Coming as no great surprise, executive producer Marc Guggenheim has revealed that the season five finale of Arrow will take the flashbacks all the way up to the moment the show began: when Oliver (Stephen Amell) is rescued from the island of Lian Yu by a group of Chinese fisherman.
When the series began, Oliver returned to Star(ling) City after what we then thought was five years of being in exile after he was shipwrecked on the island. But at the end of season two, the head of A.R.G.U.S., Amanda Waller (Cynthia Addai-Robinson), took Oliver to Hong Kong to train him as an assassin. Oliver eventually made his way back to the island for season four but then left again for Russia after defeating Baron Reiter (Jimmy Akingbola).
The series was originally intended to last five years and structured so that in its fifth year, the series finale would deliver its final scene with Oliver being rescued from the island. But the show became a massive hit on The CW, spawning the spinoffs The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl. And even with the last few seasons being rocky, ending the show does not seem to be the plan at this point.
While speaking with TV Line, Guggenheim revealed the plan for how they are going to handle Oliver’s rescue from the island at the end of this season:
“Spoiler alert. That’s going to end up being the Season 5 finale. It was really just a hope at that point [in 2012] that the show would run five years, and we always thought that we would intercut the final moment of the series with the first moment of the series, that it would form one big Moebius strip. There’s still a part of me that wishes we could do that but I wouldn’t want to artificially extend the flashbacks, and I also wouldn’t want to artificially cut the show short. It would’ve been a beautifully elegant thing, and five years ago me would’ve loved it. But things change, and I do think it’ll make the Season 5 finale pretty awesome.”
The flashbacks of the first two seasons were great and told a powerful story of survival and a friendship that was torn apart by Slade Wilson’s (Manu Bennett) love for Shado (Celina Jade). The finale for season two culminated with Oliver dueling with Slade both in the past and present and served to close that chapter of the story. Since then the flashbacks have been rather half-baked as they have stretched out arc’s that should only last a few episodes at best across the entire season. The flashbacks have lacked compelling plots and seem to have no focus whatsoever. They come off like a chore the producers want to be done with.
With the end of the flashbacks in sight, one thing is clear: the writers have botched Oliver’s journey toward becoming a vigilante. Oliver’s time in Hong Kong taught him to be a cold-blooded assassin but his combat skills have not improved since he was trained by Slade Wilson in the first two seasons. Oliver is still just as sloppy and as clumsy as ever. Making his skills and abilities at the opening of season one completely implausible.
SOURCE: TV LINE