Arrow will be going 'back to basics' in Season 5, heading to Russia in flashbacks

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Jul 31, 2016, 11:02 AM EDT (Updated)

After delving into everything from the mystical to hard sci-fi in recent years, the team behind The CW’s Arrow promises a “back to basics” approach in Season 5. Oh, and they’ll finally be filling in the gaps about Oliver’s time in Russia.

Producer Wendy Mericle said they’re viewing Season 5 as a chance to bring several of the arcs from Season 1 full circle, as the flashback arcs (which typically run five years behind, in parallel) finally catch up with the months before the start of the series. That means finally explaining Oliver's mysterious time in Russia. She said they’ll also be returning to the traditional criminal baddies this year, and sprinkling in more one-off stories to balance out what had become a heavily serialized mode of storytelling in recent years.

Here’s an excerpt from her comments to Comic Book:

"Absolutely [we're going back-to-basics]. One of the things we talk about a lot is that Season five is an answer to Season one. So a lot of the questions that came out to Oliver out of the gate, about his father, about restoring the city's greatness, all of those things are going to be explored, and hopefully - not fully settled, but definitely bookended in season five. It also means we'll be going back to basics in terms of who the bad guys are. We'll be doing more close-ended stories, more villains of the week, and a lot of the criminals will be coming out of criminal underworld Mafia and Bratva organizations…

There was always talk, every year, the question would be explored: 'Is this the time to go to Russia?' Every year we would all get excited, and then a voice of reason would come in and say 'do we really want to do that now?' and we'd have to rethink it. Last year we decided to go to the Island. It was never the gameplan. You start to think about the season in March and April, and you go 'does that fit?' It never really fit until now.”

The network released a trailer for the new season at San Diego Comic-Con (which you can check out below), which also shows Oliver building a new team and training a whole new generation of heroes to help protect the streets of Star City.

Arrow returns to The CW on Oct. 5.

(Via Comic Book)

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