Warning: This post contains SPOILERS for Arrow season 6.
The sleeveless version of the Green Arrow suit is making its comeback to Arrow. The six seasons of Arrow have seen several variations of Oliver's "identity concealment" outfit. The most radical redesign, though, occurred in season 4, where among other changes, the sleeves were removed. It was the absence of the sleeves that once prompted Barry Allen to joking ask Oliver if he "ever got cold."
Overall, the design of the suit was much more svelte and streamlined. It not only showed off all Stephen Amell's work in the gym but was also fairly accurate with regard to the source material. It's an almost identical version to the outfit that Oliver can be seen wearing in DC Rebirth, which actually occurred after season 4 had aired. Now, it appears as if that costume will be making a comeback sometime in season 6; it's just unclear for how long and for what purpose.
Arrow star Stephen Amell teased the suit's return in a new photo he posted on Twitter (below). Amell, who's been keeping his social media followers aprised of season 6's filming, posted a partial picture of himself in the suit, joking that it still fits.
Suit still fits. pic.twitter.com/zA1ZY5c5Zs
— Stephen Amell (@StephenAmell) February 22, 2018
It's definitely possible that the entire post is an example of Amell having fun with his fans. However, there's evidence to suggest the post is more than just (harmless) trolling. For starters, Amell made a point to not have his face in the frame of the picture. This suggests Oliver's look could be some sort of spoiler. In addition, the background of the photo makes it very obvious that the picture was taken on-set. Since it takes a significant amount of time to get in and out of costume, it seems unlikely that Amell would dig up a costume from two seasons ago for a little Twitter gag.
All signs point to the season 4 costume making a reappearance in at least one episode in season 6. The most likely reason being that involves a flashback to the period of time in season 4. Arrow hasn't completely done away with the flashbacks in season 6, but they're occur less frequently. Interestingly, it was done as recently as season 5, episode 20, "Underneath," which further explored Olicity's controversial break-up. If the series is doing a flashback, and to such a recent point, there must be good explanation.
The return of the suit and the time of season 4 could be a way of Arrow (retroactively) explaining the motivations of current villain, Richardo Diaz AKA Richard Dragon. The Arrow episode, "The Devil's Greatest Trick" revealed that Diaz has been the mastermind behind the scenes, pulling the strings of the heroes and villains. Though Diaz claims he just wants to rule the city, the amount of psychological games he's played with Oliver imply a personal vendetta. A vendetta that could simply and easily be explained through flashbacks of an episode.
An equal likely possibility is that the flashback won't refer to Diaz at all. Arrow season 6 will see several big returns in the latter half of the season. Colton Haynes will reprise his role as Roy Harper, after not being seen since season 4. Similarly, the League of Assassins, which were disbanded in Arrow season 4, will also make a reappearance. Nyssa al Ghul will be returning and a new character, a former Assassin named Athena, will also pop up. If Diaz's motivations aren't explained by a season 4 era flashback, Athena's rationale certainly would be the next likeliest suspect.
Of course, there's always the option that the picture doesn't refer to Arrow at all. Rather it could be about another show set in the universe. Legends of Tomorrow season 3, which is currently wrapping up filming, has been dealing with Damien Darhk and his daughter, Nora. Both characters were last seen on Arrow during season 4. Since Legends of Tomorrow has already time-traveled to shortly after Arrow's season 4 finale, it's conceivably that it could happen again but this time Oliver will be involved and not just glimpsed on a TV screen through archival footage.
The return of the season 4 suit isn't something that many Arrow fans might not be thrilled with as the year is widely considered as one of the series' worst. Yet, putting aside the actual season, the suit was one of the Arrowverse's better designs. Any chance to revisit it, in a better context, is worth it; even if season left a lot to be desired.
Arrow season 6 will return with "Collision Course" on Thursday, March 1 on The CW.
Source: Stephen Amell