This season, Arrow will end with a big cliffhanger. The fifth season of Arrow has done a lot of looking back at the first season. As Prometheus has forced Oliver to face his more violent decisions from the past - when he was The Hood instead of The Green Arrow - Ollie has been forced to deal with some things he's kept buried for years. Whether or not he is any better than any other murderer and whether he can ever be redeemed for the people he killed when his life as a vigilante began, are questions that are now haunting Oliver.
Arrow season five is also the end of the flashbacks to Ollie's "five years in hell" that helped turn him into a vigilante in the first place. As he tries to cope with who he used to be, the audience has been seeing what happened to change him into that person in the first place. While flashbacks to other times in his life - or the other characters - might not be completely gone, the finale will bring Ollie full circle to his rescue in the pilot - when he was first saved from Lian Yu.
In an interview with EW, Executive Producer Wendy Mericle spoke about the finale - dropping a few hints about what the audience can expect:
"Not surprisingly, Adrian is going to continue to be several steps ahead of Oliver, but I think Oliver has got his number. So the finale will be full of some pretty big surprises. I think Oliver’s finally going to find a way to do what he’s been trying to do all season and put the past behind him.
We’re going to go out on a big cliffhanger, so that part is definitely going to be helping us galvanize the premiere. Because we’re closing such a big chapter, I think there are going to be some really new and exciting questions. What we’re really trying to do is set up a new dynamic in season 6. That will speak in so many different ways — on the ground level, we’re going to be rethinking how we tell stories because the flashbacks aren’t going to be what they were. We don’t have to service that backstory in the same way that we had to, so the way the show is written and broken is malleable at this point. By the same token, where all the characters are is an opportunity to redefine and for everybody to look back, reflect, and then start to look forward about where they want to go and where do they have the most impact in our lives? How are they going to be the best heroes they can be?"
Chase certainly has been several steps ahead of Oliver throughout their battles. After all, he had years to plan everything and research Ollie's life before Oliver knew that Chase even existed. This gave him a chance to get close to Ollie - working as the D.A. for Star City and becoming Ollie's friend over time. It also gave him the chance to find out about things only those closest to Oliver know - such as his son William.
A few things are already known about the Arrow season 5 finale, including the return of several old friends and foes, and the possibility that some characters will die. But the way all of that is executed, and how it all ties into Ollie's final flashback still remains to be seen, as do the results of the emotional damage that Chase has caused for Ollie.
The big cliffhanger in the finale is a pretty new thing for Arrow. The first season ended rather sadly, with a chunk of the city blown up and Tommy dead. Seasons two through four had much better results for the heroes, as the good guys won in the end. There have been some smaller cliffhangers - such as Thea leaving with Malcolm Merlyn - but for the most part each season has ended its story in the finale. It sounds like the loss of the flashbacks aren't the only change the show is making to its format as it gears up for season six.
Arrow continues with ‘Honor Thy Fathers’ on Wednesday, May 10 at 8 pm on The CW. The season five finale airs May 24.