With less focus on flashbacks, season 6 of Arrow will have more space for its plot and characters. For five seasons, Arrow told a present-day story while also sketching out the five years Oliver spent away from Star(ling) City. With the finale of last season bringing things full circle, the show is now free to tell a different type of story. We know flashbacks will still appear in some form, but mostly the new season of Arrow will be concerned with telling a modern day narrative and fleshing out its growing cast of characters.
While it's still unclear who all survived the explosion on Lian Yu, recent information has confirmed a few returning characters. Black Siren will be a series regular this season and much of her story will involve whether she can be redeemed. Meanwhile, Deathstroke will finally be a recurring presence on the show again. It's thanks to all this potential villain reformation that we'll be seeing Oliver back in mentoring mode this season. And with the decrease in flashbacks, these new additions will get more time to shine.
EW spoke with Arrow executive producer Wendy Mericle about what to expect on the new season of the show and if the completion of the island storyline means the show will see something of a reboot this year.
"Reboot is one of those words. It’s so funny. I think in some ways yes, I do, but I also think that word can get misconstrued very easily. This show is evolving and it’s exciting because it is a new dynamic this season without the flashbacks. I know I keep saying we have more real estate, but we’ve been in the writers’ room for three weeks and it’s been amazing how different the show feels. There’s just a lot more freedom. It’s actually very exciting because we can take this show to different places now and to different directions. I’ll repeat it, but it really is exciting to have the time and the space to talk about these other characters. We were always sort of pressed, and moved stories so quickly. We’re still moving stories that same way, we just have a little more space to explore other points of view and other characters. It’s fun."
Mericle's not wrong in stating the show has sometimes moved too fast. While Arrow does a lot right, its tendency to rely on logic gaps to move the action forward has sometimes affected the quality of the show. With the flashbacks less of an issue, hopefully the show will spend more time mapping out its beats and storylines along with expanding the space for character development.
Aside from the new and returning characters, Oliver will likely be going through some changes of his own this season. We've heard his relationship with his son will get more focus, so the added space for story will certainly help accommodate that. Star Stephen Amell has also stated he wants to see Oliver take on the more humorous and socially conscious aspects of his character from the comics. Hopefully, the extra time will help to make these changes a reality.
‘Fallout’, the season 6 premiere of Arrow, will air on The CW at 9pm on Thursday, October 12.