“Arrow” Season 5 could finally be the end … for flashbacks, that is. Its use had been integral to how the show unravelled Oliver Queen’s character yet the storytelling strategy might have overstayed its welcome after four seasons on the show.
The shows’ producers are aware of this, TVLine reported. The executive producers of “Arrow” were at the Writers Guild Festival to talk about flashback troubles. They also acknowledged the fact that it’s quite unpopular with fans. However, taking it out completely would likely change the show’s format.
EP Marc Guggenheim recalled how effective flashbacks were in the earlier seasons because it gave the audience insight into the evolution of Oliver’s character. “Part of the appeal of the flashbacks – certainly in the first two years, but I think the first three years – is seeing what a big difference it is between Oliver Queen in the present day and Oliver Queen five years ago,” Guggenheim shared.
However, he admitted they struggle to incorporate the storytelling strategy now.
“The problem is that we are telling a five-year story in the flashbacks of Oliver becoming the guy you met in the pilot. So the deeper you get into the flashbacks, the closer he becomes to being that guy, and, thus, you lose that element of the flashbacks that was so interesting, which is how different he was … That’s something we have struggled with this year,” Guggenheim added.
The use of flashbacks became a drag on the show as it moved into Season 3, Screenrant noted. It started to drag after they defeated Slade Wilson and the publication described the Hong Kong flashback as an anticlimactic trip.
Hence, fans can likely expect changes in “Arrow” season 5. EP Wendy Mericle assured they already have a good idea on how to work on the flashbacks. “We know what we’re working up to. The season will be easier to break because we have an endpoint, and we work backwards from there,” Mericle revealed.
Mericle also shared the flashbacks in the next season would reveal how Oliver got his tattoo. “It’s a very good possibility that we’ll finally find out how Oliver got that Bratva tattoo and how he learned to speak Russian,” Mericle added.