“The Flash” Season 2 finale called “The Race of His Life” was an entirely unexpected but brilliant twist to the scheme of things. Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) stops the Reverse Flash (Teddy Sears) from killing his mother. The original timeline is altered, the Barry Allen who became The Flash in Season 1 fades away from existence. Since “The Flash” and “Arrow” are shared universes, this timeline shift should impact “Arrow.” Actor Stephen Amell says that necessarily isn’t the case.
“I don’t know,” Amell told Comicbook.com, adding that Arrow will go back to basics in Season 5 after Oliver Queen saved the world from a nuclear holocaust and killed Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), ending his reign of terror on Star City. “I do know that we’ve done a lot of work on Arrow to introduce the other shows, for lack of a better term, and now that that’s all done, we’re focused on doing the things that we do well for Season 5.”
There were some major changes in the Arrow-verse as well. Thea (Willa Holland) left the team for some soul searching, John Diggle (David Ramsey) reenlisted in the army and Lance (Paul Blackthorne) has been fired. Felicity is still by his side, though. Amell told Comicbook.com, “Arrow is at its best when we’re dealing with problems in Star City. We’re not a time-travel show, we’re not a multi-Earth show, though obviously [we do that] with crossovers and stuff like that. We’re Arrow, we deal with Star City, and I feel like we’ll be better off focusing on that.”
In its initial form, “Arrow” was basically a show about extraordinary heroes who fight to save Star City against almost insurmountable odds. But there were no super-powered beings. Oliver Queen is like Bruce Wayne and Tony Stark; a rich, philanthropic playboy type, a normal human being, who eventually uses his money, influence, and dark experiences to help humanity. This was before The Flash, The Atom, and Damien Darhk came into the mix. Now, Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) is part of it too, though remotely due to her association with Flash.
“Even though Supergirl is joining the ranks, there’s no new person or new show to introduce this year, and I think as a result of that, we need to get back to focusing more on some of the core elements that used to define Arrow,” Amell told Entertainment Weekly (EW). These core elements were “hand-to-hand combat, no superpowers, and dealing with the job of cleaning up Star City,” he said.
So, while the repercussions of “The Flash” Season 2 finale are profound, leaving the writers with an infinitesimally crazy number of possibilities to explore in Season 3, “Arrow” Season 5 will go the more humble route.