Season 5 of Arrow has brought some changes to the series in more ways than one. Showrunners and leading man Stephen Amell indicated the current season would be a return to what made Arrow great. While some may argue the execution has had its flaws, things have definitely changed from Season 4 to Season 5. More seems to be changing as well, as Amell and others have indicated that flashbacks are going to be a thing of the past. He's fine with it, and he shares why fans should be too:
I know they're kicking around some ideas, but truthfully I have no earthly idea if there is any sort of element that we will be bringing into Season 6 or if we just simply acknowledge that we pitched the show as a five-year origin story and we got to do it, which I think in and of itself is an accomplishment. There's not a ton left on television from new shows from 2012. Just the fact that we made it that far is worth patting ourselves on the back for, ever so briefly.
While Oliver's flashbacks to his five years away will be ending, it's unclear as to whether flashbacks overall will be gone completely, or if something like flash-forwards will be taking their place. I think it's important to note Stephen Amell's words when he brings up that the series was originally pitched as a five-year origin story. While Season 5 has been an attempt to recapture what made Arrow great in its first two seasons, Season 6 could effectively serve as a blank slate. Cutting out flashbacks leaves nearly half a show to focus on so much more than Oliver's past!
As Stephen Amell also mentions to Entertainment Weekly, you can take the time that was being used for flashbacks and spend more time focusing on the lives of characters outside of the Arrow Cave. While I know some fans will groan at the thought of more CW angst drama invading their hero series, there's no denying some characters fall by the wayside when the series is in full swing. Sometimes, that can be for the best as it can distract viewers from the fact that big things are happening and cast members (like Thea) aren't there because of other projects. Other times, more side story would have been welcome, such as in Season 3 when many critics and fans alike felt too much was happening and things were rushed near the season finale.
Ultimately, if the answer was as simple as night and day, Arrow wouldn't have had to change much going into Season 5. Will removing flashbacks have any impact - positive or negative - on the show should the team pull the trigger? I guess we will get our answer if that's the direction the writing team decides to go for Season 6. Arrow is currently airing on CW Wednesday's at 8 p.m. ET. If you've left the series, maybe give it another shot before the season ends, and then hit up our midseason premiere guide to pick up another superhero series.