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3. Flashbacks, Specifically Those of the Russian Variety
Another aspect of the show that has suffered in recent seasons is the flashbacks. Season 3 removed Oliver from the island, placing him in Hong Kong. There, he met interesting characters — namely the woman that would become Katana and her husband, Tatsu. Despite the introduction of these two, the Honk Kong flashbacks left much to be desired. The suspense and intrigue that drove our hero’s tale forward on Lian Yu was noticeably absent in Hong Kong. And even more so when Oliver returned to the island in the Season 4 flashbacks.
Season 5 will be different. Not just because they’ll be set in Russia, but this may also mark the end of flashbacks as we know them. Arrow is set up for a five year story arc, where audiences are to follow Oliver’s five year journey from the Gambit’s shipwreck, to his mysterious return to Starling City. Well, year five is upon us and we’ll likely learn how Oliver became so involved with the Bratva, the Russian mafia, and exactly why he chose the vigilante route. Surely, there’s more to his reasoning than just righting the wrongs of his father and the city’s elite.
Russia will offer a change of scenery that’s likely to affect the present day, as well. Typically, events from the past and those in the present reflect one another. Perhaps Ollie took a stint as a vigilante during his time in Russia. Or maybe his work with the Bratva put him so close to crime that his later decision to don the green hood was inspired by what he witnessed. Which could in turn mirror his present day issues in Star City. Who doesn’t want to see Arrow adopt more of a crime drama approach, even if it’s for one season?