Few elements of a comic book hero are more fundamental to a character's persona than his or her outfit. Batman has his cape and cowl, Iron Man has his suits, and Green Arrow has his hood. Over the course of the last five seasons, Stephen Amell's Oliver Queen has defined himself by his green-clad vigilante identity, and he has never missed an opportunity to don the Arrow outfit whenever possible. However, according to Stephen Amell: we're going to see less of his iconic superhero attire at some point after Arrow returns for the latter half of its fifth season. The Arrow star explained to his Facebook followers:
We are in the thick of it right now; we are filming our fifteenth episode of the season. We have a couple of episodes coming up that are really fun. A couple of episodes that I'm barely in the Arrow suit, which is not to say that the action is lower. It's just different, and I'm very proud of the latter half of the show.
Stephen Amell's comments during his recent Facebook Live session promise one crucial thing: we're going to see less of the Arrow fashion when Arrow finally returns later this month. Although we can bank on some serious action taking place when the show gets back to primetime (we expect nothing less from a show like Arrow), Amell has played coy about why Oliver Queen won't step into his common threads to lay serious beatdowns on Star City's worst criminals. The suit has played a major role on the season so far, so this actually may feel like a welcome change of pace for some fans of the series, depending on how it plays out.
We aren't terribly surprised by this, as Oliver has engaged in plain clothes action sequences before. One possibility for the lack of Arrow suit action could be the mere fact that he may somehow find himself forcefully distanced from the outfit. As a public figure, Oliver has already been shot (sort of) as Mayor of Star City, so we won't rule out the possibility that nefarious parties will try to once again take him captive. We saw a similar moment occur during the Season 5 premiere, and Oliver proved himself more than capable of snapping necks in nothing more than a non-protective suit and tie.
Another possibility is the fact that Prometheus may somehow make it impossible for Oliver to don the Arrow suit. Trailers for the second half of the season have made it clear that people know that the Green Arrow killed Billy Malone, so if Prometheus starts framing Oliver for murders all around the city, he could eventually sully the Green Arrow's reputation. If the police and the bad guys are gunning for his archer alter ego, Oliver may forgo the Arrow gear and stick to his daytime persona.
Finally, there's the chance that Arrow may just keep to the flashbacks for a few episodes to push that meandering narrative along. Arrow used to commit far more time and energy to the story of its flashbacks -- particularly during Seasons 1 and 2 -- and we would often see entire episodes devoted to his time on Lian Yu. With Talia Al Ghul slated to make her debut during Oliver's time in Russia, it's not outside the realm of possibility that Arrow may shift to more flashback-oriented episodes for a brief period and keep the present day Green Arrow waiting in the wings.
No matter what, we're going to find out what the deal is with Oliver Queen's duds when Arrow returns on Wednesday, January 25 at 8 p.m. EST on The CW. For more information concerning all of the most highly anticipated spring television debuts, make sure to check out our comprehensive midseason premiere guide and get your TV viewing calendars filled out accordingly!