On the same day we learned that Dinah Drake survived the disastrous blast on Lian Yu by way of her new Black Canary costume reveal, EW sat down with Arrow executive producer Wendy Mericle, who spilled the beans on Season 6. During the interview, we learned that Arrow Season 6 will pick up five months after the island was turned into rubble, and will explore the relationship between our heroes' biological family, and the family they kick ass with on a nightly basis.
Who Survived The Island Blast?
While there haven't been many concrete details about actual survivors, it is safe to assume that the theme of the upcoming season would insure multiple survivors. During an interview with EW, when asked about the theme for Season 6 Mericle had this to say:
"We’re really leaning into this idea of family, and what it’s like to deal with your own biological family, but also to deal with your found family, and the natural emotional conflicts that arise when you have to choose between or balance both of them. Oliver and everybody else, all of our main characters will be grappling with that."
The #Arrow producer all but confirmed fan suspicion that the survivors of the island will be more than a few. If the show is going to take the family narrative, then there's going to have to be more than just a handful of Team Arrow survivors. In fact, with the confirmation of Dinah's survival, Mercile — when asked about the relationship between Dinah and Quentin — may have also dropped a hint that Detective Lance escaped the blast unscathed.
"In season 5, we wanted to explore this idea of someone taking on Quentin daughter’s mantle and what would that look like... In season 6, it will be building on that and capitalizing on that and also exploring it further."
While the quote doesn't exactly clarify that Quentin survived, the only way to continue to push this family dynamic forward is to keep those two together. Along with Dinah and Quentin, another Arrow favorite definitely survived, and whose family history is worthy of its own spin-off.
Green Arrow's Frenemy Deathstroke The Survivor
During the Season 6 finale, before Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett) agreed to join Team Arrow, he made a promise to help Oliver find his son. Along with the alleged family theme, one can easily put two and two together; however, what makes this a fact are Stephen Amell's comments.
"I can report that Manu Bennett is back to being a part of the show, and I think we will see him multiple times this year, which is awesome."
With confirmation from Oliver Queen himself — and Deathstroke's overwhelming popularity — we can safely assume Slade Wilson survived, and Season 6 will be a totally different show.
Could The Major Change To Arrow Mean Reboot?
After such a catastrophic event, there's no way the Arrow we know and love won't change in a major way. In some ways, one could even say that this season will be a reboot.
"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... 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."
We've seen Arrow end on cliffhangers, but after the blast — and Oliver being thrust into parenthood — one can only imagine the adjustments Oliver will have to make. As a matter of fact, EW reported that there would be a huge shift in personality for the titlular hero.
"In season 6, I think you'll see Oliver giving the people in his life the advice for a change. He's been through five years of being this superhero and he went through five years of hell before that, so he's got 10 years of very heavy experience to start to bring to bare, and that's something we're interested in seeing more of a mentoring Oliver as the various people in his life face their challenges."
Will Season 6 Mean The End Of The Flashbacks?
Since the beginning of Arrow, the show has relied on a unique way to tell Oliver Queen's backstory after he was presumed dead. For the five years he was "dead," we learned that he did more than just relax on the cozy island. The Arrow writers took us on a five-season journey of his past that climatically ended where it began. Oliver, however, never really seemed to get over his past, and struggled to find himself — that will change in Season 6.
"This show is evolving and it’s exciting because it is a new dynamic this season without the flashbacks."
After years of battling demons and the hardships that haunted him throughout his superhero tenure, it appears that Oliver will be taking a major step forward. What does that mean for the flashback scenes? According to Mericle, that won't change. Arrow is an evolving show and it’s exciting because of a new season dynamic void of flashbacks. However, the producer also says the showrunners won't totally do away with the usage of flashbacks, as it helps add depth to the characters.
"One of the advantages is we know how to use that device and we’re going to use it for different reasons this season, which will be fun — different characters, different points of view."
Arrow Season 6 will return on the CW October 12, 2017