At first, fans were thrilled when Arrow was recently renewed for a sixth season. After all, Season 5 has hit the mark time and time again this past year, reminding us why we fell in love with Stephen Amell('s abs) in the first place.
However, flagging ratings and the possible death of another cast member has led fans to question the future of the show. Sure, a sixth season of Arrow has been confirmed, but the show runners freely admit that they only planned to be on air for five seasons initially, which is why the flashbacks will end in the Season 5 finale.
Will Flashbacks Be Used In Season 6 Of 'Arrow'?
Such fatalistic talk all began innocently enough during an interview with EW, where star Stephen Amell was quizzed on the future of Arrow and whether flashbacks would continue to play a role:
"I am open and excited about any possible idea, whether that’s a simple flash-forward narrative that we carry through the season, which I think we did to varying degrees of success in season 4."
A damning verdict on the poorly received fourth season or just an honest appraisal of the show's willingness to experiment with it's format? You decide.
Amell went on to explain how moving away from the flashbacks could open up new storytelling opportunities in Season 6:
"If that means that simply the flashbacks do not exist anymore and it allows us to expand the universe in terms of focusing more on other people’s backstories, not even necessarily flashbacks of people’s home life, just their life outside of the Arrow cave, I think that’s interesting. We can do that because, quite simply, we have more time, we have more pages, we have more chance for dialogue."
Will The Flashbacks Be Replaced By Another Technique In Future Seasons Of 'Arrow'?
Later in the interview, Amell revealed that #TheCW hasn't finished planning how Season 6 will unfold, so it's unclear whether the flashback technique will return. This shouldn't come as much of a surprise, considering that the show runners probably haven't figured out the specifics of how this current season will end yet:
"I know they’re kicking around some ideas, but truthfully I have no earthly idea if there is any sort of element that we will be bringing into season 6 or if we just simply acknowledge that we pitched the show as a five-year origin story and we got to do it, which I think in and of itself is an accomplishment. There’s not a ton left on television from new shows from 2012. Just the fact that we made it that far is worth patting ourselves on the back for, ever so briefly."
However, things became more interesting when EW asked if Amell would ever be interested in filming a flash-forward to the death of Oliver Queen:
"Yeah. I think that the key to a story like that is that — look, Green Arrow was obviously pitched as a five-year origin story, but we’re breaking the flashback story as we go along. There’s always an overarching plan, but it generally has to go season to season... I think that the critical element, if we ever did something like a flash-forward, would be to make sure that we understood the precise beginning point and end point of that story and all the things that went into it, because I think that if we try to piecemeal it together, especially because it’s a flash-forward, that it just wouldn’t work... We’d have to know the end game if we did something like that."
While the idea of Oliver dying at the end of Season 6 could be quite traumatic for diehard Arrowheads, it would also be a fitting end for the tragic hero, Lazarus Pits be damned!
How Would Oliver Queen Die On 'Arrow'?
Amell's devotion to Oliver Queen shone through towards the end of his interview with EW, where he revealed that Green Arrow's eventual fate has never been far from his mind:
"I mean look, I’ve always had a very specific idea for how the series would end. It came to me at some point during season 1, and whether it’s through a flash-forward or whatever, I just hope that we end up getting to do that."
While there's no specific comic book arc that the show could draw upon for inspiration, Arrow could instead revisit the future version of Oliver that we last saw in 2046 during Season 1 of DC's Legends of Tomorrow. In this dystopian timeline, Oliver had lost everyone he loved and even an arm while trying to protect the residents of Star City. This episode remains one of the memorable Arrowverse episodes that's aired to date, and fans would be overjoyed at the prospect of returning to this dark future one last time, because let's face it — no one ever wants to see Oliver happy... not really.
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Sure, the flashbacks of the past five seasons didn't always add much to the show, but if Arrow really does end in Season 6, then there would be no better way to finish the story of Oliver Queen than looking ahead to his future. Flash-fowards to Oliver's final days as an ageing vigilante could ironically breathe new life into the show and tie into the wider scope of the Arrowverse, all without sacrificing the gritty realism that drew us to Queen's story in the first place.
Do you think Green Arrow should use flash forwards to reveal the last days of Oliver Queen?
(Source: EW. Poll Image Credit: The CW)