Arrow Boss Reveals Season 5 Finale Scene, How It Changes the Series Finale

At Arrow‘s very first TCA press tour appearance in summer 2012, it was said that the CW superhero series would end exactly as it began, with the image of Oliver spying the fishing boat that would rescue him from Lian Yu, at the close of his torturous five-year odyssey away from Starling City.

Back then, explaining the superhero series’ flashback structure for the first time, producer Andrew Kreisberg said, “Ideally by the last episode of the series, the very last flashback will be Oliver seeing the boat that rescued him in the pilot.”

That, arrow-100-oliver-shiphowever, will not be the case.

“Spoiler alert. That’s going to end up being the Season 5 finale,” Arrow showrunner Marc Guggenheim tells TVLine, turning one of our predictions for this TV season into a reality.

“It was really just a hope at that point [in 2012] that the show would run five years,” Guggenheim says of the aforementioned original plan, “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,” the showrunner continues. “But I wouldn’t want to artificially extend the flashbacks [beyond five seasons], 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.”

Which is not to say that, come May, the season will end quietly and poetically with bedraggled Oliver peering over that craggy ridge, setting eyes on salvation.

“Look, we have some incredibly clear plans for what we want to do in the Season 5 finale,” Guggenheim shares. “At the same time, we always leave ourselves room to be like, ‘…and throw this cliffhanger in, throw that twist in.’ Usually the craziest ideas on this show tend to be the ones that the ideas sort of linger, and we never really quite set on them. Like, ‘Oh, maybe we’ll kill off Tommy?’ We don’t fully commit until we’re pretty much breaking the episode.”

Want more scoop on Arrow, or for any other show? Email insideline@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

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33 Comments
  1. Azerty says:

    Won’t be a very exciting cliffhanger since we already know what happens next…But then again Arrow usually don’t do crazy twisted cliffhanger…but did they just revealed Arrow is renewed?

    • Eric J. says:

      I was wondering the same thing, but I think they’re just operating on the assumption that it will be renewed, which it probably will be. But they’ve been very good to end seasons that could serve as a series finale well actually only with the last two seasons (3&4). And by ending the island storyline this year if they end the present day with no cliffhanger then it could be either!

      • andrew hass says:

        I think the CW will renew Arrow for another season but the show’s producers might tape 2 different endings for this season’s finale.That way they can insert one of the endings depending on whether they hear they’re getting renewed or not.Plus the last seasons have been about Oliver’s past and his time on that island and so maybe next season will be about his future.

    • Lex says:

      I think Stephen and David both have six-year contracts, so there will be at least one season after this. And Stephen’s been hanging out with Jensen and Jared… might be getting tips on taking the long haul.

  2. Bella says:

    CW shows always go on years too long. Look at Supernatural – same thing, they had an elegant 5 year plan and the show is still running all these years later. I’m glad every has work, but the story always suffers.

  3. soonerborn says:

    Would someone at Berlanti productions please fire this idiot ruining Arrow. Guggenheim has done more damage to Arrow then any other show runner has ever done to a series. Falling ratings and bad illogical story lines is his legacy.

  4. I am just happy they are planning this season unlike last season which was a disaster

    and no olicity mention which I am happy for

  5. Michael says:

    LOVING ALL the CW Superhero shows. And each week I find it AMAZING that they can put such great special effects in a TV show, I mean I wonder how much they spend per week, after all in Supergirl you have her super fighting, flying and such, The flash, JUMPING from peices of a broken building to other peices in flash speed, Arrow, the all the different arrows and stunts, Legends, thier fighting, flying, there is just so much. And lets say the budget is $100K for special effects on a hour TV show why do you need $60 MILLION for a movie.

  6. However they run the flashbacks any season, don’t you think it’s about time Oliver picked up a bow and arrow and started practising?

  7. Geo says:

    So if I’m reading this right, they are planning on finally getting rid of the flashbacks? God, I hope so. They’ve been a bit better this year, but they’re still just a 90% useless interruption of the present-day narrative.

  8. ndixit says:

    Honestly, I am not sure what they are going to do after season 5. This season has been better but lets face it, that’s mostly because season 4 was so bad and the writers only response was to go back to the show’s roots and reboot somewhat. They have circled the wagons on so many things. Oliver has gone through iterations of killing and not killing. Lance has gone through iterations of hating Oliver and not hating him, losing one daughter, gaining her back, losing her again, gaining her back, then losing the other daughter.

  9. steven says:

    Except Oliver hasn’t been on Lian Yu during the flashbacks for a while. All of a sudden, he’ll be back there?

  10. Arrow is Awesome says:

    I am confused. So Arrow is ending or it is still going to *hopefully* keep running? Arrow is my ALL TIME ABSOLUTE FAVORITE SHOW!

  11. Deva reddy says:

    I love the this show

  12. Al says:

    Funny how everyone has their own point where the show went downhill. For me it was right when it came back from winter break of season 3, when rhas killed Oliver. The show never bounced back for me.

  13. Christian says:

    This show has been on too long. It lost something a couple of years ago, coincidentally at the moment when they killed off Oliver’s mother. I don’t know if there is a connection, but something about the show died after that.

    • Lex says:

      There was a change when they started The Flash. Season two was amazing, and in season three the creative team was split between two shows… now it’s split between four. And, of course, they managed to kill off Olicity and Sara Lance in the season 3 premiere, ending two of their biggest fan favorites, so I suppose you could see the writing on the wall. The season 3 midseason finale was a high point, but it hasn’t been there since then.

  14. Arrow has not been renewed for Season 6 yet. Although the actors are contracted for 6 it hasn’t been approved by CW yet.

  15. SBrellah says:

    My hope is that this show continues on for a very long time. This show is so incredible. Although I have parts that I like better than others, I love(d) every season of Arrow. I am looking forward to seeing how season 5 will transition into season 6 with the wrap up of the flashbacks. It would also be nice if the wrap up of Oliver’s flashbacks would also mean the end of Oliver’s secrets. His secrets have definitely caused issues with each member of Team Arrow in the past. My hope is that when the final second of flashbacks is aired in the S5 finale, the scene that follows is of Oliver saying to the Team Arrow members –“and that is everything that happened those five years.” (like Oliver had been telling them those five years of flashback stories from the pilot to present all along)

  16. And then Oliver wakes up to find it was all a dream. He is still on the island. He looks over to see Shado making a pot of soup. I really benefited from and enjoyed “Arrow”. It was an exciting series where they all worked so hard to make it good and worth watching. I for one am sad to see it end.

  17. Jones says:

    You can not do this to people that have been watching the shows for years or for the first season .I have not been watching for long but I love this show if it goes it will be sad but it will be ok