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The Season 5 finale of Arrow marked the end of an era as we finally saw the end of Oliver's flashback journey. By curing Oliver of some of his demons and then literally blowing up Lian Yu, the episode set Season 6 up for a fresh start. A big question has been just how different the show will be following this fresh start. When asked if Season 6 would mark a reboot of Arrow, executive producer Wendy Mericle had this to say:

Reboot is one of those words. It's so funny. I think in some ways yes, I do, but I also think that word can get misconstrued very easily. This show is evolving and it's exciting because it is a new dynamic this season without the flashbacks. I know I keep saying we have more real estate, but we've been in the writers' room for three weeks and it's been amazing how different the show feels. There's just a lot more freedom. It's actually very exciting because we can take this show to different places now and to different directions. I'll repeat it, but it really is exciting to have the time and the space to talk about these other characters. We were always sort of pressed, and moved stories so quickly. We're still moving stories that same way, we just have a little more space to explore other points of view and other characters. It's fun.

Judging by Wendy Mericle's comments to EW, we can expect a reboot of the format of the series without worrying that we'll lose years of characterization. The absence of the weekly flashbacks to Oliver's five years of hell will open up a lot of screen time for more developed stories and other characters. The writers no longer have a self-imposed timeline to stick to, so the show really could feel like something entirely different when it returns for Season 6.

Of course, Season 6 will need to tie off some loose ends from Season 5 before it gets into gear. The show will make the regular five-month time jump, so we won't see the immediate aftermath of the insane Season 5 finale cliffhanger, but Stephen Amell has already revealed that the Season 6 premiere will feature flashbacks to what happened after Prometheus killed himself and blew up Lian Yu. We'll find out if Arrow really did kill all those people off.

There are a handful of people whose deaths we can rule out. A Season 6 storyline for Felicity has been teased, so we know that she didn't die on Lian Yu. Stephen Amell verified Slade's survival when he recently said that Manu Bennett will appear multiple times in Season 6. Juliana Harkavy and Rick Gonzalez were promoted to series regular status for Season 6 as well, so we don't need to worry about Dinah Drake or Rene Ramirez. Black SIren also managed to survive somehow, although we don't yet know how. Only time will tell.

Arrow will return on a new night this fall on The CW. Swing by our breakdown of what we know so far about Season 6 for a peek ahead, and check out our summer TV premiere guide as well. If you need to catch up on Arrow or are just in the mood for a rewatch, Netflix has all five seasons (along with a whole bunch of other shows) available streaming now.

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