Did you hate the Island Flash backs in Arrow? You weren’t alone and it's now been confirmed that the upcoming season will be the last to feature the story device when it comes to Oliver's time on the island...
The Island Flashbacks have been an issue for fans for some timenow, but definitely more so since season 3 when the story switched from Oliver’s struggles on the island to suddenly being a secret agent for A.R.G.U.S. which seemed to throw off established timelines and continuity established in previous seasons. When Showrunner Wendy Mericle confirmed that season 5 would show us how Oliver got his connections with the Russian mob, many fans groaned at the idea and yet another deviation from the main story. Now executive producer Marc Guggenheim has now confirmed that the show's fifth season will be the last to feature Oliver's flashbacks.
"Last year, when we sort of realized we're going to go past Season 5, we basically made a collective decision that Season 5 would be the final year of flashbacks," said Guggenheim to IGN. "Next year, in Season 6, what we'll end up doing is we'll do some episodes without any sort of flashbacks. We've [also] established over the first four seasons of proof of concept that we can do flashback stories that don't involve what I call the island narrative, even when he's not on the island."
Keep in mind flashbacks will still be used to help the narrative of the story, just not focusing on Oliver or the Island. "We still want to make that part of our storytelling, because we do like them. We like when those non-island flashbacks sort of illuminate what's going on in the present day," Guggenheim added. "That'll always be a part of the show and a part of the show's storytelling structure. It just won't be telling a serialized story."
Guggenheim also took responsibility for season 4's flashbacks, which drew criticism for not being connected to the main storyline. "In the first three years, we always tried to connect the flashbacks with what was happening in the present day. This is my bad: I sort of felt, going into Season 4 that that was tying our hands, that oh, we could only tell stories that tied up with the present days. So I told the writers in the beginning of Season 4, 'Let's free ourselves of that burden,' and it didn't work," Guggenheim said. "People were only interested in the flashbacks if they did connect up with the present day."
Guggenheim didn't rule out the possibility of there being flashbacks for characters other than Oliver, or showing flash-forwards into the future. "We might even do a flash-forward. You never know!" he said. “I think it would be fun to do it with Oliver. It might be fun to do it with Diggle." Given that we've already had a glimpse of Oliver's future in Legends Of Tomorrow, maybe we could see Connor Hawke again down the line.
Are you excited for this new development, or do you want to see flashbacks disappear entirely? Sound off below!