Arrow: The Return Of...

– by Mark Cook

...Artemis!  Her long-awaited return is here, but how long will it last? The episode opens with Adrian Chase torturing Oliver.  He speaks about his father's death and tells Oliver he wants him to confess, but Oliver doesn't know what he is talking about.  I have to admit, I did not like the beginning of the episode and thought it was going to be boring with the focus on the Russian flashbacks.  As the episode progressed, the ending was one of the better endings of the season.  Check out the main takeaways below:

Photo Courtesy of CW.

Photo Courtesy of CW.

1.  Prometheus' Plan - Chase takes Oliver through pictures of all the people the Arrow had killed.  He begins to give Oliver the same punishment he gave his victims in Season 1.  For instance, The Hood shot Count Vertigo with three arrows, so Chase puts three arrows in Oliver.  Chase continues to probe Oliver in order to get him to confess something.  He displays his leverage as he lets Oliver know that he knows exactly where his son is. Through continued torture, Chase eventual gets the secret out of Oliver that he wanted.  Oliver revealed that he didn't kill because he had to, but because he wanted to, and that he liked it. After Oliver's confession, Chase burns his Bratva tattoo from his body.  Upon waking from this, Oliver finds that Chase has unchained him, and has allowed him to leave.  When Oliver returns to the base, he lets the team know that he is shutting everything down clearly displaying that he is now a broken man.  I enjoy the psychological aspect this villain has taken.  It is somewhat reminiscent of Slade from Season 2, but still has a different feel to it.  Oliver isn't merely fighting a physical battle, but a battle for his mind!  Prometheus has consistently been ahead of Oliver to the point that he doesn't see a way out.  He has broken Oliver down to a point of admitting something Oliver had suppressed leading to him not knowing who he truly is.  Chase has also brought to light one of Oliver's greatest fears: he is to blame for the death of his loved ones.

2. Artemis Returns - Chase brings Artemis to Oliver and she does not look as if she has been doing well.  She has clearly been beaten.  Chase gives them both an ultimatum; kill or be killed. If she kills Oliver, she can leave.  If she does not, then Chase will snap her neck.  It seems as if he had taken advantage of her hatred toward Oliver, and manipulated her into doing his bidding. Due to Artemis not killing Oliver, Chase comes in and demands Oliver tell him what he's afraid to tell Thea, Felicity, Diggle, etc.  When Oliver responds with confusion, Chase snaps Artemis' neck. At first I was disappointed, and felt that the writers had wasted a character, but after Oliver admitted his secret, Artemis stands up and reveals she knew Oliver would crack!  It had been part of the plan the entire time.  This move reminded me of vintage Arrow.  Prometheus revealed to Oliver that his entire journey as Green Arrow has been based on a lie.  He stated that Oliver isn't a hero, but a murderer and is responsible for the deaths of his mother, Tommy, Laurel, and any hardships Team Arrow have been endured.

Photo Courtesy of CW.

Photo Courtesy of CW.

3.  The Russia Flashbacks Are Still Confusing - Gregor is dead, and now they must choose a new leader.  The next in line comes from seniority, which places Anatoly in charge.  I'll be honest, I am completely confused as to who is which character, and I really don't care.  The flashbacks have lacked any real reason for keeping my interest.  The only interesting part was that Malcolm Merlyn did arrive in the flashbacks meeting with Kovar while he was looking to overthrow the Russian government. I feel like this week was used to try and justify the flashbacks, but it failed.  I still find them uninteresting and lacking any real sustenance.  Oliver does meet with Taiana's mother, which eventually leads to Kovar killing her, thus ending any real connection to Season 4.  Even though Kovar attempts to kill many prominent individuals at the opening of his casino, Oliver thwarts his plans leading them to an eventual showdown where Oliver "kills" Kovar.  We then find out that Malcolm somehow helps save Kovar's life.  After today's episode, and the montage between Oliver's fight with Kovar overlapping scenes with Chase, I have the feeling that Kovar is behind Prometheus and Talia' plans.  Could he be Chase's true father?  Is he is connected to Susan Williams? We were left with more questions than answers at the end of the episode, which I actually enjoyed.

What'd you think of this week's episode of Arrow? Why is Malcolm helping Kovar? Do you think Kovar is connected to Chase?  What lies ahead for Oliver and the Team?  Hopefully we will get more answers (and less flashbacks) when Arrow returns next Wednesday at 8 p.m. on the CW!

Leave your thoughts in the usual spot, and thanks for reading!

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