Is Stephen Amell’s ‘Arrow’ Set Photo a Major Bratva Tease?

After four seasons of flashbacks, it looks like Arrow is finally giving fans what they’ve been dying for — Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) time with Bratva. While he may be a superhero now, once upon a time he fell in with the Russian mafia. And it looks like finally the show is going to focus on that.

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Amell tweeted the first official image of Arrow Season 5 and it seems to cast flashback Oliver into a very different situation than his struggle on Lian Yu. First and foremost, it looks like the flashback wig has returned!

Oliver is sporting long locks and looks like he’s in some sort of underground fight club. It’s no secret that Oliver is a great fighter, so seeing him duke it out for money at some point in his life is definitely believable.

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That’s not the most important part of the photo though, his shirtless chest is. No, not for that reason — calm down. You may notice there’s no Bratva tattoo on his chest. That’s how we know this is a flashback, rather than modern day.

Stephen Amell on 'Arrow'

If these are connected to the Bratva flashbacks, that places this particular moment before Oliver is fully realized as a member of the group. Perhaps the scene depicted in Amell’s tweet is part of his initiation?

Regardless, flashback Oliver is off of the island and back in society. Now he just needs to join the gang, have a falling out with a high-ranking member and leave. That sounds doable in Season 5, right?

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Arrow returns Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. on CW33.