Cate Cameron / The CW

Arrow Brings Back Bratva Drama

Will ghosts from Oliver's past come back to haunt him when he returns to Russia? Yes. Obviously.

In principle, I should have been annoyed with this week's episode of Arrow, because Prometheus has lost all momentum as a threat. However, I'm always happy to see Anatoly, even if he's not happy to see Oliver. Maybe especially if he's not happy to see Oliver, because it meant he was dispensing compliments (and vodka) to the rest of the team. And I liked seeing a second episode in a row that addressed the question of exactly how violent Oliver and his team intended to be. Oliver did some interrogating, but he restricted himself to making sparks with a car battery. And then he got mad at John because seriously, John couldn't wait five lousy minutes to see if Oliver's tactics were working?

We also got a bit of closure on the Haven Rock thing, as Rory and Felicity are confronted with a nuclear bomb and the option to maybe fly it to a less populated area. (Although the countdown was down to five minutes, so I don't know how far out of town Felicity thought she was going to get it.) Rory was able to use his rags to contain the blast, but at the cost of his powers. And...I'm not that broken up about it. Rory seems nice, but that's about the extent of his personality. Meanwhile, Rene has become so interesting that he was able to have a fun subplot with Quentin in spite of the two of them never having met before.

And it's good to see that the reporter's digging into Oliver's past and has figured out that he's not only Bratva but also Green Arrow. Not because I want Oliver's life to be ruined; I just want a reason for this reporter to be in the show. Because so far, she hasn't made enough of an impression for me to remember her name. And she almost certainly shouldn't be sleeping with the mayor if she's on the City Hall beat.

But those are all subjective aesthetic judgments. Let's get scientific. Precisely how Arrow-y is Arrow?

Arrow-ish Element Present?
Trick Arrow Oliver spends most of his time not being "Green Arrow," because even he knows that it would look suspicious for the emerald archer to be arrowing people in Russia all of a sudden. So most of his archery is relegated to the flashbacks, where he's still refining his skills. And he catches an arrow, which I did not know he could do.
Oliver Queen: A Jerk Oliver's trying to be good, but he is forced by circumstances into his old way of life, busting up windows and breaking fingers in service to the Bratva. He feels bad about it, but he still does it. He also kind of shouts at that guy he's interrogating.
Comic book reference It's possible that one of those Russian names was a comic book reference I didn't get, but I'm instituting a new obscurity rule, which is that if a reference is too obscure for me to get, it doesn't count. Sorry, fans of Maximo Trosky!
Someone walks into the Arrowlair without warning Okay, technically Quentin isn't announced when he stopped by for a chat with Rene at the end. But he's probably been given a key by now, right?
Flashback scenes mirror the present day The entire episode is kind of about how Oliver feels like he's trapped in the behavior patterns of his past. And it's probably hard to escape that when everywhere you go, you see the exact same tableware and bottles that were there exactly five years earlier.
Things get gory That guy they were interrogating looked nearly dead after John beat him up like that. And John didn't look too good himself.
The Only Hospital Room In Town We actually do see a hospital room, but it's in the Russian flashbacks, so it's just a pale shadow of the one true hospital room.
Someone gets kidnapped Walker's soldier was just living his life, following orders and preparing to help sell a nuclear bomb to people from a vaguely defined "bad country." And what did he get for his career of loyalty and devotion? Team Arrow grabs him and interrogates him.
Someone goes shirtless It looked for most of the episode like this was going to be a completely clothed episode, except for a bit more cleavage than Felicity usually shows. Even the guy who was getting interrogated got to keep his shirt on. But then Oliver and his reporter girlfriend have some shirtless romantic times, because we have to be reminded that she's seen his Bratva tattoo. So all's right with the world.
5 / 9
Final Score
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