ByTom Cox, writer at
Staff writer for Moviepilot. Tweet me @thomascox500
Tom Cox

Stop going back in time! Producers of Arrow are aware how unpopular the flashbacks of Oliver Queen are, but it's too late to change the format now — and producers swear they'll be better.

At the Writers Guild Festival on Saturday executive producer of the CW series Marc Guggenheim talked about the issue. TV Line reported he said:

“Part of the appeal of the flashbacks – certainly in the first two years, but I think the first three years – is seeing what a big difference it is between Oliver Queen in the present day and Oliver Queen five years ago.

Flashback wig / Source: CW
Flashback wig / Source: CW

He continued:

“The problem is that we are telling a five-year story in the flashbacks of Oliver becoming the guy you met in the pilot. So the deeper you get into the flashbacks, the closer he becomes to being that guy, and, thus, you lose that element of the flashbacks that was so interesting, which is how different he was…. That’s something we have struggled with this year.”

The storytelling device was used effectively in Seasons 1 and 2 to reveal how the billionaire boy became the hero of Arrow (played by Stephen Amell) in the present day through scenes from the five years in which he had been missing. They were ambitious for their regularity, featuring in every episode, and form a major part of Arrow.

Source: CW
Source: CW

However, support for flashbacks has waned in recent seasons with less happening in the plot from the past: Season 3 saw a slow trip to Hong Kong while Season 4 had Arrow encounter Damien Darhk's idol again.

Executive producer Wendy Mericle said that she had "loved" earlier flashbacks because they added depth to the superhero, who could easily be a simpler character. Considering them in the future she said:

“The way we write the story is still very much married to that backstory, and trying to change it up at this point would feel weird. We know what we’re working up to. The season will be easier to break because we have an endpoint, and we work backwards from there.”

So they promise the flashes will be better in the future. Let's hope so!

Watch The Promo For Season 4 Episode 19:

Could 'Arrow' Realistically Get Rid Of Flashbacks Altogether?

Source: TV Line


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