A common theme in season 5 of Arrow has been trying to overcoming past mistakes, but has Oliver done this when Team Arrow takes a trip to Russia? With absolutely no sign of Promethus again and Diggle rejoining the team, the team finds out General Walker is about to sell a nuclear bomb to Markovian terrorists. Team Arrow must find a way to track General Walker down, but proves to be difficult when they are placed in a new country with limited resources.
Having ‘mayoral duties’ in their ‘sister city’, Oliver seems to once again have a perfect motive to go where he wants, when he pleases. Bratva was a rather quiet episode. Without any high-tech resources, Oliver must buddy up with his long lost Bratva boss Anatoly. At first, Oliver refuses to relive his past and work with the Bratva. After new recruit Dinah gives Oliver a pep talk about his past not having to be an anchor, he finally realizes that he doesn’t have to live in regret and shame.
After being on the sidelines for so long, Diggle’s prison sentence has finally been put to rest. The show has failed to showcase any sort of frustration he has had during his incarceration, and it is completely blown up in Bratva. Beating up another human to almost death (the almost being quite ambiguous), Diggle does find peace at the end of the episode by choosing not to kill General Walker. Perhaps the lack of screen time or development prior to this episode, but Diggle blown up didn’t feel as satisfying as it could have been. It seems his story line has come to a resolution, by seeing the man who threatened his family to be captured. But with new characters popping up all the time, it is easy to think General Walker was working with others and will make good on his promise to Lila and John Jr.
Whilst Oliver tried to reconnect with his Russian past, Felicity is slowly transforming into her own vigilante. Without any sort of consolidation with Oliver, she finds the perfect opportunity to help her new ally and relive her hacktivist past. Only time will tell if she is being used, or what will become of her, but seeing Felicity control Mr. Terrific and Ragman for her own cause was thrilling. As Felicity starts to embrace her past, it will be interesting to see how she overcomes challenges with or without Oliver. It was also extremely amusing to see that Felicity learned absolutely nothing from her past Havenrock incident.
The ending fight sequence was as average as an Arrow fight sequence can get. Ticking off all the boxes, large abandoned factory, lots of moderately trained henchmen, and a villain who does nothing but watch and inevitably get captured. The nuclear bomb was an excellent touch, but an extremely sad resolution to Rory. After getting virtually no screen time, Rory ends up being the real hero of the episode. With only a few seconds to spare, Felicity tries to find another less populated town to send the nuclear bomb. Luckily for her, Ragman’s ancient and magical rags are there. Realizing that his rags were what saved him last time, he decides to wrap his rags around the bomb. Arguably the most powerful character in the show, and the show decides to send him off. We see Rory’s rags completely destroyed, with an ending sequence of him saying goodbye to Felicity as well. It was as if the writers wanted to add a character with a cool suit, but realized they didn’t know how to write him in the team, so they destroyed his suit instead.
Meanwhile in Star City
Albeit the subplot in Star City was quite irrelevant to the story, it was an enjoyable story that connected Mad Dog and Quentin Lance. The recovering alcoholic prepares for a media onslaught, and there’s no better than the maverick of the team Mad Dog to help him. It was a touching story that showcased a new improved Quentin, as well as Rene, opening up their past to each other. As Quentin becomes more of a major player again, it is great to see him bond with other members of Team Arrow.
Meanwhile in Old Russia
Talia’s clear influence on Oliver transitioning into season one Arrow has been fascinating and interesting to watch. Revealing his transformation into finally becoming Star City’s vigilante has been a great tie into present day. It is also known that Oliver has Russian ties in Star City, so how exactly will his relationship with Talia play out. It seems Talia is eager for him to get back and go on a murder spree, but Oliver still seems to be content trying to get Kovar right now. The Russian story line, both in the past, and in Star City has always been shrouded with mystery an intrigue.
Arrow airs Wednesdays on The CW.