Welcome back, Arrowheads! Oliver Queen finally knows his nemesis this season, Prometheus, is his District Attorney, Adrian Chase! Considering he’s turned his mentor (Talia al Ghul) and a recruit into Team Arrow (Evelyn Sharp) against Ollie, it only makes sense that sooner or later the stakes would be raised. After killing his own wife, Adrian takes Ollie hostage, with plans to break the man. Can the rest of Team Arrow get to their leader in time? More importantly, what is Adrian’s scheme in not killing Ollie?
Russian Revolution. In this episode’s flashbacks (and it’s a pretty sizable amount of this episode), Ollie and Anatoly question a dying Gregor about what he knows. Beside cursing Ollie that everyone he knows will die around him, Gregor dies not giving them anything. With that, it means Anatoly gets promoted to Gregor’s rank in the Bratva, but also means he has to meet with Konstantin Kovar as part of the Bratva arrangement. Ollie thinks it might be time to contact Taiana’s mom regarding her dead daughter, and maybe get info on what Kovar is up to. That first meeting doesn’t end well, as he is almost swamped by Kovar’s men.
Meantime, Kovar is having a meeting with…Malcolm Merlyn!…as Anatoly drops by to see him. Anatoly overhears that Malcolm has made a deal to sell Kovar some deadly Sarin nerve gas, with the intent of knocking off some key government figures in Russia. So Anatoly and Ollie try to hit the exchange and get the gas, but Kovar manages to get away with the gas, which is bad because Anatoly is now exposed to Kovar as an enemy. The duo do happen to have a prisoner from Kovar’s men, though…
Skinned. Ollie takes the prisoner away, and plans on straight up torturing the guy for info. Later on, Anatoly comes down to see Ollie, only to find the prisoner dead, and Ollie with some disturbing news. Oh, and even Anatoly is creeped out by Ollie going all Dexter Morgan on that prisoner, especially when finding Ollie kept going on with the torture AFTER the guy talked. Whoa. Those officials Kovar wants to kill are being invited to the opening of Kovar’s new casino, making it the best spot to eliminate them with the Sarin gas.
Ollie suggests making another go at Taiana’s mom, maybe using her to get into the casino so they can stop Kovar’s plan. He manages to tell her that Kovar is not looking for her daughter, because he already knows she’s dead, and she agrees to help. Now all Ollie has to do is help his Bratva brothers break into a heavily secure casino to stop the release of deadly nerve gas among its patrons. No probs, Ollie says.
The House Rules. Its the grand opening of Kovar’s new casino, and Ollie gets on his best Hood and breaks in to let Anatoly and company in the back door. But in quick time, Ollie and friends discover Taiana’s mom murdered, and Kovar expecting them. Yeah, they got sold out by another Bratva brother, but also Anatoly and his guys get brought out into the main hall to hear Kovar’s big casino opening speech, while Ollie realizes he needs to get to where the gas is being pumped to stop this. Kovar gives a signal to hit the gas in front of the crowd of patrons and officials, and puts on a gas mask to keep from getting affected. But that gas is stopped almost immediately by Ollie, who cuts off the gas canisters.
While that turncoat Bratva dies from exposure to the gas, the officials and crowd flee with little fatalities, and Anatoly manages to keep from getting exposed, Kovar wanders out of the casino to find Ollie waiting for him. They get into one brutal fight that ends with Ollie ignoring Anatoly’s promise that Kovar will face justice, by stabbing Kovar in the chest. To commemorate this occasion, Ollie is given that cool Bratva tattoo on his chest. Anatoly says that despite him leaving anyway, this tattoo will help Ollie if he wants to continue his desire to kill people. Ollie says he doesn’t enjoy killing, but Anatoly warns that not accepting that fact may leave to a nasty revelation one day.
Oh, and thanks to Malcolm, Kovar is revived from being dead, so we got that to look forward to later.
Break The Arrow. NOW, in the present, Ollie is still in that jail cell, and Adrian offers to let him go alive, but on one condition: he has to confess. “To what?”, Ollie asks, only getting a “You know what” from Adrian, and it’s not about killing Adrian’s dad. After Ollie gets some nasty water torture, Adrian takes him on a tour of memory lane by reminding him of that time he killed Count Vertigo from season two. That tour also involves shooting Ollie with a few arrows in the shoulder.
Later, as Ollie’s healing, still chained to the cell, Adrian threatens to go after the people he really cares about eventually, like his son. And all Ollie has to do to stop this is confess. But what is he supposed to confess?
The Darkest Secret. Its time to go to the next level here, as Adrian comes back to cell with a heavily bruised Evelyn. Adrian makes another offer: either Ollie or Evelyn can leave the cell, but only if one kills the other before he returns. Ollie tries to get Evelyn to team up to fight Adrian, but she seems way too traumatized to think straight. He steals the knife Adrian left behind for this twisted game from Evelyn’s hands, and just when Adrian comes back. He’s really disappointed in Ollie, and for that, seems to break Evelyn’s neck.
Ollie is shocked by this turn of events, and can barely contain his anger. Adrian asks why did you kill all those people as the Hood when you could have easily brought them to justice another way? Ollie can barely say it, so when Adrian asks him to speak up, he gets this:
Wow. I think that’s the correct answer, Ollie.
Released. Ollie is slumped over defeated…and then Evelyn pops up, alive! This was all a ruse to get Ollie to confess the one thing he’s never confessed to anyone. And before Adrian lets him go, he burns that Bratva tattoo as a reminder of their time here. After a while, Ollie wakes up, unshackled, with the cell door open. He manages to make his way back to Arrow HQ, where the Team has been spending the last week (!) looking for him to no avail.
Diggle and Felicity promise to help Ollie take down Adrian as soon as he recovers, but Ollie seems too shattered to agree to help them. He just says, “I can’t do this anymore. I’m shutting everything down.” So Ollie is giving up? Why do I have the bad feeling that isn’t what’s about to happen next episode?
–Comic book connections: Artemis (Evelyn) is likely based on a character from the animated show Young Justice where–surprise!–she’s a turncoat too.
–You know you’re in bad territory when Anatoly suggests you’re behaving more like Slade Wilson.
–Fun continuity in Malcolm getting info on the earthquake machine from season one from that deal with Kovar.
–Speaking of Kovar, what does it mean that he’s been brought back from the dead? As much as I like keeping Dolph Lundgren on this show, I hope this doesn’t mean we’re getting one Big Bad replaced for another.
–“Its for the afterlife. It makes good gift in Heaven, but better bribe for Satan.”
–“See how easy it is to think first and kill people later?”
–“Go to hell.” “I’ve been there, and I have a message for you.”
–“He gave up pretty quickly. The rest was me practicing.”
That’s it for now, but comment below and come back next week for the recap of “Disbanded”…