Excited for Arrow to finally move past the flashbacks when the show returns next year? Well, don’t hold your breath, as the flashbacks aren’t necessarily going away.
When Arrow started, the flashback storyline was a cool storytelling device, allowing us to follow Oliver in the present in Starling City and also see how he spent those five years trapped on the island of Lian Yu.
Over the years, though, the flashback story began to slog as Oliver spent less and less time on the actual island, and past events began to have less and less relevance to the present.
Season 5 has been an exciting change, with the show finally exploring Ollie’s past with the Russian Bratva. And it’s made all the more interesting by the knowledge that the season will end with Oliver back on Lian Yu just as he was when the show began.
“I think, going forward flashbacks are still a part of the show…”
Gone — But Not Gone
Speaking to Collider this week, Arrow executive producer Marc Guggenheim said even though we’re done with the island, flashbacks will still appear on the show:
“We basically went into this season with the expectation that we would get a sixth season and we basically decided that this would be the last year of the island-centric flashbacks. I think, going forward flashbacks are still a part of the show and we’ve seen in plenty of episodes we’ve done non-island, non-Russia flashbacks with Felicity…and we’re doing that again on 5.13, we’re going to flashback to Renee’s [sic] period before he was Wild Dog. That’s a tool in our toolbox. I don’t think we have an expectation to do a flashback every single episode of season 6, but again, it’s part and parcel of the show and we’ll just continue going on the way we are.”
At least we might not necessarily have to sit through flashbacks in every episode going forward. And specific flashback stories focusing on individual characters could be cool. In fact, that episode focusing on a pre-Wild Dog Rene sounds downright intriguing.
“One of the things we love doing are those non-island flashbacks stories.”
Forward Instead of Back?
Another possibility for Arrow is to pull a Lost on us and start doing flash-forwards instead. In fact, the show already did just that last season with the season-long tease with Oliver and Barry at Laurel’s gravesite.
“We’ve totally talked about [flash-forwards] and I don’t rule that out at all,” said Guggenheim. “But the island story, which is a continuing story unlike the other flashbacks I’ve mentioned, will end in Season 5.”
The Five-Year Itch
Guggenheim says the team views Season 6 as a chance to reinvent the show, something he feels every show needs to do after five seasons:
“I do welcome the shift. I think one thing we’ve been talking about — at this time of the year, we always start talking about next season and one of the things we’ve been saying is that when you go past five years, you have to shake things up and you have to change things around and I think telling a flashback story in five years was always our game, and I’m just excited that we’re sticking to it and I’m excited that it’s a chance to really open the show up next year. One of the things we love doing are those non-island flashbacks stories. We really have always enjoyed them and the fact that we’ll have the room and space to do them, again not every episode but as often as we want to is really enticing.”
Arrow returns on Wednesday, January 25 at 8/7c on The CW.
How do you feel about the flashbacks continuing in Season 6? Are you glad to see an end to the Lian Yu story? Sound off in the comments below!