After “Arrow” Season 5, the show will end its use of flashbacks — sort of. Speaking to CBR, executive producer Wendy Mericle discussed the decision to scale back on flashbacks, what the show will do to fill the gap left behind and more.
“Here’s the thing. There’s so much story on the show, and it’s really exciting for the writers and for everyone on the creative side to be thinking, ‘Wow, we really have a lot more real estate to play with,'” Mericle shared. “We always have so much story and we’re always pushing story. It’ll be great to have this extra space to play around in.”
However, that doesn’t mean the show will never use flashbacks again. “That said, the flashbacks have worked so well on the show, they’re not going to be gone forever,” she teased. “We’re obviously not going to be going back to Lian Yu and we’re not going to be telling the story of the five years that Oliver was gone, but we might get some glimpses into the backstories of other characters, which would be really fun.”
Since the series debut, “Arrow” has employed the use of flashbacks in order to show Oliver’s time on the island. As viewers came to learn, Oliver didn’t spend all five years on Lian Yu; he went to Japan, Russia and even back to Star City at one point. However, the flashbacks served to show how Oliver became the sharp-shooting vigilante he was in the series premiere. Fittingly, these flashbacks will draw to end in the series’ fifth season, thus wrapping up the five years that Oliver was missing and presumed dead.
Last October, Mericle told CBR that the show would be “reinvented” in Season 6. “What’s interesting about Season 5, just having been there from the beginning and knowing Marc [Guggenheim] and Andrew [Kreisberg] and Greg [Berlanti] as well as I do, the show was conceived in many ways as a five-year thing,” she said at the time. “Those flashbacks will be gone after this season. I think it is going to be a different… not a different show, but it is going to have to be reinvented in Season Six, because we’re closing a chapter for sure.”
Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer, “Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, John Barrowman, Willa Holland and more.