ByMichael Patterson, writer at
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Michael Patterson

Since Arrow's debut back in 2012, flashbacks have been a mainstay of the series. The dual narrative format allowed us to see how motivated the titular hero was while also showing us how he evolved into that hero. Thus, while the Arrow (later Green Arrow) kept the citizens of Star City safe in the present-day narrative, Oliver Queen was stranded on Lian Yu in the flashback narrative that took place five years earlier.

They were undoubtedly an integral part of the show, as they allowed us to see just how far Oliver came in those five years he spent "lost at sea." Moreover, they always played a major role in the show's main timeline, as the Green Arrow could use what he learned on the island and apply it to any issue he encountered in the present day.

However, as we revisited a shabby, beaten Oliver calling his mother from the middle of the ocean in the Season 5 finale, we all knew that the show had come full circle — bringing an end of the flashback narrative once and for all. But that doesn't mean that we have seen the end of the flashbacks altogether.

Season 6 Premiere Flashbacks Have Been Revealed

The showrunners of Arrow had previously confirmed that we would see different kinds of flashbacks throughout Season 6. However, now we know where we'll be flashing back to.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Arrow's executive producer, Wendy Mericle, officially confirmed that we would be seeing flashbacks in the Season 6 premiere, and that they would pick up where Season 5 left off. She commented:

"Because we don't have to do the five-year story of Oliver's past, we can jump forward and pick up five months later with Oliver in Star City and then we can also use flashbacks to tell the story of what happened on the island... It was our first experiment in not having the traditional flashback structure and it was super exciting and really fun to write. It's new and different."

Undoubtedly, the Season 5 finale left us all shocked. When Lian Yu (a major fixture of Arrow for its entire run) blew up, it truly marked the end of an era for the show. However, the most shocking thing was that Black Siren, Deathstroke, Talia Al Guhl, Samantha and all of Team Arrow were still on the island.

Oliver clutches his son as they watch Lian Yu explode. [Credit: The CW]
Oliver clutches his son as they watch Lian Yu explode. [Credit: The CW]

Ever since the finale aired, almost all of the Season 6 promotional material has been careful not to reveal certain characters' fates, keeping us guessing about which characters lived and which ones died.

While we know the premiere will be set five months after the Season 5 finale (The CW's shows always have time jumps between seasons to keep them in "real time"), revealing the fates of our favorite characters through flashbacks will actually be a really effective tool. That way, the episode likely won't show us the present-day versions of those characters until the flashback confirms that they're alive.

Furthermore, as Lian Yu always had such a major role in the show's flashbacks, this will be a nice but effective way to bid farewell to the island once and for all.

What Other Flashbacks Could We See Throughout The Season?

As the Season 6 premiere will likely tie-up the events of the Season 5 finale, those flashbacks will likely only last for that episode. Thus, we have to wonder which flashbacks we'll see next.

It is possible that the show could continue to tell us the story of the Lian Yu survivors after they got off the island. That would allow us to see how Oliver became William's guardian and how he initially adapted to becoming a father. However, there is another more likely candidate for the flashbacks.

Mericle also spoke to THR about Black Siren's role on the show this season, and alluded to the possibility that we might get to know her better. She stated:

"How do people turn evil or turn good? On Earth-1, Laurel was a person who wanted to make the world a better place, but on Earth-2 she went down a completely different road. Why? We answer that question..."

Mericle's comments suggest that we may be taking a trip to Earth-2 this season to see what happened to Black Siren, and how she became the villain she is today. This would undoubtedly be a welcome addition to the show, because her backstory has been alluded to before, but never fully revealed.

We do know that Laurel Lance's evil doppelganger first showed up on Earth-1 when Zoom brought her to Central City to take down The Flash. But after falling under Prometheus's influence, she set her sights on destroying Team Arrow. And in doing so, she revealed that she was in love with Earth-2's Oliver Queen before he died.

Seeing what life was like for this Laurel before that tragedy would help us understand the character better and empathise with her further. Furthermore, it would allow the returning Katie Cassidy to shine, much like she has so many times before.

Black Siren's backstory may be the focus of future flashbacks. [Credit: The CW]
Black Siren's backstory may be the focus of future flashbacks. [Credit: The CW]

With the return of Arrow almost upon us, it looks like the show will be maintaining one of its strongest elements. Furthermore, the fact that it will usher in this new era of non-island flashbacks by solving the mystery that has plagued us for months is a great story move for the show. Not only will it reveal the fates of our favorite , but it will also ensure that the show can pick up at later point after the craziness of the Season 5 finale — effectively giving us the best of both worlds.

Speaking of "both worlds," it's also great to know that we might be seeing some Earth-2 flashbacks. This would give us a better understanding of who the Earth-2 version of Laurel Lance really was before she lost Oliver and became a metahuman, making a redemption arc seem like a real possibility.

Despite moving into a new era, free from the constraints of Oliver Queen's "five years in hell," it's great that Arrow will continue to flash back whenever necessary.

Are you happy that we'll see the Lian Yu events in flashback form? Let us know in the comments below!

[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]


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