Season 4 of Arrow was criticised for drifting too far from the show’s roots. It went from being a street level crime drama to having a full blown magician as a villain. The negative reaction has been heard by those in charge of the show. They’re promised a magic-free year in Season 5.
Executive producer Wendy Mericle told IGN that they’re heading back to basics:
The show was always meant to be a gritty crime drama at its heart. And then Flash came along, and oh my gosh, we have meta powers. And then Damien was, well, we haven’t done magic on the show, let’s try to do that. I think for Season 5, just because it is an answer to Season 1, and we are sort of closing this chapter out, we did want to go back to our roots and figure out what is specific to this show. What is our universe? Go back to, ‘What is Arrow?
The new big bad is going to be a lot different, too. Villain Prometheus is, “not going to have magic, no powers,” Mericle said. “He has a very personal grudge and axe to grind with Oliver and he’s going to come at him in a really interesting, sociopathic kind of way.”
Also, Mericle also added that Flashpoint could yet have a big impact on the show moving forward:
Flashpoint provides an interesting jumping off point for all the shows this year, in that we have this reset button available to us if we want it. We’ve landed on a few things, but the door is open. That’s the fun part. You can play with it in whatever way, shape, or form you want to. I think it will be small in some ways, and big in others.
Arrow returns on October 5 on The CW.