I liked this episode a lot! It splits its time between the flashbacks and present day as normal, but it all revolves around Oliver! By the end of the episode we have two very different Oliver Queens though. One is vengeful, focused and in denial of the person he is becoming, the other is completely broken.
Oliver is still being held hostage by Prometheus. It’s clear Adrian has big plans and he puts Oliver through some Saw-like challenges to get a confession from him. Oliver finds himself reminiscing about all the people he has killed while having his head dunked in a tub of water, being shot at with arrows and listening to threats against Felicity and his son.
Adrian repeatedly demands a confession from Oliver, but he doesn’t know what he wants to hear. Oliver’s utter frustration and desperation really comes through halfway the episode. You can see he’s lost and can’t see a way through.
Adrian’s last attempt to get what he wants is in the form of Evelyn. He drags her out battered and bruised and demands that either Oliver kills her or she kills him for either one of them to be set free. Evelyn grabs a knife and goes for it, though she doesn’t stand a chance (obviously). Adrian comes back and snaps her neck, leaving Oliver devastated. This was quite sad to see actually. Yes Evelyn betrayed the team and was in cahoots with Prometheus from the get go, but she’s a young girl with issues. Or at least that’s how I was feeling until she stands up and walks off, revealing it was all a plan to break Oliver. BITCH!!!
And worse still, it worked! Oliver finds himself blurting out that he killed because he wanted to AND he liked it!!!!
That’s obviously what Adrian was waiting for. He lets Oliver go, but only after burning off his Bratva tattoo.
Oliver arrives back at Arrow HQ as Felicity, Diggle and Curtis are frantically trying to find him still. He walks in broken and bleeding and tells them he is throwing in the towel. He doesn’t want to do this anymore and is shutting everything down.
The flashbacks give us an Oliver who is enjoying killing more and more. After Gregor finally snuffs it, Anatoly is made Pakhan (leader) of Bratva. They begin their search for Kovar, which randomly sees Anatoly interrupt a meeting between Kovar and Malcolm Merlyn. That should prove interesting in the next few episodes! After some chilling interrogation techniques Oliver finds out that Kovar is planning to overthrow the Russian government.
This all leads to Oliver eventually killing Kovar and being made a Captain of Bratva and receiving his tattoo. Anatoly does try warning Oliver about his increasing enjoyment in killing people, but he’s not prepared to listen.
This episode was quite a ‘back to basics’ episode of Arrow. It was nice to have a whole episode practically revolve just around Oliver, and even better to see two completely different sides to the character. Personally I found that the episode showed off what a great actor Stephen Amell actually is!