season. The reason for this is that her actor, Willa Holland signed a deal for a reduced number of episodes this season, and therefore had to be writen out for a significant chunk of time.
      • Thea eventually leaves Star City, with Roy, towards the end of the season - the real-life reason for which was Willa Holland wanting to quit the show this season.
    • Cayden James was killed off halfway through the season, because Michael Emerson couldn't commit for a full season, which is why Ricardo Diaz was made the Big Bad.
    • Colton Haynes left the show as Roy back in Season 3 because of he was struggling with his mental health, putting him on a indefinite break from acting. Since he finally recovered from this at around December, he couldn't be happier to come back.
  • Take That, Audience!: Basically everything about Black Siren. It seems like the writers specifically give her as many Kick the Dog moments as possible to hammer in the point that, no, she's definitely not going to be redeemed and take Dinah's place on Team Arrow. Although the second half of the season plays with this as Quentin and Thea have made it their mission to redeem her, while Dinah Drake has become estranged from Team Arrow over her desire to kill Black Siren after she murdered Vigilante. Though Siren flips back and forth for the rest of the season she does eventually choose to side with Team Arrow in the end, so it ends up being more of a double reverse fake out on the audience.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: The city turn on Team Arrow to the point of voting for an anti-vigilante law meaning the SPCD can no longer turn a blind eye toward them.
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