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Arrow Recap: From Russia, With Not a Whole Lot of Love

TVLine logo TVLine 2/9/2017 Matt Webb Mitovich
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This week on The CW’s Arrow, current-day circumstances led Oliver back to Russia, where his Bratva past was revised, newly freed Diggle’s resolve was tested and Felicity’s dark secret started to leak.

First things first: the Lance/Rene scenes were odd, and a strange way to finally bring Quentin back into the fold. As Lance himself claimed early on, “I don’t know you,” as Rene tried to prep the deputy mayor for a sure-to-be-tricky sitdown with Susan Williams. Lance eventually made nice with his ersatz “assistant” and aced the interview — in part because Rene had looped Susan in on the heartwarming tale of Lance years ago caught him tagging a building, then steered him on a better path. (Next week’s episode is Rene-centric, so this was obviously a ramp-up to it. Still, oof.)

Meanwhile over in the A-story, after General Walker shot his way out of custody and made tracks for Russia to peddle a nuke, Oliver & Co. followed — even if it meant Oliver having to appeal to Anatoly for an assist. To that end, Oliver had to briefly return to his thuggish ways, as Bratva “muscle.” That in turned teed up a convo with Dinah, who advised “brooding” Oliver not to let his past anchor him.

When their initial intercept of Walker turned out to be a trap, Team Arrow nonetheless came away with a prisoner — whom Oliver gave the cushiest of deadlines (“Tell me what I want to know… in, I dunno, 45 minutes, an hour tops?… or else!”). Diggle was less patient, and proceeded to beat the goon to a pulp. Still facing a dead end, that’s when Oliver did Anatoly’s bidding, in trade for the location of Walker’s nuke sale (and a small Bratva army).

Descending upon the hangar, Dinah’s sonic cry crashed a van load of soldiers, while Diggle got the drop on the general who tried to put him away, for good. Walker taunted John into simply offing him, but Diggle instead chose proper justice.

Also as part of the earlier hunt for Walker, Felicity (accompanied by”Bratva” toughs Rory and Curtis) threatened a Russian contact with his own Pandora file, as furnished by Helix. Rory picked up on Felicity’s ploy, and warned her, as he learned with his rags, that with great power comes great responsibility (to quote the other guys). Rory then tipped off Diggle and Oliver that Felicity was crossing lines. That, coupled with Diggle’s beating of the prisoner, led Oliver to remind OTA that he goes dark so they never have to, that he needs them to be better than him, because they are. In the end, though, Diggle argues that no one is “better” than that others, and together as a team, they make each other better.

Concurrent with Walker’s capture, the nuke he pretended to sell was in countdown mode, the clock only sped up by Felicity’s tampering. Ragman got the idea to absorb the blast with his magical threads, and it indeed worked (and with not a lick of radioactive contamination immediately afterward). Still, his rags seemed irreparably damaged, so for now at least, he bid Felicity — and Team Arrow — adieu. Boooo.

Upon arriving back in Star City, Oliver and Susan finally consummated their… whatever… after which Susan lightly probed nekkid Oliver about his scars and “crazy tattoo” from his island (?) solitude. He waved her off, for now. At hour’s end, though, she met with an investigator who confirmed that Oliver was surrounded by Bratva in that old photo — and that around the same time, a hooded archer prowled that part of Russia. No small coincidence, Susan nods, “if Oliver Queen is the Green Arrow.”

Elsewhere, in flashbacks, Talia continued to train Oliver — including as a target the source of the drugs that Thea was hooked on years ago — before urging him to return home and fulfill his oath to his father, by working the list.

What did you think of the episode “Bratva”?

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