Dating all the way back to the first season, flashbacks have been a major component of The CW’s Arrow. But even the producers admit things got a bit off the rails this season.
Producer Marc Guggenheim opened up to TV Line about the current season and how the flashbacks just haven’t matched the scope of the main storyline. Put simply, the flashback arc basically exists just to provide some backstory on Damien Darhk’s magic artifact and let Oliver have a random little adventure back on the island. In the past, the flashback stories have helped fill in gaps and provide growth — but this season has mostly fallen flat.
So, what’s the problem? Producer Marc Guggenheim says the biggest challenge is that they’re getting closer to the timeline at the start of the series, and reconciling that with the flashbacks has proven harder than first thought:
“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. 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.”
Lucky for all of us, fellow producer Wendy Mericle said they have a much tighter flashback plan for Season 5. As fans know, the biggest gap in Oliver’s timeline revolves around his Russian connections, and Mericle teased we might finally see that trip to Russia we’ve been expecting. It's about time, and that could be just the thing to wrap up the flashback saga.
(Via TV Line)