How do we atone for our wrongdoings? Is it selfish to let guilt guide us, when doing so makes life harder for the people around us? And just how drunk do you have to be to get tossed into a Russian jail?
Let’s recap Arrow‘s latest and find out.
Flashback: Five years ago
Oliver’s got one more Bratva test to pass: Talk to Kovar money-launderer Pyotr Friedkin, who’s in jail and about to be arraigned. Anatoly douses him with liquor and kicks him out to pass as a day drunk. With that flashback hair, it’s an easy task, and Oliver’s soon tossed into a cell with Friedkin.
In conversation, Oliver refers to himself as a once-upon-a-time American who’s enjoying everything Russia has to offer. Then he chops Friedkin’s windpipe and threatens his wife and daughter if he doesn’t give up Kovar’s location.
Friedkin quickly spills the IP of the dark-web digital dead-drops they make, then asks, “How does an American become this Bratva devil?”
“I don’t know,” Oliver says, then snaps Friedkin’s neck. Woof. When the guards ask, Oliver blames it on a drunken fall. Apparently, Russian jails are tough, because the guards still release him a short time later.
Back in the car with Anatoly, Oliver argues Friedkin didn’t deserve to die. Au contraire, Anatoly says. Friedkin would’ve warned Kovar, and because Oliver trusted the Bratva and followed orders, the third test is over.
“You are Bratva now. Family,” he says, and they both celebrate with a nip from Anatoly’s flask. I’m guessing the secret fourth test was whether Oliver can down that Russian liquor without batting an eyelash, which he does — welcome to Bratva, Oliver and Oliver’s stringy hair!
The team hits the town in full costume, pursuing a thief. Can I just say how fun it is to see science-geek Curtis in action mode? It’s easy to underestimate his physical presence when he’s punching the clock in the lab while wearing floral shirts that button to his chin, but he’s got quite the wingspan when roundhouse kicking.
Yet again, Wild Dog goes off book, opening fire (and missing) and generally screwing up the plans. They still manage to nab the guy, but Oliver’s not pleased.
He’s also not pleased Rory and his rags didn’t show up, despite Felicity’s 20 texts. To be fair, Rory did just learn she made the decision that wiped out everyone in his town; the guy’s allowed to take some time to process.
But said processing led him to a decision: He’s quitting the team. He realizes it wasn’t Felicity’s fault, but when he looks at her, all he sees is his dead family. Vowing he’ll find another way to honor his father, he shakes Oliver’s hand and sincerely thanks him for everything. I’m calling a change of heart in three…two…
Back in the Arrow Cave, Lyla shows up to plan the promised prison break, which is news to Felicity. She does not approve, and this is before she finds out Diggle isn’t on board. “Not only do you want to commit multiple felonies and make John a wanted man for the rest of his life, he doesn’t actually want you to?”
Oliver and Lyla leave Felicity to stew and make their own plans. They’re particularly interested in a new anti-molecular compound that might be just what they need.
Mayor Handsome time. New D.A. Adrian Chase is waiting with Thea and Lance for Oliver to show up. When he does, Chase says Thea explained Oliver was tardy because of his gout. Ha! I hope Thea’s excuses for Ollie’s lateness get more elaborate and embarrassing every week.
Chase informs Oliver a team of vigilantes caught Sergio Espinosa and delivered him to the anticrime unit, and he’s not pleased. “Vigilantes are a superficial solution. If we need their help to get our streets clean…”
“It means we haven’t done our job right,” Lance finishes for him. Hey, now that’s the start of a beautiful working relationship — except for one small thing: I do not trust D.A. Chase or his smirky face. If he truly isn’t up to something, he’s going to have to work overtime to prove it to me.
After Chase and his air of untrustworthiness leave, Oliver tells Thea and Lance he’s headed out of town, but declines to provide details.
“Please make sure that no one destroys the city while I’m away,” he says. No promises, OQ. The good news is Lance has been sober for a week. Day by day, friend!
NEXT: Does Oliver know best?