Back in August, Arrow's executive producer, Wendy Mericle, told IGN that Season 5 is "closing this chapter out." Star Stephen Amell agreed with his boss when he spoke with People's Choice:
When you end a chapter in a book, you still move on with the story, but what has happened before continues to be intertwined. So what does that mean for the Green Arrow?
By The End Of Season 5, Oliver Queen Will Have Come Full Circle
We will know how he came to be the man he is completely, and presumably, there will be no more flashbacks. By the time Season 5 comes to a close, Oliver will have revisited all of his enemies and friends from those past seasons. The skeletons should all be out of the closet, which might be a good thing. There is new territory to be discovered, and instead of learning about the Oliver of the past, we will learn about the Oliver of the future.
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Oliver's New Mission?
Certainly the writers have laid the plans for an Oliver without the chains of the past holding him back, but those brutal five years shaped him into the violent vigilante he is today. With the fading of the memories, will we see a different Oliver, one who doesn't feel the need to be as brutal once he's avenged the deaths of those he loves? For so long, he's been motivated by his past — first by his determination to right his father's wrongs, then by the realization the city needed a hero.
Of course, we don't know how Season 5 is going to play out, but starting a show with a timeline running in the background can be risky. In fact, rumors have swirled that Season 5 will be the end of Arrow, since Stephen Amell mentioned on Facebook that Arrow was built to be a five year show:
"We were always built to be a five year show, which is a very courageous thing to plan for when you're just in the pilot stages of something. But that doesn't mean that we can't go six or seven. I can't really picture beyond that. But we'll see. I'm having a blast."
Marc Guggenheim has a different take on it and has promised that Season 5 will be the end of Oliver's flashbacks on the island. Anticipating a Season 6, Guggenheim said, "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."
At San Diego Comic Con 2016, in describing Oliver now, Stephen Amell said Oliver is back to the mission of honoring what his father asked him to do, and that was to protect Star City. That tells us little about the future of Oliver Queen. With the Green Arrow a vigilante, determined to take care of his home, what does that leave for the man behind the mask?
When Arrow first began, Oliver Queen had more of a life than he does now. He interacted with friends, owned a club, and even spent family time at home. As the show has evolved, all of that has gone away, so with the flashbacks dissipating, I hope Oliver can be given an arc that doesn't necessarily involve his mask. Is Oliver ready to have a life that doesn't revolve solely around the Green Arrow persona? And is that something fans want to see?
Where do you think Oliver can go from here? Let me know in the comments below!