Among Arrow struggles in recent seasons, the show’s flashback structure has had increasing difficulty connecting to the present, as one Oliver moves toward the killer vigilante of Season 1, and another moves toward the DC hero we know. Season 5 seems to be tackling that disparity head-on, but even as the landmark fifth year completes Oliver’s exile, producers say Season 6 and beyond may yet utilize the flashback structure.

Take this with a grain of salt for the moment, as Arrow has not yet been officially renewed for Season 6 (despite the overwhelming likelihood), but executive producer Wendy Mericle spoke to CinemaBlend and other outlets at Comic-Con 2016 to offer an intriguing tease. Oliver’s flashbacks will indeed conclude with Season 5, but future seasons could easily re-purpose the format:

The flashbacks will be done at the end of the season, yeah. We will always have it, I think, as a potential device. We’ve established this visual language for the show, so we can always do some from a different character’s point of view. But Oliver’s flashbacks, in terms of telling that particular story, this will be it.

Certainly Arrow has struggled enough with flashbacks in recent seasons, one would think it unlikely to keep them around in any regular capacity, but it’s at least worth considering how the series might reconfigure itself in future years. Will entire seasons just unfold linearly, as in The Flash, or might producers have other ideas in their back pocket?

In addition to The Wire star Chad Coleman taking the role of new baddie Tobias Church, wayward vigilantism appears to be a major theme for Arrow Season 5, following the return of Madison McLaughlin as a new Artemis, as well additions of Rick Gonzalez’s Wild Dog, and Josh Segarra’s “Vigilante.” Carly Pope has also joined in a recurring role as a Coast City reporter, with a comic attachment to Green Lantern, while former WWE wrestler Stardust will also put in an appearance.

We’ll likely hear more of Arrow Season 5 soon, but what other surprises should we expect?

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