ARROW Season 5×12, “Bratva” recap

9 Feb

Welcome back, Arrowheads!  When we last left our dear old John Diggle, he had just managed to get out of jail after being framed for treason by a corrupt Army general.  A lot of that has to do with evidence given to Felicity by a super secret hacker cabal known as Helix, which also had a lot of other dirty dark secrets.  Add to that the discovery of a new Black Canary fill-in with ex-cop Dinah Drake, and it looks like its time for Team Arrow to get back to normal, right?  Well, let’s get to that in a second…

Target Practice.  In this week’s flashback, Ollie is continuing his education in being The Hood with Talia, among those lessons is murdering a drug supplier who has been making business in Starling City.  Talia convinces Ollie that maybe now is the time to head back to Starling City to deal with his father’s list.  Before he can do that, Ollie goes to tell Anatoly he’s leaving, but finds Gregor has put Anatoly in the hospital. So Ollie swears to deal with his traitorous Bratva brother and Kovar permanently.

Trigger Words.  At the mayor’s office, Ollie is having a pleasant chat with Susan when Quentin shows up, fresh out of rehab.  He’s ready to get back to work being deputy mayor, and even willing to do an interview with Susan to explain his absence.  Things are looking up, even as Ollie has a press conference to thank Adrian for representing Diggle.  But a bit of bad news comes in: General Walker has escaped custody with his men, and that nuclear trigger that Diggle was framed for stealing is still missing.

Felicity discovers the trigger is listed in a pending illegal arms sale in Russia, out of reach by the Army and ARGUS.  So after leaving Quentin some help in prepping for that interview with Rene, the rest of the team (including Dinah) take a flight to Russia, and arrive to get greeted by a familiar face to Ollie: Anatoly!  Anatoly welcomes Ollie…by punching him in the face!  You see, there’s a bit of friction by Ollie sending the Bratva rep in Star City to deal with Slade Wilson back in season two, and since that ended badly, is on thin ice with Anatoly as it is.

Felicity Smoak: the hardest person in this trio.

Russian Greeting.  Ollie tries to smooth things over with Anatoly, short of actually doing a favor for him, but no dice there.  So Felicity thinks about how to find Walker, so an obvious idea is through cell phones.  It just happens one of the Russian bigwigs of Walker’s five cell phone service is in town, so she goes to see the guy.  When asking politely doesn’t work, she goes to blackmail with some of that creepy knowledge she’s learned from that Pandora file she got from Helix.

That little scheme that Ollie doesn’t learn about pays off in finding Walker’s cell signal in a church.  But someone is a little paranoid since escaping the country, and Walker has set up a early warning system that the Team happens to spring.  In a big shootout, Walker escapes but Ollie and Diggle take one of Walker’s men prisoner.  And they better get answers, because Diggle is really up for some payback!

Our Dark Places.  Back in Star City, Rene is giving Quentin a mock interview, which is getting on Quentin’s nerves to no end.  So it looks like that interview will go well.  Back in Russia, Ollie is busy putting the scare into his prisoner, while Diggle wants to punch the info out of the guy.  Meantime, Rory has learned about all that creepy Helix and blackmail stuff, and is about to snitch on her to Ollie, until they get interrupted by some noise.  Diggle has been turning their prisoner into a punching bag, and since that poor guy looks like he won’t be answering questions anytime in the near future, Ollie has little options left.  So, he goes to Anatoly and agrees to do something for him for his help in finding Walker.

“Oliver, my friend, what happened after I left the island?” “Man, you don’t want to know.”

Imperfect Union.  Luckily for Ollie that Anatoly isn’t a scumbag, because he asks Ollie to put some fear into a local crime boss.  Dinah ends up joining him on his non-Team backed trip, and he realizes in an chat afterwards, that even if he has concern for his fellow teammates and the dark past he’s having to drift back into for this mission, that he should take it easy on himself.  Sage advice.  Ollie chats with Diggle and Felicity about what he did, and reminds them that he actually thanks better of them than to do the dirty stuff he just did to get Walker.   It pays off, because Anatoly arrives at their hangout with news.  The sale of that nuclear trigger is happening tonight, and he’s brought a few Bratva soldiers to help out.  They probably aren’t needed, but hey, its help.

Transactions.  At an airport hangar, Walker is selling the bomb to some foreign separatist types, when the Team arrives to bust some heads.  Walker is caught by Diggle, who fights the temptation to kill the guy put instead have him taken back to the States to face justice.  They intercept the transport for the bomb, and find its empty.  Walker is one of those clowns who sells people something only to steal it away to get more money from some other sucker who wants a nuclear bomb, so where is it?  Felicity and Rory find it in a nearby hangar, and it had a fail-safe that was just set off, meaning the thing’s gonna explode!  Felicity thinks about flying the bomb away from the city, but Rory has another idea: using his rags to absorb the blast!  He gets his way, as Felicity gets clear of the hangar.   A flash of light from the hangar later, it seems the bomb hasn’t destroyed everyone, and Rory is surprisingly okay.  But not everything’s okay, as we’ll see.

Hit by a Drive By Canary Cry.

Chasers.  The Team has a celebratory drink at Anatoly’s bar, where everyone has some time to reflect on things (you know, like in Ollie’s case, that he still is technically a Bratva) before heading home.  Rene is exercising in the Arrow HQ as Quentin arrives to tell him the interview went well, but not because of what he said, but because of something Rene told her.  Rene mentioned how as a kid, he was a delinquent and a vandal, but a run in with Quentin years ago helped convince him he could make something more of his life.  Daddy Lance comes through again.

Felicity chats with Rory, who seems to be packing his bags to leave.  Well, there was a bizarre side effect to containing that blast with his creepy rags, in that they no longer work, so he thinks his hero days are done.  Well, dang.  Meantime, Ollie talks to Susan after sleeping together, and admits there are some things he still can’t talk to her about.  Unfortunately for Ollie, she becomes aware of some of that later on when one of her sources notes the odd coincidence of Ollie being in Russia at the same time as a hooded vigilante archer is…now at two different times in five years!

What does this mean for Ollie?  Can’t he have a normal girlfriend?

–Comic book connections: Helix is a secret organization in the DCU, and maybe unfortunately for Felicity, they aren’t one of the good ones.

–So Quentin’s back and Thea’s still out on business.  Maybe that’s a good thing, if next week’s vague previews suggest in a nasty scene at city hall.

–Walker is trying to pull a Doc Brown on these guys?   Because that plan really didn’t go so well.

–Fun moment in one of those flashback training scenes as Talia just shoots an arrow at Ollie and he catches it.  Keeping him on his toes.

–“When I signed on, I didn’t think I’d be dealing with aliens.”  “Aliens?”

–“What is that?”  “That is your conscience!”

–“In the future, you may not want to do that with a van carrying a nuclear bomb.”

–“Your strange friend’s pronunciation is terrible.”

And that’s it for now, so comment below and come back next week for the recap of “Spectre of the Gun”…

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