After a divisive fourth season, "Arrow" is headed back to its roots in season 5.
The previous season of The CW's original comic book series was undeniably shaky, as fans grew steadily disappointed with story arcs like Oliver (Stephen Amell) and Felicity's (Emily Bett Rickards) relationship, Damien Darhk's (Neal McDonough) campaign to control Star City, and Laurel Lance's (Katie Cassidy) shocking death. But it seems the show has learned from it and is set to do go back to what made it popular in the first place.
A recently released trailer for "Arrow" season 5 teases some of these changes while recapping some of the events that led to it. The clip starts with Green Arrow's fight and defeat of Dahrk. He's later shown at the grave of Laurel and being sworn in as mayor. There are also glimpses of Laurel telling him to carry on and Diggle (David Ramsey) saying goodbye. Felicity later tells Oliver that things are not going back to the way they were even though he wants to.
Green Arrow's new recruits are then introduced — Evelyn Sharp (Madison McLaughlin), Rene Ramirez (Rick Gonzalez), a.k.a. Wild Dog, and Curtis Holt (Echo Kellum). They'll apparently undergo some training under the Green Arrow. Meanwhile, some scenes show what appears to be an underground fight club or initiation where a seriously bulked-up Oliver battles several fighters while men in suits watch. The clip ends with a shot of the mysterious man that viewers can see is also carrying arrows and knives. But his face is covered with what looks like a ragged scarecrow-like mask.
Comic book fans would obviously recognize this newcomer as the Ragman, whose suit is said to be made from the soul of an evildoer that he had punished and absorbed. EW had previously reported that the recurring character is set to be portrayed by "Blindspot" alum Joe Dinicol. The character will allegedly make his debut in the second episode of the upcoming season.
Aside from the brief appearance of Ragman, "Arrow" fans undoubtedly picked up on the new and improved costume the hero is sporting. The new costume has sleeves that harken back to Arrow's outfit in the first season. The slight change might be in keeping with the vision showrunner Wendy Mericle has for the show's fifth season, which is to return to its season 1 roots.
"There will be more standalone episodes this season," Mericle said in a roundtable interview. "We are looking to go deeper into the bench of villains from the DC universe."
It's a move that star Amell wholeheartedly agrees with as he mentioned during Comic-Con that "we are better when we are a little bit more grounded."
That certainly is good news for fans who want to see the Green Arrow return to the streets and kick ass.
The "Arrow" season 5 premiere will be aired on The CW on Oct. 5 at 8 p.m.