During tonight’s episode of “Arrow,” Oliver was tortured almost to the brink of death. During “Kapiushon,” Chase was intent on extracting a confession out of Oliver — a confession that no one had heard before. Chase took his time torturing Oliver, showing him photographs of the men and woman he killed over the last five years. Chase even tried to leverage Artemis against him, which was Oliver’s final straw. When Oliver finally did confess, Chase let him go. When Oliver returned to Team Arrow, he admitted that it was time to hang up the hood. Tonight’s episode demonstrated that Prometheus is a villain on par with only Slade Wilson. His vendetta against Oliver is personal and his methods involve hurting the people that Oliver loves. Chase successfully broke Oliver this week — can he come back from that? Stephen Amell and Josh Segarra both gave phenomenal performances in this episode, as well as Dolph Lundgren and David Nykl in the Russian flashbacks.
Jekyll & Hyde
The bulk of tonight’s episode took place in Russia. After Oliver and Anatoly attacked Gregor at the hockey rink last week, they tried to interrogate him before he died. The only thing he said was that they would all soon die too. After Gregor’s death, the Bratva needed to promote someone to Gregor’s old position of Pakhan — they chose Anatoly. All of the Bratva men cut their hands and swore an oath to Anatoly, including Oliver, who was considered family. As the new Pakhan, Anatoly needed to visit Kovar about continuing their deal. Kovar also met with a surprising face, Malcolm Merlyn, returning guest star John Barrowman. After this meeting, Kovar confessed to Anatoly that a coup was coming, which confirmed Gregor’s prophecy about their impending death.
Throughout these flashbacks, Anatoly was getting more and more concerned about Oliver’s violence and thirst for blood. At one point, Anatoly even said that Oliver liked killing and how dangerous he was becoming. Oliver brushed it off and said that he didn’t like it — but that is exactly what Chase was wondering about too. Did Oliver like to kill? Had putting on the hood, the Kapiushon, give Oliver permission to kill? These scenes really demonstrated the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde borderline personality disorder that Oliver was beginning to develop. Was the hood protecting him or turning him into a monster?
Oliver and Anatoly then tracked Kovar’s operations to a ship yard, where they found lethal doses of Sarin gas. Kovar retrieved the Sarin, but Oliver got a hold of one of his men. Oliver then brutally tortured Kovar’s man for the location of the coup. Anatoly was horrified at how Oliver killed the man and began to question Oliver’s decision to embrace the monster under the hood. At the casino, Viktor betrayed Anatoly and the gas was released on government and public officials. Oliver stopped the gas from killing everyone and then killed Kovar himself — at least he thought he did. Oliver then received his Bratva Captain tattoo and drank a toast with Anatoly. Merlyn revived Kovar, which means a final Amell vs. Lundgren battle is coming soon.
In the current time, Chase spent days torturing Oliver. Chase held Oliver under water for the same amount of time that his own father was under water before he drowned. Chase held up photographs of people that Oliver had killed, like The Count, whom Oliver killed after Felicity was in danger. During the torture, Chase kept yelling at Oliver to confess. He said it over and over, but never gave Oliver any clues on what exactly he wanted Oliver to confess. He shot Oliver with multiple arrows, starved him and injured him, yet Oliver refused to yield. Oliver’s breaking point came when Chase threw Evelyn into the cell with Oliver. One of them had to kill the other to earn their freedom. Oliver refused to kill Evelyn, so Chase broke her neck. At this point, Chase began to berate Oliver again and his shouts for Oliver to confess intercut with Oliver putting arrows into Kovar’s men back in Russia. Eventually Oliver realized what Chase wanted and he finally confessed that he “liked killing.” Boom. Those were the magic words that simultaneously broke Oliver and set him free.
Before Chase agreed to let Oliver go, he burned off Oliver’s Bratva Captain tattoo. In the flashbacks, Oliver received the tattoo for killing Kovar and saving the lives of all those Russian officials. It was a badge of honor for something brutal yet necessary. When Chase burned it off, he said, “now you’ll look at it and remember our time together.” At this point, Evelyn also revealed that she wasn’t dead. She also gloated that Chase was right in how weak Oliver was to finally confess. Oliver returned to the Arrow cave dirty, starving, and covered in blood and scars. He was a completely broken man. All he said to Diggle, Felicity, and Curtis was, “I’m done.”
Over the course of five years on this show and five years in flashbacks Oliver has been through it all. He has seen his father die, his mother die, Tommy die, Shado die, Laurel die. He has been thrown off the side of mountains by men like R’as al Ghul, he’s been on-site for terror bombings like the one in Hong Kong. He has literally seen the worst of humanity and tonight he admitted that he too is the worst of humanity. What does this mean moving forward? Can Oliver come back from this? Can he look at all the progress that he’s made in five years and put the killer behind him? Speaking with EW this week, Amell said, “I actually do think so. I think that ultimately, if Oliver comes out on the winning side this year, he will have gone through some very important realizations that hopefully will help him grow as a person, as a friend, as a leader, as a teammate, as a hero, and as the mayor.”
Next week on “Disbanded,” Oliver will stop at nothing to bring down Adrian Chase. In an effort to protect Diggle, Felicity and the rest of the team, Oliver will seek help from Anatoly and the Bratva.
According to the episode description:
OLIVER CALLS ON THE BRATVA FOR HELP – Diggle (David Ramsey) and Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) are shocked by Oliver’s (Stephen Amell) decision to call on the Bratva to help take down Prometheus (Josh Segarra). Concerned the Bratva may overstep, Diggle has a hard conversation with Oliver about what happens if things go south. Meanwhile, Felicity learns something shocking at Helix. J.J. Makaro directed the episode written by Rebecca Bellotto. Original airdate 3/29/2017.
Starring Stephen Amell as the Emerald Archer, “Arrow” airs Wednesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Emily Bett Rickards, David Ramsey, John Barrowman, Willa Holland and more.