We’ve known for some time the likelihood that Arrow would end its flashback cycle altogether with Season 5, but however much flack the format gets, they’re going out with bang. Ivan Drago Dolph Lundgren himself must break the Arrow, guesting as a major new big bad for the season.

The massive TCA press tour panel for all four CW DC shows broke word, albeit only to specify that the Rocky IV star would appear as a flashback big bad in Russia (we’d guess Kovar). UPDATE --- Nailed it! Via EW:

He is somebody we heard about in season 4, Kovar. We are going to bring him in and he’s going to be this super big badass guy who works for the Russian government, and is not a friend of Oliver or the Bratva. It’s part of Oliver’s promise to Taiana at the end of season 4 and it’s going to be interesting because it’s going to get complicated and very messed up very fast.”

Not only that, but executive producer Marc Guggenheim confirmed the final run of flashbacks, offering some hopeful words on their relevance this season (via EW):

We always said that Oliver had a five-year journey when he was marooned on the [island]. This year, Oliver spends his time in the flashbacks in Russia. We know from various seeds we planted back in the pilot that he knows how to speak Russian, he became a Bratva captain. Sort of the flashback story in the first half of the year is going to involve Oliver’s introduction into the Bratva.

He’s basically recruited into this crime organization while at the same time in the present day Oliver has recruits of his own. He’s a trainee in the past, trainer in the present, and I think that will give the audience the connect-up thematically between present in the past.

Additional details of the season are forthcoming, but what make we of Dolph Lundgren providing some iron villainy to Arrow?


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