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The Best Thing About Arrow Season 6's Lack Of Flashbacks, According To The Showrunner

Oliver Queen Stephen Amell Arrow The CW

While past adventures will still have some place in Season 6 of Arrow, the days of flashbacks in every episode have come to an end. As our own Nick Venable learned from showrunner Wendy Mericle at SDCC during a roundtable interview with other outlets, that big change involved making several other changes. Mericle talks about the best thing regarding Arrow's lack of flashbacks below:

The best part I think for us is we have more real estate. It's literally a question of page count. You just have more room. You don't have to service that story in the last five years any more, so we can do what we want. And the other fun part is that you maybe explore other people's flashbacks, other people's backstories, other characters. So that I think we're really excited about.

As Wendy Mericle said, more "real estate" means more pages of script to grant to side stories, action, and chunks of show-time that were previously set aside for Oliver's five-year origin. More time can be allotted to fleshing out side stories for characters who we want to see more of, provided they aren't dead, of course. As well, more focus can be placed on on whatever villain is wreaking havoc in Star City that week and beyond.

Wendy Mericle also mentioned peering back into other characters' backstories, and while those are still flashbacks, at least the creative team is finally moving on from Oliver's past. It would be nice to see more pre-histories from the newer members of Team Arrow, although the promise of Slade Wilson getting a couple flashbacks is already exciting enough!

Wendy Mericle also says that the lack of flashbacks had a noticeable impact on the pacing in the writer's room, as writers were unable to utilize them in episodes like they have in prior seasons. Here's what she told us about the negative side of not having flashbacks at the ready.

The downside I think is you miss that part was really rooted in the DCU and seeing Oliver. It was a reliable kind of go-to in terms of story. We were breaking an episode recently and we realized, 'Oh my god, we can't put a flashback in there! We have to figure out scene-to-scene!' It changes your process and that's been interesting.

That actually sounds like a positive for those viewers sick of living in the past, even if it was a bit of a bummer for the Arrow writers who may have gotten used to the habit. Mericle also states the flashback drop means the show's writers should have a little more freedom, story-wise, without having to make all the callbacks between past and present moments, although there will probably be flashbacks in some episodes that draw into current events. Arrow fans have been teased that Season 6 is a bit of a reboot, and with Mericle breaking down how the removal of flashbacks affects the show, it does sound like fans will be stepping into a new series.

Fans will get to see the true impact of the lack of flashbacks in Arrow by Episode 2 of Season 6, since the premiere will show the immediate aftermath of the big explosion, but definitely tune in for the premiere on October 12th, at 9 p.m. ET. Check out more on The CW's fall lineup right here, or read more about how Arrow's big bad for this season will be very different than they have been in the past. For more on the hottest shows of the summer and where they can be found, be sure to visit our summer premiere guide.

Mick Joest

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.