We’ve learned on Arrow season 5 that Talia al Ghul was one of the primary driving forces behind Oliver Queen deciding to ever don the infamous Arrow hood in Russia, and begin the journey that led to him becoming the famed vigilante we’ve come to see for many years now. In some ways, she was a good influence given that without the costume, there is no Arrow show. However, in other ways she hardly discouraged him from killing, which is firmly entrenched in the Oliver Queen 1.0 DNA.
Was Talia al Ghul meant for the flashbacks and those alone? It doesn’t appear like it, given that executive producer Marc Guggenheim told Entertainment Weekly that we would be seeing her in the present, and that her reasoning for turning up there is far different than it was in the past. Also, he made it clear that Oliver still doesn’t know her last name, which is why he didn’t freak out over Nyssa or Ra’s al Ghul when he saw them for the first time:
“Oliver couldn’t have heard it, because if he had, when Ra’s talked about his daughter he’d be like, ‘Yeah, the other daughter, I met her back in Russia.’ We were very cognizant not to retcon anything. So yes, she is Talia al Ghul, but Oliver obviously doesn’t know that.”
One of the things that we do wonder now is if Talia could be connected in some way to the season 6 story, given that her connection to Adrian Chase / Prometheus is not exactly obvious unless he somehow was also mentored by her in the past. It’s exciting to know that the D.A. is the one out to torment and destroy Oliver Queen, but the problem with that is simply a matter of not quite understanding the why. There’s a backstory here that will almost certainly be exposed, but we have to get through the period of being impatient before we make it there.
Also, in our wildest dreams we imagine scenes of Talia alongside her sister and father, even if that seems unlikely given that Katrina Law and Matt Nable are both busy doing some other stuff at present.